The Brights was a movement in the 00s to rebrand atheists as “brights”. It immediately fizzled, as everyone laughed it out of the room. Can you imagine calling yourself a bright?
I first heard about brights in 2007, but apparently it was coined some years earlier, by Paul Geisert in 2003. He and his wife Mynga Futrell founded The Brights organization, whose website still stands today. The word was initially supported by Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, but was immediately mocked by both conservative columnists and skeptical authors (not all articles are publicly available). Nowadays, nobody ever bothers to remember it except as a hilarious object lesson in how constructed labels can go wrong.
“Bright” is a funny word, but I will discuss it earnestly. I will deconstruct its motivations, analyze the arguments for and against it, and investigate where it ended up.