One of my pet peeves is when people say that there is no atheist movement. At many times, I’ve reacted angrily to the suggestion. I don’t understand how anyone could believe that, especially when I hear it from people who are involved in, or interact with atheist organizations.
Dear readers, help me understand. If you don’t believe there is an atheist movement, please explain your thinking in the comments. I will listen, and as long as you are polite to me I will be polite to you, setting pet peeves aside.
Here are some questions which you may use to guide your responses:
- What do you think a “movement” is? Name a quintessential example of a movement and point out the salient characteristics that make it a movement.
- Is it possible that there exists an atheist movement, but that you personally are not part of that movement, even if you are an atheist?
- Distinguish ought from is. Do you believe that there is an atheist movement but there shouldn’t be one? Or do you believe that there neither is nor should be an atheist movement? Or something else?
- Distinguish necessity from contingency. If there is no atheist movement, is it possible that there could be one? If an atheist movement is a bad idea, could it be a good idea in some alternate timeline?
- Do you prefer some other term in place of “movement”, such as “community”, “group”, “discourse”, “blogosphere”, or “organization”? Or perhaps you prefer the plural form of any of these words, to emphasize the multi-faceted nature of the thing?
- Do you prefer some other term in place of “atheist”?
I don’t expect responses right away, but I’ll redirect people here next time I hear people claiming there’s no atheist movement.