I've always wondered what atheist want to accomplish in this,is it just to meet up and express our frustration on religion or are people actually willing to spend time educating them self around this and figuring out the truth.What I am going to do now is to be a activist.Simply fight against it and spread the word.But it begins with educating myself,learning more and experiencing more.

What do you want to achieve with your atheism?

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I am working on a documentary series which I hope will help dispel some of the stigmas associated with atheism and boost pride among atheists. Dawkins IMO made a huge impact in that way, and I hope to add a little piece to it too. (I'm not so bold as to compare myself to dawkins - just saying I hope to continue a step or two on the path he blazed).
What do I want to achieve with my atheism? Well, as worded by a popular atheist podcast, I want to believe as many true things and as little false things as possible. My atheism propels me towards this goal.

But atheism as a community effort? There is no centralized goal, as we all know. For many atheists, the sense of community they find in online communities of like minded people is solace they may not find in real life where religiosity is the standard. Many atheists often find these communities and find it therapeutic to finally be able to tell their tale of discovery or vent against the inanities in their everyday life to a sympathetic crowd. This often gives theists the impression that we are all curmudgeons and complainers.

I think the goal for many rational atheists is not a more atheistic world, but a more rational world where the designation of "atheist" is no longer relevant as a descriptive term but considered the default (as opposed to God belief, which many consider the default).
Well if religion does alot of harm.Then we could contribute work to build a better world,of course maybe not
dedicating all your time of it might seem worthless in a way but i don't think so.I think religion is the most important fight.Of course there should be a form of community effort..surprises me a bit that you state that..
I would think it is very important some of us actually care about this.
Oh, I am not saying that it is not important that we care about it. And there is a community effort even here at T|A. The simple act of providing a place for atheists to gather and reassure that they are not alone gives strength and encouragement to them in their everyday lives.

I do disagree that religion is the most important fight. Attacking individual beliefs is akin to treating the symptoms. The disease is what needs to be attacked and the way to do that is through education and critical thinking/inquiry. Atheism, or anti-theism, is part of that but not the whole picture, IMO. But chop delusion off at the root and religious faith never has the chance to blossom. Much easier than cleaning up the droppings from those flowers one at a time.
Yea a community like this is a good platform for sharing experiences,views and support each other.
I agree education is key,that's what we should promote.Most christians for example take on christianity and THEN look for reasons for it to be true.Most educated people don't believe in religion simply because they're more educated,there will always be religious people of course.
The problem is not that there are religious beliefs but what what worries me is the potential it has..its terrifying to see how far some people are willing to go to justify their beliefs..if more people
would have more education on board they would held a better position to make a rational decision
we simply have to reach people scientifically,philosophically & with instinctive logic,reason.
The problem is not that there are religious beliefs but what what worries me is the potential it has..its terrifying to see how far some people are willing to go to justify their beliefs..if more people

I agree. But I see it more than just with religious beliefs. False beliefs in general are what worry me. Look at the false belief that vaccines cause autism. That is not a religiously motivated belief, but it operates with the exact same mechanisms as religious belief does. Children are getting sick and some are dying because of this emotionally fueled delusion.

For me, Skepticism is the banner that reality based rationalists should fly when fighting delusion. Unfortunately, many Skeptics argue for Accomodationism (coddling of religious belief) and some even put away their skeptic tools when it comes to their pet beliefs (like Martin Gardner, for example).
there are two sides to what I hope to accomplish.
First I reject the idea that religion makes people do the right thing and help their fellow man and that is the only way to keep morality and charity alive. Its the whole "good without god" concept. I think its so important to set the example and educate people that we don't need religion to keep us good, this I believe will make it more acceptable to be a non-believer and encourage more people to be free thinkers.

secondly I hope to fight against those that push their religious beliefs on others, or would force them into our public policy. As an atheist I want to create a climate in this country that doesn't accept "god says so"as a valid argument to any social or political issue.

I also believe a sense of community is needed to accomplish anything. Its nice to be here and be able to speak and debate without getting dirty looks or being defriended on facebook but if we feel strongly enough to be here we need to do something with these feelings.
I don't want to take over anything. I just want to be understood and not feel prejudiced. I want to spread knowledge. I want to spread tolerance. And for "god's sake" I want people to stop spreading their religious views were they don't belong.
1.) identify the truth from the fiction through reasoning and the scientific method
2.) Learn more arguments for the existence of god and likewise; Philosophize
3.) Stop believers from spreading their virulent religion
4.) Help Atheists get elected
5.) Make the United State's ratio of non-believers to believers the same as the U.K., or better yet, Iceland.

I think I just made a summary of everyone's.
The main thing I hope to accomplish is to establish the idea that in order to move forward as a productive, global society, we are going to have to start acting positively of our own accord, not because some Divine Being is going to punish us if we are bad. Acting moral because you're afraid of a deity is not acting moral.

I also hope to stop discrimination against atheists and agnostics in a predominantly religious society. For example, it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, for an openly atheist person to run for public office and actually get elected. I've heard countless people (read: religious people) argue that religion has nothing to do with their choices on election day. If it didn't, why would admitting to a non-religious background be the kiss of death?

I respect people of faith. The problem I usually run into is that people of faith do not respect me. That needs to change.

I would like for people to realize that while books are fantastic for spreading knowledge and fantasy, there is no book (like gee, the bible) that can or should run your entire life. There is no book that can encapsulate the totality of life.

I would like people to focus more on their lives and less on what happens at the end of it. The reason for this is despite what anyone thinks, nothing is certain after death. Whatever it may be, it will be. In the mean time you have a fully functioning life to live, people who are important in it, etc.

I wish people would realize that it is not necessary to believe in "God" to live a moral and decent life. It does not take the threat of (unknown quality and quantity) eternal damnation to "keep people in line". Each person has a moral compass which functions outside of the belief in a higher power. This also goes in line with people trying to make the ethical and immoral connection between atrocious individuals in history and Atheism.

I think that if we could topple the mythos of misdirection known as Religion, next to go (and quickly) would be Racism.

I can make a connection, but more importantly I'd like to say that in my opinion Religion, Racism, Political Parties, etc. All of these do a lot, but all of them have separation in common. It's all about people trying to discriminate against one another based on creed, color, or political affiliation. And I'm not saying that everyone is doing this, or that there aren't people who have potentially or possibly risen above these barriers. But the fact is that in society Religion, Racism, Political division are all large parts of what nations describe themselves as claiming to be free. Free to discriminate? I think the willingness to create such divisions is counterproductive to what the original goal was.
From wikipedia entry on Tribalism:

"Tribalism has a very adaptive effect in human evolution. Humans are social animals, and ill-equipped to live on their own. Tribalism and ethnocentrism help to keep individuals committed to the group, even when personal relations may fray. This keeps individuals from wandering off or joining other groups. It also leads to bullying when a tribal member is unwilling to conform to the politics of the collective.

Socially, divisions between groups fosters specialized interactions with others, based on association: altruism (positive interactions with unrelated members) kin-selectivity (positive interactions with related members), and violence (negative interactions). Thus, groups with a strong sense of unity and identity can benefit from kin selection behavior such as common property and shared resources. The tendency of members to unite against an outside tribe and the ability to act violently and prejudicially against that outside tribe likely boosted the chances of survival in genocidal conflicts.

It is logical to assume that a predisposition to tribalism, and specifically to genocide, aided early humans in their expansion into Europe. Modern examples of tribal genocide rarely reflect the defining characteristics of tribes existing prior to the Neolithic Revolution--for example, small population and close-relatedness.

According to a study by Robin Dunbar at the University of Liverpool, primate brain size is determined by social group size. Dunbar's conclusion was that the human brain can only really understand a maximum of 150 individuals as fully developed, complex people (see Dunbar's number). Malcolm Gladwell expanded on this conclusion sociologically in his book, The Tipping Point. According to these studies, then, "tribalism" is in some sense an inescapable fact of human neurology, simply because the human brain is not adapted to working with large populations. Beyond 150, the human brain must resort to some combination of hierarchical schemes, stereotypes, and other simplified models in order to understand so many people.

Nevertheless, complex societies (and corporations) rely upon the tribal instincts of their members for their organization and survival. For example, a representative democracy relies on the ability of a "tribe" of representatives to organize and deal with the problems of an entire nation. The instincts that these representatives are using to deal with national problems have been highly developed in the long course of human evolution on a small tribal scale, and this is the source of both their usefulness and their disutility. Indeed, much of the political tension in modern societies is the conflict between the desire to organize a nation-state using the tribal values of egalitarianism and unity and the simple fact that large societies are unavoidably impersonal and sometimes not amenable to small-society rules.

In complex societies, this tribalistic impulse can also be channelled into more frivolous avenues, manifesting itself in sports rivalries and other such "fan" affiliations."

It is very rare for people to not self-identify as a member of any group (such as a political party, race, religion). For as long as we have these stone-age brains, group-membership will have tribal implications - with all that tribalism entails.

Yes, we will hopefully evolve past that - as long as non-tribalism becomes a preferrable and selectable trait - but we're not there yet by a long shot.


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