Why talk about atheism? Why would anyone want to gather to talk about what they don’t believe? How can you define yourself by what you are not? You don’t make gatherings for people to talk about how they don’t believe in unicorns, or faeries, or leprechauns. So why make such a big deal about not believing in a god?
Chemotherapy is of no use at all without cancer. It is a powerful poison that can kill instead of cure a patient if it is not administered carefully. It is nothing at all but an anti-cancer.
Why would doctors get together to talk about chemotherapy, an anti-something, when they could be talking about what they are for instead of what they are against?
If there was no cancer, there would be no chemotherapy.
If there was no AIDS virus, there would be no AIDS medications.
If there was no smallpox, there would be no smallpox vaccine.
If there were no major bacterial infections, there would be no antibiotics.
I don’t know how every atheist thinks about atheism. I believe for me, and probably for a lot of other ex-Christians out there, atheism is a vital tool to help us truly escape the clutches of fundamentalist thought control we grew up with.
Now, some people escape fundamentalism without the use of atheism. Some can trek from conservative, literal Christianity into a more progressive, inclusive form of the religion, and that’s okay for them. But for others, the fear of hell, and the need to obey an almighty god, are drilled into our heads so much, it takes a radical shift to truly throw all that off.
I think it’s nearly impossible to have a constructive, free exploration of what is right and wrong, what is true and false, if at the same time you have the threat of hell hanging over your head. Christianity has evolved to keep people silent, unquestioning, and obedient. That’s how it gained its power.