The Skeptic's Guide to The Universe

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What is an "A+" atheist?

I guess this is a growing movement. I heard some about this from a recent podcast and really have been dealing with it ever since I have been trying to be in some sort of organized atheist movement back in 2009. I see flames and arrows going back and forth. It is odd that when compared to the mountain of religious issues we have to deal with as atheist that how you act as an atheist is really becoming such a major issue.

But as I have learned, no two atheists are the same.  Here are some concepts I “believe in as an atheist.

Me and "Jesus" Reason Rally
·         I believe that according to the Constitution that the right to bear arms should not be infringed, but in keeping with the Constitution they should also be regulated.
·         I believe abortion is non-negotiable option for woman and that it is a right inalienable to all women.
·         I believe that the right for labor to organized as a sacred as the right to vote and should be encouraged and supported
·         I believe that the global climate is changing; however I have yet to see conclusive evidence that shows humans are the primary or significant cause.
·         I believe that food ‘lifestyles” such as vegetarian, vegan, raw food, organic and etc. are simply a way for people to have a “one-upmanship” toward other people that do not share their view. No data or study has concluded that any on these diets are healthier than any other reasonable diet.
·         I believe that one of the major purposes of the government is to “provide for the General Welfare”, which means that as citizens we are obligated to support our country with our taxes. This means those that benefit most have a greater burden to serve the country with the prosperity.
·         I believe that when able, a person should help others and leave people alone when harm could result. TO me, one example is donating blood.
·         I think it is reasonable and responsible to recycle, and conserve energy, to dispose of waste properly and do your best to care for the environment.
·         I believe that gender equality is required and respect is the norm. As men and woman, we have many interactions, the goal is to make them positive, and make it right when we make mistakes.
Hemant Mehta FreeOK
·         I believe that human sexuality should not be a barrier to forming legal relationships with consenting adults. Marriage is a legal contract and as long as the parties agree, government has no business intervening.

None of these views are dependent or driven because I am an atheist. None of them are related to me having a past history as an evangelical Christian. I know atheists that have opposite views of each and every view I share. Does that mean we have nothing in common, of course not. It means we are a group of dynamic people that have a manifold of views that represent about every idea and concept of human existence. Should we alienate someone because they do not share our view on promoting our concepts concerning God and the supernatural?

I recall in 2010 at the Skeptic on III conference a panel discussion concerning accomidationalists and confrontationalists.  This was the first time I had come across these concepts. However, it wasn’t the first time I had dealt with them.  In 2009, when living in Ponca City, OK, I and a friend started a meet up group called Northern Oklahoma Freethinkers. By the second meeting we already had divisions starting. Those members that wanted to “bash” religion and those that just wanted to talk about science and positive concepts. There were those that felt that being a atheist meant you were associated with a certain political party.

PZ Myers, Richard Carrier and D.J. Grothe, Skepticon III
t was clear that we had to limit the topics or qualify the topics to not offend some people. Personally, I loved the rigorous discussions and found them very engaging. But it was respectful, or at least we tried our best to be. It isn’t perfect. But what is the goal? What are we trying to do?
We have maybe as many answers to this as we have atheist.

For me, as an ex-evangelical Christian, it is to point out the futility of their faith. I find it perfectly
Me as a Christian DJ, circa 1990
acceptable to ridicule someone that thinks their make believe faith in something should be respected. But I know this isn’t the way everyone wants to be, that is fine. I have many personal reasons for my view. My past has brought me to this point and how I view religion is based upon many years of seeking and study on the subject.

I have learned that many people raised in a secular family find the confrontationalist point of view to be quite aggressive. And for them, that is right. But there are many of us that are ‘victims” of the dogmatic indoctrination of religion. I respect those that want to take the quiet and gentle approach. To me, it isn’t a matter of A+ or A- or anything like that, it is a matter of making the idea of God less acceptable by a wide range of methods.

I agree with people that have different tactics than I do. But should I be marginalized because I like to confront adherents in their churches? Should I be ridiculed for thinking crosses all over the country are as offensive as seeing a hangman’s noose or a guillotine?

I have my point of view and it is different than yours, I get that but I also share the same goals and ideas. What is the “best” way to be an atheist?

I don’t know and neither do you.

What I do know is that I wish I had someone like me to help me come out of my religious delusion when I was entrenched in it. We need all of us.  As I see it, by all means possible.

1 comment:

  1. "it is a matter of making the idea of God less acceptable by a wide range of methods."

    I couldn't agree more! Just found you here and really enjoyed reading your post.