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Thread: Why would anyone join an atheist cult?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idiocracat View Post
    I'm content with my beliefs. You obviously are not.
    We hear your cries.
    Hey, some people are content believing the earth is 6,000 years old. That's not something to be proud of. And it doesn't sound like you know anything you believe other than maybe stuff you've repeated from some Reddit or daytime talk show (definitely not from any books)

    When an atheist gets skiddish and runs the second he realizes he's not debating a religious literalist, that's usually a sign that his beliefs are nearly as ill-informed.

    (I notice that's what so many internet atheists do - when someone poses a question, they go on the defensive and assume the person is Christian fundamentalist - when they realize they're debating anyone who isn't religious, they scurry away, because usually their own philosophy is weak as shit).
    Last edited by Reality; 8th November 2017 at 05:45 AM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sampson Simpson View Post
    Just yet another dumb troll, that's pretty much what this entire forum is, liberals arguing with the dumbest of dumb trolls


    Anyway, the question still stands - why would any atheist join an atheist organization or 'congregation'... what's the point in it? Why not just find a poker or tennis club or something.
    Last edited by Reality; 8th November 2017 at 05:46 AM.

  3. #13
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality View Post

    Anyway, the question still stands - why would any atheist join an atheist organization or 'congregation'... what's the point in it? Why not just find a poker or tennis club or something.
    What I don't get is why you have a problem with it. In this country, the concept of freedom of association is pretty well embedded in our concept of freedom. If you don't have a problem with poker enthusiasts associating, then why would you have a problem with people who are skeptical of religion associating? Calling them cults is just stupidity. Are tennis clubs "cults"? If not, why not?

    To be honest I'm not really familiar with these social clubs where atheists "hang out" or whatever you are talking about. Surely a knitting club in a small town would outnumber the "atheist club" membership of a large city. But farbeit from me to poo-poo the coping mechanisms of people who were raised in strictly religious households, often shamed, scolded, and even beaten by parents "in the name of the Lord." If they need to talk to other atheists to help overcome the process of discarding their religion, fine by me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    What I don't get is why you have a problem with it. In this country, the concept of freedom of association is pretty well embedded in our concept of freedom. If you don't have a problem with poker enthusiasts associating, then why would you have a problem with people who are skeptical of religion associating? Calling them cults is just stupidity. Are tennis clubs "cults"? If not, why not?

    To be honest I'm not really familiar with these social clubs where atheists "hang out" or whatever you are talking about. Surely a knitting club in a small town would outnumber the "atheist club" membership of a large city. But farbeit from me to poo-poo the coping mechanisms of people who were raised in strictly religious households, often shamed scolded and even beaten by parents "in the name of the Lord." If they need to talk to other atheists to help overcome the process of discarding their religion, fine by me.
    Well most atheist organizations do revolve around a specific ideology or secular belief system (e.x. Humanism) which all members are expected to conform to or not question.

    I guess whether or not that makes them a "cult" is subjective, but in some cases it's apparent they can be cult-like and controlling, much like extreme religious organizations:

    Example - Here's a leader of an atheist organization (Richard Carrier) who developed a 'cult of personality' and came under fire for sex scandals and using his power to seduce female members:

    https://the-orbit.net/almostdiamonds...chard-carrier/
    Last edited by Reality; 8th November 2017 at 06:06 AM.

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    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Atheist and cult. Anyone else think those are MUTUALLY exclusive? Antithetical?
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  6. #16
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality View Post
    Well most atheist organizations do revolve around a specific ideology or secular belief system (e.x. Humanism) which all members are expected to conform to or not question.

    I guess whether or not that makes them a "cult" is subjective.
    Not really. "Cult" implies religion. Atheism isn't a religion in the same way that not collecting coins is not a hobby.

    Also, humanism isn't a "belief system" of anything other than the belief that religion isn't necessary to understand ethical behavior. "Religious" isn't a belief system either, by the way.
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  7. #17
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    Atheist and cult. Anyone else think those are MUTUALLY exclusive? Antithetical?
    I've never encountered an atheist cult IRL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Not really. "Cult" implies religion. Atheism isn't a religion in the same way that not collecting coins is not a hobby.
    In practice, most atheist organizations have a specific secular ideology (usually progressive Humanism), if they had no common ideology beyond a "lack of belief" then there would be no purpose in them having an organization (unless they were just nihilists)

    Also, humanism isn't a "belief system" of anything other than the belief that religion isn't necessary to understand ethical behavior. "Religious" isn't a belief system either, by the way.
    No, Humanists have a full statement of principles:

    https://secularhumanism.org/index.php/3487
    Last edited by Reality; 8th November 2017 at 06:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    Atheist and cult. Anyone else think those are MUTUALLY exclusive? Antithetical?
    *facepalm*

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-...e_b_83555.html

    And it occurred to me in the writing of the Avakian piece that followers of Avakian aren’t so different from followers of L. Ron Hubbard. Both groups, for one, believe that their sacred leaders hold the key to the best possible future: if only people would get on board, become Scientologists or Maoists, the new, brighter future would arrive. But, more important, both are terrific latter-day examples of cults of personality. Scientologists will tell you they don’t worship L. Ron Hubbard, but they talk about him as if he’s the smartest, bravest man who ever lived. They have pictures of him everywhere. They even think his novels are good. And Avakian’s supporters have been increasingly frank that they actually want a cult of personality around Bob Avakian (although they call it a “cult of appreciation”).

  10. #20
    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality View Post
    Not believing in a deity, or in the myths of organized religions is one thing, but why would anyone join an "organized" atheist sect (e.x. Humanist organizations), or publicly identify as an "atheist"? ...
    Well, I'm a longtime, dues-paying member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia. If anyone asks me about my personal beliefs in regard to religion, or the existence of divine supernatural entities, I respond that I am an atheist. I don't seek to convert anyone - nor do I pick fights on the subject outside the reasonable confines of a debate forum.

    Might be best for atheists to give up on "organized" atheism as a whole and just settle for not believing in a god, rather than trying to turn atheism into an "identity"- it failed in the French Revolution when it was at its height, so there's no hope of it succeeding now. Atheists will always exist, but "atheist rallies" are going to become as irrelevant and dated as Ron Paul rallies.
    Then why not the same for religious organizations? Why don't they settle for "believing in a god" and practicing their faith at home, rather than organize into churches, synagogues, temples, and massive networks of religious adherents?

    Atheists organize for the same reason; it gives us a voice. A handful of atheists can't stop a church in a multi-million dollar diocese from pushing dogma in public school classrooms. But the Freedom From Religion Foundation has that sort of clout. Thanks to our organized efforts, atheists have resources great enough to actually have an effect, and keep religious organizations in check.
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