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(Des Moines Register)   Only 600 out of the nearly 5 million atheists in the US are going to the American Atheists National Convention. What, does Des Moines have cooties or something?   (desmoinesregister.com) divider line 438
    More: Strange, American Atheists, Des Moines, esophageal cancer, atheists, Christopher Hitchens, political convention, Pew Research Center, agnostics  
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3337 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2011 at 11:04 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-04-14 08:44:53 AM
Maybe because the only thing most of us have in common is a lack of something.

I will be going to the "There's no Santa Claus" Convention in No. Virginia this July, though. It's always a hoot.
 
2011-04-14 08:52:08 AM

skinnycatullus: I will be going to the "There's no Santa Claus" Convention in No. Virginia this July, though. It's always a hoot.


I was about to say the same thing. I wouldn't go to a "Not Believing in Santa" convention either.
 
2011-04-14 09:03:08 AM
It conflicts with the annual meeting of the People Who Think The Dark Knight Is Overrated Society, which is far more important to me.
 
2011-04-14 09:08:04 AM
I don't believe that this convention actually exists. I mean, have you actually met anyone who's going?
 
2011-04-14 09:09:45 AM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: I don't believe that this convention actually exists. I mean, have you actually met anyone who's going?


The convention exists man, just look at the banana. That's all the proof I need.
 
2011-04-14 09:13:57 AM

skinnycatullus: Maybe because the only thing most of us have in common is a lack of something.


This.

Like I just said earlier today: Atheists can be understood, but atheist groups are weird. What agenda can a lack of an opinion on a subject grant? Even knitting circles have SOMETHING to work towards. Atheists don't.

It would be like a group of fish of all different species (fresh and salt, cold and tropical, predator and prey) trying to school together.
 
2011-04-14 09:18:02 AM
It's not that Des Moines has cooties.

It's that this whole damn thing is really stupid.
 
2011-04-14 09:18:41 AM
Probably because the majority of them don't see the purpose of a gathering celebrating a lack of belief in something...
 
2011-04-14 09:19:13 AM

doglover: Even knitting circles have SOMETHING to work towards. Atheists don't.


That's a pretty good example. It would be like a group of non-knitters. The only thing we have in common is that we don't knit. Bring chips and pop.
 
2011-04-14 09:23:33 AM
Look, I became an atheist so i wouldn't have to attend meetings.
 
2011-04-14 09:32:17 AM

Sybarite: Look, I became an atheist so i wouldn't have to attend meetings.


Also: we annoy us too.
 
2011-04-14 09:43:12 AM
I was in an atheist club in highschool, people just sat around and biatched about how their parents were always trying to make them go to church and about how religious people were wasting their time believing in god. It was one big smugfest circle-jerk. (although that could be because everyone is a jerk in highschool...but whatever) I left after two meetings.

I don't need a group to help reinforce my feelings towards my lack of belief in a god (or gods). I came to that decision on my own through critical reasoning, rational thought and self analysis.
 
2011-04-14 09:59:12 AM

miss diminutive: I was in an atheist club in highschool, people just sat around and biatched about how their parents were always trying to make them go to church and about how religious people were wasting their time believing in god. It was one big smugfest circle-jerk. (although that could be because everyone is a jerk in highschool...but whatever) I left after two meetings.

I don't need a group to help reinforce my feelings towards my lack of belief in a god (or gods). I came to that decision on my own through critical reasoning, rational thought and self analysis.


I've never joined an atheist group, but I can see it more as a support group than anything. They get together to reinforce that they're not the only ones out there with "weird" beliefs and to complain and/or commiserate with each other over the things they have to put up with for being an atheist.

I liken it to the groups that form around being relatives of Alzheimer's sufferers, or relatives of people with depression, or who have committed suicide.

It's a group to get together and share your experiences and hardships as a member of the group.

It's not really my thing (although I do love biatching about stupid creationists) but I can't fault others for going.
 
2011-04-14 10:07:28 AM

nekom: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: I don't believe that this convention actually exists. I mean, have you actually met anyone who's going?

The convention exists man, just look at the banana. That's all the proof I need.


If atheists are so powerful, why didn't this convention evolve into something bigger? Don't tell me that they needed some sort of founder to intelligently design it for them.
 
2011-04-14 10:08:41 AM
People are clannish. They need to belong to something, no matter how arbitrary. I'm agnostic, meaning I don't know or more accurately, I just don't think about it. But I'm not going to join a group so I can sit around and talk about our collective ignorance on the subject and I'm certainly not going to try to convince someone of faith that they're wrong. Or write books and go on talk shows about not believing in God like that douchebag Dawkins.

Leave people alone in their beliefs until it starts to cause problems. That's what I believe in.
 
2011-04-14 10:21:22 AM
It's just not the same since they closed The Rusty Scupper.
 
2011-04-14 10:29:17 AM
Face it, hooker sex is just not that fun without the naughty element
 
2011-04-14 10:33:14 AM

Mugato: People are clannish. They need to belong to something, no matter how arbitrary. I'm agnostic, meaning I don't know or more accurately, I just don't think about it.


Or even more accurately, you believe it is fundamentally unknowable.

/I love having this argument over and over
//Has anyone ever been swayed by one of these threads in the history of Fark?
 
2011-04-14 10:39:21 AM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: If atheists are so powerful, why didn't this convention evolve into something bigger? Don't tell me that they needed some sort of founder to intelligently design it for them.


Oh the convention did evolve in time, but somebody had to put it there initially. How else can you explain it? I mean, out of nowhere, a convention appears? I think not.
 
2011-04-14 10:40:16 AM
Imagine that! Atheists aren't into pilgrimages.
 
2011-04-14 10:49:01 AM

EvilEgg: Or even more accurately, you believe it is fundamentally unknowable


Yes, I suppose so. People of faith believe what they were told to believe, completely dependent on where and when they were born. If Pat Robertson was born in Ancient Greece, he'd be just as vehement about believing in Liam Neeson as he is of believing in James Caviezel right now.

So I'm a good person because I want to be, not because I'm afraid of burning in Hell for eternity. And if there is a God, he should respect that.
 
2011-04-14 11:06:34 AM
How would so many huge egos fit in one building?
 
Ant
2011-04-14 11:06:50 AM

manimal2878: skinnycatullus: I will be going to the "There's no Santa Claus" Convention in No. Virginia this July, though. It's always a hoot.

I was about to say the same thing. I wouldn't go to a "Not Believing in Santa" convention either.


But that non-stamp-collector's convention, that's not to be missed!
 
2011-04-14 11:06:53 AM
Lame. These people turned the Atheism to belong. These people don't believe in anything independently. Like religious nuts and some of the crap they spout, these people are one in the same.
 
2011-04-14 11:07:23 AM
The rest are just too busy being 'militant' to make it there.
 
2011-04-14 11:08:07 AM
On first glance, I suppose it does seem strange that people would get together based upon their lack of believe in a deity or deities.

The real reason that atheists congregate is to discuss the negative consequences of religiosity in the public sphere. How do we prevent the US from becoming a theocracy? How do we keep science in the science classroom? These are big, important issues.
 
2011-04-14 11:08:23 AM
Nothing will reaffirm your belief that there is no god like a weekend in Des Moines.
 
2011-04-14 11:08:54 AM
"but praying for him does nothing except make the people doing the praying feel they're helping when they're doing nothing at all."

isnt that what all praying does?
 
2011-04-14 11:09:17 AM
Great, another instance in life imitating South Park
 
Ant
2011-04-14 11:09:20 AM

doglover: Even knitting circles have SOMETHING to work towards. Atheists don't.


Consciousness raising. Most people who think atheists are baby-eating, kitten torturing evil people have never met an atheist.
 
2011-04-14 11:09:30 AM
it's pretty simple

NOBODY IS GOING TO WASTE THEIR VACATION DAYS TO GO TO IOWA!

/unless of course they have family there
//or a romantic interest there
///slashy slash slash
 
2011-04-14 11:10:12 AM

doglover: skinnycatullus: Maybe because the only thing most of us have in common is a lack of something.

This.

Like I just said earlier today: Atheists can be understood, but atheist groups are weird. What agenda can a lack of an opinion on a subject grant? Even knitting circles have SOMETHING to work towards. Atheists don't.

It would be like a group of fish of all different species (fresh and salt, cold and tropical, predator and prey) trying to school together.



Maybe things like the preservation of the separation of church and state.
 
2011-04-14 11:11:30 AM
Because I don't care?
Because I have a job?
Because I have better ways to spend any vacation I might (hahah) have?
Because I wouldn't want to hang out with a bunch of people who choose to hang out simply because they agree on one thing?

Gosh. So many to choose from. :)
 
2011-04-14 11:12:05 AM
All it takes to turn an agnostic into a raging atheist are a few history books. Once anyone with an open mind studies the history of religions, they'll see how they're all bullshi.
 
2011-04-14 11:12:40 AM
We are responsible for science.
We are responsible for technology.
We are the keepers/arbiters of logic and understanding.

But- We are not people who feel the need to get together with other atheists to hold hands and sing and like we were magic-believers.
 
2011-04-14 11:12:51 AM

pnjunction: The rest are just too busy being 'militant' to make it there.


I see what you did there.
 
2011-04-14 11:16:04 AM

Aarontology: It's not that Des Moines has cooties.

It's that this whole damn thing is really stupid.


I came here to say this. Why do I need a convention? Better to spend my money to attend a scifi convention or Blizzcon where there's lots of overlapping interests.

/If I had the money, that is
 
2011-04-14 11:16:46 AM
What could possibly be the point? "I don't believe in Rumpelstiltskin, the Tooth Fairy, God, free lunch, Marxism; how about you?" "Yeah, me neither." "'k."
 
2011-04-14 11:16:50 AM
i1.squidoocdn.com
 
2011-04-14 11:16:51 AM
Well, can't speak for anyone else, but I'd never heard of it. I'll have to maksure to find out when it's happening next year.

Also, I'd disagree that atheists have nothing to work towards. I'd say the elimination of magical thinking is a worthy enough goal.
 
2011-04-14 11:17:27 AM
Of course Des Moines is an exciting town. That's why all of the insurance company executives live there.

Besides, they have 3 or 4 places to eat or drink downtown that stay open after 6.
 
2011-04-14 11:17:41 AM

Sol Herschberger: All it takes to turn an agnostic into a raging atheist are a few history books. living in east Texas for a few years.


FTFM.
Almost done here.
 
2011-04-14 11:18:23 AM
I don't have any particular religious beliefs, but I find the idea of an atheists' convention pretty sad.
 
2011-04-14 11:18:29 AM
Only around 600 people showed up to the first Tea Party convention in early 2010.
 
2011-04-14 11:18:39 AM
I can imagine that this meeting might be of interest for community organizers or professional atheists. People with a business interest in promoting atheists or goods or services to atheists.

Or people looking for a guilt-free hookup!
img864.imageshack.us
 
Ant
2011-04-14 11:19:25 AM

nekom: doglover: Even knitting circles have SOMETHING to work towards. Atheists don't.

That's a pretty good example.


Not really. People generally don't hate and distrust non-knitters.
 
2011-04-14 11:19:34 AM
Now, Stuart, if you look at the soil around any large US city,
there's a big underground homosexual population. Des Moines, Iowa,
for an example. Look at the soil around Des Moines, Stuart.
You can't build on it; you can't grow anything in it. The government
says it's due to poor farming. But I know what's really going on,
Stuart. I know it's the queers. They're in it with the aliens.
They're building landing strips for gay Martians, I swear to
God.
 
2011-04-14 11:19:45 AM
Hey, if we were "joiners" we probably wouldn't have left the various churches we were raised in, or at least gravitated towards one of those "Church of the Ineffable Vagueness" things.
 
2011-04-14 11:20:04 AM
Here's my beef with self-proclaimed atheist groups. Every time I talk to one of the members I ask "ok, so you're certain there's no god... how can you be so sure"

and then they say: "well I don't know for sure, but I have no reason to believe in it"

and then I say : "ok, so you're agnostic. Why don't you just call yourself that?"

and then they say :" atheism is agnosticism"

and then I say :"no, it isn't, these words have well-established meanings, stop juggling semantic B.S. the word atheism implies a degree of certainty, and if you're not really certain, then why are you so reluctant to call yourself agnostic? or is it possible that you want to project an aura of certitude to people in order to increase your following -precisely the kind of manipulative BS that so irks you about organized religion"

and then they say ....
 
2011-04-14 11:20:17 AM
Since neither position is falsifiable, atheism is just as silly as theism.

As far as intentionally going to a fly-over state; been there, born there, ain't going back.
 
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