Atheist evangelism. Proselytizing reason. Witnessing for rational thought. For some the very idea of these things is an anathema. Many others feel that the path to follow is to lay siege to religion and try to tear it down. But this just doesn't work.

Tearing down other ways and beliefs is not how religions grew to the behemoths they are today. It was by promoting their own views. In many cases aggressively.

Promoting one's positions is human nature. Its how we interact with society. The things we value we promote and share with others in the hopes that they too will find value in these positions.

Of course the problem is that in the case of atheism there is not a defined common position other than the simple lack of belief in god(s). At least on paper. The truth is that there is often a great deal of things in common amongst atheists. Things they value. Things worthy of promotion.

If atheism is only known by its negative traits then it will be dismissed and pushed to the side in society. If we want to have a place at the table we need to be organized, positive, and growing in numbers. And to do that we need to promote atheism, reason, and rational thought. In their positive light rather than just as an opposition to theism, faith, and irrational thought.

Just a thought. What does everyone else think? What ideas and aspects does anyone think we may have in common worth promoting?

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Well I tend to promote a "back-at-ya" type of atheistic promotion. Essentially being armed with the information to take on those who knock on your door or approach you in the mall, on the street what have you. basically to get in the face of those getting in your (or other people's) face.
Yeah. I wouldn't personally want to make unsolicited approaches to people to try and 'sell' atheism to them..... that kind of thing annoys the hell out of me, even when it isn't religion they're pushing.

I would use passive advertising, fliers, posters, etc if I had a specific event to promote, or even just to provide a bit of information, but mostly I'll only bring it up in conversation if I'm among friends and family... or if somebody decides to 'bring it'.

Then the gloves are off!
It doesn't need to be done in the way you are speaking of though. I don't think the way is to speak of how great it is, but I think the way is to speak of how you can learn and realize but that is only assuming you can let go of your current world view. Christians and other religious are less accepting on many things, partly because of lack of knowledge, partly because they cannot understand concepts too strange to them. I think an atheist can because their thinking can never be truly bound to a certain system like a Christian, that for example still must regard for example ONE god as the only god. I have once asked a Christian if they understand the concept that their faith is also the same type of faith of a buddhist or a hindu, but they can't grasp it. They cannot understand that faith is merely an abstract subject applied when someone is religious.
Being from the Netherlands it's not so much about promoting atheism but more about freedom of speech for everyone. In the Netherlands "atheïsm" as such is not a very big issue. Our Minister of Education is an atheïst and nobody has a comment about that. He was chosen by our Minister-President who is a fundamentalist. (quote: "Unreligious people cannot perform well..").
In our country it's more like: "if an atheïst comments on religion he is discriminating, if religious people comment on atheïsts it's freedom of speech.."
The way I promote atheïsm goes like this:
Co-worker shows pictures of the baptism of his grandson. My comment: Nice photo, but my grandson is an atheïst, he will not be baptized! Co-worker looks astonished and asks: How do you know he's an atheïst? .....

Well, you know how I replied :) ......
And I always add: Next year he will become a member of the Socialist Party....
atheism is a result of rational thinking and logic.

skepticism is one of the things that brought me to atheism. so for me, the you dont' sell a negative for one (atheism as anti something). instead, you just keeping adding in logic, skepticism, and rationalism in a polite way. perhaps bringing up comparative religion, history, science, or whatnot. promote those kinds of directions of inquiry and you might end up with an atheist on the other side of it.

otherwise, trying to promote atheism itself is a slippery prospect.

i do occasionally have the opportunity do discuss the merits of atheism, but i try to not push too hard. i don't want to become that which i despise most.
We can certainly promote education. That was my way out of the mind rot that is Christianity.
wait... yes, i cannot think of any faith that got power simply by destroying others, but we aren't a faith! we are the absence of faith.
There are two kinds of believers and three kinds of non-believers.

In the beginning all are unbelievers [1] until we learn what we ought to believe.

As we grow up we become believers [1] in the traditions, folklore, and myths of our culture and society.

As we mature we view traditions, folklore, and myth as stupid and wonder how anyone can be so stupid to believe in them, so we become unbelievers again [2].

Then due to our circumstances in life, hard lessons, and spiritual weaknesses, we are lured into the church. There we are alleviated of our incredulousness through the most vile, deceitful, and sinister means. We become believers [2] again, born-again true believers. Through manipulation we become pawns in a war over values and proceed to unwittingly destroy our society and planet in a glorious effort to bring about Armageddon.

By whatever chance you might realize or are helped to realize by some evangelizing atheist that you have been deceived, and you become a non-believer [3] again. Knowing the means by which your mind was hijacked, you will not be so easy prey again.

Now go and proselytize.
Perhaps it's my location, but the issues I have are not with upfront, in-your-face fundamentalist. Frankly, I see virtually no difference between a door-to-door salesman and a zealous parishioner, and I think most people would agree. The problem we face is not the almighty wranglers but the simplicity of faith. We live in predominantly Christian society. To accept Christianity is a fairly simple process that people are more than willing to go through, since that's what society wants.

To get people away from faith will be a battle against social norms. We won't win by being arrogant and pushy; we'll win by being patient and accepting. Use logic to your advantage in this endeavor. The dialectic is my favorite method of pulling people from the clutches of ignorance. You just have to be kind and gentle as you release them from the grasp of misunderstanding. After all, no one enjoys having the foundations pulled from underneath them, especially when it comes to sensitive issues like faith.




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