Friday, April 27, 2012

Religious communities aren't the only kind

PZ Myers had a post about the idea of an atheist community.  It was in response to something John Wilkins said:
First of all if you want to build a community you have to have a set of shared values, rituals and practices. These are, if you like, the nature of the community.
I left a comment which I feel is worth reproducing:
I really don’t understand why religious communities are always used as the basis of comparison for atheist communities. Why not… fanfic communities? Sports communities? Japanese-American communities? Makes about as much sense. And then maybe we’ll get a broader idea of what really makes a community.
Once you consider other communities besides religious ones, it becomes really obvious that communities don't necessarily have shared values, rituals, or practices.  They may not even have shared interests, a shared identity, or shared physical space.  All you really need is a bunch of people who are connected to each other somehow.  Put it this way, if someone is a stranger but in the same community, it seems easier to connect with them.

I think it is totally okay to feel unconnected with the atheist community, or not want to connect to it.  And since it is a completely legitimate feeling that needs no justification, you don't need to make up bullshit excuses for it, like this platonic idealization of religious communities.


kyrilluk said...

You could have said the "gay community" as well. But then I defy you to find a community that don't share the same set of values ("gay is cool")) and with some ritual too ("gay pride" among other things).
The Atheists want to reproduce the religious community because it's the most powerful of all. Religion tend to unite people. This is why all the civilizations that promoted atheism at one point of their history have always been eradicated by deeply religious communities.

miller said...

Let atheists speak for themselves about what they want.

Amy said...

For me, religious community is the basis. Since religion is one of the demography of an individual or a group. It is somehow our identity because when you are in a certain community, you most likely doing the things to be done by that certain community. The things are the shared values, rituals, or practices and etc. of that community. This is my mere opinion.