I'm putting this question out broadly, but mostly in an architectural and programmatic sense.  I'm an architecture student in his last year. This means I'm doing my thesis, a project of my choosing which I work on for a year. I've gotten input from another forum and local friends put the more points of view the better the final product will be. Have no fear in being creative or not. real input from the kinds of people a build must serve has been something missing this past century.Simply, what would you like to see in a building for the godless?

Enclosed is the proposal from the spring.IS%20Proposal.pdf

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Nice building. A space for kids/day care would be useful.


A good bartender and big, comfy chairs.  Anne's daycare idea is good, too.  Do I get to pick the music?  (Sorry, but I picked this up late on a Fri night.  I'll try to give it some more serious thought before the weekend's out.)

We have a very good building already in St. Louis - the Ethical Society of St. Louis. The current building we have was built in 1964, with some additions later on, and it serves our needs very well.


You can check it out at our web site, http://www.ethicalstl.org

That's a nice building. I like the website.
Thanks Steph!!! If you're ever out this way, I'd be glad to play tour guide!!

Don't suppose I could get a floor plan from you? Can never have enough case studies. The site does help  tough. Thanks.


No worries - I'll talk to our leader about it. Thanks bunches!!!
In this instance, and all, a church is simply an group of people gathering periodically,(Hence "The Christian Church") One could say your the one assigning baggage to the word. But to John D also, your missing the point as the building is only the focus of a community, so I'll ask more precisely for the benefit of everyone; how would you focus your ideal community in a physical, rather than a virtual space?  Hope this clears things up.

I wouldn't say that he's failed in his concept at all. Maybe not *all* atheists would like a church/meeting hall/community center, but I can tell you that I am one atheist who would enjoy something like this! I have children also, and a place to serve as a magnet for secular family activities would be extremely helpful. Studies (and anecdotal evidence) have shown that many people remain in their religious communities more for the "community" part than the "religious" part. Something to think about.


Personally, Daniel, I'd love to see a building with beautiful modern architecture, lots of light, a main room and several smaller areas for things like book clubs, community choir, chess club, what have you. As well as support areas etc. It's hard to throw out ideas off the top of my head, but something else I'd like to see is an outdoor portion that is integrated into the design of the building. Flowing gardens or something - it would be nice to showcase the beauty and diversity of the natural world that we're a part of!

For the sake of accuracy, it may be better to call it an atheist community center.  I don't really mind atheist church, however.


Why does it really matter if someone calls atheism a religion?

It matters because Atheism is the absence of a theistic belief system...not a religion and the term  just doesn't apply.  The worship of a god or a supernatural being doesn't apply.  A church is not the proper term either for a gathering of atheists or the building they congregate in...I like the sound of a community center better...or coalition....or alliance.  They are secular terms and much less 'loaded'.  I hope you're not going to suggest atheist 'hymns' and 'prayers' now...

"It matters because Atheism is the absence of a theistic belief system...not a religion and the term  just doesn't apply."

Atheism in the broadest sense is the non belief in a god or gods. There are nontheist religions, and being an atheist does not exclusive what may be referred to as religious beliefs or practices.  

From time to time I attend the Ethical society here in Philadelphia, which is a chapter of the American Ethical Union.  For all intents and purposes it's an atheist church, although they don't call it that.  They have hymnals and sermons.

Some people, who label themselves religious humanists, are just comfortable with that kind of ritual and community.  

The Unitarian church welcomes atheists, although the church is not atheistic itself.

Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition, describes himself as a religious atheist.  He is part of the Society for Humanistic Judaism.


"The worship of a god or a supernatural being doesn't apply."

That goes without saying, since we're talking about atheism here.





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