Just wondering.... more than 30,000 members. At most, I am guessing 20 or 30 or so post discussions or get involved in discussion. Not that I keep track.
That's the size of a mega-church. Sorry for the analogy. It's about the size of the town where I grew up. Also not a good analogy, that town was a sorry excuse for an over-sized septic tank. Let's just say it's a lot of people.
Anyway, I wonder what happens for the folks who sign on and don't post. I hope this site is useful for them. I suppose if 30,000 people were all posting and discussing it would be kind of overwhelming. Maybe page-views generate some funding for the site?
I also wonder about people who used to be very active, then.... poof! vanished! There are a bunch of them. Did they get bored? Found Jesus? Get busy and no longer had time? Found peace with being atheist, the need was met, move on?
Just speculating. I sometimes welcome new members hoping to inspire involvement, and others do a lot more of that than I do.
What I wonder in relation to this topic, is why the wife, husband, or companion of an active member never participates. I've often wanted to ask you and others that question, but don't want to be nosey where it's none of my business.
I'd say my wife is a nominal liberal Christian. She hasn't attended church in years, at least in part because of a back problem. But the last I heard, she still considers atheist a bad word. I belong to a local (Albuquerque) humanist group; there are no more than five active couples. Others are single, but others are like me.
So sorry Jerry.....Maybe if your wife went along to one of your group meetings..she could be enlightened.....Tell her to have an Open Mind and give it a try......
Actually, we hosted the annual winter solstice party at our home once. She mostly stayed upstairs, but happened to be around when a young, new member (who only stayed a few months) delivered a diatribe about how totally stupid religionists are, and wasn't smacked down by other members. (We just don't do that; we agree or disagree, but only a few of us will take on others.) So she decided the group is like that. As to "tell her to have an Open Mind ... " you don't know my wife. We don't tell each other what to do; we might not have made it to 58 years if we did.
OK Jerry.....I just thought it could work.....Congratulations on your long marriage ......you obviously know your wife pretty well.....:)
Freethinker31, don't tell her, that would raise my resistance if someone told me to do something. Offer the opportunity and accept, without comment, a yes or no. Then do whatever seems right for you. Couples do have different interests and need time on their own. Support that.
On the other hand, if there is a problem that needs addressing, I say, deal with it as soon as possible.
Gee Jerry, when I first read your post, I thought that "I" had written it! Sounds similar to my situation. And no, I don't belong to any local group. I am semi-housebound because of 8 years of illness, but we have been married over 50 years now, and hold many similar beliefs, but.......I never talk to my wife about my deepest beliefs, nor does she to me. Like myself, she sees all the hypocracy within most "people of faith" and chooses not to participate in any of them.
It is an interesting question. I'm curious to know also. It might be nice if someone that decided to leave would post their reasons. Of course, many probably don't know they're going to leave for good.
If I decide to leave, I will probably give the reasons.
I think a lot of them have moved on. Some come back to use from time to time, but not often. I really enjoy this site but not everybody is a Tyson or an Einstein. I have problems with some who think they are, so I give up and stop trying to respond to them, then just move on to other topics.
What's of interest to me on A/N might not interest everybody. That's also why I think some have moved on. We all want to get in our 2 cents worth, but I can't discuss Edward Snowden forever. I'm also not good at telling you how to nueter your cat. Most of my type of discussions would center around religion and supernaturalism, and maybe anything coming out of those in some way.
I'm often just floored by those who claim not to believe in god, but they tell you something else they believe in that is supernatural. None of this is pick and chose to me. It's logic, reason, and evidence. It appears that some atheists don't even get that.
One option is that people are so busy trying to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, they don't have time for small-talk and haven't time to think about large-talk, or whatever one calls discussion of serious topics.
Another option is new atheists discovered there were others thinking as they, and they no longer felt the need for support on the internet.
Or, perhaps, there was information overload.
Or, they were not comfortable writing their thoughts.
Or, they were afraid of having their privacy invaded.
Or, they were scared off by the fear-mongers who took out after us when we wrote some criticism of religion. (old timers know this, but I received a phone call from someone reading my Atheist Nexus material and he threatened me with rape with a blow torch if I continued to blaspheme his god.)
Or, they wanted a community of local people with whom to share ideas instead of virtual friends.
Or, they missed the community of the church and returned to the safety of the known.
Or, they were so radicalized, the discussions were not militant enough.
There are some I miss and wonder how they feel and what they think. I have reached out to a couple but nothing came of it. I have some deep concern about those in Afghanistan, Egypt, and the Middle East who no longer keep in touch. One young man was so excited about the Egyptian Spring, writing of his hope and dreams. He has gone silent. So has the man in Afghanistan.
Joan, your first thought applies to many people I think: "people are so busy trying to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, they don't have time for small-talk and haven't time to think about large-talk, or whatever one calls discussion of serious topics."
I like the phrase "large-talk".