An Atheist community???
I had a nice conversation with a catholic priest today, now we have to take into account that he was at my workplace and I was cutting his hair so I couldn’t really bring up all that I think is bad about the catholic chuch.
On my workstation I keep a pile of leaflets with info about my local Skeptics in the Pub. Mr Priest picked up a leaflet and was really interested in it. I encouraged this and talked about past meetings, mainly Jon Ronson, homeopathy and UFO’s. He was genuinely getting really into the conversation, he agreed we ought to be more skeptical about things and wants to come to a meeting.
He was a lovely chap. After he had paid we had a chat and a laugh in the back room with the rest of the staff. He was telling us about an experience he had when an old lady holding an umberella was standing with her skirt tucked in her pants and he didnt know whether he should have have told her or not, what with preists track record with all things sexual. He told us about an embarassing moment where he told a fellow priest in a cafe a woman on another table was attractive to which the other priest shouted her which made him embarrassed!
I then asked if he was going to visit his German boss when he visits the UK, he said no and didn’t elaborate. I said I wouldn’t either but then I am a skeptic. He redily replied by saying he wasn’t skeptical about that.
What I don’t get is how someone with such an interest in my skeptics leaflet, who agreed quite enthusiastically about our chat on being skeptical, can be so adamant about his faith. It must be nice to be loved and respected by your community, it must be nice to have a community where you play a major role and your influence has a positive effect on that community. I am not talking about the bad parts of religion here, putting aside child abuse and massive power that can be corrupted. I am talking about a community that strives to stick together and defend a cause.
If we take religion out of the equation, would those communities still exsist? People are no longer so neighbourly, people tend to keep themselves to themselves. I know I do. Its a shame we no longer bake cakes for our neighbours and have street parties or be able to have neighbours to babysit.
I think religious communities still do these things.
I brought this up once at a skeptics meeting, I think it was when Ariane sharine was speaker. I said that Atheists/agnostics/skeptics etc miss out on this. We have our monthly meeting and we have secular societies but the bulk of our community is online behind a computer screen. I am not sure people caught my drift really as a secular society member said that that does exsist within the secular society. Maybe thats enough for most but there isnt anything in local commnities. I also have no way of making it to the secular society meetings as I cant get out in the evenings and I have no ideas of how what I feel is missing can be resolved.
There are quite a few societies that make up a skeptical/athiest community, the Secular society, The humanist association, Skeptics in the Pub, Atheist conventions, AAI etc, which are great but they dont bring us together as a whole. Maybe we don’t need to be a whole, maybe the internet is our home or maybe there just isnt enough people who are willing to defend being rational and skeptical because they are seen as black sheep. Maybe its just a case of people cant be bothered with even thinking skeptically and plod along without giving it a proper thought. I don’t know how others think but i do know I sometimes feel like i’m in a tiny minority and wish that would change.
I feel sad that we miss out on the community that the religious enjoy. In fact I would imagine its the community that the religious need more than then their God.