I Have a Sudden Urge to Devangelize September 24, 2008

I Have a Sudden Urge to Devangelize

I now have a new way to meet women!

Ride the subway and begin reading an atheist book. The ladies will flock to you.

At least that’s what happened to Adam. He was reading The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by Andre Comte-Sponville when he had an interesting encounter:

… I was standing in the subway car and reading it, not thinking much about what I was doing, when I felt a touch on my arm.

It was a woman, a stranger, who looked to be about my age. “Sorry to disturb you, but what is that you’re reading?” she asked.

“See for yourself,” I said, and gave her the book so she could read the publisher’s blurb on the back.

She read it, then gave it back to me. “Are you an atheist?”

“Yes, I am,” I said. “I have been since college. Why? What are you?”

“I’m an atheist, too. A new one. I was a Christian for over thirty years, and I just became an atheist, but I don’t know any other atheists yet. What I’ve been trying to find out is if there can be spirituality in atheism.” She went on to explain that she had read Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, and was currently reading Richard Dawkins, and while she agreed with most of what they had to say, she wanted to know more about if there was a positive side to atheism and whether atheists had any kind of community. She said that she had been looking ever since she left her church, but hadn’t found anything like that yet.

“Well, I think you came to the right place,” I said with a laugh…

Man! That has *so* not happened to me yet.

Maybe reading a book is too subtle. I need to make it easier for the ladies to identify me as a non-religious person.

From now on, I’m reading an atheist book and wearing this (NSFW) shirt everytime I get on the subway.

That should do the trick. (I’ll book a place tomorrow for my impending wedding.)

Adam also offers some excellent advice to anyone else who may be in this situation in the future:

… as atheists’ numbers grow, coincidences like this one become more and more likely. So let me say this: Don’t ever hide that you’re an atheist. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. You never know when you may meet a fellow nonbeliever, one seeking aid or advice of some kind that you’re personally qualified to give. We do have reason to spread the good news of atheism, and we do have reason to establish a true community of freethought and reason. Chance encounters like mine are just the first step.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Man, the only thing that’s happened to me as a result of reading atheist books has been getting talked about behind my back at work and people raising their voices whenever they mention religion near my cubicle. An example lovingly provided by my ex-boss: “Does her fiance have a GOOD CHRISTIAN UPBRINGING?” Oh, and I became smarter, which is pretty cool… but no wild godless love sessions or anything. I thought the orgies were atheism’s main selling point?

  • thanks for the tip Hemant. being newly back in the dating game (not by my choice) any method of meeting women is very useful. 🙂

    I have a bit of a reputation at work for reading atheist/anti-religion books, but it’s basically an all male workshop, perhaps I should start reading them in public places?

  • Especially as a math teacher, you want this shirt.

  • Mark N

    This happened to me once when I was reading ‘God is not great’ – just as I got off the train, someone told me ‘Don’t believe what you read in that – the bible is *all* true’. It looked as if the lady in question was going to get off too, so as I navigated my way off the train, I prepared my best “Then how come the first 2 chapters of Genesis contradict each other?” argument. Once off the train, I looked around. She had disappeared. Raptured away, maybe?

    It surprises me that it’s not more common in the USA than here in London – although I guess we’re talking here about atheists meeting each other rather than being preached to on a train.

  • Tim Bob

    if you all are looking for gatherings i got an invite the other day from a group in my area off the yahoo meetups thing. havent had time to actually hang out, but it seems there are a lot of groups out there.

  • Just a question, but isn’t Atheist “spirituality” sort of oxymoronic? I thought spirit was out of the equation for you guys? You’re not trying to slip the numenous in by the back door are you?

  • Well, depends on whatever slippery, ill-defined definition of “spirituality” you are using at the moment, Matt. Logically, few atheists would qualify for most definitions of it, but since atheism, by definition, is just lack of belief in gods, they aren’t necessarily forbidden from delving into whatever forms of emotionalism and/or supernaturalistic woo that could labeled “spirituality”.

  • Tim Bob

    i think i would label atheist spirituality with the wonderment and awe of cognition. though we acknowledge the fact that there’s no santa claus breathing air into our bodies, it’s safe to say that we are still amazed and bewildered by that which we do not understand. in short atheist spirituality for me would just be a general appreciation of ones self and a metaphorical connection that all things share.

  • gargoyle1

    Hmmmmm . . . Sounds like those two were “meant” to find each other.

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