Who are the Durango Skeptics and Atheists? DS&A are your friends and neighbors who have organized a MeetUp group of people committed to living lives free of superstition and dedicated to critical, rational thinking. Our membership spans a range in age from teens to 80+, including people from all professions and walks of life. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of every month to discuss topics of mutual interest and to enjoy a social evening with like-minded friends. See the link below for our contact information.
What activities are the focus of the group? In addition to our monthly discussion, we offer a book club, we’ve adopted a section of Hwy 550 at Coal Bank Pass, our volunteers help with Manna Soup Kitchen, and we organize many other group activities to connect free-thinkers in the Four Corners Area!
Why do Atheists hate God? Actually, Atheists don’t hate God. In fact, Atheists don’t think about God or gods much at all. Being critical thinkers, Atheists believe that ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof’. Religious belief is based on faith – the very opposite of extraordinary proof.
So, what would it take for an Atheist to believe in God? Evidence! Plain, simple, unambiguous evidence. Like you, Atheists do not believe in Zeus, Jupiter, Athena, Baal, Osiris, Quetzalcoatl or any of the thousands of discarded gods who litter human history. All of us living today are ‘atheists’ in regard to the uncounted deities who were revered only a short time ago before being abandoned. Modern day Secular Humanists, Agnostics, Free-Thinkers and Atheists simply extend this common sense perspective to the deities now in vogue in today’s world.
The Bible proves God’s existence, right? The Bible is a fascinating collection of writings by various HUMAN authors in antiquity. As time passed, anonymous editors interpreted the Bible – deleting and adding text while translating it into hundreds of languages.
And so, the ‘word of God’ has been changed and changed again with the passage of time in ways that we cannot know. Like other primitive writings that are now considered sacred, the Old and New Testaments were written for audiences in the ancient world to deliver specific messages relevant to their lives at that time. But, given the hundreds of scientifically unsophisticated and incorrect references to the natural world (the sun standing still, the stars ‘falling’, etc.) and the hundreds of self-contradictions contained within the Bible, there is no reason to value this archaic manuscript above any other surviving holy books. While it is interesting literature, the Bible certainly does not rise to the definition of ‘proof’ for any god’s existence.
How can Atheists be moral without God? Which god is that? Belief in the world’s various gods has delivered very different moral messages to different congregations. In some Islamic societies, honor killings are seen as a justified moral response to sexual infractions and the killing of non-believers is rewarded with everlasting heavenly bliss for the murderers.
And, yes, Christianity has a bloody and intolerant past too! For Atheists, morality springs from the yearning of the human spirit to live in a just, sane, safe society. Just as Atheists don’t wish to be murdered, we constrain ourselves from murdering others. The same for theft of property…in order to expect that our property not be stolen, we do not steal from others. This sort of “Golden Rule’ morality actually arose in ancient societies long before the Hebrew Bible was written; it arose organically from the human experience. Morality is a human construct.
Aren’t Atheists afraid of dying? Most humans are fearful of dying. That natural fear explains much of the appeal of any religion which promises a heavenly reward of eternal life.
But Atheists are realists about our existence. Our best science tells us that the universe existed for 14 billion years before any human drew breath. Rational inquiry tells us that humans are the result of a very long chain of unlikely, natural, events which resulted in the universe awakening to consciousness and recognizing itself through our eyes. A natural miracle! We live our fleeting lives and then we are gone, back to the elements which created us. This perspective leaves Atheists in awe of the immense span of time and unique events which conspired to create us. We revere the brief life we live and are determined to be the most positive influence we can be, making this physical existence pleasant and meaningful for all humans, present and future.
Atheists are arrogant. Believers often say this. But which is more arrogant? To believe that humans are the product of natural processes and exist as part of the web of life as it evolved on Planet Earth; or to believe that a god created the entire, immense universe specifically for humans and that this god values you especially because you are initiated into a private club which elevates you above the rest of creation? A Christian once asked a famous scientist, “Why are Atheists afraid to live in a universe with a loving god?” And the answer, again, we aren’t! But we do require evidence! We might ask a reciprocal question of you: “Why are you afraid to live in a universe without gods?”
Durango Skeptics & Atheists
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