A question was offered to me today from a Morman friend that I am working with. He asked what atheist groups do for society. This was a question that I am unsure of and thought that I would ask this group...any ideas???...not just on what Atheist groups do, but what could we do???
I, myself, am not a joiner, so I don't belong to any atheist organizations. However, if I may be so presumptuous as to speak for them: the main thing they do is try to free the world from ignorance and superstition. They regularly organize to oppose such things as the removal of science from classrooms. Or the removal of rights from gays and lesbians. Or to maintain the constitutionally mandated separation between church and state. Or to oppose war (Christians dearly LOVE war! Always have).
I, too, have a Mormon friend. He is proud of his leadership with the Boy Scouts - the same Boy Scouts that reject atheists and homosexuals. He also boasts of his donations to pass Proposition 8 in California. And he was a big supporter of the war in Iraq, making it crystal clear that he didn't think the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children was as important as America getting control of the oil. If that's an example of what religions do for society, I think I hardly need to defend atheist organizations.
Only about 24% of U.S. oil comes from the Middle East and North Africa combined. Canada actually accounts for higher oil imports than Saudi Arabia. In fact, we produce 55% of our petroleum in country. 45% are imports. If someone thinks we fought the Iraq war to control their oil, why do we get only 2.77% of our oil from?
The U.S. gets less oil today from Iraq than before 9/11
The largest source of crude oil for the United States is the United States
Iraq has never represented more than 4.5% of crude oil used in the United States
The United States' dependence on foreign oil has increased, but the amount of oil from the Persian Gulf has decreased
We fought to save Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Was that to protect our Kuwaiti oil imports? That's absurd. Kuwait is way down the list of countries from which we import oil. We get even less oil from Kuwait than from Iraq. And as far as Middle Eastern countries, neither one of them can hold a candle to Saudi Arabia or Canada.
If he was successful in Kuwait where would he go next? Believe me if there was no oil in the Middle East we would treat them with the same lack of concern as the atrocities in Africa over the past twenty years.
It wouldn't matter where Saddam went next. There's nowhere he might go that would give him the ability to beat the U.S.'s military. I think Saudi Arabia, in sum an ally, pleaded for the U.S. to do something.
We can do without Middle East oil by simply buying more from sources in our own hemisphere as well as developing more of our own oil resources. This idea that somehow we're desperate to have Middle Eastern oil flies in face of the facts. Indeed, if we intervene in the Middle East it's due to the concerns of our allies in Europe in Asia who are far more dependent on it than we are.
We don't risk American soldiers in any situation for purely altruistic reasons. Can you think of one? Hence staying out of so many of those civil war situations in Africa. Can you think of one where we did? Would it be responsible to the American people to be going around doing nothing but righting wrongs in other jurisdictions. What gives America a dog in their fights?
Quick answer, atheist organizations do the same thing that christian ones do (if they are in the same field... medicine for example) but without the added baggage of bibles and forced worship.
My answer to the initial question is I don't know of any "atheist groups". Atheists are another member of society, and as members of society, they get involved in the whole spectrum of society, from volunteering in the community, participating in fund raisers, youth groups and sports associations, local politics, hospitals, etc. As well as donating their time, they also donate money. Society will not collapse if religion and religious groups were not present.
Today, I and three other guys are going to run a tiller to set up our garden here for next year. A number of people I know are out of work, including myself. Focusing on a problem and solving it is good therepy, having a well packed garden can help my family and others.