Other groups I explored – I liked Unitarian Universalists the most

In my previous post I mentioned a couple of groups I had explored after leaving Christianity.  I also tried out a few other groups, but these groups relied much less on dogma and doctrine.  I tried an Atheist group, an Ethical Culture Society and a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church.  I felt very comfortable in all 3 of these different groups, but felt by far the most comfortable in the UU church.  I spent about a year or so attending a UU church and even took a couple of classes with them.  I only went once to the atheist group and once to the Ethical Culture Society – I didn’t stop going because I didn’t like them but they weren’t big enough for me to blend into without being noticed (my introverted nature! 😉 )

Everyone’s preferences are different, but I would highly recommend the UU churches to people who are open minded, seekers, possibilians at heart like myself, and also wanting to feel like a part of a community.  What I loved about them was their tolerance of all different worldviews (as long as those worldviews were also tolerant).  I felt comfortable there even though I no longer believed in revealed religion.  Freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, as well as religious people of all persuasions are welcome at UU churches (at least the UU churches I’ve heard of).  In fact I distinctly remember there being one Sunday service where several people of different beliefs got up on the podium to teach what they believed to the congregation.  I remember there being an agnostic (I got the most out of his talk), a Christian, and a couple of others get up to speak (I think one was delving into New Age ideas).

All three of these groups talked about humanist and ethical ideas which was and still is very important to me, but the atheist group seemed much less about this and much more about talking about why they didn’t believe in Christianity (not that there is no need for that).  I liked the Ethical Culture group a bit more than the atheist group because it was more about talking about what they did believe rather than what they didn’t.  It also had a bit more of a naturalistic flavor than the UU churches.  Although the naturalism fits my beliefs a little better, to be frank I kind of like the pluralism of UU a little more, and besides I only lean a little bit toward a naturalist worldview anyways.  I don’t have to agree with the methods or conclusions of everyone in the group but I like learning about what others believe as long as tolerance and a spirit of learning is involved.

Anyway, wanted to take a little breather from all the deeper stuff and this post was a bit on the lighter side.  Writing about epistemology takes a whole lot more time and effort!

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8 thoughts on “Other groups I explored – I liked Unitarian Universalists the most

  1. That’s cool I’ve always wanted to attend a UU church. I’ve heard good things about them. I still haven’t visited an atheist meetup yet. But I hope todo it in the next few weeks.

  2. Hi Marcus – I liked going to groups like these because I was able to meet a lot of people who went through the same kinds of things I went through when leaving “the fold”. Not only was there the feeling of camaraderie, but people in the group were able to share with each other how they dealt with similar issues that they were going through.

  3. They are most definitely an accepting organization. Thankfully, there is one in my community which I have attended a few weeks ago. I was so pleasantly surprised and I wish I had tried them out ages ago.

  4. You wrote: “I liked the Ethical Culture group a bit more than the atheist group because it was more about talking about what they did believe rather than what they didn’t. It also had a bit more of a naturalistic flavor than the UU churches. Although the naturalism fits my beliefs a little better, to be frank I kind of like the pluralism of UU a little more, and besides I only lean a little bit toward a naturalist worldview anyways. I don’t have to agree with the methods or conclusions of everyone in the group but I like learning about what others believe as long as tolerance and a spirit of learning is involved.”

    I agree with this. I am trying to direct myself towards the positive side of my beliefs (Humanism) and atheism seems to be too negative; and because of that I don’t like the title much. I also lean towards naturalism. I guess I leave the vague possibility of meaning in life/life after death, but it all seems too positivist for me. But what is nice about UU is that it is a tolerant place. It seems like a good place for an atheist to grow. I realize more and more that there are many aspects of religion I like a lot. And UU seems to be that emotional (‘spiritual’ if you want to call it that) connection that is lacking from atheism. I enjoy talking to people who have creative, non-judgmental thoughts about the world, and life, and meaning; even if I consider myself a skeptic. I also really love Eastern religious ideas, and so any place that won’t throw the baby out with the religious bathwater appeals to me. I am hoping to start a Humanist group in conjunction with the church; which has got me excited.

  5. I could have written exactly what you wrote here Think Always! Seriously, that’s a perfect addition to the post. Thanks for commenting.

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