Today, I left the “Atheist” group on Google+.
Not really sure why I joined the group in the first place. I do not believe in supernatural friends. It is not the wrath of a make-believe entity that makes me refrain from doing evil. I am not necessarily happy about, but I am comfortable with the thought of a finite lifespan, followed by the same oblivion that also preceded my existence. I grieve for lost loved ones but I do not feel compelled to imagine that they are somewhere in a “better place”.
That said, while I reserve the right to mock religion (even as I feel it is my duty to defend, risking life and limb for if necessary, the rights of others to believe!) I certainly do not go out of my way to offend the faithful.
Nor do I need peer support to maintain my convictions. My conclusions concerning the existence of deities are a result of a great deal of thought and I feel secure in my views without the need to have them affirmed by others.
And I most certainly do not need to equate specific religions with the worst stereotypes, nor do I feel compelled to call religious people “religitards”, “fucktards” or other, even more obscene epithets that are used routinely in the aforementioned Google+ group.
Indeed, reading some of the conversations there I was suddenly reminded of a dystopian vision of the future that once was shown in the South Park cartoon series: centuries from now, a devastating world war being waged between the Unified Atheist League and the United Atheist Alliance… (who are then both attacked by the Allied Atheist Alliance of sentient sea otters.)