Looking for Atheist Voices in Minnesota

The Minnesota Atheists are putting together a book full of stories from non-religious people who have lived in or are currently living in the state. It’s called Atheists Voices of Minnesota and all the proceeds will benefit the group:

Each essay should offer readers a unique atheist perspective. These should be personal narratives from your life or observations which would be a poignant read for others. The account may be humorous, sad, surprising, quirky — whatever works. Possible themes might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • A non-traditional atheist experience
  • Family relationships
  • Coming out
  • Your “conversion” to atheism
  • Raising atheist children
  • An as yet untold story from your life
  • What it means to be an atheist in our culture today
  • Witty analysis about atheism in the world today

If you’d like to contribute, the deadline is coming up soon! Maybe you’ve already started writing something… or you’ve posted something on your blogs that you can revise for this? Either way, all the information you need is here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    Raising children as an atheist parent is better wording for that particular bullet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

      how so? Do the children have a belief in god(s)? If the answer is no, they ARE atheist. Even babies are atheist. There’s nothing wrong about that. By definition atheism has nothing to do with political, ethical or moral views. If the bullet point were to say “raising humanist children” your adjustment would make sense.

      • Anonymous

        It is a credit to the atheist community that many of us don’t label our children before they have developed the critical thinking skills to decide for themselves what they will be.

        • Doggy

          Many atheists use the word atheist to mean lack of belief. So according to that definition children who haven’t made a decision would be (implicit) atheists. The actual labelling isn’t forcing them into a box or saying they will be atheists for the rest of their life.

        • Doggy

          (cont) but I don’t think Hemant was talking about implicit atheists, he was talking about parents who are raising children who have made that decision (that they are (explicit) atheists). 

        • Anonymous

           I agree that if a child has made the decision to self identify as an atheist than a parent is raising an atheist child and should be supportive. I used to use buy into the idea that children are born atheist, but after having three of my own I can no longer argue that babies/children who haven’t decided are atheist, implicitly or explicitly. Atheism implies a lack of belief, but babies/very young children have not developed the thinking skills to believe/disbelieve in anything. They lack belief in anything so why do we focus on their lack of belief in gods when we could also focus on their lack of belief in butterflies or Santa Claus. If they are born atheist then they are also born as non-butterfly-believers and non-santa-believers. Yet we would never make a big deal out of that. If a child has not developed the capacity and thinking skills to believe in the existence of something then I think it is illogical to argue that they have the capacity to lack a belief and am therefore uncomfortable labeling them as atheist.

        • Anonymous

           I agree that if a child has made the decision to self identify as an atheist than a parent is raising an atheist child and should be supportive. I used to use buy into the idea that children are born atheist, but after having three of my own I can no longer argue that babies/children who haven’t decided are atheist, implicitly or explicitly. Atheism implies a lack of belief, but babies/very young children have not developed the thinking skills to believe/disbelieve in anything. They lack belief in anything so why do we focus on their lack of belief in gods when we could also focus on their lack of belief in butterflies or Santa Claus. If they are born atheist then they are also born as non-butterfly-believers and non-santa-believers. Yet we would never make a big deal out of that. If a child has not developed the capacity and thinking skills to believe in the existence of something then I think it is illogical to argue that they have the capacity to lack a belief and am therefore uncomfortable labeling them as atheist.

  • http://twitter.com/SecularAdvocate Secular Advocate

    Worth reading Dawkins “God Delusion” on this subject.  There are evolutionary advantages derived from obeying your parents and elders, so the capacity of small children to believe anything you tell them as their parent should not be a surprise.  Some people never grow away from this instinct.  Their emotional development gets neotonised, and they remain “parent obeyers” and believers in what their parents have told them all their lives.  These are the people who become the most robust and deranged god-botherer types.

    Kids love and trust their parents by instinct, especially when they are very young.

    Understanding how evolution makes us inclined to stupid belief systems is of great value.

    Teaching your children a rational worldview does not make them atheist children, but it probably will lead to their rejecting religion.  Hopefully by the time they are grown up the word atheist won’t be required as a definition as it will be the default philosophy, and accorded a more appropriate label than one that seeks to describe someone in terms of what they are not, but in terms of what they are:  Rational.

      


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