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Looking for an atheist lawyer and other interested persons.

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pickledbushman
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« on: May 01, 2011, 14:14:09 PM »

Greetings all. My sincere apologies if this is not in the correct section of the forum. A couple of us are currently in the process of setting up a South African Atheist Association. We wish to create a legal section 21 NPO.

Basically the goals of the association will be along the lines of:

1) To promote rational and free thought.
2) To be humanitarian and charitable focused in areas of health, education and human rights
3) To protect the rights and freedoms of atheists

We are currently looking for a lawyer that could aid us in setting up the association and drafting the associations constitution.

Since atheists are the most hated minority in the world a couple of us believe its a good idea to get together and show our humanitarian concern to all peoples without the incentive afterlife reward. We also wish to educate people on atheism and to progress its social acceptability.

This of course is very much still in its conception phase so any advice or information is most appreciated. If anyone is interested, reply here, pm or email pathios@gmail.com

Thanks!
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ingwe
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2011, 19:44:20 PM »

Before you reinvent the wheel communicate with Jaques who is very involved with a similar project. I believe that the group he is a member of have progressed a bit further than you have in that they have I believe registered their organisation.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 09:31:59 AM by ingwe » Logged
Mutton
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2011, 20:52:05 PM »

Atheism just became a new religion!
In other words, membership of this group is dependant on your religious affiliation and views?
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pickledbushman
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 01:23:06 AM »

Atheism just became a new religion!
In other words, membership of this group is dependant on your religious affiliation and views?

Nope, I dont mind if there are some enlightened religious folk who wish to assist. Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color. There are many current ideologies inline with an association like such including and not limited to; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The goal of this organization would be humanitarian aid and atheism support. Anti-theism should not be a directive.
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Mutton
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 15:38:50 PM »

Atheism just became a new religion!
In other words, membership of this group is dependant on your religious affiliation and views?

Nope, I dont mind if there are some enlightened religious folk who wish to assist. Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color. There are many current ideologies inline with an association like such including and not limited to; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The goal of this organization would be humanitarian aid and atheism support. Anti-theism should not be a directive.

Cool - I'm starting a group called the Non Bird Watching Society. Interested?
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pickledbushman
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 16:34:14 PM »

Atheism just became a new religion!
In other words, membership of this group is dependant on your religious affiliation and views?

Nope, I dont mind if there are some enlightened religious folk who wish to assist. Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color. There are many current ideologies inline with an association like such including and not limited to; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The goal of this organization would be humanitarian aid and atheism support. Anti-theism should not be a directive.

Cool - I'm starting a group called the Non Bird Watching Society. Interested?

When non-bird watchers are the worlds most hated minority, give me a call okay?
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Jacques
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 18:36:12 PM »

Before you reinvent the wheel communicate with Jaques who is very involved with a similar project. I believe that the group he is a member of have progressed a bit further than you have in that they have I believe registered their organisation.


Thanks Ingwe. Yes we have - officially registered as an NPO now, and also opened the bank account last week. Pickledbushman, you might of course want to go your own way in any case, but check out http://fsi.org.za to be sure. Our constitution is posted publicly on the forum - feel free to pillage from that instead of finding a lawyer (http://forum.fsi.org.za/constitution-and-membership/constitution/)
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pickledbushman
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 18:44:56 PM »

Before you reinvent the wheel communicate with Jaques who is very involved with a similar project. I believe that the group he is a member of have progressed a bit further than you have in that they have I believe registered their organisation.


Thanks Ingwe. Yes we have - officially registered as an NPO now, and also opened the bank account last week. Pickledbushman, you might of course want to go your own way in any case, but check out http://fsi.org.za to be sure. Our constitution is posted publicly on the forum - feel free to pillage from that instead of finding a lawyer (http://forum.fsi.org.za/constitution-and-membership/constitution/)


I like what I see there. Haha... I see techne joined your forums. Good luck with that.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 19:31:39 PM »

Haha... I see techne joined your forums. Good luck with that.
Ouch, the self-appointed defender of religious rationality — an oxymoron if ever there was one.  Better known to this forum’s members as Teleological and Mechanist.

More dichotomously, this thread exemplifies the atheist’s dilemma:  Organise into a cohesive group along lines of belief (and be labelled “another religion”) or remain a disjointed herd of individualist cats, each making its own paw prints.  For each doubting person, the right choice is as particular as it is generally irresolvable:  It depends on whether rationality trumps a sense of belonging or vice versa.  It’s the kind of question that makes life interesting.

ETA: If a lawyer should be necessary, we know one who’s atheist although the speciality is mercantile and contract law.  Will gauge the waters to see if he’s willing/able to help if required.

'Luthon64
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Jacques
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 09:41:51 AM »

Haha... I see techne joined your forums. Good luck with that.
Ouch, the self-appointed defender of religious rationality — an oxymoron if ever there was one.  Better known to this forum’s members as Teleological and Mechanist.

More dichotomously, this thread exemplifies the atheist’s dilemma:  Organise into a cohesive group along lines of belief (and be labelled “another religion”) or remain a disjointed herd of individualist cats, each making its own paw prints.  For each doubting person, the right choice is as particular as it is generally irresolvable:  It depends on whether rationality trumps a sense of belonging or vice versa.  It’s the kind of question that makes life interesting.

'Luthon64

Yep. I ignored him, and he seems to have gone away (mostly being irritating on MyBB now, as you probably know). I don't agree with your summary of the dilemma, though. In the case of the FSI, the focus is largely advocacy around rationality, scientific reasoning, free speech, church/state separation and the like. People who believe in these things tend to be atheists, but I've always thought it a strategic mistake to make atheism, per se, your foundation. Atheism is simply a byproduct of being sensible, not necessarily a cause in itself. So I'm quite confident of being able to shake off the "another religion" tag, while being able to fund-raise (tax-deductible donations now possible) in order to provide support for legal battles (for example, at schools where religion is taught), perhaps publish, attend public hearings, host conferences etc.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2011, 10:01:11 AM »

In the case of the FSI, the focus is largely advocacy around rationality, scientific reasoning, free speech, church/state separation and the like. People who believe in these things tend to be atheists, but I've always thought it a strategic mistake to make atheism, per se, your foundation. Atheism is simply a byproduct of being sensible, not necessarily a cause in itself.
I fully agree with your view and I wholeheartedly support your vision.  It was rather more my intention to highlight that if you make atheism the (chief) criterion for admission, it will tend to reinforce the already-skewed public perception that atheism is “just another belief system (as valid as any other)” when in fact it’s a conclusion.  Punting modern scientific scepticism is a much better approach, I think.  It will not be lost on too many people that this scepticism encompasses also the tenets of religious teachings and finds them deficient and unsatisfactory.

'Luthon64
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Barryl
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 10:15:34 AM »

 from Mefiante:
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I fully agree with your view and I wholeheartedly support your vision.  It was rather more my intention to highlight that if you make atheism the (chief) criterion for admission, it will tend to reinforce the already-skewed public perception that atheism is “just another belief system (as valid as any other)” when in fact it’s a conclusion.  Punting modern scientific scepticism is a much better approach, I think.  It will not be lost on too many people that this scepticism encompasses also the tenets of religious teachings and finds them deficient and unsatisfactory.


I agree too! Keep the word atheism out of such an association's name. The whole process should be executed with finesse, after all, we do not want to make more enemies than we already have. I suggest we also look at other similar-goal organisations abroad, eg http://www.ffrf.org/ for ideas as to what would may be a most desirable approach and course to take. Somebody once said: "To have a good idea you must have many ideas."
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