It’s Good to Have a Response When Someone Asks Why Atheists Gather

A Secular Student Alliance group just began at SUNY New Paltz (in New York) and, to advertise their meetings, the group put up flyers reading, “ARE YOU GOOD WITHOUT GOD? We are too.”

“What?! Atheists have meetings?! That must be called into question!” said an ignorant person somewhere…

In case you can’t read the handwritten note on the bottom left, it says:

“Dear ‘Seculars’: Is there a point of people who believe in nothing, gathering?”

The atheists pinned an excellent response right next to it:

“Yes, because we believe in ideas that transcend religion such as love, respect, science, reason, the separation of church and state and good will towards others. Come to our next meeting to see for yourself!”

Unfortunately, the person who asked the question never showed up to the meeting. Boo…

But if you’d like to attend their meetings, all the information you need is right here.

(via The Little Rebellion)

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.

  • Joe Zamecki

    That’s an excellent response! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/claire.m.binkley Claire Marie Binkley

    There is always something to talk about, to read the original a little farther than quoted.

  • Beth Kennedy

    So friendly!

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

    Oh the humanity!!!  Like minded individuals want to get together and have a chat?!  That’s horrible! 

    • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

      Well, it’s just that we are such angry people. Surely, we would not gather together but to do very angry things.

      • Aaron Scoggin

        Don’t forget to bring the kerosene! You know, for burning churches and all that. It’ll be mobtastic!

      • JohnAtl

         Also every group needs at least 12 fertile females and at least one fertile male. That way you have a fresh baby for the feast at every monthly meeting.

  • Artskibeach

    They left out, “And to brainstorm ideas on making people who believe in superstition, stop believing in superstition!”

  • Pete084

    Humans need to feel part of a group, this is where churches win, apart from those boring cold churches here in the UK, why get up on a cold winter Sunday morning to sit freeze and whilst listening to a guy who will undoubtedly bore your pants off!

    It’s good to know you’re not alone in a sea of hostility, which is why many threatened minority groups are formed.

  • Daniel Schealler

    Nice.

    Very classy response.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1474032392 Gilbert Davis

    At least it was a civil exchange between the two parties. That’s progress right there.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Nothing ripped down or covered up is certainly a step in the right direction.

  • Marella

    They even resisted the temptation to make their symbol the evolution fish with legs, now that’s some serious self control right there!

  • Matto the Hun

    Also, we are tired of feeling like the only ones most of the time and it’s nice to have a group of like minded people we can vent with, especially when we have to deal with smug, ignorant dicks like the person who posted the snide little question.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    The ignorance of so many people about atheism never ceases to amaze me. Actually, it goes beyond ignorance to outright stupidity, since anybody with even average intelligence must realize that people who don’t believe in gods must still believe in other things.

    Such horrible, empty lives to have everything they believe rest on such a flimsy foundation, taken so seriously.

  • cipher

    Of course – because if you aren’t talking about God, Jesus or about how that Kenyan Muslim Socialist in the White House is murdering babies, what is there to talk about?

    I realize they’re college kids, but even so… .

    Tomorrow’s leaders, ladies and gentlemen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    Seculars is a great word!

  • communist.goatboy

    ** sigh ** 

    1) What-the-what is a “secular,” and how do you know there is more than one?
    2) Atheism = nihilism?  
    3) Go SSA!

  • Justin Miyundees

    “Dear ‘Seculars’: Is there a point of people who believe in nothing, gathering?”
    What on earth would fill the time?   Because there’s tons to talk about when it’s all make believe.  All you have to do is close your eyes and pretend a magical friend is talking through your mouth.  It’s fun and confusing and utterly ridiculous but manifests in all the woes the “seculars” get to deal with in the real world.  BORING!

  • TiltedHorizon

    ““Dear ‘Seculars’: Is there a point of people who believe in nothing, gathering?”

    So not believing in god means believing in nothing? Do sheep stop being sheep without a Shepard? Do sheep ponder their worth by how much wool provided?

    Those who need god to define their own worth must consider themselves and life to be worthless. 

  • Drewly

    ““Yes, because we believe in ideas that transcend religion such as
    love, respect, science, reason, the separation of church and state and
    good will towards others.”so in other words, you’re only positivists and empiricists when you want to mock other people’s beliefs. interesting….

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      So Godist asks what possible purpose one would have in meeting.
      And non-Godist answers with a bunch of reasons they’d have to meet.

      Can you explain the ‘mocking’?

      • Drewly

        sorry i was not implying there was mocking in the present exchange.

        rather, i think it’s interesting in how other people’s beliefs about love, respect, reason, etc. are subjected to a strict empiricism and thereby dismissed (at times with mocking, a la Harris, Hitchens, etc), yet here “transcendent beliefs” are celebrated and worthy of reflection upon. i’m curious what justifies this selective application of epistemology.

        • HughInAz

           Beliefs don’t deserve respect just because they are “transcendent”. As someone said, religious beliefs transcend science in the same way a burglar transcends the law. Beliefs that are patently backward, superstitious and irrational deserve no respect. Ideas such as love, respect, science, reason etc. deserve respect not because they are “transcendent” but because they promote human well-being.

          • Drewly

             Ah the selective epistemology on full display.

            “Backwards, superstitious, and irrational”–what you really mean is “beliefs I don’t happen to agree with.” What if I told you your beliefs about love, respect, and science are just as backwards and irrational as your adversaries?

            Similarly, your criteria that transcendent beliefs promote human well-being is going to be circular: the criteria itself (“transcendent beliefs that promote human well-being”) will also need justification. Whatever justification you choose, it will likely not be the rationalism or empiricism that you’re projecting on other systems of thought in order to dismiss them as irrational and backwards.

            Social psychology has proven far beyond a reasonable doubt that group dynamics override epistemology and make us very biased toward whatever our group believes. If you take science seriously, you should think about this next time you’re labeling the beliefs of others backwards and irrational.

  • Star Stuff

    Heh.  Passive-aggressive much? 

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    I do think a lot of times when believers ask why atheists do things, the question os rather rhetorical. I suspect this is often one of those questions.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Not believing in their god = Believing in nothing?

    So what, they believe in a deity, yet don’t believe in love, or charity, or anything? Just god?

  • Andrew Van Marm

    And the atheist’s note looks so much nicer.

  • http://deusdiapente.blogspot.com/ JQuinton

    So wait, if being an atheist means that I believe in nothing, does someone who believes in god believe in everything? Because everything includes a lot of… well, nonsense (like timecube).

  • HughInAz

    I wish I had a nickel everyone said something like, “Since atheists believe in nothing, why would they want to have meetings? Do they just sit around in silence?” Especially when they always think they are being incredibly witty and original. Here’s a good response:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3whCU5iAPw


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