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Old 04-26-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
But the idea of getting together with a group of people where the thing you have in common is what you DON'T believe in just seems a little odd to me.
Then do not focus on what your shared disbeliefs are, but rather your shared beliefs. For example in Atheist Ireland when we have meet ups it is not lack of god that is most talked about... but topics such as how to work for the cause of secularism. Remember secularism is not about disbelieving in god, but is something that theists can be too. There are many theist secularists.

However I think you focus too heavily on the shared disbeliefs. They rarely have anything to do with the meet ups once you have one. People meet for arbitrary reasons all the time. Take bars for example... this is people meeting and their only real shared interest is drinking. After that they are very diverse. It is the same with Atheist meetups... you might be meeting based on one small shared attribute, but after that you are no more or less diverse than any other group.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
However I think you focus too heavily on the shared disbeliefs.
Actually, I think it makes perfect sense to focus on shared beliefs. While I don't define myself by my atheism, I do think it says a lot about how I see the world around me. Part of finding people you can relate to is eliminating the people you can't relate to. While I can respect someone who's deeply spiritual, it's hard for me to relate to them on that level. But if someone says they don't believe in God, at least I can take comfort in knowing that we understand each other. The same is true if I went out looking for liberals. Again, I could go to a diverse environment with conservatives and even become friends with them. But on some level, I'll want to seek out people who are more like me. This is not some trivial dimension like what team you root for or what your favorite hobby is. It runs deeper to who you are, which is why it makes perfect sense to seek out people who think the same way as you. That's not to say you have to exclude people who are different. Just that whatever connection you have with them maybe not be enough. I dated a girl who was Christian and even though we got along great, there was always that feeling that we didn't get each other.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
However I think you focus too heavily on the shared disbeliefs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Actually, I think it makes perfect sense to focus on shared beliefs.
Spot the difference In fact the whole point of my response was to tell you to focus on shared beliefs, such as secularism.

That said however, your entire post above seems to negate the issues you think you had in the opening post. In the opening post you seemed to allude to the fact that you feel weird meeting people on the basis of not believing in god. The post above however seems to espouse this as being a good thing.

In short, I think you would do well to get past any feelings of weirdness you think you feel, and just go for it. Nothing to lose.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Spot the difference In fact the whole point of my response was to tell you to focus on shared beliefs, such as secularism.

That said however, your entire post above seems to negate the issues you think you had in the opening post. In the opening post you seemed to allude to the fact that you feel weird meeting people on the basis of not believing in god. The post above however seems to espouse this as being a good thing.

In short, I think you would do well to get past any feelings of weirdness you think you feel, and just go for it. Nothing to lose.
Not believing in something is not something I can bond with someone over. I don't care for NASCAR, but I would never join a group for people who hate NASCAR. Sure it gives you a starting point. You meet someone, discover they don't like NASCAR either and feel a moment of relief that they don't like it either. But that's not really something you can build off of whereas if you were both hockey fans, that at least gives you a starting point.

As for going to an actual meeting, I've discussed this in a previous post. I went to one such meeting and discovered a group of people who weren't just atheists, but angry and hateful of organized religion. I have no interest in associating with such people.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Not believing in something is not something I can bond with someone over.
Then we are going in circles, because as response to this I can do little more than link you back to the first post I just made. Such meetings are not about the shared disbelief, but the shared beliefs that those shared disbeliefs cause you to share.... such as secularism and how to achieve it and support it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Da Region
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
...I went to one such meeting and discovered a group of people who weren't just atheists, but angry and hateful of organized religion. I have no interest in associating with such people.
I hear ya. If you don't like the same things, it's like a giant Boo-fest. But I have to agree with Hueffenhardt.

Quote:
...I am atheist, but I am also a Unitarian Universalist. Probably a third of my current church are atheists. So, I meet atheists at my UU church. At my first UU fellowship, half of the members were atheists.

But, just so you know there are Communities of Reason and Secular Humanist Societies that nearly 100% atheists.
Some UUs are atheists, and since these atheists are already in church, they aren't hateful toward organized religion. Anyone can be bitter about their upbringing, or the climate of the culture in which they were raised. I've even heard that kind of sentiment out of now-Baptists who rail against how wrong the Catholic Church is that they were raised in. Or Pagans whose well-meaning Christian parents gave them no choice of religions.

As Hueffenhardt mentions his congregation is about one third atheists. Mine is about one fifth each; atheist, Christian, Pagan, Buddhist, and "other." Many, though not all, UU congregations offer avenues for personal expression through racial/economic justice committees, alternative religion services, marriage equality issues, lay-lead services, etc. You might like to give one a try. If you do, keep in mind that the services may differ greatly from Sunday to Sunday, and congregation to congregation, so you might want to go a few times before deciding you do or do not like it.

Hoping you find what you need.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Then we are going in circles, because as response to this I can do little more than link you back to the first post I just made. Such meetings are not about the shared disbelief, but the shared beliefs that those shared disbeliefs cause you to share.... such as secularism and how to achieve it and support it.
The flaw in your argument is that you assume all atheists are interested in promoting secularism. If someone doesn't believe in X, then it doesn't necessarily follow that they believe in Y.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
The flaw in your argument is that you assume all atheists are interested in promoting secularism. If someone doesn't believe in X, then it doesn't necessarily follow that they believe in Y.
I am making no argument. You came here asking for advice. I gave you advice. It is up to you to take it or leave it. That is what people do with advice. It is you, not I, that is taking said advice - given in good faith - and turning it into an argument merely for arguments sake.

Nothing I said is reliant on it following 100% that atheists are all secularists. The fact that the vast majority of them are is enough to carry my point.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
I live in the south. So as you can imagine, I don't run into many atheists. And it's not like the wear a sign on their head. I've thought about joining the few atheist meetup groups I see online in my area. But the idea of getting together with a group of people where the thing you have in common is what you DON'T believe in just seems a little odd to me. Usually people connect based on shared interests, not the lack of them. For instance, I would never join a group of people who dislike NASCAR even though I don't care for it. So my question is for all of you, particularly those who live in very religious areas and maybe are in the dating scene and keep running into spiritual types who want nothing to do with you. How do you go about meeting other atheists?
Im sure they dont all get together and talk about disliking religion, we are people to and there are other things to talk about. History. Fashion. Hobbies. Etc... I think since you are in such a highly religious area the group would be good for you I havent thought of that before, I might have to see if there is one in my area. Good luck
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
I am making no argument. You came here asking for advice. I gave you advice. It is up to you to take it or leave it. That is what people do with advice. It is you, not I, that is taking said advice - given in good faith - and turning it into an argument merely for arguments sake.
I appreciate the advice. But by offering it, you open yourself up to criticism. If I gave someone advice based on a faulty premise, I would fully expect them to call me out on it. I'm not arguing just for the sake of arguing, but rather to point out why your advice is flawed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Nothing I said is reliant on it following 100% that atheists are all secularists. The fact that the vast majority of them are is enough to carry my point.
Go back and read your own words. "Such meetings are not about the shared disbelief, but the shared beliefs that those shared disbeliefs cause you to share." The implication is pretty clear. If two people don't believe in X, then it follows that they both believe in Y. As for the "vast majority" of atheists being secularists, that's just another assumption on your part.
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