A website called Patheos seeks to “engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs.” Yesterday, they released their “portal” on Humanism which includes essays from people like Ed Buckner (President of American Atheists), Ron Lindsay (CEO of the Center for Inquiry), David Silverman (National Communications Director of American Atheists), Roy Speckhardt (Executive director of the American Humanist Association), and some studly brown dude.
(No women, though? That’s disappointing.)
My article is on “How the Internet Is Reshaping Humanism“:
I became an atheist at the age of 14. That was back in 1997 — books about atheism were not on bestsellers’ lists and I felt alone in my thinking. I wanted confirmation that I was thinking rationally. I had so many unanswered questions about religion and no one to talk to about my thoughts. I didn’t want my religious family to learn about my new beliefs, and as far as I knew, none of my friends were atheists. My only option, it seemed, was to go online and search for atheist websites. I found only a couple worth visiting but I latched onto them quickly because I had so few resources at my disposal.
Thankfully, students in my position no longer have to resort to a handful of websites — or writers — to learn about life sans religion. The internet has revolutionized how people discover atheism, learn to live life without a god, and spread their non-belief.
The piece focuses on three ways in which the Internet is helping non-religious people:
- The impact of the “Blogosphere”
- Increased membership in and donations to atheist organizations
- Larger and more niche atheist communities
A little backstory on the piece: I wrote it about 14 months ago (though it was just put on the Patheos site yesterday) and hadn’t given it much thought since then. As I was re-reading it last night, I was surprised at how I probably would’ve made the same three points now. (Though I really should have mentioned the relevance of YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook in spreading our message.)
Do you think there are other ways our movement has flourished as a result of the Internet? Obviously, Christians and other religious groups have also benefitted from coming online, but at least they had churches and small groups well before the Internet sprang up.
I think we’re unique in the sense that so many of us first publicly expressed our non-beliefs online instead of in person — moreso (in my experience, anyway) than any religious group.
(via Center For Inquiry)