In one recent discussion, a good lady, Dogly, said this about me:

“It is just that Madhukar seems to be trying to find a common set of beliefs or opinions among us all. I'm trying to convince him that that is impossible.”

Earlier, she had hardly participated in the several discussions posted by me but seems to have observed me from distance, because her observation is accurate.

My reply was obvious:

“I do not, cannot and will not deny that I would be very happy to evolve some commonalities in atheist character,”

I feel most annoyed when an atheist says that ‘atheism is nothing more and nothing less than not believing in god.’ I also find some opposition to me when I say that atheism is an ideal. This may be a result of a fear that calling atheism an ideal will turn it into an ideology, which, indeed, is to be feared! However, there is some difference between an ideal and ideology. To me, atheism is an ideal that every intellectual should try to achieve. Attaining this ideal would be the best proof of an intellectual’s intellectualism. This is supported by the result of a recent discussion that finally seems to have established that atheism is based on knowledge and not on ignorence.

Likewise, I strongly believe that there should be something like an “Atheist Identity” that should distinguish an atheist from the rest of the people, by his character. The religious faithful often try to say that being an atheist is being immoral. Why should anyone try to attach such labels to us? Why should it not be obvious to others that being an atheist gives some good attributes to one’s personality?

Aren’t there enough good qualities that all atheists can posses and that can be attributed to atheism? Whatever be the answer, it will not deter me from finding such a common character.

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Replies to This Discussion

I agree with Joseph completely.  Madhukar, you are searching for Moby Dick.  He doesn't exist.  I understand your desire to have a large group of atheists as a political force or something, but it isn't going to happen.  The closest thing we will have to that scenario is probably an event like the Reason Rally or the Secular Coalition for America.  I would suggest you do two things.  First, figure out what you believe in the world and look into it.  For me, that is secular humanism.  That defines who I am much more than the word atheist.  Yet I am also an atheist.  I would not try to add definitions to atheism, you will only meet with resistance, and rightfully so in my opinion.  Second, if you want to be surrounded by like minded people, get involved the two organizations I mention above or others like them.  My community has a group of atheists that gets together once a month.  We have coffee, share books, often have a speaker of some kind and go home.  Its pretty cool.  Look for something like that in your community.  Trying to add meaning to a term (atheist) that already has a clear definition is a fruitless exercise.

Only one a month?  Not a very big group in your area?  I've got about two events I'm attending every week for the next month or so (as far ahead as people usually schedule), and I'm only attending maybe a third of the events that the various local groups are hosting.


It's probably a bit tougher for Madhukar to find a local group.  India is a lot less secular than most of the west.  They have blasphemy laws and such.

Small city, small group--but better than no group. You know I didn't even look to see where you were from Madhukar.  My apologies, that makes it very difficult for you to do as I suggested.

Ohhhh, Duluth.  I think my mind turned that into St. Paul, when I first looked at it.  Slight difference.

Reason Being

I forgot add that my city is not small. It has a population of about four million. The newly formed atheist group, Pune Freethinkers already has a membership of 87. No lack of company, no small city attitude, so there are no difficulties at all.

How does matter from I come?

The laws of India are a lot less friendly to atheism.  You could run into legal problems, if your local group tries to become more aggressive in its communication of your message.

Thanks Joseph for warning me, I appreciate your personal concern for me.

I'm sure you know your local laws better than I do.  I was just trying to demonstrate to Reason Being that you may have difficulties doing things that he takes for granted.

Joseph P

It's probably a bit tougher for Madhukar to find a local group.  India is a lot less secular than most of the west.  They have blasphemy laws and such.

This does not seem to be any reply to my post. No need for personal sympathy. How much do you know about India? If you think that you can know more about a billion multicultured people than an Indian, then you are highly mistaken.

Dude, every post in a discussion is not going to be directly addressing the subject of the original post.  Threads wander as people respond to the original post, then respond to the response, then respond to the response to the response to the response to the response to the response.

Why is it whenever someone metions India you get your panties in a twist?

Sounds like a damned good reason to be anxious, to me.  Those guys are fucking nuts.




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