Thursday, December 4, 2014

Not another atheist blog

I've been resisting this for a long time. I figured there were enough straight white guys out there already promoting reason and empiricism over faith and superstition. But I wanted to be part of the conversation within online atheism. If you'll forgive the expression, atheism is a broad church. There are a lot of different ways of doing it, and I have my own strong opinions. I wanted to find a forum where I could address other atheists and advocate for the priorities I think are important. I spent a long time looking for that forum, and I dipped my toes into the comments sections of several other atheist blogs, but I never quite found what I was looking for.

As time went on, I grew more and more frustrated by what I saw as the failure of atheist organizations and leaders to speak out on the most pressing moral, social, and political issues of the day. As protests erupted across the United States in the aftermath of the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the atheists on my Twitter feed seemed more concerned with attacking the Pledge of Allegiance and erecting Satanic statues in public spaces.

I also wanted an opportunity to weigh in on some of the big debates among atheists. There's a lot of acrimony, and I've noticed that the opposing camps rarely support each other even on issues where they agree. When they mention each other at all, it is to further sharpen the distinctions. I think many of these controversies are important, and it's important to take a side, but it's not helpful to pick a team. I'm not interested in being a partisan of one or another prominent atheist.

Finally, there are some pretty important topics that I think atheism mostly overlooks. Most atheists I've found, even the politically conscious ones, don't seem to know much about economics. Discussions of climate change are most often limited to mocking the denialists, rather than facing up to the terrifying scale of the problem. While most of the atheists I follow are at least nominally on the political left, most of them are mired in the same mushy centrism that has paralyzed the Democratic Party for decades. I want to advocate for a more robust form of progressive atheism. 

Eventually I realized that if I wanted to read the blog I was imagining, I would have to write it myself. But I really didn't want to do that. I've written several blogs in the past on various topics, and it's not easy. It's a lot of work, and it's mostly thankless, and to be honest very few people ever read any of it. But it's an outlet, and I feel like I need an outlet right now.

Confession time: Yes, this is another atheist blog. But I don't expect to spend much time exposing the logical fallacies of religious apologetics. I'm sure there will be some of that, but mainly I want to take atheism as a given and look out at the rest of the world. I also want to contribute in whatever small way I can to amplifying the voices of the underrepresented within the atheist community.There may also be some jokes, but don't get your hopes up.

Welcome to Not Another Atheist Blog. I hope you like it, and if not, I hope you'll tell me why.

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