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Herding Cats

I’m a little disappointed in the greater atheist community. Atheists are notorious for not uniting together and for not supporting fellow atheists. We really need to fix this problem. While not all atheists agree with each other on anything necessarily except for the lack of belief in a god or gods that is no excuse. The gay community is similar and yet they don’t seem to use that excuse. Not all gays are liberal. Not all gays agree with each other on everything. The only thing that all gay people need to have in common is to have an attraction to the same gender. Yet the gay community helps each other out and supports each other in ways that our greater atheistic community can’t seem to manage.

Now, I know that my blog doesn’t have the same kind of bump power that PZ Myers or the Friendly Atheist has, but I still expected more from all of the Dangerous Talkers here. I know how many people roughly read my blog on a daily basis and I know how many people voted for the film that I promoted on Friday. Let’s just same that the numbers don’t even close to match up. Now I know that the film festival website sucks and that it crashed my Firefox on more than one occasion. I also know that people are required to register before they can vote and while registration is FREE it takes 10 seconds. I also know that before you can vote you have to actually watch the film which is 15 minutes long. But if you really don’t want to do that, you could always turn your volume off, start the film, and tab over to your facebook, myspace, or twitter for 15 minutes.

The point really isn’t this particular film or this particular online film festival. The point is that the greater atheistic community now makes up at least 15% of the American population and yet we can’t seen to support each other or work together to get our ideas out there to the general public. We have no political power to speak of and can’t seem to use our growing numbers to do much of anything. We are too lazy to even vote for an atheistic film in an online film festival. How can we really expect to fight back against the well organized, well funded, Christian Right which still outnumbers us 3 to 1?

We need to step up people! We need to support our fellow atheists whenever we can. We need to support our community. The irony is that this was the very thing that I was talking about in the atheist film that I want everyone to vote for.

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  • http://ideaoubliette.blogspot.com/ James

    At the same time, however, some of us would like to give it a good chance, actually watch it, and then give it a rating. Then there’s the question, as individuals, do we want to rate it for the message, or for its worth as a film?

    Part of being an atheist is a certain intellectual honesty. Should we put that aside to promote atheism? Do the ends justify the means?

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Both! I think we should look at the quality of the film or anything within the atheistic community that we see that is out there. People have sent me books that they wanted me to give a positive review to, but sometimes the books suck. I don’t give it a positive review anyway, because 1. that would be dishonest and 2. promoting crap makes us look bad as a community.

      If you think the film sucked, than vote that it sucked. But the message is a part of the film too. So that is something you should weigh in. But I think we need to give those in our community the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.

      I think we should all support this film, but that is my opinion. You can vote however you like. This blog however is about something larger than this one film in this one film festival. We as a community have to start supporting each other “whenever possible.” That means that you use your best judgment sometimes. If there is a right wing atheist running for school board, I probably wouldn’t vote for him or her. I might not even vote for a Democratic atheist, but if I agree more than I disagree with them and they aren’t supporting any deal breaker issues than I would be inclined to support them even if they aren’t in my area.

  • Mike O.

    Already registered, watched, voted. It is tough to organize and motivate atheists, many of whom may be jaded re: our society. Coming from a deeply religious family, I have often thought that it would be easier for me to be openly gay than openly atheist. We, however, have it easy compared to some. Can you imagine being an atheist in Iran? I’m sure that would be a death sentence. Just rambling here.

  • Mike O.

    I agree with James re: giving it an honest vote, but how many Christians would rate it poorly based on it’s subject matter alone? This kind of contest is really not intellectually honest at it’s core, given the hundred different reasons why someone might vote a certain way. In this context, Inthink supporting a point of view is just as valid as any other motivations for voting.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=413747468 Robb

    Atheists are by the very nature of their philosophies an independent lot, therefore it tends to run as either a blessing or a curse, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

    I would have watched the video but I am on dial up so until my area gets better internet offered to them, I really don’t watch that many videos. If I do have a video loading up it takes like an hour or two just to get one youtube video to work and while that is happening, I can’t really use the internet for anything else. If this video you linked was more than 10 minutes long then yeah, it’ll take hours. So I skipped the video.

    Now on the other hand, whenever this blog produces an important topic such as yesterday’s blog, nobody but me responded to it. When nobody responds, it feels as if nobody read it. There was no agree or disagree, just nothing. The integrity of the government is completely ruined by corporations bribing politicians and this is a huge problem for the integrity of our government for it ends up making the government serve the small percentage of the wealth rather than the majority.

    As a result, our economy has collapsed and somehow the bankers got bailed out by our tax dollars and now Obama is toying with the idea of making health insurance mandatory so we all have to pay high premiums to insurance companies. I’d say this government corruption issue is actually worse than the problem of religion in government at the moment although they do go hand in hand (such as using religion to get corrupt politicians elected in the first place).

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      While you were the only one who commented here, a few people commented on facebook. One person commented on myspace, and I got a few private e-mails as well. For some reason, a lot of people don’t comment on the blogs. That’s cool, but it is always more fun when they do.

  • http://www.myspace.com/diana_graves Diana

    Iloved the video, but I base my liking or disliking of things on their meaning, not their visual or audio appeal…the video gave atheism a warm human look and it made me want to do more…I think that was the artist’s meaning.

    I’m playing with the idea of searching for all the atheists in Everett and seeing if they would want to put up something this year. I know my husband (almost husband), would want to help…and then he’ll finally have to come out of the closet. His family is going to FREAK!

    I think that once someone has been an atheist for a long time, they are sort of used to not being a part of a community, and it’s hard to make the effort. Also, some atheists’ hide who they are, so getting involved in an atheist community may jeopardize their double life.

    Many atheists can live their whole lives without coming out of the closet to their friends and family…Not too many gays can say the same. Mom’s going to ask some questions when you and your boyfriend buy a house together…There are loads of Christians who don’t go to church, don’t read the bible, or participate in holidays…maybe most…. so, being an atheist can easily go unnoticed. But, if you participate in a display, if you talk openly about how you feel and think then you could be endangering your job or your relationships.

    Gays have to fight for their rights because they are being suppressed, but atheism is a frame of mind, and other than the lack of representation and social hostility, no one is really hurting us in an obvious and outrageous way. We can get married and vote and all that…we just aren’t thought of very fondly…. I’m not saying that we all shouldn’t get out there and spread the logic…I’m just saying that some may need more incentive to put their jobs and relationships at risk.

    • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

      I am not 100% open about atheism in real life like I am online but I have really have yet to have revealing my atheism to someone backfire on me. It’s on all how you present yourself. I know many people that said they hated gays until they came across someone that is really gay but is hiding it and then changed their opinion.

      It also depends on who you reveal it to. There were co-workers of mine at Amway Global that were know-it-alls and religious. Rival know-it-alls that are not aligned with me end up becoming people that highly irritate me. They outnumbered me and gave me shit for alot of crap. I never told them I was atheist for they were already judgmental as hell against me.

      The atheist is a strong word so it is often a good idea to describe yourself as “not religious”. Not religious means you are a person that doesn’t go to church or revolve your life around God while atheism means you reject God so choose the adjective carefully.

      And while we don’t have atheist communities to really associate with in person, we do have the internet. I remember woman came to this blog once claiming that she finished medical school as a testament to her intelligence and she believed in God and laughed at the idea that we were trying to change things thru a blog. I responded to her and she never came back.

      Half the people that get in the medical field could really give a flying fuck about how the human body works, they just care about helping people because for some reason they were born with the genetic trait to like doing that rather learning medical stuff because knowing how the body works stimulates the mind.

      • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

        Religious doctors (shakes head in bewilderment) I guess that is what religion gets you, selective ignorance.

        I’m actually in the mist of a tweet debate with a fello who thinks I’m damaging the atheist movement by talking openly about atheism.

        I know where this guy is coming from. He’s saying that my talking is just as bad as door knocking Christians and those church billboards that say Jesus Loves You….And to a degree it’s true but it’s not like I’m advocating the acceptance of murder or blind ignorance. I’m advocating self education and a world based of logic and reasoning, not fear and human sacrifice…

        So, there is an obstacle right there. Some of us want to sit at home and yell at the tv, live by example and hope it catches on over time with us doing nothing at all to help the progress, while others of us want to have a voice. We want to set up public displays, we want to make people really think about what they are blindly accepting as their reality.

        I’m not content just sitting on my couch and watching star trek. Every second the religious right is in power is a second of true progress lost for the sake of nonsensical dogma.

        But that’s a rant that no one here has earned and I’m sorry…guess it’s been bugging me a lot lately. I’m trying to get Everett Atheists to come out and the few I’ve found are chicken shit. Oh well…

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.curtis.3994 Brian Curtis

    This is a good point. While small-government and low-taxation fans may favor the Republican Party, that’s really not what the GOP is about any more. Such Republicans are basically hanging around with Klan members and saying ‘but we only care about states’ rights.’

  • MosesZD

    My athiest values are : I don’t believe in supernatural entities aka ‘gods/God.’ That’s all. I have other values. They have nothing to do with atheism. Atheism does not inform them. They do not inform atheism.

    Because I am an atheist it does not make any philisophical, politlcal or economic belief system follow out of some kind of atheist non-belief principles. Because I am an atheist does not mean I must be, or not be, any of the following: feminist, libetarian, liberal, conservative, socialist, anarcho-capitalist, animal-rights activist, etc., etc., etc.
    And the sooner some people get that through their pointy, dogmatic, A+ heads, the better off the rest of us will be.

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