Hi, I have only recently started identifying as an atheist, but I haven't had a deity around for a long time. I was a church goer as a young person though, and one of the parts of attending services regularly was the community aspect of it all. This website is fricking fantastic, but the Egyptian atheists are not likely going to be having a softball game with the Bloomington, IL atheists (I don't know if that's a real thing) anytime soon.

I realize that the regular weekly attendance is important to indoctrination(bad), but taking a little time out of every week to talk to like minded individuals is great, even when talking about a nonexistent daddy figure in the clouds (good--at least in the sense of being part of a community). I was always questioning, even as a kid, so I actually did have some deep philosophical explorations. So my mind was always fed.

These days, I go to museums, I take part in some extensive volunteer opportunities, travel when I get the chance. But my question to the group is: How do you have the conversations that help you truly explore new ways of thinking, rather than fight the forces of deism? 

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That's a great question, and one that I second.
Thanks Brian

"How do you have the conversations that help you truly explore new ways of thinking, rather than fight the forces of deism?"

Read voraciously. It's a one-way conversation, but you get to choose the subject, or change it anytime you like.

It is unclear if I am fighting deism/theism or not. Most of my time is spend doing something else. On balance, I have 'talked' with theists here more than anywhere else these last few months, seems a little too often generally.

Ok, I have firewood to bring in, a horse barn to work another hour on, and some plants to take to our greenhouse. I do hope you folks can forgive, my lack of attention to the good fight!

Life comes before the fight for me as well, although I want to spend some time reading archaeopteryx website more fully than I have up to now because he truly is fighting the fight with feet on the ground scholarship. 

There are many 'good' reading materials that can offer some added insights into the 'theist mindset'. Locally we have the 'Christian News Northwest'. A regular paper that comes out monthly. It can be a hard read, without lots of bile blowing, but I find it almost as interesting as reading our local editorials. This month the front page:

"Vote on marriage quickly looms in Washington state". Concerning the state referendum 74(R-740 concerning gay marriage.

"Churches enlisted to help block Planned Parenthood in Salem-Keizer schools"

"Encountering the True Light in a House Full of Stories One Night". A family in Astoria using Halloween to share the gospel.

And Wise Words(YUK): "As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned" Galatians 1:9 NIV

Sadly this 'crap' is a little overwheming. It all just seems very sad...    

All too familiar with the theist mindset, at least the Christian variation. Read through the Bible 3 times when I was a kid, just trying to overcome my natural inclination to disbelief. At some point, I realized that the farther you get away from reality, the stronger the faith part has to fill the gaps and eventually found my disconnect point. 

Tired of the quotes from local shamans of 2000 years ago. The good they did gets washed away by the bad from my point of view. With a harsh look, the bad far outweighs the good. 

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