Sacramento California Free Thought Website
To treat others as you would like to be treated


Frequently Asked Questions

The Sacramento Freethought Web Site serves the needs of Athiests, Humanists and other Freethinkers in the Greater Sacramento area


Why Are We Here?

The Sacramento Freethought Website (SFW) is here to serve the needs of rational, thinking individuals in this area.

Religious faith is irrelevant to the lives of moral, ethical, freethinking individuals. Because of our independence and natural skepticism toward religious claims, many freethinkers feel isolated and overwhelmed by the irrational religiousness of this society. Some of our members simply want to identify or belong to a community of like-minded individuals. Others actively seek assistance, advice or support on a variety of subjects from, marriage ceremonies, funerals, raising children, or to how to live our lives ethically, morally, reasonably, all without religion.

Whether you refer to yourself as an atheist, humanist, agnostic, skeptic, non-believer, naturalist, sapien, or are undecided , SFW is here to help you find the information you need about local (and global) freethought organizations, subjects, events and activities.

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Is our membership growing or diminishing?

Growing! The frequency of visits to our website increases daily. To communicate with other freethinkers see the Online Members list. On the average we receive

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How does one become a member of AOF or HAGSA organizations?

The non-prophet organizations (all volunteer and non-profit): Atheists and Other Freethinkers, and the Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area offer memberships at very reasonable rates.

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What are the basic personal characteristics of the " Ideal " member?

There is no " Ideal " member. We have conservative, liberal, moderate members who affiliate themselves with Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green or Independence parties (just to name a few). There are pro-choice and anti-abortion, pro-gun and anti-gun voices among us - in other words we're a healthy cross selection of this pluralistic society.

The connecting "glue" seems to be a healthy skepticism toward supernatural claims and a conviction to uphold separation of church and state.

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Do we seek converts?

No. We seek to reach the already converted. Freethinking is not a religious conversion. Freethinking is the absence of religious thought. We are all born atheists, and sadly most people are indoctrinated into religious superstition from infancy. Although some of our members are true-blue, life-long atheists (humanists or freethinkers), many are ex-ministers, ex-fundamentalists who arrived at freethought after spending many years slowly becoming disallusioned with the idea of religious conversion or faith, and quietly becoming " born again atheists" (humanists or freethinkers).

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What does one have to do to be a leader in these groups?

Become a member, volunteer, and offer your ideas and energy.

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Does SFW Support Separation of Church and State?

You bet we do ! Members and supporters of the freethought organizations listed in these pages strongly support separation of church and state, and believe it is the only means of protecting religious freedom in the United States - for believer and nonbeliever alike! We object strenuously to the actions and efforts by extremists and "politically active" religious organizations to destroy the "wall of separation" in order to coerce others. Read historic statements that support the "Wall of Separation"

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Why the Lengthy Name www. RThoughtsRFree.org?

When we researched available domain names for this website, we found virtually all combinations of "freethought" we could think of were already taken up by the larger freethinking organizations. Since we wanted our permanent domain name to be relevant to our activities, we decided to pay tribute to a centuries-old Freethought Anthem entitled "My Thoughts Are Free." We took the liberty to refer to the song as "Our Thoughts Are Free." Lyrics to RThoughtsRFree.org.

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Who is Mildred McAllister?

Mildred McAllister was among the founders of the Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area, the first freethought organization in this area formed in 1979. Mildred headed the organization for 14 years until her untimely death in 1996. More about Mildred McAllister

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Do you want to debate Religion/the Bible/etc...?

The purpose of this website to promote the understanding and acceptance of unbelief in its various forms, and to provide the atheist and humanist organizations in the greater Sacramento area a greater voice. For that reason we are geared toward serving those people who live without religion, not to provide religious people with yet another platform to discuss their doctrine.

Some of the members of the organizations herein do enjoy dialogue and debate with religionists, however, your faithless webmistress does not partake in debates of theology, biblical errancy or other irrelevant, superstitious nonsense which is of little importance to her life. If an on-line SFW member requests it, I will designate that person as a potential debater who wishes to be contacted. Your best bet would be to join the freethinkers online group. If you are a believer looking for someone with whom to discuss or debate religious doctrine, you can also go to the Secular Web where you'll find plenty of freethinkers ready and willing to tackle the task!

How did our organization begin? Who is the founder?

Since there are several groups involved in the Sacramento Freethought Website, it stands to reason there are several founders. The Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area was founded in the mid-1980's by Mildred McCallister (to whom this website is dedicated). Atheists and Other Freethinkers was founded largely though the efforts of Jeannie Brent and others after they attended an American Atheist convention held here in Sacramento in the early 1990's. Jerry Sloan and Marghe Covino founded Project Tocsin, Terry Sandbek founded the Skeptic Links and the Internet Infidels was developed via joint efforts of several motivated web-atheists (see their website for the rundown), and your faithless Webmistress is responsible for putting together and maintaining the Sacramento Freethought Website.

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How can an atheist live happily while unknowing his/her life origin and destiny?

Several members answered this question:

First, those things are not relevant to living a happy life. Second, I certainly DO know my life origins and destiny. I am the product of a sperm from my father and an ovum from my mother. That is my origin. My destiny is precisely the same as every other living thing - to stop living, to die, to cease to exist. Why do you think there is some great mystery there? Temy R. Beal

Because, we are made of sterner stuff!
We find meaning in pursuing uncertain truth rather than in accepting false certainty. Certainty in false matters is no substitute for the uncertain, thrilling chase after real truth. Once a comfortable lie has been substituted for that chase, further improvement is impossible.

Very Best Wishes,

Dave Matson, editor
The Oak Hill Free Press
P.O. 61274
Pasadena, CA 91116

Saturday, December 19, 1998

I wonder why so many still believe, whether religious or otherwise, that we must die. Science is on its way to giving us physical immortality. Don't people follow what is going on in science and medicine? What do you think will happen to all those religious paradigms when death can not be held forth as an ultimate? Neal Camp

How can anyone know his origin without studying history and natural science? How can anyone know his destiny without understanding the nature of his society, his psychology, and his environment -- and, again, knowing the examples of human history? As atheists pursue knowledge of their origins and destiny in these things, which actually yield useful answers (as history shows), atheists are better equipped to understand their origins and destiny than someone who boxes themselves within an antiquated ethnocentric myth. But, as the Eastern wise men would say, knowing your origins and destiny is not as important to happiness as knowing where you are here and now. You can only live in the present moment anyway. The rest is merely navigation. --

Richard C. Carrier
http://www.columbia.edu/~rcc20
Columbia University, NY

For origins, it seems most atheists put their trust in science, which says the best evidence we have is that the universe originated from a "big bang" and that eventually (over some billions of years) life developed (we still do not know how) in those places where the environment was amenable. And through evolution, on Earth, eventually at least one species developed the intelligence to be able to ask questions about our origins and destinies. We atheists find this as easy (or perhaps easier) to believe than that some all-powerful, all-knowing being has existed for all time (indeed, since before the beginning of time). Most of us would ask why it is easier for you to believe such an obviously complex (all-complex?) being could have always existed, and yet have to invoke him because you have difficulty in believing a scientific explanation. Ours is the much easier to understand and accept.

As for our destiny, I will be much shorter. Destiny and destination share the same root. Where are we going? Destiny, though, has the implication of something fore-ordained. Most, if not all, atheists, don't believe in destiny. Period.

So what is the meaning of life? For me, it is the journey. Life is it's own meaning. I experience the most I can (without consciously hurting others). I enjoy life, because it's all we have. I make mistakes and learn from them (I hope). I love some people, I detest others. It's the best ride in town. But don't think this means I don't take it seriously. Atheists believe in no higher power to "bail us out". So, if the world and humanity are to survive, we must work hard at it. No second coming. No reward in heaven. We must do the best we can to make this world the best it can be. I find that far more marvelously exciting and liberating than believing that somehow, sometime, God will make all things right. Kirby Wiese

What's to be unhappy? And unknowing of my life origin and destiny. The sperm met the egg, I'm alive, life is great, and eventually, you die. What don't I know about the origin of my life or my destiny. I mean, I might not know how or when I'm going to die but I know, like all living things, it's inevitable.

-- LICS June

ANSWER: Even though I'm a bastard, I know and it pleases me to comfirmed witin reality. Jim Oakes

It's better than believing in false teachings and having a dogmatic asumtion that there is a way out of an eternal death. You just go on believing what you have to believe in to passivy youself. As for me, I'm going to believe in my own judgement and not someones elses manipulation of people for their own personal gain and profit. You just let me know of your belief and I'll cut holes in it.

Let me ask you this! Have you studied your beleif to the fullest? Do you dedicate your whole life to your God. Do you know your history of your belief and the history of how cruel early chistianity was. I chanllange you to explane to me the burning at the stake of someone that said the the Earth goes around the Sun!!!!

Chistianity is and was a way to control the people that can't stand the truth because of their fears. I know my origin and I belive that my destiny is what I make of it in my own way! I'm not afraid of dying and I am as happy as you are! Please reply and explain your beliefs to me without dogma(faith). I want to know how YOU can be happy believing in such a lie.

Ross Wells

 


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The SFW is dedicated to the memory of Mildred McCallister