Journal Entry #404
April 8th, 2011
Again I find myself in a position where I feel I must question those who represent a position I generally express. I feel this position is turning into not just a false movement defined buy this term but it runs the risk of becoming what it challenges in many ways. I will continue to offer a series of checks and balances as I believe no concept is above challenge.
Atheism is taking on the form of a movement seemingly based on not just challenging religious claims but getting to the point of hostility and exclusivity. Again this is not what I am about. As with all people we should have similar but different opinions on many different matters. There will be commonalities that draw us to one another but those should not exclude us from others.
Atheism should only be a response to religious claims and that is all. After that ideals will be varied as the people expressing them and that is the way it should be. The commonality should not be Atheism but the value of verified truth.
I wrote this today on Face Book;
I see Atheism turning into “The No God Club” and this scares me. When I challenge Atheists on this when I see red flags I am greeted with the same hostility as when I challenge religious or any other claims. I just don’t seem to fit in anywhere..If I am not wearing the right label is it Truther, Christian or Atheist or many others I a…m seen as the enemy.
As a disclaimer I am generalizing here…
Joe Zamecki…… Well I prefer that our movement be open to scrutiny from its own people, anytime. We are good at being transparent like that, compared to religions, government and corporations. Please keep letting us know what doesn’t seem right about what… the movement does. We don’t want to screw up, and that means being self-corrective. I’m one of those proud Atheists who cares enough about the movement to gripe when I see something obviously wrong, and it’s lost me some support too. So ok, our movement is more open and honest than any religious movement. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Please keep up the honest scrutiny. We can hack it! )
Gary David Currie……………. Well said Joe and that is all I am trying to do.. This is exactly my point. If we do not remain open and self correct then that is where the danger begins.
Now on a strain on Joes page to a post he made and I commented on. I erased many comments that had no bearing on my point;
For those who missed it, here is the American Atheists Texas State Facebook networking page. For Texas Atheists only. For meeting and greeting and networking. A very good resource.
Gary David Currie ………..Now we have an Atheist group that is becoming exclusive. Don’t comment unless you live in Texas, Really what is the purpose of doing this? I see the slippery slope that Christians complain about starting to take form in A declared movement.
Atheist #1………….I agree, One for All and All for one, or else Screw It!
Aheist #2………..the atheist group isn’t exclusive the post is. They had one for every state and providence. The purpose is to encourage networking of atheist near each other.
Gary David Currie …………….Ok the post is exclusive it is still the same slippery slope..The purpose is to encourage and let me be clear people who profess a ” I do not believe in god to network in their local area. Correct? So the common bond now becomes what? Only people who do not believe in god in each state can post on these posts. What next?
Atheist #3………. Oh good grief…give it up with the ‘exclusive’ crap.
Gary David Currie…………. All systems and movements need to have checks and balances along the way and the so called Atheist movement is not above this…
Athesit #4……………WTF are you going on about? Lots of groups are formed around a singular interest or idea. Is there something wrong with atheists forming bonds based on common non-belief?
“What next?” you ask… Maybe they’ll get together at a bar and tal…k about the game playing on the television. So what?
Gary David Currie…………… I never said there was anything wrong with it you are jumping to conclusions. I think it is great that like-minded people share and network. That is one of the reasons I do what I do. I just commented on the notion of for Texas Atheists only. It was a red flag for me and probably not for anyone else. Take it as you will…
Atheist #4 ………….As someone noted, it was a state-by-state call-out for atheists who might be near each other to begin networking or form friendships, not something nefarious.
Gary David Currie………….. Atheist #4… let me add something to think about. What if someone did not classify themselves as an Atheist but was interested in talking with Atheists to get their views. Maybe they were a fence sitting Christian or confused and just wanted answers or agnostic or some other classification. Is not the idea to open this to all for to inquire. Hence my question what is the common bond? Should it not be inquiry and sharing of experience and knowledge? Again I see a slippery slop here. I asked what next because will this lead to things like Atheist dating sites. I believe this to be a misconception of what Atheism really is and I have noticed in many of my conversations a trend towards exclusivity growing. This should always be about what is actually true as atheism is just a challenge to religious claims. I do not personally want a label as part of the “NO god club”. Just offering some thoughts again take them anyway you want to.
Atheist #4……….As there are already “Christian only” dating sites, I think that an “Atheist dating site” would be a fantastic idea, if it doesn’t already exist. Why would someone want to date someone else whose beliefs on something like religion were polar opposite? Further, I don’t see any atheist groups banning Christians, or “truth-seekers” from participating. That’s not the way atheists run their face book pages, but Christians will routinely ban atheists from their pages.
Again, the call-out was written that way to filter out a lot of random comments that often clog up posts and obscure the info that people may want to see.
Gary David Currie…………… I have made my point and like I said take it how you want to..I certainly see a very slippery slope gathering momentum but I guess that is just me.
Athesit #5 ………… Methinks GDC could be something of an anarchist what with his repugnance towards organization and coalescing of like-minded individuals… Oh, then, my oh my…isn’t the fact that you are on FB on an atheist forum the REAL beginning of your ‘slippery slope’?
(I was going to let it go but I had to respond to this……)
Gary David Currie……….. You know absolutely nothing about me Jason and yet you have defined me which is only verifying my point…try asking some questions first before you make assumptions.
Atheist #5………. just kidding…not trying to offend. All apologies.
Gary David Currie ………I actually promote free thought and truth and challenge religious claims as a public figure here is my website www.thefreeman.net
I just offered some observations based on a trend I have seen lately and the accusations I receive from Christians often that we as a group or trying to get rid of all the religious people in the world. Free thinking if promoted also means challenging what all declare. Ahtesits are not exempt from this. If we cannot discuss openly amongst ourselves on all issues then we have a problem..
Atheist #4………Gary, I can see why you would be disturbed by certain comments, like “Bruce” in your blog… but he’s obviously a dick!
That doesn’t, in any way, suggest that a virtual “meet and greet” on an atheist facebook page, is a “slippery slope” toward becoming “atheistic religion” or whatever Christians claim.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
With regard to “getting rid of religion”… This is empty rhetoric. Everyone knows that no one is going to “get rid” of religion, but it is likely to die off like other myth-based belief systems of it’s own accord.
Gary David Currie………….. Thanks for your thought but that is not the trend I am referring to. For example in a debate I saw last night Dr. Craig referred to the atheistic world view as it actually had value as a source to refute. I just call it life. It is this kind of terminology that people are using to demonize the challenge to their claims and in my view we do not lend to the reality of it if we start creating atheist dating sites or making groups exclusive. I don’t know how many conversations you have with Christians but I have a lot and with Muslims as well.
I talk with a large group in India who see things very differently. I am looking at this a a global view. I am in no way saying that people should not form groups with like-minded people but I see down the road based on what we do now the real possibility of this becoming a huge war. it is not a battle between 2 opposing forces for me. I face the same opposition in Canada where I live that many of you do in the USA.
I was just offering some thoughts as I believe with anything we need to check and adjust along the way.
Your comments are well received. What I wrote in my blog is but a small sample of the growing rhetoric I am seeing.
When one group becomes enclosed they lose the necessary input from all voices and tunnel vision occurs.
It wasn’t the virtual meet and greet that was my issue it was exclusion of people that will be noted.
The important thing to note here is that once challenged and people actually settled down a bit and got some info on me the entire tone of the conversation changed. There is more but it just got nicer and nicer. As Joe Zamecki said earlier that we need to be held accountable and that is the point. Once we are we reign back a bit. If left unchallenged things can start going in directions they should not, anything.
I wish to offer a proposal here that we change the name of the so called atheist movement to something that will better represent what we truly are advocating for.
THE SECOND AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT..
I feel this will better represent the ideals that free thinkers and people who advocate for scientific reason are pursuing.
Seek the truth always
Gary David Currie