When it comes to atheist/agnostic groups, I believe a lot of them become wrapped up in a great debate with the theists.  But what is accomplished in these debates?  Very rarely is a theist convinced to see things from another perspective.  These people are already fixed in their beliefs, to a point where they want to get into debates with the other side.

 

Little is accomplished with these debates, in my opinion. I am agnostic, and I feel there is no need to push my beliefs on someone or debate with people who will not see eye to eye with me in the long run.   

Instead, I have a vision of a stronger freethinking community.  A place where like minded people come together to discuss ways of living better.  A physical place to educate their children on our way of life.  The theistic community is often wrong about what it is to be atheist/agnostic.  We are strong minded individuals with a deep sense of morality.  Our morality does not come from what an ancient culture wrote down thousands of years ago, it comes from our ability to rationalize and empathize with a given situation. 

 

I believe it is easy to become alienated in my area from not being a theist.  There are strong cultural values implanted from generations of religious traditions.  It's tough not having an outlet.  Ultimately, I would like to form a group that brings together people from all areas, so no matter where we go, we will find friends.

Religion is strong because of its community.  Despite what we disagree on fundamentally, the idea of helping one another, and giving back to the community is a good thing.  This is what a group of atheists and agnostics should be.  Not to debate and boast its superiority, but to strengthen its community by cultivating its ideas of living better with one another. 

I'd like to form this group, part of the reason I joined this site; to find other people who share a vision of a stronger community.  

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Comment by Nicholas Yanoshak on May 19, 2013 at 2:35am

Thank you for the encouragement Easton.  I have started to find more people in my area.  I pitched the idea to my co-worker and he if willing to help build this community.  We will be reaching out to others in the area, once we have a clearer definition of what the group should be.   I'm glad that I am finding more people all over the world on this site.  I believe it is a good place to cultivate ideas.  

Comment by Nicholas Yanoshak on May 17, 2013 at 2:46am

The overall goal is to be a part of a solid community where people of like-mindedness get together and work towards bettering each others lives.  A solid foundation for a person to help raise a family with good secular morals and ideals.  Children to be presented these ideas at a young age.  I admit, i was raised Roman Catholic, and I have no idea how to even begin to raise a family.  Most of my family traditions stem from a religious background.  

A community would be a place to discuss matters such as these. Also, host events, like  philanthropy, single get togethers, cookouts, etc, etc.  

Comment by Frankie Dapper on May 16, 2013 at 9:47pm

Theists are sometimes persuaded by atheists. Done it. Seen others do it.

Silence is at odds with deconversion, acceptance and tolerance. Racists thrive in such an environment. Homophobes thrive. And the failure to oppose theism leaves the edifice of Islam intact.  

Comment by Loren Miller on May 16, 2013 at 9:24pm

Theists don't want to be convinced.  No true believer ever does, and indeed, they CAN'T be convinced.  They've been scared beyond any consideration of any opinion other than their own.  They aren't worth my time, my words or my effort.  The only ones who we MIGHT reach are those who are tentative, who aren't sure, who are still open to new data.

If I run into someone like that, I treat them like fine china.  I let THEM talk and I listen ... and where they need clarity or elucidation, I offer what I know.  The fact of the matter is, THEY Are The Ones Who Need To Come To Their Own Conclusion. 

If I can catalyze that, then great.

Comment by James Yount on May 16, 2013 at 7:52pm

I don't feel I'll ever convince a determined theist that they are wrong.  However the debates do serve to give them another foundation for things if they ever start questioning things on their own.  One cannot ignore the fact that atheism has sharply risen since people like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins decided to be more outspoken.  

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