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LINK The case for a new kind of atheism

"My belief is that an energetic, organized atheist movement — which I propose calling "communitarian atheism" — would provide an effective way to guard against the twin crises of intensifying religious extremism on one end, and the atomizing social consequences of a plunge in conventional religiosity on the other."

Interesting article by an interesting author.
I was turned onto his book here on and I find it a really good read on the subject.
His followup commentary, as exemplified in this piece, only strengthens my respect for his views.

TheMiddleWay 8 Aug 1

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Labels for people are inherently STUPID. Period.

1 opinion. Any new atheism which seeks to participate in the shaping of the scape would need to be respectful and respectable considering other ideas. atheists are not very good at either. a bunch as individually as dogmatic as humanity has been able to produce is atheists.

@TheMiddleWay so? how does that give way to tolerance and organization? I don't believe it can. might as well join a bowling league and wear ugly shirts.

@TheMiddleWay true enough.


You know the old comment that trying to herd atheists is like trying to herd cats, right? Well it's an interesting article but I don't think atheists can be herded like this either. Atheists vary enormously, but there are associated values for many -- belief in reason, science, etc, and for many support for a progressive social and economic agenda, though not all, clearly ( just read this site for a few reactionaries, though personally I doubt their claims as atheists.) Honestly, I don't think you'll get much more than that.


Berlinerblau, the Georgetown professor, worries that liberal secular America has no counterpart to right-wing legal thinking and activism that advances the goals of the religious right. “I wonder who the liberal jurists are that work together that meet for a retreat once a year in Verona or Lake Tahoe? This stuff happens all the time in conservative circles,” Berlinerblau said. “It's these all-expenses-paid things in beautiful places where people just network for two weeks, and they have workshops on the free exercise clause [of the First Amendment] and free speech. I know of nothing comparable, in liberal, secular America." has already attempted to put such an org together (I'm a Bright) but Atheists, by and large, aren't joiners. They like to tell people how they feel about the subject, the logic and/or illogic of it, but don't seem to care about social change. They seem to think it happens by individual mode because, I think, they don't like to join groups.


I think this gets to the main shortcoming of atheism and why it'll never be a mass movement. Like the color black it cannot reflect/emit light but only absorb it, cause it to disappear. Likewise, atheism represents the LACK of belief. There is nothing else atheists have in common


“This kind of enterprise is not only for atheists.”

Well if it’s not, it shouldn’t brand itself as such.

This fellow apparently fancies himself a cat-herder. If five years on AgDotCom has taught me anything it’s that there is no common thread in atheism. And no inclination to find common ground with fellow atheists should the rest of their worldview be one iota different from one’s own. And it is always different.

If there’s anything “common” among atheists it may be their hatred for anything resembling religion. It isn’t God that they lack a belief in - it is, I will argue, community itself.

Community requires compromise, and compromise ain’t in atheists.

skado Level 9 Aug 1, 2022

What? Atheists are against community? Inherently anarchist, that is?!
Not being an atheist, idk, but it seems to me that's going too far

You said it best above - "atheism represents the LACK of belief. There is nothing else atheists have in common" When I say "community" I mean community based on their atheism.

I agree wholeheartedly that wouldn’t likely bring about much change.
I’m glad you immediately acknowledged your exaggeration. 😁 But I understand your point.
For the record, I don’t consider myself agnostic, even if I meet the qualifications Or theist, or atheist.

I may have said, that if people knew my beliefs they may categorize me that way, and they wouldn’t be wrong, but I don’t call myself that. They also wouldn’t be wrong, by some measure, to categorize me as a theist or atheist, but any of those would require additional explanation, so I avoid them all. I call myself a religious figuratist. A person with a strong, specific, and fully articulated religious practice, which is based on metaphorical rather than literal interpretations of religious traditions, as well as a firm and exclusive reliance on science for propositional beliefs.


I see no need for such a contrived ideological system. I simply do not believe in any deity -- and never will.

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