A Religion For Atheists?
I am just curious, what do you think of the Unitarians? Last week I went to a Unitarian service with a friend, and it was unlike any church I've ever seen before. They are very tolerant and open towards other religions and belief systems. In fact, there are many people in the congregation who are atheists and humanists. Since I'm an atheist, I was glad to see there wasn't a strong emphasis on god in this church. The only thing that seemed to unite all Unitarians were seven basic principles that had to do with the dignity and worth in every individual, showing justice, equality, and compassion for each other, the search for truth and meaning, etc. None of the principles said anything about god. All else is talked about and discusse d in an open manner, and everyone is free to express their views and have their own individual beliefs about religion and god. I have to say I was very impressed. I've never seen such a liberal, tolerant, and open-minded atmosphere. So the question is: is this a religion for atheists? What do others think?
From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 11:51 AM
What is unique about Unitarianism is that (at least nowadays) you are free to have whatever concept of "God" or "god" you wish -- and I guess that means a no concept of god or even a concept of no god. Almost everyone in my family, at least back to the great-grandparents, are or were atheists, but most of us called ourselves Unitarians or actually were Unitarians (if there is such a thing). My Mom's father's father was a Unitarian minister who, as far as I can tell, believed pretty much in Spinoza's god-as-nature. During the 40 or so Christmases I spent with his son and daughter-in-law (he died before I was born), I only heard mention of going to church once on Christmas eve.
Regardless, I would have nothing to say about anybody's religion except under one condition: that person's religion becomes intrusive into my life, particularly if that person's religion adversely affects my quality of life.
But, I'm not sure I want to join a religion -- any religion -- no matter how reasonable it seems. Sure, there seems to be something missing in my life, but I think that "hole" could be fulfilled with family, either directly (my own family) or vicariously (someone else's family, a girlfriend or whatever). The social element of churchgoing seemed phony in that you are accepted more because you adhere loyalistically to the creed than because you are you. (I discovered this in the atheist group of all places, though I'd known it all along!)
In all, I think religion is an appendage that doesn't need to be replaced, but needs simply to go, so that I may free up those resources in order to pursue living a full life. This is for me and this is what I think, and I care naught what anybody else does with their life.
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