Warwick Atheists

People may question why an Atheist society is necessary at all; after all, if you don’t believe in the existence of God, what is there left to discuss? We talked to a few members of Warwick Atheists, who pointed out that individual beliefs have a significant impact on communities, and noted that whatever your belief, it is clear that religion comes with both negative effects and benefits.

In contrast to the majority of the other religious society members we spoke to who believed that society and students in particular were becoming more secular, Stuart felt that religion still plays a role in public life, citing compulsory prayer at primary schools, and the fact that the UK still has priests in the House of Lords. We talked about the implications of living in a society where members have fundamentally different beliefs and the role of religion in public policy. Many members felt that belief systems should be kept entirely out of the public sphere.

Jamie Barnes says, ‘I think it is necessary to legislate in a secular manner, so we don’t privilege one set of beliefs over another, and then people should be able to act in accordance with shared social values and norms without infringing on each others personal motives and beliefs.’

We discussed some of the myths that surround atheism, including the tendency to equate atheism with immorality and the idea that atheists cannot enjoy the same appreciation of the natural world as those who believe in a higher power. Jamie describes how his outlook had changed since he became an atheist, ‘I used to be a Christian. Well, as much of a Christian as you can be as a child. I think becoming an Atheist has lead me to a more profound appreciation of the world we have around us, because it isn’t just there for our usage, we happen to be on earth and we need to look after it. And I think you can be more inspired by natural beauty if you think that it came about essentially randomly.’

### Vitals

– **President:** Stuart Pilbrow

– ** Aims:** One of the main aims of the society is to establish a community for non-religious students on campus. The Atheist Society aim to show that, as there are a lot of religious societies on campus, it is ok to not be part of one. They aim to spread issues around Atheism and religion through a secular and humanist point of view.


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