I've been a little obsessed lately with browsing around on various websites finding atheist material and have ended up feeling more disgusted than ever about how the majority of the world's population can believe this religious garbage. While there seems to be no shortage of atheist resources on the internet, where do atheists go to get involved in the real world? Maybe I just haven't been pointed in the right direction but it seems to me that atheist activists are a bunch of people sitting at their computers at home. Which is better than nothing but the religious have a huge advantage not just in their numbers but in their willingness to get out there and spread their message.

I've seen the recent billboard and bus advertising campaigns in the US and UK and think they are amazing. There seem to be several organizations in the US for atheists interested in getting involved...does anyone know of anything up here in Canada? So far I have stumbled upon nothing. I'm beginning to form a stronger opinion that atheists need to be more public with their beliefs in some way (and not just public with their beliefs on internet forums). What that way is I don't know but I would be interested in anything any organizations you might know of where I would be able to be more actively involved in spreading the good word of atheism.

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There are a large number of groups in my local area that cater to the atheist/freethinker community. This seems to be the case in many areas around the United States. I know there are groups in Canada, but don't know about any in your specific area. You can definitely check out places like meetup.com for groups that may meet in your area. Many colleges and universities have atheist or skeptic groups, and can be a great place to meet up with others who think like you.

One group that I am involved with sets up an "Ask an Atheist" booth at the beach during busy weekends. It gives us a chance to let people see that atheists aren't a bunch of child-eating immoral freaks. I have had a number of great discussions. Ray Comfort has come and set up on the same beach several times, it makes for some fun debates!

If you don't have a group in your area, it isn't all that hard to start one. The Atheist Community of Austin (hosts of a live call-in television show and a live internet radio show/podcast) started with an ad in the local newspaper. Many atheists are just "armchair atheists" who practice their atheism from a keyboard, but some of us do it on our feet, spreading a love for life and preaching logic and reason to real people in the real world.
Here in Australia, religion is not very important to most people, but it's still hard to push the atheistic point of view. I know people who don't believe in god but dare not call themselves atheist because they think it's "not quite right" to do so - I get the impression that some of them think it's almost illegal!

So the religious PR machine has done a pretty good job for itself.

At the moment in Australia, we have a religious Prime Minister (some say he's a creationist, but I'm not sure). On the other hand, an earlier Prime Minister (Bob Hawke) proudly declared his agnosticism - and got re-elected three more times.
I think that there is a "good news" message from atheism but unfortunately it depends on the "bad news" of religion.

Think about the good news of Christianity.
There is a god who loves you and wants to spend eternity with you, etc.
But they don't tell you about the dark side.
This loving god will condemn the vast majority of people of the planet, including many of those you love, to eternal torment.

The good news of atheism doesn't have a dark side, at least I don't think so.

Here's my spin on the atheist's good news:
There is no hell.
The doubts that you had as an adolescent were actually justified. You were on the right track. You can trust your common sense.
You don't have to muster up some nebulous "faith".
You don't have to learn anything. There's no curriculum. When you've purged all of your demons, you don't even have to think about atheism. You're done.
I feel the same way. I really want to get involved but really need a bit of direction. Particularly living in Japan where religion is even less of a concern than in my home country Australia. It makes you wish for a guide book to Atheist Activism or even just a mentor program to help get you going and doing things in a tried and tested way.




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