Quite some time ago a selection of videos were posted to Think Atheist, YouTube and other video sharing website on "Why We Think Atheist".  Most of such videos were about why the video blogger in the video questions religion, does not agree with religion, or simply prefers the scientific method of thinking. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, we should all question everything and support science and all of its achievements and so on. 

But is that it? Is that all we are to be? Surly there must be more to us atheists. At least from an individual perspective. Granted all it means to be an atheist is not believing in God or could argue that this extends to not believing in any form of superstition. I'll accept that.

But what about the members of this site as a community? Surly you must have noticed that on a frequent enough occasion, you will see a post in which will receive the response "This has already been posted". Well of course it has. How many different ways can we possibly express that religion is corrupt, or creationism is a sham or such and such a faith is a cult. Its all been said before. Maybe you might be lucky enough that someone might add a slightly different perspective on the issue, but that is incredibly rare in the long run. 

I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression form this post, I'm not dissing Think Atheist nor am I saying anyone should not question or debate religion. Think Atheist is a fantastic forum and we all should continue to question everything. 

But what I am saying is that maybe members should think about posting more discussions in the side categories. I suggested that Morgan add some extra categories quite some time ago, and he was very good to do so. 

The way I see it, is like this. If you go on to a rock bands fan forum, users don't just talk about the band. While the band is not on tour or there is no new album coming out, users tend to discuss the side topics. And we can do the same on Think Atheist. All I am saying and suggesting is that members think about promoting a little more variety on the site. 

But of course this is just my opinion and I'm interested to know how the rest of you feel about this. What are your thoughts on it?


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Thank you for your input Captain.

This is a great site without doubt. But you are right. There is a lot of obsessing over the insane stupidities of the ignorant, anger towards the ghosts of religious past and a severe phobia of Xmas.

We should campaign against vaginal mutilation and fighting against creationism taught in schools. This would be something. The "it". IMHO 

Thank you Davis, very well put. 

The over obsessing over religion and atheism on this site, is one of the site's major downfalls. It actually steers away so many potential members (including atheists). Only recently a few of us received an email from a humanist who just got fed up with the obsessiveness of some users, so he left and deleted his account. I could totally understand where he was coming from. 

So we need to focus more on our other interests as well, because this over obsessiveness of how awful religion is, can be quite intimidating for some.  There is a notion outside of this site that, we just spend our entire time in here agreeing with each other, I'd like that generalisation to be broken with some more versatility on the site 

"over obsessing over religion and atheism on this site"

Uh, this IS an atheist forum where we THINK atheist. It is the common point of interaction for it's members. If you want to discuss Javascript or other unrelated issues there are more engaging appropriate sites to use. I went squirrel hunting yesterday and had a helluva good time walking through the woods but I doubt many of my fellow members could give a shite about that. There is a plethora of issues related to atheism that can/should keep our members engaged. As Davis pointed out mutilation of the genitalia and creationism are most worthy of our attention but 4 wheeler off roading is a bit of a stretch.

Well like I already said Ed. If you go on to a forum such as band fan forum, you will notice that they have off topic categories. Its not just about discussing the topics based on the theme of the site. 

I'm not claiming that things such as JavaScript are connected with atheism, its not. Nor is it supposed to be. They are off topics, thats the point of them. Circumcision and creationism have been discussed over and over again to such an extent that we have worn the issues out. I guarantee you, if you posted a blog or discussion about either of those topics you will get a response saying "We already discussed this". Its already been done. 

I used to post on the fan forum for the punk band The Offspring a long time ago.  What I noticed with that site is that they have categories associated with the band, and they have other off topic categories. While nothing is really happening with the band, people tend to discuss other issues (I've actually seen some people discuss atheism on that site as it happens). 

I don't see why this site should be any different. While nothing interesting is happening in politics, nothing new to discuss regarding the scientific world, and while WBC have not made a fool of themselves on the news etc, there are off topics that can be discussed. Yes we are an atheist forum, but we as individuals do have other interests and we could actually benefit from discussing them. Perhaps actually become a more efficient and closer community. 

And you've obviously missed all those threads where the issue involved is fundamentally political with little or no connection to church/state separation (even though atheists statistically tend to fall on one side on other issues, any actual connection is tenuous at best).

There are also plenty of sub groups on this board, everything from atheist cat lovers to... well, I doubt there's one for squirrel hunters.  Though to be honest they are mostly dormant here.

I lost about half of what I wrote above.  I started to edit it and ran over the 15 minute limit and all that deathless prose, well, died.  (So much for immortality.)  I'll try to recreate it.  one thing in what did survive I really want to change is the word "tenuous" to "secondary."

This is a single issue forum--atheism.  The people here (other than the occasional troll or crusader who thinks he's going to lead people to Jesus--but even THEY are here because there's a bunch of atheists here) are here because they are atheists.

It's the nature of single issue forums to be primarily about that issue.  We do have our occasional excursions and they turn contentious.  And that is to be expected.  I've noticed that on other single-issue forums (for other issues) as well, as soon as you wander off the Main Issue (whatever it is), people start getting into really nasty disputes.

Anyhow it's in the nature of single issue forums to concentrate on that single issue.  And quite frankly, if you can't deal with that, if it's going to make you gnash your teeth, you should probably just move on.  Reality is not going to bend to conform to your wishes and give you a "Think about exactly the mix of topics I want to think about" board and populate it with thousands of people and then title it "Think Atheist."  Not without purging lots of atheists off that board so the rest of them can all say "wow neat we all agree on this too!"

I personally visit a variety of different fora to try to build a "diet" of talking about issues that suits me; depending on the day or time, I might even find those other places more important than this one.  It beats the hell out of pounding on the table and demanding that the people here talk about whatever is on my mind at the moment.

Another option you have is, you know, starting an off-topic thread about what you do want to talk about.  That's not a demand on their time, so it's "kosher" (so to speak)--but if they don't bite, then you have to accept that.

And the nasty disputes give me a headache.

The goal of Think Atheist is to break the misconceptions of atheism and help others to understand atheism.

This is an Atheist centered network, therefore the discussions tend to lean that way. there are literately hundreds of groups catering to specific topics on ThinkAtheist.com alone. 

Our guidelines state that blogs and discussions: "

  • Must be topical and somehow relate to free-thought/atheism/skepticism/science."


The guidelines were not just tossed up and forgotten. We spent a lot if time and had several members help write an revise them.  

If we let topics run crazy it will become diluted, and it will lose focus. Not saying you can't post about your truck, or javascript as long as it is in the proper forum, or better yet, group.

All I shall say to that is that many websites evolve and change for the better. The fact remains (regardless of the guidelines ), Think Atheist does now have more categories that are not specifically related to the forum theme. 

I'm sure the guidelines were very thoroughly thought through. But what are guidelines exactly? The clue is in its name. They are a guide. Thats why they are called guidelines. 

And this isn't about me wanting the site my way or anything like that. The activity on Think Atheist needs to be increased. And I feel that if we encourage more interest to other issues atheists think about, we could do just that.  

But for what it is worth, I will always post discussion in their relevant categories, in fact its easer now that Morgan has added some extra ones. 

ahem, Morgan is not the only one who added categories ;).

As for the guidelines, we adhere to them until they are changed they are to be followed as written.


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