A little more about us
1. Do you have to be an atheist to join?
No, we are an inclusive community. There might be some jokes about religion, which could sound not funny if they are about yours, but you can joke about others if you want. And you could bring some new ones about atheists because it seems we’ve heard them all.
2. What if I'm agnostic?
Same as above.
3. What if I'm just not sure about religion?
A lot of our members had one religion or more at some time in their lives, and it could be inspirational to talk to them. Others have never had a religion, which could be even more inspiring. We are not here to “deconvert” anyone, just to support our community (see our mission) the best way we can. Don’t expect any attempt to bring you to “our” side because we don’t think there is such a thing.
4. Do you just talk about religion all the time?
Probably this is the least mentioned topic in our gatherings, except for an occasional joke (see #1). We prefer science, secularism, and skepticism, among others, as you can see in our mission.
5. Why should I join?
If you are curious enough to get here, you should join just to confirm if what we say above is true - it is, BTW. You will be surprised about how ordinary we are, and how much camaraderie there is when people are good just because they decided it is the best way to live in community. It doesn’t mean we agree all the time - quite the opposite - just that we act with the best intentions (see our mission). And, if you become a paid member, you would be supporting all of our activities, which have a cost that we try to absorb as much as possible.
6. What's in it for me?
We have several events: coffee breaks, book club, pub nights, and many others, that you can take part in even without being a member. A few events, like the Western Canadian Reason, are paid for, and members have some perks, but are also open to anyone. If you feel like being more involved, you can organize events yourself, which we would appreciate dearly because we don’t have enough hands.
7. Is there any cost involved?
Yes, we have costs that are covered by our members’ contributions; however these contributions are completely voluntary. We appreciate any contribution one can offer, which could be in cash, time, expertise, labour, or just sharing our content on social media. Unfortunately, we need income to pay for our costs, so contributions in cash are very, very welcome.
8. How do you keep in touch with each other?
We have our website, social media, Meetup, weekly events (not in a temple though; a pub maybe), and a Facebook group. Very easy to be in touch with. And of course we can exchange emails, phones, etc. when we get to know each other better.
9. Are you a religion or a cult?
Neither. Atheism implies the opposite of a blind belief in a controlling deity or person. There are different “levels” of atheism, with some considering themselves atheists, other agnostics, some even thinking that there was some deity that created the universe and then let it go. Nonetheless, there is no “adoration”, “darwinism”, “einsteinism”, etc. We usually don’t hold any belief that can’t be changed by good evidence and scientific consensus. We say usually because we are all imperfect human beings after all, so sometimes even atheists need a “kick in the butt” to recognize when they are in error.
10. What is a skeptic?
You should “do your research” on this topic because it’s a little complicated, and we suggest the Wikipedia article about it. However, you can consider yourself a skeptic if you are not satisfied by claims without support, especially scientific support. For example, it’s not enough to say that homeopathy cures but to present evidence that it does and that its mechanism works. We are still waiting for this evidence, so be our guest and look for it. Oh, you think you have it? Great! How reliable is your source? Is it independent? Is it a Ph.D. study published by a reliable journal? Was it replicated? This is an example of a skeptic approach.
11. What does it mean for RMA?
Our goal is to be a safe and supportive secular community dedicated to serving society, support those who have been marginalized or traumatized as a result of faith-based beliefs, and to provide and promote evidence-based learning opportunities to all human beings. We are humanists, skeptics, and non-violent activists, who thrive in spreading the good word, so for us this is a matter of being the best we can be.
12. How do we use critical thinking?
This is also a complicated topic and Wikipedia can help you to understand it. Summarizing, critical thinking is the ability to question, the skill of thinking clearly and logically. It helps you analyze and evaluate information and arguments; it also helps you make better decisions and communicate more effectively.
13. What is a humanist?
A humanist is someone who believes in the value and potential of human beings. They care about welfare, dignity, social justice, democracy, and human rights. They also appreciate the arts, sciences, and culture, and are curious, critical, and compassionate. Usually, they are not religious but respect different beliefs.
Humanism is what you call the way of thinking and living of humanists.
14. What’s the difference between an atheist, agnostic, skeptic, and humanist?
Ok, this one is a little harder, and kind of summarizes all that was said so far. So, assuming you started here, let’s give you a few definitions:
An atheist is someone who does not believe in any gods because they do not find any convincing evidence for them.
An agnostic is someone who says that we cannot know for sure whether any gods exist or not, and who may or may not believe in them.
A skeptic is someone who questions the validity of claims that are not supported by reason or evidence, such as miracles, astrology, or psychic powers.
A humanist is someone who values human beings and their potential, and who tries to live a good and meaningful life without relying on any supernatural or divine authority.
These terms are not mutually exclusive, and some people may identify with more than one of them. Besides, you can be religious and skeptic (yes, believe me, you can), religious and humanist, or agnostic and skeptic. After all, you’re probably a human being, and there is no defined recipe to what you are, as long as you respect fellow human beings as you respect yourself.