Questionable Motives

March 21, 2011

What is Atheist Week all about?

Filed under: Atheism,Facebook — tildeb @ 9:40 am

‘A’ week is a Facebook event (and Twitter) “to raise awareness of how many people are good without god and don’t need religion to influence their lives.”

As Kyle Brady expresses so well,

Much like various other campaigns that use colors, events, or symbols to raise awareness, Atheist Week is simply trying to prove that being intelligent, behaving ethically, and generally being a good person are not the results of a religious indoctrination.  With a change of profile picture and a link, the hope is that some people will be curious enough to ask questions of the near 10,000 individuals currently participating in this endeavor, perhaps resulting in a greater understanding of who, and what, atheists truly are.

In an age of growing secularism amongst younger generations, ludicrous political bipartisanship, and ever more worrisome events tied directly to religion, it’s important to demonstrate to the uninitiated that atheism is not about doctrine or the disdain of others:  quite simply, atheists are individuals that choose to think rationally for themselves and apply their intellect towards a better understanding of reality.  The future may very well be one of religious tolerance, to include those without religion, but for those remiss of belief, intolerance, discrimination, and judgment can be a regular event at the hands of those that feel it is their everlasting duty to convert all nonbelievers to their specific religious flavor in order to reach some flimsy end goal – not exactly the picture of tolerance or religious freedom.

Until this utopian future arrives, it must be shown, repeatedly, that ethics are absolutely, unequivocally, divergent from religion.


  1. have a great A-week! what you have posted seems to be a contradiction in terms. Kyle states “perhaps resulting in a greater understanding of who, and what, atheists truly are” yet you said that atheists aren’t a group and can’t be defined, yet this whole post sets up the exact opposite. seems to be a rational contradiction here.

    Comment by zero1ghost — March 21, 2011 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  2. Atheists generally do not group (which can be a problem) – but there are movements of atheists, and they are starting to become more organised and outspoken. The purpose of these movements is not to promote ‘group atheism’, it is to advertise the fact that people who do not believe in ‘god(s)’ exist and to publically object to other’s assuming that ‘everyone’ believes in god. Dawkins says that organising atheists is like herding cats – and he is right (in some ways).

    You need to remember that in some countries being an atheist is what being like a homosexual would have been like during the early 20th century in most western countries; in that there is a social prejudice against atheists, some of the this prejudice is as strong as violence towards others. So it is hardly surprising that atheists tend not ‘to come out’ of the closet unless they feel comfortable doing so.

    Before the internet many atheists thought they were ‘alone’ or a very small ‘minority’. The internet allows a level of anonymity, whilst being able to shout very loudly. And once atheists realised they had a voice and they could use it without being identified and probably silenced, they made themselves known in increasing numbers.
    You also forget that most atheists (but not all) have come to their conclusions despite of the influence of the church – I grew up in a Christian community, went to a Christian school, in the Christian country, have sung hymns and said prayers, went to boy scouts, chanted ‘god save the Queen’ and at one time in my life (before I was about 12 / 13) I believed in god. Every family funeral I have been to and every family wedding I have been to (except my own wedding) has been held at a church – such is the grip of religion on our social structure.

    While the ‘group’ around me was saying there is a god and we must worship it – I decided contrary that there was not, because I had not seen any evidence to support this claim. Consequently for a long time I thought I was different to others… and would not be accepted by those around me, so I just stayed silent.

    I am not an atheist because ‘other’ people are atheists – I am an atheist because I decided I was.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — March 21, 2011 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  3. “such is the grip of religion on our social structure.”

    which is ironic because the church of england has seen a 50% drop off in the last 20 years and is at it’s lowest point ever. i think this is a good thing because Christianity is about servanthood, not about power.

    “I am not an atheist because ‘other’ people are atheists – I am an atheist because I decided I was.”

    this implies that believers are theists because they are engaged in group think. i think this notion is partially true. they are afraid not to believe in God yet they live their lives like there isn’t one and the “church” has no impact on their lives aside from where they get married, baptize their children, and where their funeral is held.

    i am a Christian because i decided such and studied it and see that i really live out and believe what Christianity has had to say despite the darker moments where power won out over serving (which is MOSTLY, regrettably). i will speak more to this in an upcoming series on my “heresy and other hobbies” site entitled “Pastoring an Atheist.”

    Comment by zero1ghost — March 22, 2011 @ 11:50 am | Reply

    • Please feel free to post a link to this series here. I look forward to reading it.

      Comment by tildeb — March 22, 2011 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

      • Me too.

        Comment by misunderstoodranter — March 22, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  4. the pastoring series has started.

    Comment by zero1ghost — March 24, 2011 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  5. […] policy,Religion,theology — tildeb @ 4:34 pm From a previous thread come these […]

    Pingback by Why is mainstream moderate religious belief poisonous? « Questionable Motives — April 16, 2011 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

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