In response to these facts it's easy to see why many atheists write hateful, angry comments about Christians and other theists. We are sometimes too quick to call them "stupid," "delusional," and "ignorant." The theists that have picked up on this are starting to call us "fundamentalist" atheists or even "militant" atheists. Many posts on atheist blogs are rants and ridicules. Many of these wind up on blog carnivals like Carnival of the Godless. And for many of us, they make for great reading and we start to feel better about ourselves.
But there is another way to feel better about ourselves. Instead of feeling better by making the theists seem lower, why not feel better by making ourselves seem higher? Instead of denigrate, encourage! There are a lot of positive views out there, but we could always use more.
When I started this blog, I had imagined that most of my posts would be rants. But when I started looking around at other blogs, I found I particularly enjoyed reading the more upbeat -- or at least even-tempered -- posts like those at Daylight Atheism and Friendly Atheist. I also love to read deconversion stories. I find them inspiring, like reading of a great victory despite greater odds. I've tried to inject some more inspiring and encouraging thoughts into my own blog. I don't think I'll ever cut out rants entirely, but I like to think I have a pretty good attitude and I try to avoid name calling.
It has worked great for me. When I started this blog I was deeply depressed. (I had been ever since the Paula Zahn debacle) Soon after starting this, and writing inside the atheist community I hadn't previously known was there, my mood brightened incredibly. So regardless of how others have taken it, this blog has certainly made one person feel a lot better.
Others have noticed this too. Adam from Daylight Atheism is starting a new blog carnival for us happy heathens called The Humanist Symposium.
Rather than general posts on atheism and religion, the purpose of the Humanist Symposium will be specifically to defend and uphold atheism as a positive worldview of morality, reason and purpose, a desirable and attractive alternative to belief systems based on religion.I think this is a tremendous idea and am looking forward to reading it, writing posts for it, maybe even eventually hosting it. Thank you, Adam, for encouraging the encouragement.
Please spread the word!