New Blog Carnival for Positive Atheism April 9, 2007

New Blog Carnival for Positive Atheism

Blog carnivals are a way for several people to submit their best blog writing from the past couple weeks and have them compiled by one blog in particular (on a rotating basis). It’s a way of spreading the link love.

For a couple years now, there has only been one Carnival specifically for atheists: the Carnival of the Godless (CotG). It’s a wonderful showcase and a great way to give exposure to the panoply of atheist blogs out there.

(That’s right. I used the word “panoply” in a sentence. Be impressed.)

Adam at Daylight Atheism feels there’s a disturbing trend with the CotG, though. There are many posts about religious criticism and superstition debunking (which he says is fine) but not nearly enough posts “promoting atheism as a positive, joyous worldview.”

So he has proposed a new Carnival: The Humanist Symposium.

What types of posts would fall in this category? Adam suggests those that discuss the following:

  • The happiness and freedom of life as an atheist, or other positive aspects to living a life without religious belief
  • Efforts to evangelize for atheism, and stories of people who have recently deconverted from religion
  • How to find meaning and purpose in a godless life
  • How non-religious people deal with weddings, child-raising, deaths, and other significant life events
  • Posts that stir up the human sense of awe and wonder
  • The ethics and moral philosophy of the non-religious

The first edition will be on April 29th at Daylight Atheism. If you’d like to contribute (and you know you do) or host the Carnival in the future, follow the directions here.

[tags]atheist, atheism, Blog carnival, Carnival of the Godless, Daylight Atheism, The Humanist Symposium[/tags]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Thanks for helping get the word out, Hemant! And as for the rest of you, what are you waiting for? 😉

  • miller

    When I read the CotG, I’m often disappointed. Far too many of the posts are very angry-sounding rants at the sort of religious people who don’t read their stuff anyways. And frankly, some of the arguments just aren’t that good, if you don’t mind my saying (just a subjective impression).

    I think this is a great idea, not just because it promotes a positive image of atheists, but because the positive aspects are simply more interesting to read about, IMO. I think that atheism is intrinsically negative (in the sense of being defined by what people don’t believe), but that doesn’t mean that we can’t discuss the positive things that follow.

  • IIRC, a few years back, PZ hosted CotG and tried to separate the posts into critiques of religion vs more positive atheism. It was overwhelmingly critiques. Problem is, atheism begins with a negative, so it’s a lot harder to write from a positive perspective. Ebonmuse does it very well but I haven’t seen many others who do. That said, maybe this carnival is a great idea as it will get more people thinking in a positive way instead of taking the easy way out and just slamming fundies.

  • I was thinking of that edition of the CotG also, King Aardvark. It was one of the major motivations I had to create this one.

    I think one important reason why we see so many posts critical of religion is that they’re just easier to write. When you’re responding to someone you disagree with, you have an obvious topic and a clear list of points to make. Defending atheism on its own terms isn’t nearly as easy, although it can be done and most atheist bloggers do it at least from time to time.

    Speaking just for myself, when I get feedback e-mail or comments, I know I find it considerably easier to respond to someone who’s attacking me than to answer someone who’s complimenting me. You just don’t have as much to say when you agree with someone as when you disagree with them. It’s a bad habit of mine to dash off a broadside against the latest internet apologist who’s come to my door before spending the time to compose a gracious answer to someone who took the time and effort to write me a nice note, and it’s something I’ve been working on improving.

    But that’s precisely why I started the Humanist Symposium! Just as you said, it was my intent to give people an incentive to write more posts about the virtues of atheism. I certainly hope it succeeds; we’ll just have to see.

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