Thursday, July 12, 2012

Promoting Atheism Through Facebook

As one who was originally indifferent about social media, I joined Facebook a few years ago only at the behest of my wife's nephew who said that it's a more streamlined way than email to keep in touch with family and others in one's circle of interest, which turned out to be the case as far as it went.   This turned out to be correct.  However, since that time, I have also found FB to be a useful tool in sending and receiving communications about other matters in which I'm involved, including the atheist movement,  the struggle against religious fundamentalism, and my own thoughts and activities as a non-believer.

This is because Facebook is a great tool for sharing ideas,.  Why. for example, would I have any greater reservations about including atheist-oriented material on my page or profile than my theistic  counterparts do about their beliefs on their pages? In doing so I have connected  with other atheists and have received a wealth of information including various features and sites, some of  which I found to be not only very useful in gaining knowledge but fascinating reading as well.  In turn I have found similar Facebook-ready works of interest  to share with others from such various sources as progressive newsletters  

One use for Facebook for those atheists who haven't come out of the closet to their FB Friends (who often include family members) is to do so through that medium. Personally, I have made no secret on Facebook about  being godless and so far have had no negative reactions from those Friends (many of whom are believers) who were previously unaware of my position. But crypto-atheists who choose  Facebook as a venue to out themselves may learn whether or not their believer FB Friends are truly worthy of that description.

There are certainly other means of getting the word out about atheism, such as through forums and blog sites. But these are read mainly by those with an interest in that topic  On the other hand because of its  widespread and generalized following, Facebook may be better suited for non-believers to present ourselves and our narrative to others who as Friends, especially those theists to whom we have close ties, may well be willing to trust and accept us.