Let’s Celebrate the Awesome

Citizens of skepticism, lend me your ears!

Believe it or not, a lot of negative shit has been happening in our movement. I realize that, as a bunch of people who take issues, ideas, and concepts very seriously, we often forget about how damned amazing our movement is. We forget about the LOLs and concentrate on the WTFs.

So let’s take a moment to celebrate the awesome.

Send me your amazing story about that one time you led a protest and it was ZOMG amazeballs. Send along a photo of your atheist group doing something exciting/entertaining together (like making Jesus pancakes). I want to help you spread the joy which, in turn, will inspire others to do amazing things and we will set the bar for awe-inspiring goodness in our awesome movement of awesomeness. AWESOME.

Got it? Good! Please send me things!

About Lauren Lane

Lauren Lane is the co-founder of Skepticon, the Midwest's largest skeptic student-run conference and remains a lead organizer today. She has not one, but TWO fancy art degrees and is not afraid to use them.

  • Mrpurkes

    This is a brilliant challenge.

  • http://emilyhasbooks.com/ Emily Dietle

    This sounds marvelously refreshing*, Lauren! What a great idea! Yes, let’s spread the awesome. | *how many times must NPC characters in Guild Wars use this??!

  • janiemiller

    Wonderful idea. Grassroot groups are doing a lot of great things, including my group, I believe. The internet crowd is another story entirely. The venom I see is distressing. No one seems to be willing to move on. Even if you are right, you still have to move on. We are destroying ourselves. 

  • Agnostic

    Only dare to make Jesus pancakes? How timid. Only protest against those who don’t fight back is really hahaha. So what is wrong with weakening the opposition that don’t fight back which indirectly helps the real threat grow. That’s hahaha too.

    • John

       I know what all of those words mean, but I have absolutely no idea what you said.  Please use some semblance of proper grammar.

      • Agnostic

        Read between the lines. Don’t cry when you Suddenly find yourself having to prostrate to someone else’s god.

        • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

          “Read between the lines.”

          Speak plainly. If you’ve got something to say, just say it. I think I know what you’re getting it at, and if I’m correct, then you’re an idiot, but I’d rather not just assume that.

          • Vision_From_Afar

             He’s an Islamaphobe.
            “real threat” + “prostrate to someone else’s god”?

            • John

               That was my assumption as well, but I didn’t want to assume too much about a post that used “hahaha” as an adjective.

            • OregoniAn

               An Islamaphobe who confuses poor communication with being clever..

  • FTFKDad

    Godless Teen is awesome and is looking to start an SSA group at his high school even though he is only a freshman … please stop by and give him some encouragement! (www.godlessteens.com)

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Thank you for mentioning Godless Teen. I stumbled across his site just the other day. Looks like a good resource and refuge for young people.

  • Evertoniancalvinist

    This is a very silly post.  Highly evolved animals wouldn’t be “celebrating” their “movement”.  Nor would they be depressed about “negative shit happening”.  This is more than a little be silly Lauren.

    Remember your worldview guys:  The universe came into existence by chance.  We are just animals at the end of the day.  Life has no ultimate meaning.  Be consistent with these beliefs.  Stop “celebrating your movement” and being sad about “shit happening”. 

    You say God doesn’t exist with your mouth, but then you borrow from Christianity to celebrate and be upset about “shit.”   

    • LouisDoench

      Animals can’t celebrate? Fuck that…

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Has he never been greeted at the door (or down the walk) by a pet? Animals do celebrate.

    • ZenDruid

       “Borrow from Christianity to celebrate…”  Yeah, like Jesus Moses invented good times. Riiight.

    • sara

      So humans didn’t celebrate before Jesus? I think you are very confused!

      • Evertoniancalvinist

        Here is my point… celebrating, having Movements, getting upset when “shit” happens……. these are all things that make sense in a universe that the bible describes.  However, the atheist can’t account for these things…. The hardest thing for an atheist to do is to be consistent with their worldview/presuppostions.  Remember: random chance universe…just animals…..no ultimate meaning.  But you will never live in a way that is consitent with these presuppostions.  Its impossible.     

        There are other things you guys can’t account for either: Absolute laws of logic, absolute morality, knowledge, etc.

        • John

          So you think all atheists must necessarily be nihilists?  Then again, in your worldview everything that happens is the direct result of God willing it to be so, rendering all human accomplishments essentially meaningless, so maybe you’re just projecting.

        • RobMcCune

          … celebrating, having Movements, getting upset when “shit” happens…

          How is ultimate meaning, or not being an animal, or a divine plan necessary for any of that? What biblical presuppositions make them make sense?

          • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

            The whole religious argument here is nonsense, even in its own terms. If living life is inherently meaningless unless you see it as a qualification round for the afterlife, then where does that leave the afterlife? There’s nothing that comes after that, so all you’re doing is pushing the supposed meaninglessness out of this life and into the next. And who wants an eternity of meaningless existence anyway?

        • Helanna

          Okay. Maybe I’m being an idiot and you’re just trolling, but I think you may genuinely be misunderstanding what atheists believe. 

          Yes, most of us believe that our current universe came into being by chance. Why on earth should that have any influence on our day to day life? Just because the universe is random doesn’t mean that human actions are. It doesn’t detract at all from cool stuff that people have done, it doesn’t make me any less happy about cool stuff or less sad about bad stuff. People still have choices in their life (I’m not interested in a pedantic discussion about free will) and it makes me happy when people make good choices that make themselves and other people happy. Emotions are a human thing, not a religious thing.

          Yes, humans are animals. This is just a fact, really, we’re mammals, I’m not sure what your point is. We are advanced, sentient, sapient animals. Why you think this means we can’t celebrate or feel emotions, I don’t know. We are more intelligent than other animals. If you ascribe that to a god, fine, but please don’t tell me that if I don’t believe the same then I MUST believe that I’m not allowed to feel emotions. That doesn’t even make sense.

          Finally, just because we don’t believe in a god or afterlife, doesn’t mean we think life has no meaning. Some people believe we all make our own meaning. Many atheists believe that not having an afterlife gives this life *more* meaning, since it’s the only one we’re gonna have. Personally, I try to live a good life, to make good choices, to not harm others, to make myself and other people happy. I don’t do this because I think a god is watching, I do it because that’s the only way we’re going to make this world a better place, and that in itself is a worthy goal. 

          Also, human society existed for a few thousand years before the Bible did,  and they also celebrated and felt emotions, so we’re really not ‘borrowing’ the worldview of the Bible. The Bible is borrowing from humanity. 

          I really hope you’re not just trolling, but to be honest it sounds like you are, since it’s hard to imagine someone reading this blog but still being so drastically uninformed as to what atheists actually are. But on that off-chance you’re not, I hope you’ll actually think about this. Don’t respond with some knee-jerk reaction that allows you to just dismiss everything I just said without having to actually think about it. If you honestly believe that people cannot comprehend emotion or beauty without believing in your version of god, well, that speaks more of you than it does of us. 

          • Evertoniancalvinist

            Helanna…I’m not trolling. I think it is good for the atheist commnity to have a differing voice on these matters. It is good for the conversation to have a Christian challenge your presuppositions. In your post you talk about trying to be a good person and make good choices. I think this is a very noble thing to do. However, by what standard are you deciding if something is good or bad? Right or wrong? In order to make a “good” choice or be a “good” person, you need an absolute standard of good. And this is your problem: In the worldview described in your post, there is no room for absolutes. Therefore, all you attempts at good choices and doing the right thing is completely arbitrary.

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

              If you stepped on a nail, would that be good or bad for you?

            • Pascale Laviolette

              By what standard do YOU make decisions of good or bad?  It certainly isn’t based on the bible, since a good chuck of it is decidedly awful and immoral.

              We decide based on established first priciples of positive societal living.  Logic, evidence, how we’d want to be treated?  Why is this so hard…Our lives are exactly the same as yours, except God doesn’t enter the picture.  It’s really that simple.

              • Evertoniancalvinist

                I’m not arguing that the atheist doesn’t have morals or use logic or evaluate evidence based on your reasoning; You guys do all these things and sometimes you do them better than the religious. My argument is that you can’t ACCOUNT for these things. Example: you look at evidence and use your reasoning to evaluate it. But given your worldview, how do you know your reasoning is valid? How do you know the reaction in your brain producing thoughts is producing true, valid thoughts? As a Christian I know I was created in the image of God and given tools of reasoning and logic. Therefore, I can trust these tools. I can account for the use of them and I can account for the Absolutes we all live by.

                • shouldbeworkin

                  “As a Christian I know I was created in the image of God and
                  given tools of reasoning and logic. Therefore, I can trust these tools. I can
                  account for the use of them and I can account for the Absolutes we all live by.”

                   

                  As a Christian, YOU BELIEVE you were created in the image of
                  God and given tools of reasoning and logic. Therefore you
                  can trust these tools.

                  Logic and reasoning follow particular mathematical
                  constructs. Christians (and atheists) use faulty logic and reasoning all the
                  time. I fail to see why Atheists or Christians have to “account” for the tools of
                  logic and reason. They are either used correctly or they are not. 

                • Evertoniancalvinist

                  If we can use logic correctly or incorrectly, that points to a standard of logic that is absolute. Or else how would you determine if someone is using logic correctly? If there is an absolute law of logic out there(and there is) how can you account for it in a atheistic universe? Where did it come from?

                • shouldbeworkin

                  I would not claim to know. But that does not mean that I cannot use logic or reason.

                • John

                  In attempting to deny the laws of logic, you are using logic in your argument.  That way lies madness.

                • Deven Kale

                   Logic is a man-made tool with man-made rules used to help us understand whether a particular position makes sense. It’s a method of understanding thought processes, much like science (also man-made) is a method used for understanding the universe. Like the scientific method, the rules of logic have been perfected over centuries by consensus of numerous different experts. We know our logic is valid by presenting our conclusions (and sometimes logical processes) to others to see if they see any fallacies in them. If enough people see there are no fallacies, and none see that there are, that consensus is enough to assume that our logic is sound.

                  Does that account for your “law of logic” well enough?

                • Deven Kale

                   I see now you’re just another presuppositionalist, which means there’s no point in bothering with you. “You know this is true because Gawd has revealed this to you in a way that you can be certain,” right? Go bloviate somewhere else please, you’re not worth our time.

            • Vision_From_Afar

               Therefore it does not help to sneer at the imperfection of today’s reality or to preach absolutes as a daily agenda.
              -Gustav Heinemann

        • Deven Kale

           You’re confusing meaning with design. You’re right in the sense that we don’t see any ultimate design in the universe, but that doesn’t mean nothing has any meaning. Being able to emotionally connect to people doesn’t need any design because it just so happens that evolution has developed in us the chemical pathways which allow us to make those emotional connections. It is beneficial to the individual and the group to make these emotional connections, and therefore logical that we would have evolved this way.

          These same emotional connections are only one aspect of why we as humans, even atheists, are able to give meaning to our actions: so as to not hurt others. This is just one badly worded example of how an atheistic world-view does have meaning, but I can imagine this will be difficult to understand for someone who uses the word meaning, but actually means design.

        • HughInAz

          I find it hilarious when people like this guy come here and lecture me at great length on what I, as an atheist, believe in. It would never occur to him in a million years to read the post or the other comments and actually find out what we believe in.

          • r.holmgren

            “That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and beliefs are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction . . . that the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.” Bertrand Russel

    • jose

      We aren’t so frightened by the world as it is that we have to invent an imaginary dad that holds our hand and thinks for us.

    • HughInAz

      Thanks for your concern,  troll.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

      Do you want to have a rational conversation? Because you’re refusing all attempts to make it one. For example, if you respond by saying something like “But how do you decide what is rational and what isn’t? Are you saying there must be some logical absolutes? Right and wrong? You’re borrowing from Christianity!!!” then I’ll have to assume that you really are completely trolling and there would be no point to continue talking to you.

      You are starting off with a lot of assumptions about what we believe and when people try to counter that, you just throw in more assumptions until there are just too many things to argue against at once. That’s not fair in any debate.

      You’re assuming that morality, truth, logic, etc, comes from God and that atheists who talk about morality, truth, logic, etc are being inconsistent because they are using the things that the god they don’t believe in gave them. The only reason you think we’re being inconsistent is because you’re assuming (without asking first) that atheists don’t have any arguments to explain these things and that you’re totally stumping us by bringing them up. You might as well be arguing that we are being inconsistent by using words because it was God who gave us language.

      A better way to start this argument would be that we all understand concepts such as morality, truth, and logic, we just disagree on where they could come from. Here’s a typical atheist’s position on morality, if you actually care to hear it:
      Morality is an evolved concept based on what allows our species to survive. A species cannot survive if it’s members go around killing each other all the time, so a species that sees murder as a bad thing will survive better than a species that has no problem with it. Humans tend to do better if they live in groups (we’re not very fierce and can’t defend ourselves too well if we’re attacked by animals when we’re by ourselves). There’s a lot of morality we’ve evolved based on our need to function well with one another. We see it as a bad thing to lie and steal because it angers others. We see it as a bad thing to anger others because if people are angry at us, we could be shunned and left out of all the benefits of living in a society.

      There you go. Disagree with that if you want, but at least talk about exactly what you disagree with.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      HI AGAIN, MR. SOCK PUPPET!  Aka the troll who hides behind a new sock puppet every time you need your attention fix, aka “Cornell,” aka “Leibnizian Christian,” aka “Timlessapologist,” aka “Guest,” aka whatever sock puppet we haven’t discovered yet.  Back to feed your pathetic narcissism? Back for some more having your ass handed to you? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/09/17/atheist-group-places-full-page-constitution-day-ad-in-newspaper/#comment-654189852

      Go degrade some other website.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Then explain, please, why Gracie has a specific “Yay! My humans are home!” song and dance routine?

  • Archaeopteryx1861

    No particular good story just yet, but the Atheists of Maine Facebook group had our first ever meeting this last Sunday. We discussed possible charity events (like raising money for a childrens’ group through a polar dip) and maybe setting up a Hug An Atheist booth at one of the upcoming country fairs.

  • OregoniAn

    Nothing earth shatteringly awesome to share – but I did donate blood this week, and recommend others do the same if you can. Little things do add up.

    Oh, and over the past two decades  I did raise two wonderful godless children with my “godless goddess” of a wife. Our third child is in grade school and has never set foot in a church. She certainly knows her way around a library though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503455155 Noelle Dildine George

    Foundation Beyond Belief just announced our Q4 beneficiaries, which includes 5 fantastic charity organizations working to make this world and this life better by educating inmates at San Quentin State Prison in CA, working on international women’s rights initiatives, improving the health of those living in poverty, advocating for peace, and using technology to improve the city environment in Washington DC .  

    We also recently hit $500K total in donations from our 1200+ members who have joined together as a community to express their compassionate humanist values by putting their money, and time, where their mouth is.  We have 18 Volunteers Beyond Belief teams (over 2000 volunteers total) around the US who have held over 100 events this year to improve their local communities.  Many more have applied to join during the next intake cycle.  I think that is all pretty awesome.  


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