‘Pure’ atheist groups inevitably disintegrate

If in a particular society atheists are very less, the few who do not believe in god may stick together in a group.

But the moment the number increases beyond a critical number they tend to split into various interest groups.


Thus we will have atheist groups which primarily stand for social justice like humanist groups, feminist groups, LGBTQ groups etc. There may be politically Left and Right atheist groups. There may be post modernist or regressive Left atheist groups. There may nationalist or sub nationalist atheist groups. There will also be minority phobic, ableist, racist/casteist atheist groups, anti-feminists atheist groups and anti-gay atheist groups.

When atheism becomes a commonly accepted philosophy why one should stay in the same group as another with very intolerable views ?


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    From my limited observations in USAstan, I submit the threshold for division occurs well before the tipping point of public acceptance.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    It isn’t just atheists — I’ve seen devastating splits in science fiction fandom, gaming groups, goldfish fanciers — just about anyone. I’ve heard that some social scientists have closely studied the social dynamics of small groups that are bound together by interests or ideology.

    Below a certain size — around twelve or fifteen — everyone knows each other, and the primary bonds are social. And once you start to get above forty, you start to become an organization, and you’re governed by an organization’s rules, which give you stability through voting and so forth. But between those two numbers, there’s a lot of volatility — personalities get invoked, people split into factions, and the whole thing blows up.

    I’ve even read that the CIA was interested in this research — after all, a terrorist cell is nothing if not a group bound together by ideology.

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