Hello Mr. Ray

According to some quotes I've read, your book "The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture" asks why are people so clear about the faults and failures of other religions and so blind to those of their own? Surely this criticism should also be applied to atheist organisations? I'm asking this in a particularly Irish context since it has been announced that you will be addressing an organisation called Atheist Ireland.

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Welcome to the forum fellow atheist?, an interesting first post, and I am not entirely who Mr Ray is exactly, do you mean Daryl Ray, the author? I am not sure that Mr Ray reads Atheist Nexus, that would be like posting something on catholics.com and expecting Herr Ratzinger to personally read it.

I agree, yes, atheists do point out the faults and failures of religion and quite rightly so, although I am at a loss as to the faults and failures related to atheism you are talking about, perhaps you would be so kind as to elaborate.

Still, in answer to your troll, question, the answers you are seeking are quite simple;

given enough evidence and backed up by logical and non supernatural mumbo jumbo, atheists will tend to admit they are mistaken about a particular thing and change their minds. No religion will do that.

I think that rather than being blind to them, most atheists are perfectly aware and accept that there are great unexplained things in this world but do not feel the need to ascribe supernatural influence to explain them. Atheists are not blind to failings, they adapt evidentially as need arises. No religion will do that.

Atheism, unlike a religion, is not a belief, nor is it or can it be fundemental. Atheism is a lack of belief and therefore requires no faith. (Faith is believing things you know aint true, mark twain) To the best of my knowledge no-one has blown themselves up, flown into buildings or persecuted anyone for not believing in their particular god. Can you say the same about religion?

And Fourth, (also in a particularly Irish context)
When an atheist commits a crime, he is held accountable by his own actions according to the law and is punishable by said law, we are fully aware of this. Religion on the other hand has been proven time and time again to turning a blind eye to such things on the provision enough piety and remorse is shown and the entire organisation becomes blind and conditioned to its own inherant debauchery.

So to sum up, this criticism cannot apply to atheist organisations as it is inherent in athiests to self regulate and self determine facts, truth and values. The same cannot be said for religions.

Hope that was sufficiently educational for you.
atheists will tend to admit they are mistaken about a particular thing and change their minds.

Heh. If only it were always so.
Irish atheists are not English atheists who are not French atheists... An American atheist organisation is not an Irish Atheist organisation which in not an English organisation. When an organisation imports a yellow pack set up of chairperson, committee and well spaced out opportunities to vote so democracy is claimed, but limited and contained, then freethinking is already on the back foot.
Irish atheists are not English atheists who are not French atheists... An American atheist organisation is not an Irish Atheist organisation which in not an English organisation.

Really? Who knew!
Actualy not very many if you read this and other atheist websites. There are oceans of sweeping statements that assign characteristics to "atheists".
@D Beggs
If there is anything educational in that post I doubt it's what you think it is. Equating Herr Ratzinger, who is the nominal figurehead of approximately 1.3 billion members of an organised religion, with an author who has written a book about religionism is like comparing a giraffe to an ant in terms of time commitment. The rest of your post missed the point of the OP by a few miles at least. I didn't refer to "atheists" and "atheism". What people believe is not the point: how they behave is.

When a reference is made to one particular organisation it's not valid to go off into a generalised set of definable behaviour patterns that you assume can be applied in a particular local case. That is, unless you are referring to a religious type movement with a set of doctrines. It’s one of the ridiculous assumptions of hobby atheists that they think all atheists are actually people who have nothing to do with religion instead of also including people who rise to the heights of religions and religious organisations.

I don't suppose the part of Germany you live in would be in Hessen/Bavaria by any chance?
Darrel Ray is an active member on our site.

FXR, I'd like to hear what you have to say about the goods and bads of atheist organizations, as I'm doing some local group organizing/disorganizing.
This is the 21st century so the thing to do would be to act according to the 21st century and not the 19th century. An atheist organisation does not need a "leader" or a single "spokesperson" or a "figurehead". This being the 21st century if you want to take advantage of freethinking you have to allow it space to prosper. Committees full of red tape and collective rules are anathema to free thinking. Fear of the potential of the unfettered mind is a theme of organised religionism. An atheist website shouldn’t have the type of moderators who police posts looking for anything that might damage the "image" of the organisation or that try to control the type of language used because it does not fit with the hierarchy’s ambitions. If you watch a lot of commercial and atheist websites you might notice that moderators are fast becoming the clergy of cyberspace. What they say goes and it can’t be discussed.

On a practical level you need someone to handle email inquiries, send the odd fax, pass on information and do other practical tasks but that shouldn’t end up as politburo that have to rubber stamp everything. Open things up to everybody. The 21st century makes it possible for members of an organisation to vote, have an input, express opinions and argue their stand point from miles away. Instead you have bullshit like holding a meeting to make decisions in a hotel room and if you can't make it tough shit. It's a favourite trick of bureaucrats which allows the thinning out of the population. The less the number of people in control the more they become dominated by one or two personalities and then what you have is an organisation with a mental blood clot.

The most obvious answer to your question is 'Yes'.and 'so what'? Atheists are just ordinary people with ordinary human weaknesses. Next question.


Atheism is a lack of belief in God(s), nothing more. There is no such thing as 'an atheist position" on any other topic.

Atheism is an effect, not a cause.

My position is "I do not believe". This was an inevitable conclusion reached over about 25 years,starting at devout Catholicism. I began to question at 16,leaving the Church at 20. I kept looking for answers and began demanding evidence. I found neither.

I am acutely aware of the flaws many people who criticise religion and who are atheists. EG I do not support militant atheism or proselytising. I am not anti religious per se,although I consider organised religion parasitic. I often disagree Richard Dawkins when he moves away from science and begins expressing his personal opinions.

I'm assuming you're simply an ignorant atheist (I mean that as an observation,not an insult) rather than a Christian apologist. If the latter, please leave; theists are not welcome here,just as atheists are unwelcome on most atheist sites.
Tarquin meant to say "Just as Atheists are unwelcome on most theists sites.". Simple spelling slip.

... anyways.
I'm not sure what your motives are here FXR. You're either quite self destructive in viewing yourself as an Atheist... or you don't view yourself as an Atheist.
If it's the former, and are upset with what Atheism is, then how on earth did you wind up becoming one? Most of us wind up being Atheists out of their disgust or disagreement with religion... we certainly don't plan on dragging any flaws of religion with us.

On an earlier post of yours, I noticed you referring to Atheists in Ireland as being some kind of media hype to back the pope up... ? You called them "Irish Catholic atheists"
This is a contradiction. Atheists aren't Catholic, lol... and we most certainly don't take orders from the pope.

It seems to me your definition of Atheism might be askew.

Atheists are simply people who do not believe in a god, or a prophet, etc.
Given that religions are foundations upon the belief in a god, we don't belong to religion of any sort.

You seem to portray an idea of Atheists as still being religious. Which would be absurd.
You called them "Irish Catholic atheists"
This is a contradiction. Atheists aren't Catholic, lol... and we most certainly don't take orders from the pope.

Just as a kind of footnote, this is what atheist Irish comedian Dara O'Briain has to say on this (and I'm going to be lazy and just take this straight from Wikipedia):

O'Briain has said he sees himself as an atheist, but "ethnically Catholic": "I’m staunchly atheist, I simply don’t believe in God. But I’m still Catholic, of course. Catholicism has a much broader reach than just the religion. I’m technically Catholic, it’s the box you have to tick on the census form: ‘Don’t believe in God, but I do still hate Rangers.’"
People who are products of an Irish Roman Catholic culture can carry the marks of that culture without being aware of it. In other words the underlying architecture of an organisation they will feel comfortable in can be an imitation of the one they were brought up in. One of the most prevalent attributes of AI and the Irish Catholic Church is hypocrisy.

Chairperson/Pope, Committee/hierarchy, moderators/clergy, orthodox language/civil discussion, meetings/masses, Atheism/Catholicism, fellow brethren/fellow atheists, deference/homage, hypocrisy/hypocrisy, (some things don’t change)




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