June 1, 2013

Introducing the Heathen Hub

The Heathen Hub
A new effort is beginning to take shape to provide atheists who have grown tired of the more dogmatic and fanatical elements among us with an alternative. The Heathen Hub, a small Internet forum ran by Gurdur, is the location for much of the initial discussion. Gurdur described his goals here. From what he said, the following strike me as particularly relevant for those hoping to understand his aims:
  • Gurdur wants to create a space for "all who are moderate and able to disagree without bullying others, to work together insofar as possible to eliminate the hatred, personal defamation, harassment and bullying going on."
  • He hopes that the Hub can become a place to engage with others who share this goal and to do some cross-promotion.
  • Gurdur notes that he does not see this particular project as being about "healing the rifts." He notes, "It is about maximizing cooperation and dialogue where possible despite huge disagreement, and where dialogue is made impossible, it is about exposing and isolating bullying, harassment and hate-speech."
It sounds like Gurdur envisions a mode of interaction where name calling, bullying, harassment, and defamation avoided and where we try to work with those interested in cooperation in spite of our disagreements. At the same time, he recognizes that not everyone is interested in cooperation and that some will continue to behave in malicious ways. In this case, he does not recommend ignoring them or appeasement but exposing their behavior. For an example of what this sort of exposure might look like, refer to Gurdur's open letter to Michael Nugent about a recently alleged doxxing at Freethought Blogs.

Time will tell whether this effort produces some of the changes many of us would like to see. While it is still in the early stages of development, that is a good thing because it means that you have an opportunity to contribute to shaping the community. Maybe I'll see you there.

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