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Atheism & Freemasonry - Can they coexist?




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Atheist Foundation of Australia Public Forums
http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/forums/showthread.php?t=168

Atheism & Freemasonry - Can they coexist?

26th January, 2009


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matteovinci
Member Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 36


atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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well i had to ask

does anyone have any experience with the combination of the two

also, any conflict between both?

in continuing from the comment i made in the thread regarding honey bees, i mentioned that walt disney was a 33rd level freemason

now surely he was not evil (as "conspiracy/truth" theorists may say), with all the joy that he brought & his name continues to bring to the world __________________

#2 26th January 2009, 08:08 PM
The Irreverent Mr Black
Sandbagging again Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bible Belt, SW Qld
Posts: 35,035

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Given atheism = "no god/s" and Masonry's continual references to some Great Architect who could only fill a god-type role, in short I'd say they don't look good as potential bedmates.

While I haven't observed the Craft deeply, I can infer some things from the way other big organisations like, say, the Catholic church manage to interact with bodies whose aims would appear to contradict theirs. Yes, I'm talking about the Nazis.

I'd say nominal co-operation would be possible, but mutual trust would not be feasible. __________________

Links and all that jazz

Futuantur, si iocum de se ipsis non tolerent.

#3 26th January 2009, 08:28 PM
davo
I wait dead, but dreaming Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 3rd Planet from the Sun
Posts: 11,404

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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In the opinion of one atheist, me,
No.
__________________


#4 26th January 2009, 08:33 PM
Vonnie
Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbubble
Posts: 711

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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While Freemasonry is not a religious group, Freemasons believe in the "Grand Architect of the Universe", i.e. god. An atheist would have to lie in order to become a Freemason. (Not that I can imagine for a minute why any atheist would want to be a Freemason... there are other groups like Apex or the Lions who do community work, don't require belief in a deity, are open to scrutiny, and don't have peculiar rituals.)

However, like most groups or organisations, there are subgroups or breakaways, and the "French Masons" are one of them which apparently do not have this prerequisite. The Freemasons do not recognise the French Masons as legitimate "brothers", though.

Vonnie

__________________ Better a bleeding heart than none at all...

#5 26th January 2009, 08:36 PM
Protium
Admin: Relax Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 10,753

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Requires the belief in a supreme being.... FAIL!

#6 26th January 2009, 09:06 PM
matteovinci
Member Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 36

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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well i think that settles it then!
nice to see we can come to a conclusion without delusion __________________

#7 26th January 2009, 09:38 PM
Evil Doer
Member Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 64

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteovinci
also, any conflict between both?

Surely, there's certainly conflict between it and skepticism?

#8 26th January 2009, 10:49 PM
matteovinci
Member Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 36

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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one thing in particular aside from the belief in a supreme being

"Loyalty to one's country is an essential qualification in Freemasonry, and only those are acceptable who cheerfully render obedience to every lawful authority. Disloyalty in any form is abhorrent to a Freemason, and is regarded as a serious Masonic offense."

that to me is worse than believing in a supreme being

__________________

#9 27th January 2009, 11:04 AM
Duffy
Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Gold Coast QLD
Posts: 814

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Atheists by our very nature re: 'question everything and everybody' wouldn't shouldn't couldn't be part of any group that supplied an unquestionable ideology with their membership card __________________

If you fail to meet the repayments on your exorcism...are you repossessed?

Duffy

#10 27th January 2009, 06:34 PM
wishcraft
Raptured! Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dulwich Hill
Posts: 22

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Well really, I find the concept of a pyramid scheme rather amusing, in fact I once had 2 men - infact stand at my door; dress as badly made out transsexuals brandishing a baseball bat and a crow bar, and threatenly menanced that I had to join the free masons.

I gave them a fake pseduo name - simon anthony roberts. From that moment on I was arrested, charged and several time imprisons in brain jail under this false name. Infact I went to QLD and lived as they saw fit and still for the first time in that town the fake name still was in occurance.

Personally when you find groups like that which are ment to be "secret" posting autonomously with nanoscience sites like something is trying to be "above top secret" on a global scale (the community effort site for this).. I find a bemusement in the scale of how bad a pyramid scheme like that is; especially with building like the one on castlereigh (I think) that looks like an upside down phalyic representation of...

It is something like this when they have single-handed themselves a corruption red tape line in the basis of emails containing the wrong name details and completely flawed psychoanalysis of myself (I did do quiet a few years acting classes).. Which make my time in australia quiet amusing.

Personally I don't think with a flaw like the on of ancient egyptions and pyramid schemes which walked themselves out of existence in a basis of deity and the supernatural - the ground you walk needs to be solid or you will fall through it, basis of none factual reporting systems as you can see means that there is no foundation to start with, it is a rigger of supisticion

27th February 2009, 03:19 AM
Sharpie44
Member Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: None of your business.
Posts: 49

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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I found this forum by accident and as a Freemason I think I need to set you people straight. First off yes most definitely atheism and Freemasonry can coexist. The founding fathers were Freemasons and were hard core secularists as am I. It is essential to keep religion out of our schools and our politics. A very well known Freemason by the name of Thomas Jefferson said “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. “ I have supported the atheist movement for a long time and am disturbed that you people do not know the roal the Freemasons have played in allowing a secularist movement to happen. America was set up as the first secularist state by Freemasons. Everyone is Free to believe or not believe whatever they want and any good Freemason would defend your right not too believe as strongly as they would defend their own right too believe. I personally am a deist and am opposed to many aspects of organized religion. wishcraft you are a either a liar or those were not freemasons. Joining the Freemasons takes time and effort on your part and no Freemason will just come up and ask you to join let alone attempt to force you. That would be against the fundamentals of freemasonry. If you wanted to join you would have to get in contact with a lodge and go through a process of evaluation before joining. Also considering the vast amount of money the Freemasons give to charity every year, I fail to see how it is a scheme of any kind. There isn’t much money involved in joining or being a part of the Masons, mostly just going to fund rising dinners and things like that. Those normally go to charities or for operating costs and renovations for the lodge. Like Jefferson I have no problem with atheists and I have many atheist friends. I think you would be hard pressed to find a Freemason that wants to put down atheists. BTW: There is no gold, the illuminati doesn’t exist, and we are not a religion. You’re not even supposed to discuss religion in a lodge meeting probably because we have many people of different faiths.

Sharpie44


#12 27th February 2009, 06:57 AM
davo
I wait dead, but dreaming Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 3rd Planet from the Sun
Posts: 11,404

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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good points Sharpie44, I am still evaluating my stance, as I have limited information on the current status of freemasonry, but point you at some issues as I see it.

I will also point you at http://notthe.us as I find the us-centric approach of many of the folk from your country quite annoying in discussions. There is more to the world than your country.

My assumptions are based on the Masonic temples, the churches, in 1717, a United Grand Lodge was formed in London, using Dr. John Anderson's Constitution to standardize the rituals and practices. Anderson had stipulated in his Constitution that:

A Mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the Moral Law: and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious libertine....

This has carried thru to today, and I also point you to the United Grand Lodge of Englands website :

http://www.ugle.org.uk/masonry/freem...d-religion.htm

"Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It demands of its members a belief in a Supreme Being but provides no system of faith of its own. "

"The names used for the Supreme Being enable men of different faiths to join in prayer (to God as each sees Him) without the terms of the prayer causing dissention among them.

There is no separate Masonic God; a Freemason's God remains the God of the religion he professes.

Freemasons meet in common respect for the Supreme Being, but He remains Supreme in their individual religions, and it is no part of Freemasonry to attempt to join religions together. There is therefore no composite Masonic God. "

"The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of the Sacred Law, is always open at every Masonic meeting."

"Freemasonry is far from indifferent to religion. Without interfering in religious practice it expects each member to follow his own faith, and to place above all other duties his duty to God, by whatever name He is known. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.

Freemasonry is thus a supporter of religion."

Whereas Freemasonry can be argued as Secular, it is not Atheist. __________________

#13 27th February 2009, 07:10 AM
davo
I wait dead, but dreaming Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 3rd Planet from the Sun
Posts: 11,404

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Hmm from the little I have read, it appears Freemasonry in your country has devolved to being little more than a social club of the bourgeois.

However I point you to the californian masons http://www.freemason.org/become_member/index.php

"Membership is open to men age 18 and older who believe in a Supreme Being and meet the qualifications and standards. Men of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are welcome."

__________________

#14 27th February 2009, 07:30 AM Sharpie44
Member Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: None of your business.
Posts: 49

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Well I'm not saying that the U.S is the only country out there but it was the first secular state. That all happened long before my family came over from Germany.

There are different opinions on religion within free masonry. We are all about free speech and free thought so it's to be expected. It's true that no Freemason can be an atheist but on the same note they can't be a radical fundamentalist as well. Deist seems to be popular within Freemasonry historically.

Some view scripture in the same way they view philosophy, dogma seems to be the big issue. Referencing Jefferson again he created his own bible that took the dogma out and only left the philosophy of Jesus. I could care less if he was the son of god what I care more about is what he said. If what he said holds no weight with ought him being the son of god is it really something we want to study. I don’t actually know if Socrates actually existed and I cretin he wasn’t the son of a deity but his Socratic method is still an amassing achievement.

We do have a bible opened during every meeting but I didn’t think that was against the law. If I’m going to defend your right to not believe then you better damn well respect my right to believe.

“Freemasonry is thus a supporter of religion." I don’t like that. I would prefer “Freemasonry is thus a supporter the freedom of religion.” Believe or not believe whatever you like just don’t tell others what they should believe.

I never said that Freemasonry is atheistic. It just secularist and not opposed to atheist. Not meaning to bring up America again but we have a long tradition of atheists supports here. (Not so much in our current government.) Susan b Anthony was a hard core militant atheist and a part of the founding of our country. It’s too bad Americans have forgotten that. Religion tends to pull the wool over some people’s eyes.

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Last edited by Fiery; 27th February 2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: fixed the font as it shrunk into eye strain.

#15 27th February 2009, 07:39 AM
Sharpie44
Member Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: None of your business.
Posts: 49

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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No that's not true at all but you have hit an an issue in Freemasonry at the moment. We have a bit of a division in the ranks presently concerning membership. Some in the organization want to leave tradition behind and speed up the process of admitting new members.

I'm with the other side of the argument. I'm for quality not quantity and it is looked down open for someone to do it any other way than the traditional way. I think many lodges agree with me.

bourgeois would be a wrong ether way. It's the quality of the individual not what family they came from or social class. I'll black ball a millionaire if i think he's a scumbag. My father was worked in a welding shop and my mom works with the mentally disabled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davo
Hmm from the little I have read, it appears Freemasonry in your country has devolved to being little more than a social club of the bourgeois.

However I point you to the californian masons http://www.freemason.org/become_member/index.php

"Membership is open to men age 18 and older who believe in a Supreme Being and meet the qualifications and standards. Men of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are welcome."

#16 27th February 2009, 08:22 AM
davo
I wait dead, but dreaming Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 3rd Planet from the Sun
Posts: 11,404

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie44
Well I'm not saying that the U.S is the only country out there but it was the first secular state. That all happened long before my family came over from Germany.

Actually no, India was well before the U.S., and Ira M. Lapidus writes about secularist states in the middle east during the middle ages in the book "The Separation of State and Religion in the Development of Early Islamic Society", International Journal of Middle East Studies 6 (4), p. 363-385.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie44
There are different opinions on religion within free masonry. We are all about free speech and free thought so it's to be expected. It's true that no Freemason can be an atheist but on the same note they can't be a radical fundamentalist as well. Deist seems to be popular within Freemasonry historically.

Whereas I do not disagree that Freemasonry has in the past, in various offshoots of the establishment, even supported and harbored atheistic thought, I do not see how atheism and freemasonry as it stands can 'co-exist', they are two seperate entities as defined by the requirement that Freemasons must believe in a god. Where does it say they cannot be a radical fundamentalist?

Sure you can try changing it, but you could say the same thing about any established society that currently excludes atheism from it, and is bound by having to have a belief in a Supreme Being.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie44
Some view scripture in the same way they view philosophy, dogma seems to be the big issue. Referencing Jefferson again he created his own bible that took the dogma out and only left the philosophy of Jesus. I could care less if he was the son of god what I care more about is what he said. If what he said holds no weight with ought him being the son of god is it really something we want to study. I don’t actually know if Socrates actually existed and I cretin he wasn’t the son of a deity but his Socratic method is still an amassing achievement. We do have a bible opened during every meeting but I didn’t think that was against the law. If I’m going to defend your right to not believe then you better damn well respect my right to believe.

It's not against the law, and I don't care if you believe in a faery or not, or in the collated construct of 'jesus'.

I disagree however that freemasonry and atheism can 'co-exist', they can stand separate, but not together in the one space. They are diametrically opposed based on one requiring the belief in a Supreme Being.

If you mean co-exist on the planet, I presume so, but my atheism has no time for an organisation that is based on the requirement of their being a god, and having a religion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie44
“Freemasonry is thus a supporter of religion." I don’t like that. I would prefer “Freemasonry is thus a supporter the freedom of religion.” Believe or not believe whatever you like just don’t tell others what they should believe.

that's great that you believe that, but freemasonry doesn't. 'Freedom to believe what you want, so long as you believe in a supreme being'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie44
I never said that Freemasonry is atheistic. It just secularist and not opposed to atheist. Not meaning to bring up America again but we have a long tradition of atheists supports here. (Not so much in our current government.) Susan b Anthony was a hard core militant atheist and a part of the founding of our country. It’s too bad Americans have forgotten that. Religion tends to pull the wool over some people’s eyes.

*shrug* I don't think atheism and freemasonry can co-exist if you define it in existing in the same space, due to the reasons mentioned, if that changes, and religion is removed from it, sure.

I would disagree that a group that requires religion as a basis of entry is secular in nature, as it disallows atheists from being members, and requires that it's members have religion.

I refer you to :

http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=secular

Noun

* S: (n) layman, layperson, secular (someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person)

Adjective

* S: (adj) secular (of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations)
* S: (adj) worldly, secular, temporal (characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world) "worldly goods and advancement"; "temporal possessions of the church"
* S: (adj) profane, secular (not concerned with or devoted to religion) "sacred and profane music"; "secular drama"; "secular architecture", "children being brought up in an entirely profane environment"
* S: (adj) secular (of or relating to clergy not bound by monastic vows) "the secular clergy"
* S: (adj) laic, lay, secular (characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy) "set his collar in laic rather than clerical position"; "the lay ministry" __________________


#17 27th February 2009, 08:42 AM davo
I wait dead, but dreaming Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 3rd Planet from the Sun
Posts: 11,404

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Indeed some areas of Freemasonry are specific to one religion only.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Rite

"A brother not only has to be in regular attendance, but also has to show that he has a certain proficiency and knowledge of Freemasonry. The Swedish Rite demands members be Christian and not just that they believe in a supreme being." __________________

#18 27th February 2009, 08:53 AM
Protium
Admin: Relax Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 10,753

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Welcome Sharpie44. Would you like to go to Welcome New Members and introduce yourself.

I am sure a few of us would be keen to understand your deism.

#19 27th February 2009, 09:00 AM
Sharpie44
Member Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: None of your business.
Posts: 49

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

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Well that is complicated. Some rights do require you to be a cretin religion but they are a complicated issue. To be a free mason you just have to believe in a supreme being. That's the important part. The other rights are not mandatory or anything like that it's just a complicated part of it. Historically and otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davo
Indeed some areas of Freemasonry are specific to one religion only.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Rite

"A brother not only has to be in regular attendance, but also has to show that he has a certain proficiency and knowledge of Freemasonry. The Swedish Rite demands members be Christian and not just that they believe in a supreme being."

#20 27th February 2009, 09:20 AM
The Irreverent Mr Black
Sandbagging again Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bible Belt, SW Qld
Posts: 35,035

Re: atheism & freemasonry - can they coexist?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie44
Well that is complicated. Some rights do require you to be a cretin religion but they are a complicated issue. To be a free mason you just have to believe in a supreme being. That's the important part. The other rights are not mandatory or anything like that it's just a complicated part of it. Historically and otherwise.

Does a "supreme being" not equal a "god"?

What else could a being do with "supreme-ness", other than be a god?

And believing this being existed: what could that be, but a religion?

If there's something vital I've missed, please inform me. __________________


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