Non-Practicing Atheists July 17, 2008

Non-Practicing Atheists

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[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • Miko

    Actually, I’d think that most were.

  • Larry Huffman

    I don’t need to practice anymore. lol

  • Ron in Houston

    Huh? Maybe I’m dense, but what’s to practice?

  • Doesn’t that describe everyone that’s sitting in church staring at the ceiling and thinking how stupid it all is?

  • On a related note, did anyone catch Wednesday’s Shoe?

  • Vincent

    There’s a guy at the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe forums who asserts vehemently that he is a Catholic Atheist, and that we are all being narrow-minded when we say to be a Catholic you have to believe Jesus is God.
    He claims he goes to mass, participates fully, and that the majority of his congregation, including his priest all think it’s a fun bit of cultural bonding and mythos.

  • I like tea

    I don’t know, the comic doesn’t really work. “Non-practicing atheist” seems to describe the “agnostic in principle, atheist in practice” set pretty well. I assume a “practicing atheist” would be somebody like Richard Dawkins or any of the active atheist authors, including Hemant, while a “non-practicing atheist” would be somebody who never really does anything about it from day to day, which would include the group I described above.

    In which case there are plenty of both groups, so this comic’s attempt at irony kind of falls flat.

  • EKM

    When it comes to atheism, I am “non-practicing” as well. I do it for real.

  • Polly

    I think some are taking this comic too seriously. It’s just a bit of irony – what would a non-practicing atheist have to do in order to not act atheistic? There you go.

    Practice makes perfect, so I am not a practicing atheist either. I’m a fait-accompli atheist.

  • I like tea

    I think some are taking this comic too seriously.

    Well, if it were funny we wouldn’t have to.

  • Polly

    I found it funny. Am I missing something? I don’t know anything about the cartoonist. Is he an atheist-basher or something?

  • Er, isn’t atheism about as non-practicing as you can get?

  • By reading this blog, you’re a practicing atheist.

  • I don’t get it. Is it supposed to be funny?

  • By reading this blog, you’re a practicing atheist.

    Nobody tell Mike C.

  • Nobody tell Mike C.

    Sorry, I wasn’t being precise. If you’re an atheist reading this blog…

    My point is that some atheists are “practicing” in the sense of participating in various online or offline activities related to atheism. I have many “non-practicing” atheist friends who’ve never read anything by Harris or Dawkins, gone to any atheist meetups or events, or even lurked on an atheist blog or forum. (What else is there to do as an atheist?)

    Politically minded atheists might choose to call them “apathetic” atheists instead. (If you’re not part of the solution…)

    Note: I’m apathetic on most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

  • Ron in Houston

    It took me awhile to get it. I never claimed to not be dense from time to time.

    The joke is that the “non-practicing” religious person never steps into a church.

    So, the non-practicing atheist goes into a church……

    Maybe still not funny, but at least that’s the set up to the cartoon.

  • I just saw this comment by Mike C. (on the “Hating God” thread) right before I read this post. I found it to be very odd.

    I know at least one postmodern atheist who attends Emergent events on a regular basis. Oh, and there’s an atheist who’s now a regular attender at my friend’s emerging church in downtown Chicago (he even participates in the liturgy occasionally – last time I was there he did the scripture reading.)

    Why would an atheist go to a church and read from scripture? Am I missing something?

  • Darryl

    Oh, well, Linda, you’ve got understand that atheists come in many varieties including the Volvo-driving, latte-drinking, Birkenstocks-wearing, tree-hugging, multicultural, embrace-your-inner-child, post-postmodernist liberal that would shudder to even think of putting any limits on his atheism like not going to church, or not reading the Bible.

  • Darryl,

    ummm… that sounds like Jesus to me. 🙂 I think the atheists you describe are much more like Jesus than the Christians that you argue against. Come to think of it, I do often say that Jesus was a polemicist.

  • Awesomesauce

    I guess I resemble this comic’s depiction somewhat. I am leaving today to be a camp counselor for a church-based camp. Though, I’m an atheist (typically I say pastafarian), I’m convinced that I still will have a great time. Then again, I typically don’t profess my atheism without provocation.

  • Darryl

    Linda, to be serious for a moment, I think I see an atheism that is coming to terms with religion by not seeing it as so threatening, or that encourages its disarming, and having been disarmed is prepared to deal with it as a cultural fact whose positives may be recognized and perhaps constructively engaged.

  • Darryl,

    I do understand what you are saying. I do agree somewhat. However, I don’t know if reading the Bible together is the way to go. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just doesn’t make that much sense to me.

    Linda, to be serious for a moment…

    I was dead serious when I said that the atheist you describe resembles the Jesus that I know.

  • Darryl

    Linda, I know you were serious; I was referring to my previous post.

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