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Elderly Members Of Atheist Group Face Jeers, Fears From Peers

— It’s just before 4 p.m. at La Costa Glen retirement community in Carlsbad, and a group of residents are gathering in one of the meeting rooms. But these seniors aren’t here to play Bingo.

As Brigit Clarke-Smith takes the microphone, it quickly becomes clear that this is not your usual retirement center activity.

Aired 12/6/12 on KPBS News.

A group of retirement center residents in Carlsbad have started a group called Atheists Anonymous. But the group's leader says their reception hasn't been positive.

“Gay marriage and marijuana have been OK'd in a couple of the states now," she tells the crowd. "So Leviticus, 20th chapter, 13th verse says when two men lay together, they should be stoned. We’ve just all misinterpreted it before.”

Clarke-Smith, 84, is a La Costa Glen resident who started a group called Atheists Anonymous two years ago. Clarke-Smith was raised as a Christian, but said she quickly decided it wasn’t for her.

“When I was 8 years of age, I used to play the piano for the Sunday school," she said. "I’d play ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, he is weak and I am strong.’ And this poet who was the superintendent of the Sunday School would come over and say, that isn’t how you sing it, and then she’d tell me how to sing it. So when I’d get to that part again, I would just go 'hmmm hmmm hmm' because I said, 'I’m not weak, I’m strong. And I don’t even know who He is!' ”

Clarke-Smith started Atheists Anonymous after a fellow La Costa resident asked if she was a Christian.

“I thought, that’s a strange thing to say, and I said, ‘no,’ just like that," Clarke-Smith said. "And she said, ‘well, what are you?’ And I said, ‘I’m an atheist!’ And she was angry, and she walked right out.”

A woman overheard Clarke-Smith and shared some advice.

“She said, 'oh, we’re atheists, but we want to remain anonymous,'“ she said.

Clarke-Smith decided to start a group for atheists like that woman. She named it Atheists Anonymous in her honor.

“They couldn’t be free in the United States of America to say they are atheists, and I thought that’s just terrible,” Clarke-Smith said.

There were 16 members at the group's first meeting two years ago. Meetings showcase speakers who talk about atheism and religions like Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Some recent meetings have attracted more than 90 people.

But despite the increase in popularity, Clarke-Smith said some residents of La Costa Glen don’t appreciate her efforts.

“I’ve been called anti-Christ, I have been called a Jew lover, and one day I was standing in our mail room, and two ladies were looking at a poster that said ‘Brigit Clarke-Smith, Questions? Call Me,’" Clarke-Smith said. "And one of them said, 'you see this woman’s name? She’s a sinner, she’s going to Hell, and she’s going to burn forever.' ”

Roy Whitaker, a religion professor at San Diego State University who studies atheism, said it’s not surprising that La Costa’s Atheists Anonymous members have faced hostility.

“There have been various surveys done that atheists are considered the most hated minority in North America,” he said.

Whitaker said the word “atheist” can be heard as confrontational to religious people.

“If an individual today has a type of atheistic ‘A’ on their chest, then they will possibly have some negative repercussions,” he said.

But that might be changing. A PEW study released last month shows the number of Americans who say they don’t have any religious affiliation has more than doubled since 1972. Today, 19 percent of the U.S. population say they aren’t affiliated with any religion.

Whitaker said atheism is least common among the 65-and-older age group, which makes women like Clarke-Smith especially unusual. It also might explain some of the resistance her group has encountered among the residents of La Costa Glen.

Eliane Pepper, another La Costa Glenner, was raised as an atheist. She said she sees far less acceptance of atheists among her generation.

“I think that with the younger group, 20s, 30s, it is highly acceptable, nobody really cares if you’re Catholic or atheist, a Jew, whatever," she said. "It’s never talked about. I think it’s us, the older generation, that continue to label it.”

Clarke-Smith said she appreciates La Costa Glen for allowing her group to meet. But she has some complaints. She wants her meetings to be listed on the center’s events calendar and she says she was asked to only put event fliers in the mailboxes for current members of the group.

“There were too many complaints," she said. "And I understand them, I understand complaints. I mean, I get complaints.”

La Costa Glen is not affiliated with any religion, and says on its website it is welcoming of all religions. Michele Chafee, the activities director at La Costa Glen, responded to an interview request with an email.

“We try to keep clear of sponsored political or religious clubs, since we are not a faith-based community,” she wrote. “The term ‘Atheists Anonymous’ was really sort of a joke. It would be better called ‘Exploring Religions.’”

Some of Clarke-Smith’s friends agree that naming the group something other than ‘atheist’ would be less controversial. But Clarke-Smith said the name is part of the point. She thinks the word "atheist" is like poison to some people, and frightens them.

“I just don’t want it to be poisonous," she said. "I just don’t think that it’s right that it’s poisonous.”

Franz Burkholder, another La Costa resident and Atheists Anonymous member, said he feels people in the retirement center accept every religion, but not the absence of faith.

“The issue is we are priding ourselves on being tolerant of other beliefs and religions, still we do not tolerate the beliefs of atheism,” he said.

For that reason, most of the Atheist Anonymous members agree they should not change the group's name. They plan to continue holding meetings and fighting for acceptance from their peers.

"It makes a statement," the Atheist Anonymous member Pepper said. "We have to accept who we are, how we think, and not sugar coat it."

"And we’re not bad people!" Clarke-Smith added. "We’re not bad people. We’re good people."

"We’ve got to put faces to the word," Pepper said.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | December 5, 2012 at 9:18 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Good for them.

The snarky comments they get from brainwashed old biddys is just one more example of how religion breeds intolerance and hate.

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Avatar for user 'susanmartha'

susanmartha | December 6, 2012 at 6:44 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

a big yay for the non-believers.

if people don't like what this group is doing, they don't have to attend the meetings. it's just that simple.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 6, 2012 at 6:54 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I think this may be the second time I've agreed with a PDSD post 100%.

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Avatar for user 'otaycec'

otaycec | December 6, 2012 at 7:46 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I have been researching atheism for a book and your piece on atheists is very misleading. Atheists are the least tolerant of any world view. The reason your atheist group studies religion is to mock it and publicly villify those of faith. Go to any atheist forum on the internet whether it be Youtube or Craigslist and you will find the most hateful, arrogant and vicious people on the planet. The atheist agenda has always been to persecute and eliminate religion. Atheist regimes like the Soviet Union and Communist China have murdered somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 million people, mostly people of faith, as their bottom line for those who disagree with them.

Your depiction of atheists as this peace loving little group of people who are persecuted by nasty Christians is pure propaganda. The situation is quite the opposite. Atheist live to persecute people of any religion. Atheism is a fascist mindset hell-bent on removing religion from the planet.

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Avatar for user 'BenFromCA'

BenFromCA | December 6, 2012 at 8:28 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

@otaycec

Pure poppycock. If you're doing any research on atheism, it's badly flawed and hopelessly prejudiced. Go on any atheist forum on the internet and you'll find people raising money for people in need, people standing up for the Constitution of the United States (particularly, the First Amendment) and in some cases, people exposing instances of religiously-motivated cruelty to fellow humans. Hement Mehta's "Friendly Atheist" site routinely launches donation campaigns to help disaster victims - campaigns which often collect more than their "religious" counterparts. My prediction - your book will flop miserably (except perhaps, in Christian book stores, where the patrons readily accept assertions unsupported by evidence).

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Avatar for user 'Claire Trageser'

Claire Trageser, KPBS Staff | December 6, 2012 at 8:58 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

otaycec, thanks for your comment.While I can't speak for the groups you are researching, from what I observed of Atheists Anonymous, they were not holding meetings to mock other religions. They invited speakers of other faiths to talk about their religions and beliefs, and the Atheists Anonymous members spoke admirably of every speaker they'd seen.

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Avatar for user 'pwyguy'

pwyguy | December 6, 2012 at 9:17 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I coined the word, "apatheist" to describe my own atheistic position. I don't believe in God (atheist), but I don't care if others do (apathetic). I find the proselytizing by either the atheist or the religious to be annoying. Sounds like the Atheist Anonymous are in the discussion camp, not the proselytizing one.

P.S. Anyone want to rephrase the "I before E" jingle to be "i before e except after c except when said 'ay' as in 'neighbor' and 'weigh' or when a conjunction adding 'ist" as in 'theist'"?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 11:35 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

A little of the pot kettle black there, Duckster. You'd got quite a cow chip yourself.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 11:38 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

By the way, "Anonymous" makes it sound like recovery group.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 11:42 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

BEN from CA, "raising money for people in need," ? You mean like Americans Friends Services Committee, the Quakers? Give me one name of an athiest organization raising money for "people in need."

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 11:51 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

PPowaygay, I like your post and I wish more people from ALL camps were more discussion-orientedd. I know a guy who is an athiest but we never discuss religious mattersss nor is he trying to bash anyone. i do hate the smug athiests who think they are "more intelligent" and superior than anyone else in their own way. By the way, I'm not a religious guy. I simply have no psychological scarring in that area, unlike so many of you. Also, I accept it as part of world culture.

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Avatar for user 'bullet'

bullet | December 6, 2012 at 12:38 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Missionaccomplished-How about Foundation Beyond Belief? Then there's the Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort. So there's two. Good enough?

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Avatar for user 'bullet'

bullet | December 6, 2012 at 12:43 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

pwyguy - What's really important is that you've found a way way to feel superior to both.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | December 6, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm an athiest and I've donated to the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Does that make them an athiest organization? So in a way, I'm part of the organization, and they're not partially athiest. Or maybe it's only the board of directors that determines an organization's entire religious philosophy. Or maybe it really doesn't matter.

pwyguy - congratulations on coming up with another name for "agnostic."

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Avatar for user 'Rational1'

Rational1 | December 6, 2012 at 5:33 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I prefer a label for those who reject all irrational beliefs... sane.
Arthur C. Clarke was correct. Religion is a mind virus.

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Avatar for user 'Chrisb'

Chrisb | December 6, 2012 at 8:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

What pwyguy described is not the definition for agnosticism IIk. Pwyguy is an atheist since he has stated he doesn't believe in god. Pwyguy could be be either a gnostic atheist or an agnostic atheist depending on whether or not he claims to have knowledge of gods non-existence. If I were to guess I would say pwyguy is probably an agnostic atheist, but still he has not clearly stated this.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | December 6, 2012 at 9:28 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Good on you, Atheists Anonymous, now sue the La Costa Senior Center for discrimination. Atheism is not a religion, a faith, or a belief system, it is the absence of such. So, that policy of avoiding politics and religion is BS.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 9:35 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

No, actually marijuana has not been "Ok'd," in some states, Clarke-Smith. And please tell what the relevance is.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 9:37 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

RATIONED1 CLARKE also said that it would be terrifying if man was alone and terrifying if he wasn't.

And he was also living at the time of his death with a thirteen year old Sri Lankan boy. The Colombo authorities were looking into this.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 9:39 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

@BULLET, hurrah! He found two!!!

Research the history of Scripp's hospital in Chula Vista. Find out who started that hospital. That's just one example.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 6, 2012 at 9:42 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

ILK, actually a doctor working for the International Red Cross, I think he was an exec or something very high, said he was an atheist in a radio interview. He reason was pretty superficial, but he WAS an atheist.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | December 7, 2012 at 7:33 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

That's pretty cool.

I messed up my post, but what I meant to say was that there are self-identified christians who do good things, and self-identified christians who do not do so many good things, just as there are self-identified athiests occupying a very wide spectrum of character caliber. One's identification with a particular group does not their value make.

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that all athiests are agnostics by default. In a world where you're supposed to burn in hell forever if you don't accept Jesus as the son of "God," the difference between the two terms is pretty much negligible. The reality is that you can't prove the existence of something that can't be defined.

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Avatar for user 'bullet'

bullet | December 7, 2012 at 8:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

MA - You only asked for one. Red cross and doctors without borders are also secular, ignored specifically atheist. They still don't predicate their assistance on superstition. Ditto united way, komen, and many more.

As far as Scripps goes: Nuns started a hospital. Ooooh. A nun in India started a hospital,too. Then she used her money and fame to suppress women's rights and prop up a tyrant. Religion doesn't make people good.

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Avatar for user 'kibokothehippo'

kibokothehippo | December 7, 2012 at 8:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

@Otaycec I think you have been looking at the wrong atheists I'm afraid. I'm an atheist and I actively support the right to practice religion. If you are basing your facts on comments online, some right-wing Christians say the most nasty, hurtful things possible, use absolutely disgusting language and wish all sorts of atrocities on people. Some atheists say nasty things too in the heat of the debate. I support wholeheartedly your right to follow your religion as long as it causes no harm to others. My family are ultra-religious Baptists and we have a vicar in our family. We agree to disagree and no hurtful words are exchanged.

If you are serious about writing a balanced book and are not looking for Atheists to be lynched, I would be more than happy to talk to you. Not convert you, as there's nothing to convert to. I know lots of other atheists too who'd be happy to help you, people whose lives are dedicated to helping others. The choice is yours. Either way, I wish you well and hope your religion continues to bring you comfort. Please accept that while I may not be 'with' you, I'm not against you either.

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Avatar for user 'MJBird'

MJBird | December 7, 2012 at 8:23 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I think Brigit Clarke-Smith is wonderful. There are many non-believers of all ages but as pointed out here, it can be very isolating as a senior in an environment where it's presumed you are religious.

Athiest simply means not believing in a supernatural power. Morality comes very naturally to most of us.

When a person is a non-believer, they are expressing what they feel is true. The alternative is to fake it.

There are plenty of people who say they are religious but do not agree with their creed or harbor great doubts. A group like this one at the senior's residence would allow some freedom to explore these thoughts without punishment.

Cheers for Brigit!

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Avatar for user 'bullet'

bullet | December 7, 2012 at 8:25 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

ILK - And this will always be the issue. If something can't be defined or observed or tested then it may as well not exist and I have no use for it. If it could ever be proven that gods exist, they would then just be these things that exist and can be studied and eventually subdued. So who cares?

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Avatar for user 'spookieone'

spookieone | December 7, 2012 at 8:40 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

pwyguy You didn't 'coin' the term apatheist. Let's just establish the true meanings of terms, shall we? A 'theist' believes in one or more gods. Theism adresses BELIEF. An ''atheist' rejects one or more god claims. One might be an atheist as regards Apollo, and a theist as regards the judeo-christian god. Traditionally, only atheists who reject all god claims they know of apply the term atheist to themselves. 'Apatheists' are apathetic not on what other people's god claim beliefs are, but are apathetic as to god claims themselves. They don't care IF there is a god. Anti-theists are people who oppose religion and the harms religion causes in society.

A 'gnostic' KNOWS a particular god claim is true. 'Gnosticism' adresses KNOWLEDGE. An 'agnostic' doesn't know if a particular god claim is true or false. Almost everyone is agnostic about every god claim.

I am an agnostic atheist for every god claim I've ever heard. I am also mildly anti-theist.

Oh, and the "i before e rule" doesn't apply to the words in question, because 'ist' is a suffix, and as such should not be separated. The 'i' stays with the 'st' because they are all one suffix. No revision of the rule is needed.

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Avatar for user 'zipporah'

zipporah | December 7, 2012 at 9:04 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I took a look at the La Costa Glen activities calendar (http://www.lacostaglen.com/Retirement_Lifestyle/La_Costa_Glen_Calendar.pdf) to see if there were any religious activities and there is a weekly Bible study listed each Thursday. Seems pretty biased to allow that on the calendar but refuse this group's meeting.

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Avatar for user 'actsnoblemartin'

actsnoblemartin | December 7, 2012 at 9:53 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

my humble two cents: I have seen intolerance by many people both religious and non religious. I find their will always be good and bad people, regardless of religious affiliation. As such, I have a lot of respect for both people of faith, and people of no faith. I wish their wasn't this need by some in this world to have to prove others wrong, or claim their way is the only way. thanks

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | December 7, 2012 at 10 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I respect everyone unconditionally, but I don't necessarily respect what everyone thinks. You and your ideas are not the same thing. I can reject your ideas without it being personal.

It may not be necessary to prove people wrong, but I certainly believe it's important for a society to value a system of thought whereby we may prove people's IDEAS wrong. I'm talking, of course, about the fundamentals of science.

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Avatar for user 'ReadsInTrees'

ReadsInTrees | December 7, 2012 at 10:15 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

@missionaccomplished, you don't believe that there are any atheist groups raising money for those in need? The group that I'm involved in, Atheists of Maine, is currently looking for sponsors for a Polar Dip this February to raise money for Camp Sunshine. Camp Sunshine is a retreat on Sebago Lake in Maine where terminally ill children and their families can go for a week to have a good time and forget about their problems. Even after the children pass away, the families can continue visiting Camp Sunshine.

So, to raise money for this very worthy cause, we're going to jump into the Atlantic from a Maine beach in February. Our team goal is to raise at least $1,500, though obviously we want to collect as many donations as we can. 100% of the donations go straight to Camp Sunshine. So far, our team has raised $934, and we still have until February to keep fundraising.

If you would like to help our team reach our goal, you can donate here:
http://www.crowdrise.com/aofmaine

(Hint: donate to Jamie's page. I'm falling behind!)

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 7, 2012 at 5:34 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

@BULLET, I've never, never read or heard on the radio that Doctors without Borders is "atheist." Secular, yes. We have many, but not "atheist" as a philosophy to promote. But all these are johnny-come-latelys.

Besides, other than a rejection of a "higher power," there is really NOTHING else to rally the troops with. Think about it.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 10, 2012 at 9 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

"Besides, other than a rejection of a "higher power," there is really NOTHING else to rally the troops with. Think about it."

What about a rejection of supernatural thinking in general? Why not advocate for an end to expensive superstitious behavior, blue laws and mystically based graft and fraud? We waste a lot of time and money on astrology, religion and santa clause. So long as it is one’s own time and money I don't have an argument to make against it, but when states restrict teaching actually useful knowledge because it contradicts with an old book that crosses the line into being destructive.
Perhaps I should be content we aren’t living under blasphemy laws or murdering our neighbors over some difference in interpretation of an ambiguous and outdates scripture. I do hope for more though.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 10, 2012 at 10:23 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

And who is going to define that, Benz?

It's funny watching some people here trying to prove a negative.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 10, 2012 at 3:02 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Comment seems not to have posted properly...

Define what exactly?

Attempting to prove a negative is as futile as attempting to prove something that doesn't exist. Q.v. celestial teapot.

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Avatar for user 'pmccallum'

pmccallum | December 11, 2012 at 7:07 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

You go Brigit!

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Avatar for user 'AtheisticallyYours'

AtheisticallyYours | December 12, 2012 at 10 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I have been a partially "out-of-the-closet" atheist for 25 years this New Year's. I say "partially" because, while I am "out" to my family, and on Facebook, I am NOT to co-workers, and people who I associate with that I think do NOT have the intelligence, intellectual maturity, or tolerance to be "out" around. I kind of understand the reason to be in a group with an "Anonymous" label, but the fact that the term "Anonymous" is in a group's name can make people think its a CULTIST 12-Step group! THAT is something NO atheist group needs. I understand that atheists need to be VERY careful about who they are "out" to. But as the gay activists are finding out, the more "out" you are about something, the LESS "intolerant" society can show itself to be, I wish we atheists could operate on the same level of "outness" as the homosexuals can-and be elected to public office as they are, as well!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 13, 2012 at 10:21 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

You can't prove a negative Benz, unlike a positive.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 13, 2012 at 10:24 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

"Now, in the most controversial book of his celebrated career, he turns his incomparable prosecutorial eye on the greatest target of all: God. In making his case for agnosticism, Bugliosi has very arguably written the most powerful indictment ever of God, organized religion, theism, and atheism. Theists will be left reeling by the commanding nature of Bugliosi’s extraordinary arguments against them. And, with his trademark incisive logic and devastating wit, he exposes the intellectual poverty of atheism and skewers its leading popularizers—Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins." -- Amazon book description of Vincent Bugliosi's THE DIVINITY OF DOUBT (2011)

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 13, 2012 at 1:40 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes MA, I agree, a negative cannot be proven. I also have not claimed to do so.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | December 13, 2012 at 1:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

If by a "negative," do you mean the physical absence of a particular "positive"? Because if that's the case, then it seems that absolutely a negative can be proven. For example, you could supply an organic chemist with a soil sample and have her or him provide conclusive evidence that that the sample does NOT contain carbon-based molecules. Am I wrong?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 13, 2012 at 2:06 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I believe (correct me if I am in error) that MA is referring to a universal negative, rather than a more circumscribed situation. It is trivially easy for me to show that there are no $100 bills in my wallet (unfortunately). It would be impossible for me to prove that there are no $100 bills anywhere.

The statement 'There is no god' can be interpreted in (at least) two ways.

1) Without good evidence, there is no need to believe in god
2) There cannot be a god.

The second (stronger) form of atheism requires proving a negative and is logically impossible. Russell addresses this idea using an allegory of someone claiming to know, without being able to provide evidence, that there was a teapot orbiting the sun. In such a case he posits that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim, not the skeptic who doubts the existence of said teapot. I agree with his assertion.

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Avatar for user 'GortonB'

GortonB | December 29, 2012 at 10:19 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

I have been researching atheism for a book and your piece on atheists is very misleading.

So, in your research have you actually spoken to any atheists, contacted any atheist organisations or actually read any atheist literature?

Atheists are the least tolerant of any world view.

Evidently not. In fact it looks like, your research is just the following:

Go to any atheist forum on the internet whether it be Youtube or Craigslist and you will find the most hateful, arrogant and vicious people on the planet.

YouTube is not an atheist forum, and nor is Craigslist. YouTube is forum on which people of all ideologies and none, share videos. Craigslist is an online classifieds sales website. If this is the standard of your research, your faith isn't what is making people laugh at you.

Further, before you start throwing around "least tolerant" claims, consider that Christians are noted for damaging atheist billboards, trying to get atheist bus adverts banned, refusing to publicly accept atheist money for good causes (EG the American cancer society and the American Civil Liberties Union), refusing to sell flowers to be delivered to atheists going through a rough time (Netflorist) heck Christians are even willing to change civil laws regarding Christmas displays because one year in a total fluke atheists won the most plots to put up their displays.

A few snarky comments online is nothing next to how so many Christians seem to act offline.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 31, 2012 at 9:39 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Athiests, in general, are complete jerks who will do anything for attention.

"waa waa... don't call it christmas on the prado... waa waa... that is hurting my feelings... call it december nights or i will sue you"

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