Wow, that JT guy really is mean. Check out all of the things he said* last night at a meeting of the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis’s student group, Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists:
“Punch them in the FACE!”
“I put a baseball bat near the front door of my house.”
“I would vote for Lucifer!“
“We should be fanatics!”
*All quotes are partial statements taken extremely out of context. It’s scary how good I am at quote mining, akshully.
Do you want to know what he really said last night?
Atheism rocks, and there are a ton of ways to “do” activism for secular/atheist causes:
- Being an out atheist
- Having fun – being a happy atheist
- Service projects
- Holding signs at rallies
- Awareness tabling – Ask An Atheist Day, JedFest, Fundraising for Charity, Soul Auctions, Send an Atheist to Church.
JT encouraged us to be ready to receive questions and challenges from believers when we’re engaging in atheist activism. In order to get better at debating and becoming familiar with the arguments and the answers to those arguments, he suggests teh interwebs – reading blogs, asking questions in forums, engaging in online debates with other commenters. In the Q&A he also listed some of his favorite atheist books, among which were Richard Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God and Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation.
JT gave us a couple of arguments from believers that we should be able to answer:
Have you read the Bible? The answer for many atheists is “Duh. Have you, religious person? Probably not.” Even if you haven’t read the Bible, this question is irrelevant since the Bible is…you know…irrelevant. He made this point again in the Q&A. When asked for an example of ineffective arguments, he cautioned against getting into scripture quoting contests, as this accepts the premise that the Bible is relevant, and implies that one need only interpret it correctly to prove or falsify it.
Science supports the Bible! Answer: People turning into salt? Noah’s Ark? JT listed several examples of scientifically inaccurate ideas that are contained in the Bible. This is a fun one. Google different combinations of “science” and “bible” and you’ll learn all sorts of new things, like how bats are birds and that some insects walk on all four legs. It’s almost as if this book was written by an earlier people who didn’t have a deep knowledge of the world around them, without the influence of an all-knowing god. I know, right?
And then he gave some ideas for directly fighting the good fight: Go into law, science, professional atheism, or any other field that floats your boat and allows you to not only be an out supporter of secularism, but to fight against religiosity, church-perpetuated injustices, and violations of our constitution by religious organizations and beliefs.
JT’s talk was focused on finding your stride within the atheist community. The underlying premise was that atheist activism is a good and important thing, and that there are many ways to contribute to the movement. It was a mobilizing talk and it produced a good 45 minutes of Q&A. Also, there were hugs and giant teddy bears.
Thanks for visiting, JT!