Atheism Day at JNCASR

Yesterday was Diwali, and I discovered that a surprisingly large section of the JNC population seems to revel in standing in front of some idol or the other while somebody lights a fire to something or the other and chants in pig-Latin. A bunch of us at the engineering unit think this is all just plain silly. It was even suggested to me that some atheist version of this idol-worship be given its own day; some time in January was suggested. I was told I would be appointed the priest.

I am all for an atheism day. I think it’s a perfectly good idea. I am actually all for atheism years, decades and centuries.  I am, after all, the guy who made attempts, however impotent, to start some sort of Atheism Society at IITM.

I don’t, however, intend to stand in front of a poster of Richard Dawkins and chant something in, for lack of anything better, English. Or to garland some idol with slippers, a la a former CM of Tamil Nadu. This is not because I have a problem ‘disrespecting’ idols or pissing people off, but because it would be pointless – idols don’t care, and there are far simpler ways of mocking, ridiculing, annoying or irritating people. I don’t need props to do it.

Here’s a sample of what I thought should go in the ‘invitation’ for this Atheism day. This will get modified, and hopefully get better, as time goes along. For once, I mean and hope for this to come across as deliberate and thoughtful, and not as arrogant or vindictive:

An Invitation

Profess your atheism. Celebrate Atheism Day. February 11, 2011.

The 42nd day of 2011 seems to us to be as good a day as any other to profess, possibly in unison, our non-belief. Tell a friend why you don’t believe in an overlord pulling strings from the clouds. Do at least one good thing, this day. Something as simple as a kind word to a colleague you never got along with. Or perhaps you think some person or organisation is doing honourable work that should be supported. Perhaps we could list a few people or organisations who deserve all the help we can give them in their efforts to make somebody’s life better.

The remainder of the plan, happily, is to go about our days entirely as usual. We could meet for dinner in the mess hall, served – as usual – between 7:15 and 9:00 pm.



Hat tips, credits: Anubhab Roy, Navaneeth.


15 thoughts on “Atheism Day at JNCASR”

  1. I find it ironic that you feel threatened by a group of people that do something you don’t like, to an extent that you feel the need to create your own day, and yet you preach so much about freedom of speech etc.

  2. I do preach about freedom of speech, don’t I? Maybe that’s why I think I am allowed to call this behaviour silly. Am I threatened by this silly behaviour? No. Surprised, a little bit. Bemused, definitely.

    What I suggested could be done in response was to donate to some organisation people think is worth supporting. Beneath contempt and completely evil, I know.

  3. Atheism Day does not sound healthy to me. I mean lets not make an attempt to have another religion, there are already too many of them out there.

  4. And for a society which talks and supports a good cause, i am up for it, i am not at JNCASR, so make it public… 🙂

  5. Da, I agree. Hence a ‘Day’ that will go ‘entirely as usual’, and a hope for atheism years, decades and centuries.

    Nobody wants to make Richard Dawkins a ‘pope’ and have his word, however impressive his writing may be, become law.

  6. Completely for it. We need to make a bigger forum. Not restricted to JNC. Way to go.
    Well why 42nd day of 2011. Does it have something to do with the hitchhiker’s guide to galaxy.?

  7. 42 – the answer to life, the universe and everything, Yes!

    Oh, by the way, you do realise people other than from IITM read this blog, right? And you called yourself ‘Virgin’! 😀 I’m going to leave that as it is till I’m sure enough people have seen it. Then I’ll change it to Silas!

  8. Everybody is welcome to wield the weapon of choice of Jefferson! I personally use it with reckless abandon. Everybody else is encouraged to as well.

    We don’t need an organisation to donate, of course. Even if an organisation doesn’t really take root, we should still do the donation part.

  9. Doesn’t matter dude.
    The name just sticks… Nobody know me by Silas anyway.
    Btw in case you write a book in future care to give me an autographed copy! 😛

  10. What I find ironic is the fact that most religious ideologues seem to think that the very act of someone else exercising their freedom of speech restricts their own.

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