January 22, 2020

Yes, We Do Need More Atheist Blogs!

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I recently saw a tweet from someone indicating that he was starting a new atheist blog and had just written his first post. Not surprisingly, we (I retweeted his tweet, and so the question was posed to both of us) were quickly asked whether we really need more atheist blogs. What else is there to say about atheism that hasn't been said countless times? I think this is a fair question but also one with an easy answer: Yes! Yes, we need more atheist blogs...and books, and podcasts, and videos, etc.

While it is true that atheist blogging has likely peaked, that does not make it any less necessary. Atheism continues to be socially unacceptable in the United States, and I believe that ignorance and misinformation are still contributing to this. People need to learn more about atheism and recognize that much of what they have been told about it is wrong. Anti-atheist bigotry is widespread, at least in the regions of the country most afflicted by evangelical fundamentalist Christianity. As a result, many atheists end up feeling isolated or even alienated from those around them. We face a variety of social pressures aimed at silencing us. But atheists are not alone, and it is often helpful be reminded of this.

Most atheist blogs do not last long because most blogs do not last long. Writing a blog is hard work for little reward, and it certainly is not for everyone. And yet, I think there is plenty of room for more atheist voices. It doesn't matter if you are addressing a topic that has already been addressed countless times; what matters is that you are contributing to an important discussion. And even if the topic is familiar, your take on it might not be. After all, we all bring different perspectives to the table as a function of our different experiences.

I know it may be selfish, but I have to admit that part of why I think we need more atheist blogs is that I would enjoy reading more atheist blogs. Finding good ones has gotten much harder than it used to be. When atheist blogging was at its peak, my RSS reader was filled with more good ones than I possibly had time to read. Nowadays, I sometimes have to go looking for interesting content in strange places because the blogs I was reading have shut down or the bloggers who write them have tired of posting regularly. There are all sorts of good reasons not to start an atheist blog, but I continue to be pleased when someone does so anyway.

As for the potential audience for new atheist blogs, I think there still is one but that it is probably not as large as it once was. I think this has far more to do with blogs than it does with atheism. Many people seem to prefer social media or even YouTube to blogs. Still, I'd guess that there will continue to be an audience who enjoys reading blog posts for a few more years.