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Any other atheists around?

(309 Posts)
GuybrushThreepwoodMP Fri 01-Nov-13 22:18:39

Is there a group for us atheists to discuss ideas of faith, morality, life, the universe and everything (42!)?
Note: I would not want this to become about dissing people of faith and would truly welcome discussion with anyone. This isn't about ridiculing anyone. I would be particularly interested in sharing ideas and discussing the social, anthropological, philosophical, political and psychological aspects of religion from an atheist point of view. Anyone else? I can provide brew and biscuit and wine .

SunshineSuperNova Sat 02-Nov-13 01:24:48

I don't know if there's a group, but I'm an atheist interested in discussing what you've mentioned. And brew, wine and cake are always welcome smile

LoopaDaLoopa Sat 02-Nov-13 01:27:07

I think most of us are atheists, surely?

curlew Sat 02-Nov-13 01:30:34

I don't think we need a special group, do we? Don't we have as much right to post on the religion/philosophy boards as anyone else?

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 02-Nov-13 13:04:23

Of course you do Curlew, but I think the OP was suggesting a discussion about athiest thinking in much the same way as the Muslim Tearoom threads.

I am a deist OP, but I think the thread that you have described would be really

sashh Wed 06-Nov-13 09:26:16

I'm happy to join. I don't have wine but can bring a cat.

holmessweetholmes Thu 07-Nov-13 13:30:31

I read a really fascinating book recently called 'Religion for Atheists' by Alain de Botton. It articulated lots of things which really resonated with me about the human needs which led people to invent gods/religion in the first place. It then made various suggestions about ways in which society could fulfil those needs in non-religious ways - how we can satisfy our 'spiritual' (for want of a better word!) side and our need for community, nurture, awe etc through non-religious things. Really interesting book.

CraftyBuddhist Thu 07-Nov-13 16:17:34

Hi. May I join you?
I'm an athiest secular humanist buddhist feminist. My husband despairs.
I don't tend to involve myself in religious/athiest chat but I really liked your post OP.

I tend to regard my buddhism as a philosophical practice rather than a religion. It fills those gaps I always tended to feel in my humanism and atheism (from a very young age).

The buddha was an athiest himself by the way.

holmessweetholmes Thu 07-Nov-13 17:14:38

I've always liked the idea of Buddhism. I've read quite a bit about it as I'm interested in mindfulness and meditation. A religion without a god seems like a great improvement to me grin.

CraftyBuddhist Thu 07-Nov-13 19:03:14

Hi Holmes. A good start is 'Buddhism pure and simple'. It really boils it down.
As it happens I have a signed copy of religion for atheists! Haven't got far with it yet though.
How are you finding mindfulness meditation? It's something which totally saved my mental health.

holmessweetholmes Fri 08-Nov-13 07:45:10

It kind of helped save mine too! The problem is that I'm not so good at keeping doing it when things are going well. I know it would benefit me to do it regularly but life gets in the way! The other book which I have found amazing is The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert. I keep recommending it on anxiety/depression threads because I think it would be really life-changingly helpful.

Sorry OP - we seem to have gone off-topic a bit!

CraftyBuddhist Fri 08-Nov-13 08:32:40

I think that's why meditation and mindfulness is great but it's like a doughnut without the jam. The buddhist philosophy helps keep the mindfulness part of everyday life- it's a huge part of buddhism.

Paul Gilbert wrote overcoming depression if I remember- excellent writer.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Fri 08-Nov-13 08:43:05

Another book recommendation is Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not A Christian- it's a pleasure to read. I find Dawkins so self-important and self-righteous in comparison.

msmiggins Fri 08-Nov-13 17:22:42

Hi, I an an athiest but also a practicing witch. I also practice mindfullness.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 09-Nov-13 09:55:17

What does 'practising witch' mean? Genuine question- I truly have no idea!

msmiggins Sat 09-Nov-13 15:11:51

I practice magic.

YoniRotten Sat 09-Nov-13 15:16:08

I'm an atheist (or a nothing, if you agree with this post: smile

msmiggins, magic like what?

Weegiemum Sat 09-Nov-13 15:20:21

I'm totally not an atheist but it would be fascinating to read your discussions.

I'm a Christian who also practices mindfulness (need more practice, though!) and was recommended the Paul Gilbert book by my clinical psychologist when being treated for depression, it's excellent.

Have fun <lurks off>

msmiggins Sat 09-Nov-13 15:26:11

Yonirotten- magic as in rituals, spells etc.

holmessweetholmes Sun 10-Nov-13 16:27:32

Msmiggins - I don't quite know how to respond to that... I imagine that most of us atheists don't actually believe in magic, just like we don't believe in a god. In fact I've never met any adult (atheist or religious, for that matter) who did believe in it. Although I'm a big Harry Potter fan, which sometimes makes me wish it were real!

CraftyBuddhist Sun 10-Nov-13 16:44:48

I agree it's a very interesting angle msmiggins.

It goes to show that atheism is such an eclectic term. It can encompass your garden variety athiest, your pagan, your buddhist, but also 'everyone is someone else's athiest' in that a Christian will reject a Hindu god or two or a Muslim a Greek god etc etc etc.

What has always drawn me, and I suspect you agree op, is rationalist atheism. Evidence based scrutiny.

HettiePetal Sun 10-Nov-13 16:50:03

Sam Harris says a similar thing about the atheism issue, Yoni

It is worth noting that no one ever needs to identify himself as a non-astrologer or a non-alchemist. Consequently, we do not have words for people who deny the validity of these pseudo-disciplines. Likewise, atheism is a term that should not even exist. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma

I agree with him.

Have also never met an atheist that believes in magic, Msmiggins. Can you tell us more?

CraftyBuddhist Sun 10-Nov-13 17:11:23

I know what you mean Hettie. [i ��sam harris].

But I have a stronger feeling with respect to the phrase 'I dot believe in God' as that presumes there is a god in which not to believe in.

HettiePetal Sun 10-Nov-13 17:16:04

Yes, I know what you mean.

But if I say, "I don't believe in God" I'm referencing the concept that I know lots of other people have. A bit like saying, "I don't believe in Superman".

Although, honestly, I tend to say, "I don't believe your God exists" which pisses people off no end, for some reason.

BackOnlyBriefly Sun 10-Nov-13 17:27:24

I like the Sam Harris quote. An atheist can join groups that campaign against religion and so on and that can be a good thing, but that is not required to be an atheist. We are simply those people who do not believe.

I sometimes remind christians that I am atheist for all beliefs not just theirs. I don't believe in Jesus, Allah or Jehovah. I don't believe in crystal healing or that the number 13 is unlucky. And when people say things like:

"if you dream you are falling and don't wake up in time you will die in your sleep"

I think "..and how would you know that? Who has come back to report?" smile

Can't see the point in accepting something as true without at least some evidence.

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