Memphis Freethought Alliance, Inc.
Memphis Freethought Alliance, Inc is the premier freethought organization in the Mid-South. In March 2005, MFA launched itself with a written set of freethought affirmations and eventually incorporated in January 20, 2010. MFA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
What is our mission?
The mission of Memphis Freethought Alliance is to "advance reason, science, and secular government through education". Our members and supporters are dedicated to fulfilling this mission in the Mid-South--and beyond--through the following activities:
(1) Hosting face-to-face discussions, such as Ockham's Cafe
(2) Reading and discussing freethought, science, and other books
(3) Distributing educational information at local festivals
(4) Showing educational videos and hosting local/national educators for public lectures
(5) Providing an online community for freethinkers and the general public on Google Groups and Facebook
Explore our website and get involved. We are an organization operated entirely by a dedicated core of volunteers. Please also sign-up on our listserv to receive email updates on various events.
- What is a freethinker?
- What is an atheist?
- What is an agnostic?
- What is a secular humanist?
Freethinker (n.): We define a "freethinker" as a person who arrives at beliefs without relying solely on tradition, dogma, or the opinions of authority. Freethinkers insist on using reason, logic, and evidence as the basis for forming reasonable and justified beliefs.
Atheist (n.): a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being.
Atheism is the philosophical arguments against the claims of supernaturalism, which includes gods. Is this collection of philosophical arguments a religion? We do not think so. The lack of a belief or skepticism towards a belief in the supernatural does not constitute a religion. Many definitions of religion include the belief in the supernatural; therefore, atheism would be the polar opposite. A popular retort to the accusation that atheism is a religion is "If atheism is a religion, then bald must be a hair color". (Note: Many religious sects have a great deal of overlap (and vice versa) with the affirmations of humanism, especially what many people today refer to as "liberal religions".)
"Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is not primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist; rather, he does not believe in the existence of god." (Smith, 1989) This is an important philosophical point because an atheist (or anyone else) cannot deny the existence of something that simply does not exist. For example, a person cannot claim that another individual is denying the existence of Spiderman if Spiderman does not exist. Spiderman is simply a word referring to a comic book action hero concept. Spiderman only exists through secular (i.e., stuff of this world as opposed to the spiritual world) things such as movies, actors, posters, comic books, imaginations and so forth and does not exist in reality as a real person. Atheists believe that God is also just a word referring to something that does not exist in reality. This word "God" only takes on meaning through secular things such as churches, testimonies, imaginations, behaviors of followers, Bibles and so forth. Without these secular things, the God concept would no longer exist just like Spiderman would disappear if all the Spiderman movies, comic books, memories of Spiderman and so forth were suddenly erased. In sum, atheists believe that both Spiderman and God do not have any separate existence independent of these secular things.
Atheism: The Case Against God (1989) by George H. Smith, p. 7
Agnostic (n.): a person who does not believe that there is any evidence or proof for the existence of god or any other supernatural entity but does not dismiss the possibility that god or the supernatural could exist with reliable and credible evidence (which agnostics believe does not currently exist).
Secular Humanism is a term which has come into use in the last thirty years to describe a world view with the following elements and principles:
A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.
A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.
A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.
Source: Quoted from the Council for Secular Humanism at http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=main&page=what