Be an Atheist Activist July 29, 2007

Be an Atheist Activist

Brian Parra has 10 tips on how to be an atheist activist, with some help from Bobbie Kirkhart, Victoria Parra and Ingemar Hulthage.

He goes into a lot of depth for each tip; here’s his list in brief:

10. Stay current on atheist matters.
9. Respond when people assume you are religious.
8. Broaden religious traditions.
7. Be a watchdog in your local community.
6. Join a membership group.
5. Support political lobbying.
4. Volunteer your time to support an atheist cause or any good cause in the name of atheism.
3. Share your atheism with people you know.
2. Share your atheism with other atheists.
1. Be a living ambassador of your ideals.

A good list so far. Here are a few more:

  • Don’t be a jerk.
  • Don’t put your real address on anything.
  • Don’t let the hate mail freak you out.

What else is missing?

[tags]atheist, atheism, Brian Parra, Bobbie Kirkhart, Victoria Parra, Ingemar Hulthage[/tags]

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  • Richard Wade

    What else is missing?

    Be more for something rather than against something.

  • Maria

    good idea Richard. I would also add to use the “Golden Rule” and to not assume all theists are the same.

  • Becksi

    Religions have tactics that help the “meme” survive:
    -maximize own meme population, minimize competition.
    (evangelism, cencorship, intolerance to critisism and questioning)
    -make own meme seem as good as possible.
    (kidnapping of morals, promises of heaven)
    -make alternatives seem as bad as possible.
    (threat of hell, demonization)

    I think we could focus on these unfair tactics, so here is my list:
    1. Demand neutral information about religions and atheism in schools.
    2. Open your mouth when atheism is demonized. Be ready to answer the common claims like “If there isn’t a God, nothing matters / there cannot be morals” and “Hitler, Stalin and Mao were atheists and caused more deaths than any religion”.
    3. Be as polite as like you were talking face-to-face with your religious mother.

  • One of the things that helped me see “the light,” was the ever growing books about the “truth” of the Bible.

    Since the book, Purpose Driven Life, is so big in the evangelical world, I have been giving copies of Robert Price’s, Reason Driven Life, to members of my family. It is written in such a way that it is not condescending to believers; and it is pretty helpful.


  • Hey! Thanks for the mention. I follow your blog and its an honor to have my post represented here.

    If you notice, none of my suggestions included trying to tell anybody they were wrong or attempting to “de-convert” people. I focused more on reclaiming the good name of atheistm, showing we are active and broadening people’s perspectives. I think that’s the key: diplomacy rather than engagement.

    Surely there are more direct ways but I was aiming at the neophytes.


  • Drew

    Just to add to Richard’s suggestion, Robert Buckman is an Ontario doctor whose book “Can We Be Good Without God?” is the mildest book I’ve read that could help theist relatives and friends understand and maybe even respect your choice of atheism. I mean, personally I prefer Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris, when I need a quick retort, but Buckman is the only one I’ve read who a committed theist would respond positively to. Cheers, and keep up the good work.

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