Starting An Atheist
Group In Indonesia
Angga

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Pra... Dir..."
Subject: Re: just think and life
Date: Saturday, March 03, 2001 8:51 AM

You first need to be able to explain why people need a group. Otherwise, people will not want to join. In India, the atheist groups were and are the charities. They also exposed the tricks of the charlatans and exploiters. In the West, the atheist groups counter the destructive influence of organized religion, as Christianity has had a powerful grip on Europe and the Americas for centuries. A few atheist groups bill themselves as an "oasis" where you can get away from religious people and associate with other atheists, but I have watched such groups have a very difficult time keeping members.

To me, the only reasons to organize into groups is when we need to get together to get some work done. If that's the separation of religion from government, then there are plenty of religious people interested in that, so this is not about atheism. If there are kids to help or people to feed or hospitals to build, then you likewise do well to associate with anybody -- atheist or religious -- who is interested in working toward those goals. Even my efforts to stump for the dignity of atheists and the nonreligious brings me into more contact with religious people than it does with atheists.

If it's about making friends, I cannot help you because I am pretty much of a loner, and that by choice. One thing I do know, it will be a long time before I make friends based upon a common ideology (such as atheism). Similar intellectual level? Yes. Common ideology? I don't think so. Don't ask me why, but I'm not doing that any time soon.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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