I started this group simply because there wasn't a Minnesota group already on Nexus.

I realize there are plenty of active Minnesota social groups from other websites, schools, (etc etc...). Should they arrive on this site this group will likely dissolve out into those I imagine.

In the mean time feel free to discuss anything and everything related to Minnesotans view on freethought, godlessness and related topics.

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Ever heard of Camp Quest?
I have and I think it's a great thing. Atheist/Humanist summer camp for kids, someone was thinking.

Camp Quest - Minnesota

I don't have children but those that do (or the mere curious) should check it out.

Not to be confused with the YMCA camp for kids with epilepsy that's also called Camp Quest. I'm not sure of the organization but there's one for kids with type 1 and type 2 diabetes with the same name as well. (not that those are bad, just wanted to clarify!)
It's in Minnetrista, not far west of Minneapolis.

It's not just a Minnesota thing though, there's 6 camps spread across the country.

Here's a link to the North American branch or the organization. According to the site they're starting up in the UK as well.
It's very real and pretty popular from what I've heard. They had someone from the camp on MPR a while back for an interview and she said they're pretty much fully booked year to year.

I can relate to your sentiment about being the "only atheist" in the state. We're out there, just quieter then those other types :P
I think the camp's staff is mostly volunteer, probably have to check out the website to see exactly what they'd be looking for.

The biggest hurdle in meeting fellow atheists is that people don't tend to advertise it, almost a sense of nihilism if you will. We are out there, just not easy to pick out of a crowd.

Some people think it's odd to label oneself based on a disbelief...I see it more as a belief in logic, reason and accepting things for what they are without trying to wrap bed-time stories around it.
Ahh yeah the ol' "lack of faith is faith in nothing" argument. This is how I see it, other people might not agree with me but here's my 2 cents.

The idea that atheists have faith in nothing is silly to me. It's like declaring war on terror (or drugs for that matter). As far as I'm concerned this goes hand in hand with the idea that atheists need to somehow prove there isn't a god-being.

Faith is one of those words that gets tossed around a lot. We'll start the breakdown with the American Heritage Dictionary's definitions of faith:

1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

Based on that, yes, I have "faith" in factual knowledge and the pursuit of such with science. I have "faith" in knowing that we don't know everything and those things we do think we know may well be wrong. The typical counter-argument I get to this one is "Well what do you know are facts then? How can you know what's true?!" If that occurs your best to just let it be, unless you want to get frustrated and have bible verse regurgitated at you.

To my experience if your having this argument with someone that spells truth with a capital T, all caps or uses the phrase "the one, real truth" you're probably fighting a loosing battle.

2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.

I love that this is definition number two. It basically nullifies the need for the point that I made on definition one. If faith does nor require logic or material evidence then I've no need for faith. Based on this definition, having faith in no god would suggest that someone has proof that there is god. Occam's Razor applies here I think.

3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.

This ones fuzzy but two applicable arguments I've had along these lines are "but you have faith in science!" and "you have faith that there isn't a god".

As I mentioned above, faith in nothing is a rediculous notion (see number two). It's as if to say there's factual evidence to support the existence of this god person but I'm sticking to my guns in believing there isn't. I do, however, have faith in scientists to continue doing all that they do. The hard working, well educated people that are smart and dedicated enough to know that we don't know it all. They work to provide us with knowledge and I commend that.


4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.


There's no need for discussion on these two, so I'm grouping them together and leaving them alone.

6. A set of principles or beliefs.

This ones a bit fuzzy as well and I'm not entirely sure it applies to the discussion at hand anyway. Definition two and, yet again, good ol' Occam nullify this.


From a strictly definition based example, that's how I see it.
This just reminded me of a great post PZ made on Pharyngula a while back:

Actually, it's theists who believe in nothing, quite fervently

Take a look over the post and comments. The creed for the godless is a pretty good bit.

One of my favorite scientists/authors of all time, Brian Greene, had an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times a while back that's wholly applicable to this as well. It's a damn fine read in my opinion.

Brian Greene's "Put a Little Science in Your Life"

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