I’m New!

Apr 24, 2013

Discussion by: Austin Purdy

I hope that I'm allowed to post this, for this isn't really a debate or an argument (I'm unsure exactly what to post on this site), but I just wanted to say that I'm a recent deconvert from Christianity, and I'm entering the world of Atheism.

I'm looking for a fellow Atheist or Atheists to discuss Atheism/secularism with, because I'm new and I have no one to share anything with.

For anyone who responds to this: 1. If you could give me some Atheist resources, that'd be great. 2. It'd be helpful if someone could tell me what I should post on this site. 3. I probably won't reply until tomorrow (4/22).

23 comments on “I’m New!

  • Hi, and welcome! 🙂

    I have a suggestion. Now that you have lost your religious glasses, how about watching a few inspiring pictures from NASA?

    I would also suggest you read any books from influencial authors, such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc.

    But most of all: learn. Go back to all those subjects you may have skipped without properly understanding them and try again. Theory of evolution, for starters. Try to catch up on some scientific knowledge that interests you the most.

    There is so much to learn, and life is so short…

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  • 2
    crookedshoes says:

    Hello and welcome. Selfishly, I’d suggest googling evolution and reading books on the topic. If I were being altruistic, read everything and live life well because you only get one!!!!

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  • 3
    Stephen of Wimbledon says:

    Hi Austin,

    As you live in Minnesota I’d recommend that you contact:

    Sadly most political non-theist activity in MN appears to be concentrated around the Twin Cities which is about 3 hours(?) from you.

    You could also just try pointing your favorite search engine at grand rapids atheists – I found at least 3 sites that looked very promising. Trust me, any group like this will be overjoyed to receive a new face. That said, ring and find out exactly what’s happening in advance – in my experience dates times and places are the last things to be updated on Net sites.


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  • Welcome to the discussion. For starters, I suggest listening to or watching lectures given by some of the people mentioned in the ” A question of succession ” thread that was raised April 18.

    Outside of a dog, the internet search engines are an atheist’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to find anything.

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  • Hi,

    There are a few discussion forums where you can hang out and “test the water” on atheism and secularism. Some are quite accommodating and friendly, some get boisterous, and some are often hard to stomach…and everything in between. I’d suggest you look at a couple, such as Secular Cafe (www.secularcafe.org) and Rational Skepticism (www.rationalskepticism.org), and take it from there. Most of them have a “friends” or “associated forums” list which can be a good jumping off point to others. Those two are friendly and tolerant, and not over-moderated without getting combative or angry.


    Disclosure: I’m a staff member at Secular Cafe (Moderator on the Religion and Human Rights forums), and a long-term atheist.

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  • 6
    SomersetJohn says:

    Hi Austin,

    If your willing to take advice from an old Limey the first thing I’d suggest is, don’t worry too much about being a good atheist; it’s much more important being a good person. As for not knowing any Atheists, I would suspect there are more around you than you think. Is there a branch of the Secular Students Alliance (SSC) anywhere near you? They are rapidly expanding into schools, colleges and universities all over America.

    Remember, being a theist does not have to make someone a bad person, they might be your friends too, as long as you can agree to disagree. I married a theist, most of my children and some of my grandchildren are atheists. I love all of them.

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  • you may wish to try ironchariots.org for an excellent counter-apologetics resource that highlights all the flaws and fallacies in pro-god arguments.

    for some bite-size easy-watch (and sometimes painfully iritating) discussions check out clips on youtube of The Atheist Experience where most of the religious baloney is covered. just for starters

    oh and by the way, welcome to the wonderful world of reality!

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  • 12
    therbert03 says:

    Hi Austin,

    I second all of the postings above, and just to throw in my 2 cents, I highly recommend The Thinking Atheist. I’ve been religion-free for 20+ years and still find Seth’s podcasts addictive. He is also a recent de-convert (his parents are both theologians and he was actively involved in “the faith”), so maybe what he says will resonate with you. He also has a YouTube channel and FB page.

    Good luck and welcome!

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  • Don’t forget also, that atheism isn’t a “thing” you can do. Everyone is atheist unless they are theist – it is the default position by definition.

    As you are new here, the others won’t mind my pointing out that there is no such thing as a club for non-stamp collectors.

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  • Howdy! I hope you are enjoying your “honeymoon”. You don’t say what sect you escaped from, but as a former person of faith myself, I remember the feeling I had when (figuratively speaking) I looked around one day and realized I had shed all my superstitious clothing.

    The best advice I recall (I think I read it here) was not merely letting go of past religious memberships (who may still count you to pad their statistics) but to immediately research and sign my name to organizations that I identified with. There are many needing support. Including this site!

    Coursera is a neat site with a variety of free courses in logic and reasoning if that’s what you are looking for. Qualia Soup YouTube vids are also concise and fun to watch. Some favorite QS vids are:

    1. Arguing with ghosts
    2. Open-mindedness
    3. The faith cake
    4. Critical thinking



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  • 16
    fabi11975 says:

    Hello , Austin. I mfrench man, and in France, being atheist is rarely problem. The first atheist (and critical cristianism) is Jean meslier. Henri tilly d’holbach and ludwig Feuerbach ha d constuct reflexion for argument against rchristian religion. Michel Onfray have doing one history of atheism. Good Reading. For Richard Dawkins i have just beginng to read God delusion, and it s can be interressant.

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  • Hi Austin,

    Maybe you could discuss some ideas you have about the world. Atheism does not dictate that you follow the established science of the day, that is up to you. So, maybe you have ideas about what happens after you die, or whether aliens exist, or parallel universes or whether the world has a purpose, whether good and evil really exist, is there free will, karma. Are we really top among the animals or just another animal… should great apes have human rights (since we are great apes as well)…. are dreams another reality?

    Whatever you want to discuss, you should be free to. As long as you choose to present a rational discussion.

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  • 18
    sbooder says:

    Welcome Austin to your one and only life it is short but exciting and you do not get to take it with you, so enjoy it while you are here.

    Have you had an overwhelming desire to rape and pillage yet?…Don’t worry you won’t.

    Personally I would not worry too much about discussions and recourses yet, just kick back and enjoy belonging to yourself for once and take a good pair of binoculars and go look at all the stuff out there, enjoy science more than being an infidel you will find it a lot more rewarding. You will find that the talking bit just happens as you start to feel just a little upset with what you see and hear from a new perspective.

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  • 20
    jburnforti says:

    Austin, welcome from an only slightly less new member. On a cautionary note, be prepared occasionally for quite a knockabout tone to some of the discussions; in my recent experience, astringency (surely very appropriate to a Foundation where Reason is one of the pillars) seemed a little close to bullying (although the Moderators do sterling work).I won’t rehash the arguments here and, in any case, my discomfort was due only to the tone, not the content, of those which opposed mine. Too, I accept that being thin-skinned is one’s own problem but as, nonetheless, I did find my entry to my first thread uncomfortable, I thought it might be worth you’re being prepared. That said, you’ll find plenty to stimulate you here and I think you’ve made a good choice. Enjoy.

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