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Joe Provenzano

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Would atheists benefit from a community? Are they maximizing such benefits?

Yes!

But, I don't believe they would organize 'just one way' - (theists have not), they would still benefit from organization around core concepts. Every moment as unorganized individuals, extends a sub-optimized, limited approach to progress/evolution. Atheists need communities - maybe more than other groups since the current lack of community weakens both individual atheists and the communities in which they live.

Their bibles? The dictionaries of science, ethics and law.

Atheism 2.0 makes good points about what could be gained. I want the benefits communities bring but, there are only religious options within a 25-mile radius of me. I need a 50-mile radius, to encounter an open minded community (Unitarian Universalist) that I can participate in. This is not because I live in the woods... there are close to a million people in that circle. To the degree that I want to participate (engage with like-minded people, celebrate a wedding, funeral or special occasion, host a meaningful discussion, etc.) as a community member, having a single, distant, option is unacceptable.

Such lack of organization is a clear weakness and stunts potential. We can learn from ANY communities... our lack of organization is so apparent. (as Atheist 2.0 discusses)

We need to find our 'Martin Luther', our 'Gandhi", our spark. On one hand, I'm optimistic... but on the other, I fear that I was born to soon. We have not found such fighters because the injustice that occurs (to isolated atheists) is largely invisible and escapes notice relative to the other injustices forced upon groups by the very same powers (politicians, community leaders and church leaders of the status quo).

We did have our leaders (Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, etc...) but, the first priority was the political structures and establishments - we must continue the movement. They gifted us separation of church and state. They would debate and advance the good points of Atheist 2.0. Community 2.0? Atheists need to unite!

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  • Jan 24 2012: It's difficult to form a group around the absence of something. And I don't need a support group to validate my belief system. I'm all for coming together in groups to work for the common good, but bashing religion is just not entertaining or challenging or constructive enough for me.
    • Jan 25 2012: I would agree for the most part that bashing religion is not challenging or constructive. There are some theological arguments constructed cleverly enough to give the brain a work out. Sometimes religion has to be bashed, or at least put in its place, for the sake of not teaching fiction in science classes and the like.

      However, I completely disagree that bashing religion isn't entertaining.
      • Jan 25 2012: I concede the need for a defense against the imperialism of ignorance. I think loud, sustained laughter works well. I'd prefer to see something more proactive such as how to engage students in the scientific method as a philosophy as well as a method of solving problems.

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