Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
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04-05-2015, 02:01 PM
Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
Last week I emailed a couple of friends in Virginia that I wanted to go to the 2016 reason rally (although the date has not yet been set) and proposed we do a meet up in DC. Both said they would be glad to meet with me, but were not interested in going to the reason rally. Both these friends are non believers. We have had many conversations bashing religion and religious belief so I am more than familiar of their beliefs. In addition, they are scientists and educators that are deeply committed to teaching critical thinking.

The thing is... although they are de facto atheists and humanists, they clearly shy away from calling themselves atheists, and did not want to participate in an "atheist" event. I think this really points at the level of distrust and misunderstanding surrounding atheists and the atheist community, even among non-believers.

I responded by sending them the link to Adam Savage's speech at the last reason rally and both then responded that they would be interested in going to the rally. I guess the take home lesson is that we need to be out and also engaging the non-believers and making them realize they are part of the "choir".
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04-05-2015, 02:14 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
I went to the Stewart/Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive in 2010 and had a goddam panic attack in the middle of some 215,000 people. Had to use elbows and knees to get my fat ass clear of that can of sardines so I could breathe. Reason Rally seems to draw about 1/10 of that (20-30,000) so I might be game. In any case we could do lunch.

#sigh
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04-05-2015, 05:38 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
For the people hat got to the rally we could arrange a TTA forum meet up. That would be great.
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04-05-2015, 05:59 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
(04-05-2015 05:38 PM)Iñigo Wrote:  For the people hat got to the rally we could arrange a TTA forum meet up. That would be great.

Sounds fun! Thumbsup
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04-05-2015, 06:22 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
I think you're assuming their reasons wrongly.
What you have to remember is that the vast majority of people don't care about religion, including most religious people. In fact, most people do shy away from the topic of religion because religious conversation usually results in conflict or someone getting upset.

I don't believe they didn't want to go to the rally because they were afraid of associating themselves as atheists but more so because they were genuinely not interested in going. I think once you showed them the video it peeked their interest and they were more interested in going, thus the change of mind.

I am pretty anti-religion but I must say that the idea to some 2-3-4 hour atheist convention would bore the shit out of me. Hell, I've never once listened to more than 10minutes of one of Seth's podcasts.

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04-05-2015, 06:34 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
Then there's a guy like me. I don't think I would gain much from a rally. While I agree that religion is very likely harmful I don't have the time or inclination to fight against it nor am I interested in getting "churchy" with my atheism. I simply don't care enough about it. Is that selfish? Perhaps but I don't care about that either. I give to charity and shit but I mostly care about me and mine. I don't know where I'm going with this....
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04-05-2015, 06:41 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
From some of the stuff I've read online, "atheist events" sound kinda creeptastic.

Also sounds boring.

Also I don't leave the house. Like, ever. Big Grin

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04-05-2015, 06:46 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
(04-05-2015 06:41 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Also I don't leave the house. Like, ever. Big Grin

Sensible philosophy. That's how the government gets you with their brain manipulation radio waves, when you leave your house.

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04-05-2015, 08:52 PM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
(04-05-2015 06:22 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  I think you're assuming their reasons wrongly.
What you have to remember is that the vast majority of people don't care about religion, including most religious people.

Very much what it's like where I live.
Religion has such a negligible impact on the lives of people around me, that no-one seems to care either way.

Funny thing it, there are 5 churches within 15 minutes walk of my place. yet I can count one one hand the amount of religious people that i know locally (and 2 of them are Hindu)!

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too"? - Douglas Adams Bechased
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05-05-2015, 11:46 AM
RE: Letting members of the choir know they are part of the choir
(04-05-2015 06:22 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  I think you're assuming their reasons wrongly.
What you have to remember is that the vast majority of people don't care about religion, including most religious people. In fact, most people do shy away from the topic of religion because religious conversation usually results in conflict or someone getting upset.

I don't believe they didn't want to go to the rally because they were afraid of associating themselves as atheists but more so because they were genuinely not interested in going. I think once you showed them the video it peeked their interest and they were more interested in going, thus the change of mind.

I am pretty anti-religion but I must say that the idea to some 2-3-4 hour atheist convention would bore the shit out of me. Hell, I've never once listened to more than 10minutes of one of Seth's podcasts.

I agree, that there are many non-believers that are apatheists and just don't care one way or another. I live in the least religious state and people here are just live and let live. There is no AHA local chapter, or American Atheists chapter, the state universities don't have a secular student alliance, etc. I think most non-believers here don't feel a need for these organizations because the state is so secular.

Jeez Muffs, thanks for pointing out that you know my friends of thirty years better than I do. From everything I know about them, I thought that they would be interested in at least some of the content at the reason rally. I picked the Adam Savage clip, because I know them, and knew that the message would appeal to them. The fact that they said they would go after seeing the clip suggests I was correct. I know these guys well.

At the end of the day, I still believe that reaching out to non-believers who don't yet own their atheism will help with the growth of secularism.
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