For those of you who identify as atheist / agnostic, what value do you find in connecting with others via TrueAtheism?

To me, embracing Atheism was a life-changing process. But what was life-changing about it wasn't actually providing an answer to the question "Is there a God?" but about taking seriously all the other questions religion completely glosses over.

What is the true nature of consciousness if not a magical soul? Is there one solution to morality or many? What effect should our knowledge of the permanence of death have on our behavior in life? What is the best way to prioritize key moral imperatives in a world with no prime authority?

It completely changed my thinking in a way that made me fundamentally incompatible with most religious-thinking people, at least in terms of forming any truly intimate bond. They make these off comments or go on tirades and I have to just smile and nod while I mentally compose a university-style lecture that completely eviscerates both their point and worldview but will go forever undelivered. You can't just go around assaulting people with the truth when they've been proudly lying to themselves all their lives. You wouldn't dare bring it up unless a million factors aligned to make that action seem both risk-free and worth your time.

While Christians love to claim persecution (a long-standing cultural heritage passed down from Roman times, of course) atheists are often actually persecuted. In the US it is usually just soft bigotry, i.e. almost no atheist can win an elected office, but globally the persecution is much more serious. It is not infrequently that atheist bloggers and activists are brutally murdered in foreign countries. On top of that, atheists are more likely to commit suicide for a plethora of reasons that include persecution, being overwhelmed by trying to find new answers to big questions, losing the philosophical backstops to suicide that almost all religions include, and many other reasons. Community support is one of the only ways to address many of these problems.

Atheists are almost always in the minority, even though we have the clear majority of hard evidence on our side. The more educated you become, the more likely you are to become an atheist.

As ironic as it sounds, sometimes the atheist community feels like a kind of occult network, like we all know some crazy fact about reality that nobody else will ever believe. Like we're the only ones who can see that the emperor has no clothes on, but we can also see exactly why everybody else totally buys the illusion and what is so cheap about it. And we've gotten together to discuss whether this guy should really be the emperor anyway and what the royal tailor is up to and how to navigate these crowds of people who can't be shaken of the dream. There is a tremendous amount of solidarity that emerges around that table and that discussion.

We know we're right and it's the world that's crazy. But because the world is crazy it never hurts to just walk through all the steps with each other to show ourselves (and anyone else who happens to listen) again and again just how it all really works. We have a clear chain of accessibile empirical evidence to follow. You can start from wherever you are on the journey and we can walk with you every step to the end, and even though everyone claims to be able to do that, we're the only ones that really can.

/r/TrueAtheism Thread