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Old June 12 2013, 05:24 AM   #141
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Atheism, and "Bread and Circuses"

Seska wrote: View Post
Many atheists in this thread won't love their fellow post-ers without pre-approval of their beliefs.
I really don't see any evidence that this is so. Your statement is both presumptuous and prejudiced.

I give MMO a tremendous amount of credit in the promotion of atheism
I already explicitly stated that American Atheists does not speak for atheists. By extension, that would mean that Madalyn Murray O'Hair (whom I presume you mean by the initials MMO) didn't speak for all atheists when she was alive. Did you disbelieve me, or did you somehow accidentally skip over my posts?

If you believed me, then why assume that atheists generally agree with her positions. If not, then why not?

American Atheists has about 4,000 members. Assuming only 1 in 100 people in the world are atheists (a gross underestimate), there are over 3,000,000 atheists in the USA (assuming uniform distribution; no matter, the actual figure is larger) and over 60,000,000 atheists worldwide (again, the actual figure is larger). Does that put it into perspective how little weight American Atheists has in the atheist community?

From the Washington Post, earlier this year:

The Washington Post wrote:
That challenge has potential pitfalls. American Atheists membership is 4,000, Silverman said — a small sliver of the 2.4 percent of Americans who identified as atheists in a 2012 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Less strident groups are larger: the Freedom from Religion Foundation claims more than 19,000 members, and the American Humanist Association claims 40,000.

A’forum to vent’

Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College and an expert on secularism, said that while he applauds the passion and purpose of O’Hair’s acolytes, they do not represent mainstream atheism.

“There is a place for American Atheists, definitely, but clearly, most atheists are not angry, do not hate religion and do not need a forum to vent,” he said. “I think the fact that their numbers are so low shows that the strident, aggressive version of atheism is a distinct minority.”
The atheists I choose to associate with don't hold a person's religion against them. Their issue with religion only comes when people can't keep their religions to themselves.

When you repeatedly misrepresent people's positions, even after corrections and clarifications have been offered, don't be surprised if people aren't willing to interact on your terms.
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