August 1, 2014

Atheist Blogs Inspire Me

English: The choir of Lambrook School circa 19...
The choir of Lambrook School circa 1960/61 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is a question that I can almost guarantee every atheist blogger has asked at one point or another: am I just preaching to the choir? We suspect that most of our readership is made up of atheists (and Christian trolls), but we can never be sure who is reading or where any given reader might be in his or her journey.

We know that we are mere specks in an atheist/skeptical/humanist/secular blogosphere that grows larger by the day, and so it is natural that we might wonder about our audience. Why do those who read what we write do so? What do they get out of it? What keeps them coming back?

I can answer the question of why I personally read the atheist blogs I read in a word: inspiration. I read the atheist blogs I read because they inspire me. I read them because they make me think, challenge me to ask questions I am not currently asking, and consider different ways of looking at the world. They inspire me in many different ways. And yes, this still happens daily even though I've been an atheist who reads atheist blogs for some time.

I do think that most of us, myself included, could do a better job of reaching out to people who do not currently identify themselves as atheists. We could certainly do a better job of treating them civilly when they do surface on our radar. Nothing I've said here should be interpreted as suggesting that I think reaching out to a wider audience is undesirable. But maybe preaching to the choir isn't so bad when you are inspiring the choir.