My Trip to Sunday Assembly

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
So my sister asked me to go to one of these "atheist" services. I was rather hesitant as I didn't want to be met with a bunch of angry New Atheists...but I went anyway, figuring that my sister might enjoy the whole thing and I'd learn more about the religious aspects of the New Atheist movement.

I was pleasantly surprised that the group did not demand faith in materialism, though seeking meaning and a feeling akin to the Numinous within such a worldview was obviously paramount. Without giving too many indicators about the location, the service could be described as follows:

Songs - Various hits from the 80s & 90s.

Reading - Quotes about seeking wonder in the majesty of Nature and our scientific understanding of it.

Sermon - Really good talk by a physics professor on appreciating the constancy of physical laws....because they might change at any moment and no one knows why the laws and constants are what they are. Interestingly enough the professor noted that all sciences reduce to physics (not definitive), but he did note that physics itself rests on philosophical assumptions.

He concluded the talk with noting that no one could know if and when the laws/constants might change followed by a quote from Einstein:

"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle."
-Albert Einstein


I actually stood up and clapped, but this sadly did not inspire anyone else to get out of their seats...

Testimonials - Called the "Doing the best I can" section. The guy was a long haired, sandal wearing Jewish man who joked that despite fitting the description of Jesus a lot of Christians weren't happy to see him. He noted that he wasn't actually an atheist, and had a deep spiritual experience while doing tantric yoga, but that this personal gnosis was no foundation for societal laws.

There was a final section that was rather rushed discussing how life might have come from non-life. The slides might be available online - would have to check.

It's once a month with some service activities scattered throughout the intervening assemblies. Will probably go to some of that stuff. What was interesting was how dedicated they were to providing an inclusive alternative to what members complained were "mean atheists" who want to "yell about Dawkins".
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#2
So my sister asked me to go to one of these "atheist" services. I was rather hesitant as I didn't want to be met with a bunch of angry New Atheists...but I went anyway, figuring that my sister might enjoy the whole thing and I'd learn more about the religious aspects of the New Atheist movement.

I was pleasantly surprised that the group did not demand faith in materialism, though seeking meaning and a feeling akin to the Numinous within such a worldview was obviously paramount. Without giving too many indicators about the location, the service could be described as follows:

Songs - Various hits from the 80s & 90s.

Reading - Quotes about seeking wonder in the majesty of Nature and our scientific understanding of it.

Sermon - Really good talk by a physics professor on appreciating the constancy of physical laws....because they might change at any moment and no one knows why the laws and constants are what they are. Interestingly enough the professor noted that all sciences reduce to physics (not definitive), but he did note that physics itself rests on philosophical assumptions.

He concluded the talk with noting that no one could know if and when the laws/constants might change followed by a quote from Einstein:

"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle."
-Albert Einstein


I actually stood up and clapped, but this sadly did not inspire anyone else to get out of their seats...

Testimonials - Called the "Doing the best I can" section. The guy was a long haired, sandal wearing Jewish man who joked that despite fitting the description of Jesus a lot of Christians weren't happy to see him. He noted that he wasn't actually an atheist, and had a deep spiritual experience while doing tantric yoga, but that this personal gnosis was no foundation for societal laws.

There was a final section that was rather rushed discussing how life might have come from non-life. The slides might be available online - would have to check.

It's once a month with some service activities scattered throughout the intervening assemblies. Will probably go to some of that stuff. What was interesting was how dedicated they were to providing an inclusive alternative to what members complained were "mean atheists" who want to "yell about Dawkins".
The only ones here yelling about dawkins are proponents AFAIK.
 
#8
So my sister asked me to go to one of these "atheist" services. I was rather hesitant as I didn't want to be met with a bunch of angry New Atheists...but I went anyway, figuring that my sister might enjoy the whole thing and I'd learn more about the religious aspects of the New Atheist movement.

I was pleasantly surprised that the group did not demand faith in materialism, though seeking meaning and a feeling akin to the Numinous within such a worldview was obviously paramount. Without giving too many indicators about the location, the service could be described as follows:

Songs - Various hits from the 80s & 90s.

Reading - Quotes about seeking wonder in the majesty of Nature and our scientific understanding of it.

Sermon - Really good talk by a physics professor on appreciating the constancy of physical laws....because they might change at any moment and no one knows why the laws and constants are what they are. Interestingly enough the professor noted that all sciences reduce to physics (not definitive), but he did note that physics itself rests on philosophical assumptions.

He concluded the talk with noting that no one could know if and when the laws/constants might change followed by a quote from Einstein:

"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle."
-Albert Einstein


I actually stood up and clapped, but this sadly did not inspire anyone else to get out of their seats...

Testimonials - Called the "Doing the best I can" section. The guy was a long haired, sandal wearing Jewish man who joked that despite fitting the description of Jesus a lot of Christians weren't happy to see him. He noted that he wasn't actually an atheist, and had a deep spiritual experience while doing tantric yoga, but that this personal gnosis was no foundation for societal laws.

There was a final section that was rather rushed discussing how life might have come from non-life. The slides might be available online - would have to check.

It's once a month with some service activities scattered throughout the intervening assemblies. Will probably go to some of that stuff. What was interesting was how dedicated they were to providing an inclusive alternative to what members complained were "mean atheists" who want to "yell about Dawkins".
Isn't it nice when you discover something new.
 
#9
Still just an observation. Brought on by, but not necessarily connected to, Sci's post.
But you did not answer my question, must i now conclude you did not read it? Maybe the opportunity for a veiled insult made you blind to it . I will repeat, am i wrong?
I've seen multiple atheists on this forum deride Dawkins, so no. Unless you seem to be proposing that there are more proponents doing it, but there are more proponents on this forum in general.

There's no means to insult there, only a misunderstanding of what your actual point was. On thr surface it seemed to take what was a very well written experience about tolerance and reaching an understanding with the other side and turn it into an attack on proponents. Again, it wouldn't be farfetched.
 
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