File Size: 632 KB
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Publisher: Dales Historical Monographs (July 10, 2017)
Publication Date: July 10, 2017
Current research really does indicate that beliefs, habits, and belonging are simply not congruent in individuals - meaning that what people do does not always follow in a cohesive fashion from what they believe nor do beliefs reveal into behaviors or attitudes automatically in a constant direction (Chaves, Mark. 2010. SSSR Presidential address rainwater dances in the dry season: Overcoming the faith based congruence fallacy. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49(1): 1-14). This applies to nontheists as well because the lines between religion and secularity are often confused. Actually parallels between atheism and religion are becoming more common place. Regarding instance, the fact that atheists have created atheist communities, self identification of individuals as 'atheists' and attaching beliefs to it, creating group identities of 'atheists' in the first place as if there were common characteristics between people who lack a particular perception, organizations strictly focusing on atheism (like American Atheists and Freedom From Faith Foundation), advancement atheist songs (Dan Barker and his CDs), development of faith based rituals like freethought weddings, funerals and even baby dedications (Greg Epstein, an atheist chaplain, does this see NPR Report called "Removing Religion from Vacations a Tall Order" 12/27/07), atheist apologetics books by atheists defending atheism, atheist evangelism like Peter Boghossian's "A Manual for Creating Atheists" that strictly encourages atheist missionary work and seeks to convert unbelievers of atheism to their fold, emergence of atheist books on atheist parenting and how to raise your children as atheists (see next paragraph), participation and regular membership of atheists and atheist families in religious congregations (for diverse reasons), the existence of atheist chaplains in the military and universities serving the same functions as religious chaplains, numerous spiritual books on humanism, legal treatments of atheism as religion in certain the courtroom cases in the US ALL, and many more social realities and manifestations seems to show that nontheism has many more dimensions than is often admitted.
Indeed many books on atheism do not seem to be to emphasise that "atheism" is an important group of religion (the opposite of the major group called "theism") and that both theism and atheism can be split into many subcategories and sections - usually into specific religions like Taoism or Islam. Religiosity and secularity cut both ways. Allow us not forget the irreligious diversity in theism such as indifferent theists, agnostic theists, and deists. Europe has a good chunk of diverse configurations such as unbelieving theists, believing atheists, and those who are just culturally, not epistemically, embraceful (i. e. "Scandinavian Paradox"). Likewise lets not forget that many atheist religions do exist (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Jainism, Church of Satan, Honest Culture, Unitarian Universalism, Legislation Humanism, Raelianism, Scientology, other Humanist groups, etc). Atheist parenting books like "Parenting Beyond Belief: On Elevating Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion" and "Raising Freethinkers: An affordable Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief" offer some info on some of these. Other atheist made use of can be found in The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and Fresh Religions and The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of UFO Religions . Several books have undertaken religion without theism, for example, Faith Without God by Ray Billington and Religion without Our god by Ronald Dworkin may shed much more light about this dialogue. Another book like Godless is Christian Atheist: Belonging without Believing which may be appealing to some. Raelianism gives a purely naturalistic and explicitly atheist religion which may be of interest to the people wanting to find out more on diversity in atheism (fundamental texts are located in "Intelligent Design: Message from the Designers". Britain has an interesting history with "secular religion" as well (see Varieties of Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics in English Society, 1850-1960 ).
These 27 atheist Quakers offer much of their biographies and activities which may have lead them to stay within the Quaker tradition and how they see "religion". They are quite diverse just as theists are about these things and looking at etymology of the term "religion" would help in pinpointing how broad religion is. I will not spoil any details available, but their views are really quite open to many possibilities of understanding religion and are quite blunt about their nontheism. For further research on the variety in atheism other cultures just sign up for the following 3 research texts Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America's Nonbelievers and There Is No God: Atheists in the us and Atheism and Secularity [2 volumes] (Praeger Perspectives) (worldwide sociological data on thinking and cultures). In "Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations May Tell Us About Contentment", Phil Zuckerman did a qualitative study and evaluated about 150 Danes and Swedes to see how they cope with life without theistic beliefs. Nevertheless , he does note that simply because some people do not have theistic beliefs, that does not mean they are without religion or are irreligious. Another excellent text is "State and Secularism: Some Asian Perspectives" which offers great viewpoints from Asian cultures.
Another scholarly collection of criticisms on the New Atheism and its social dimensions/impact please read Faith and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal (Studies in Critical Social Sciences) . Since the Fresh Atheists are popular and do provide rigid and stigmatized versions of atheism, it good to consider criticisms of those versions.
Other international studies on atheism and secularity that discuss the religious diversity among the secular can be found in Kosmin, Barry A new. and Ariela Keysar, Publishers. 2007. "Secularism & Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives". Hartford, CT: Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC). Also, qualitative research on borderlands and overlap between nontheism, belief, and religion is available (see for instance, Rosen, Ina. 2009. "I'm a Believer - But I'll Be Damned If I'm Religious: Belief and Faith in the Greater Copenhagen Area - A Concentrate Group Study. Lund Research in Sociology of Religion. Volume level 8).
In the finish, the meaning of atheism (from the Greek "a" (lack) + "theos" (god) + -isma (belief or condition)) means to lack beliefs in gods only. Everything past God - is recommended - even religion. Possibly people should see theism and atheism as components of both religion and secular since none of these phrases are ever mutually exclusive or with hard boundaries in real world., As one would expect from Quakers, this is a thoughtful, non-confrontational publication beginning with essays explaining how one can business lead a conscience-driven, nontheistic life and stay welcome as a member of the Community of Friends. These works are profound, readable, and helpful to an fallen reader who might feel lonely in a world of believers. The last mentioned part of the publication is devoted to testimonies by nontheists who have been welcomed by Friends' Meetings., Great book of personal Quaker narratives --compiled my a true Nontheist Friend. The only people I've found resists the ideas found within this guide are the Quakers themselves. They are also the people who need to learn this book the most. Average folks Nontheist Friends already have it!, While it is virtually impossible to sum upward the beliefs of all nontheistic Friends (there is as much variation here as with any religion), the most impressive aspect of this party is they way they continue to be a part of the Quaker community. Though regarded which includes level of suspicion from both religious and the atheistic, they persevere. Prior to the concept "clicked" for me while reading, I kept going back and forth trying to stick them in one party or the other; as atheists trying to stick on to a faith based group or as theists that were just uncomfortable with the traditional idea of god. However, these essays have lead myself to believe that the creators are quite sincere in their positions. I strongly recommend this guide, particularly for those brave enough to wonder if the space between theism and atheism is as distinct as both sides lead us to believe., The title " Godless for God's Sake" is a riff on Meister Eckhart who was a theist. Indeed Rome tried to call him another thing, but he fought that accusations.
The value of this book is it compiles the thoughts of numerous leading Quaker non-theists. The down part is that many of them are holding jobs that can be found day theistic positions. The " death of God" movement was not a denial of God but a refusal that we held a proper image of God, even a denial of the probability of our own holding a proper image. So the image is denied so as to allow the reality whatever it is to live. That is what Eckhart meant.
So I thank the modern Quaker non-theists for telling us modern theists what they think. On the other hand, We are scarcely moved by their considering. It is irrelevant to a Eckhart theist., I dont understand how an anti-theist (what is completely wrong with the word atheist? ) would want to join a religion ie the RELIGIOUS Society of Close friends. Therefore i decided to buy and read Godless for God's Sake. Read the first chapter by Brian Boulton, which made no sense to me. If only there was a way to dialogue with your pet especially. I want to understand, but unless there is an chance to discuss back and forth, to ask questions.... learning doesnt happen, minds dont change.... at least not in my case. We are Open-handed Quaker. I dont care if you believe in Jesus or not. I dont particularly. But how can you fit in with a religion, especially Quakers, rather than believe in some kind of deity. I do not get it. I will continue reading and probably continue to get even more confused.
For non Quakers, I dont care if someone is an atheist (pardon me anti-theist), irresolute etc etc. It doesnt matter. It only concerns to me when it is within the Religious Society of Friends.
Aid me understand.
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