Atheists, Humanists & Agnostics is in the spotlight now because of the recent GSSF funding approval. In light of Charles Godfrey’s recent misguided opinion column about AHA, we think this is a great opportunity to help clear up some popular misconceptions about atheists.
Atheists & Agnostics don’t believe in anything and have no morals. False! While atheism doesn’t prescribe an absolute set of morals, the majority of atheists aren’t axe murderers. We atheists use our innate empathy, altruism and common sense to tell right from wrong. Simply put, humanists believe in the value of the human individual and try to to reduce suffering and increase happiness.
Atheists are evangelistic, militant jerks. False! For most atheists, we really don’t care about ‘converting’ anyone to atheism. If you are happy with your personal beliefs about the existence of God … then great! Heck, when I come home for break, I’ll even pray with my grandmother before Thanksgiving dinner. However, atheists will probably speak up when someone starts talking about how their beliefs about God should dictate public policy for the rest of us.
Atheists have nothing to talk about or do as a group. False! In addition to raising money for charity (we recently raised about $2,000 for cancer research!), volunteering (we’re setting up a blood drive in the spring!), meeting new friends (my friends Sam and Eloise met at an AHA meeting and they’re married now!) and educating the public about atheism (people have a lot of misconceptions about it!), we have a lot to talk about at our weekly meetings because religion intersects pretty much every facet of our lives. Whether it is sex, politics, gender and LGBT issues, death, abortion or education, it is important and refreshing to hear a secular side to these issues.
Mr. Godfrey’s opinion piece is a perfect example of why a group like AHA needs to exist on this campus.
Michael Ramuta ([email protected]) is the vice president of Atheists, Humanists & Agnostics.