Atheism is one thing: A lack of belief in gods.
American Atheists envisions a world in which public policy is made using the best evidence we have rather than religious dogma and where religious beliefs are no longer seen as an excuse for bigotry or cause to receive special treatment from the government. We fight for religious equality for all Americans by protecting what Thomas Jefferson called the “wall of separation” between state and church created by the First Amendment.
We strive to create an environment where atheism and atheists are accepted as members of our nation’s communities and where casual bigotry against our community is seen as abhorrent and unacceptable. We promote understanding of atheists through education, outreach, and community building and work to end the stigma associated with being an atheist in America.
We aim to make the road to authenticity, openness, and honesty about the things we believe and don’t believe easier for the next person who travels it by being outspoken about our atheism and by ensuring that the voices of atheists are always heard in communities throughout the nation, in politics, and in the media.
By working with coalition partners within the atheist movement and across the political spectrum where we can find common ground, American Atheists fights to improve public policy for all Americans, protect real religious freedom by defending the wall of separation between religion and government, and promote the acceptance and understanding of atheists.
By using every tool available to us, including our nation’s legal system, political advocacy, and outreach campaigns, American Atheists works to advance atheism in the United States and abroad.
Aims and Purposes
Therefore, the Aims and Purposes of American Atheists are to:
- Stimulate and promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals, and practices;
- Collect, preserve, and disseminate information, data, and literature on all religions and promote a more thorough understanding of them, their origins, and their histories;
- Advocate, labor for, and promote in all lawful ways the establishment and maintenance of a thoroughly secular system of education available to all;
- Encourage the development and public acceptance of a humane ethical system stressing the mutual sympathy, understanding, and interdependence of all people and the corresponding responsibility of each individual in relation to society;
- Develop and propagate a social philosophy in which humankind is central and must itself be the source of strength, progress, and ideals for the wellbeing and happiness of humanity;
- Promote the study of the arts and sciences and of all problems affecting the maintenance, perpetuation, and enrichment of human (and other) life; and,
- Engage in such social, educational, legal, and cultural activity as well as be useful and beneficial to the members of American Atheists and to society as a whole.
Atheism is the comprehensive world view of persons who are free from theism and have freed themselves of supernatural beliefs altogether. It is predicated on ancient Greek Materialism.
Atheism involves the mental attitude that unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a life-style and ethical outlook verifiable by experience and the scientific method, independent of all arbitrary assumptions of authority and creeds.
Materialism declares that the cosmos is devoid of immanent conscious purpose; that it is governed by its own inherent, immutable, and impersonal laws; that there is no supernatural interference in human life; that humankind, finding the resources within themselves, can and must create their own destiny. It teaches that we must prize our life on earth and strive always to improve it. It holds that human beings are capable of creating a social system based on reason and justice. Materialism’s ‘faith’ is in humankind and their ability to transform the world culture by their own efforts. This is a commitment that is, in its very essence, life-asserting. It considers the struggle for progress as a moral obligation that is impossible without noble ideas that inspire us to bold, creative works. Materialism holds that our potential for good and more fulfilling cultural development is, for all practical purposes, unlimited.
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