Some Area Residents Want to Live Life without Religion

By Harlin, Lynn Skapyak | The Florida Times Union, April 10, 2002 | Go to article overview

Some Area Residents Want to Live Life without Religion


Harlin, Lynn Skapyak, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Lynn Skapyak Harlin, Shorelines correspondent

Ponte Vedra Beach resident Earl Coggins, an atheist, bases his life on logic and reason.

But he said some people have been, well, unreasonable about that.

"I have always felt that atheism has a stigma attached to it," he said. "It's a taboo to proclaim any apathy toward religion, especially Christianity, and especially to be an atheist."

To help people who are living life without religion meet one another and delve into analytic thought more deeply, Coggins, 45, formed the First Coast Freethought Society several years ago. It meets the second Monday of each month at the Southeast branch library.

"The First Coast Freethought Society is about people with a life philosophy that is intuitively analytical," he said. "We explore both old and new ideas through the use of logic, reason, objectivity and rationality."

Coggins said he was driven to form the society, an affiliate of the national Council for Secular Humanism, because he wanted to communicate with people who'd made a concerted effort to live a life free from religion.

"I was yearning for a place to go where I could talk about the frustrations of being an atheist in a religious country," he said. "Roughly 10 percent of our population lives without religion, so as an atheist, it's difficult to bump into like-minded people."

The growth of the group has been gradual. More people attend the lectures than join the society, according to Coggins.

Meetings include speakers on topics ranging from science to philosophy to humanism. A meeting in February, for example, commemorated the birth month of Charles Darwin and featured David A. Reid, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at the University of North Florida, who lectured on Darwin's influence on scientific knowledge and world culture. This month's meeting featured Erich D. Freiberger, professor of philosophy at Jacksonville University, who discussed "Islam's Challenge to Freethought."

"The Freethought Society was the perfect forum for focusing on how Darwin fits into the broader story," Reid said. "Members are well-read, with a refreshing curiosity about science, philosophy and history."

Beth Perry, 73, a retired artist and writer living in San Jose, is a charter member.

"In this Southern Baptist enclave, we had 50 people that first time," she said.

Perry said she was brought up in a devout Christian home.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Some Area Residents Want to Live Life without Religion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.