AN membership is said have to reached 25000 this year. Relatively speaking, not many of them appear to be active in AN activities. How can we make more of them join our activities? There must be thousands of atheists on the earth who have not joined any forum like AN. I myself joined AN 40 years after becoming an atheist. What and how much are they missing? How can we attract more of them to join us? Why do you enjoy AN membership?
while there are certainly a number of inane and endless debates here, there are also some very interesting discussions that are started, relevant news items brought to attention, and strong opinion pieces that can be found here on AN. if you think that everything on AN boils down to comparing cock sizes, i think you're over simplifying what goes on here.
It is very true that there are some very good discussions too. Just as it is necessary to widen the scope of discussions, it is also true that the non-participants also should take more interest. I was a bit upset at our poor response to Jabal but I think persons like him should make his presence felt more by more participation. Everybody here should feel that he belongs here. Otherwise, a membership is only a statistics. Those who are not good at writing English should also participate without fear because we all will make eforts to understand them. Not being good at Englosh is not a disqualification.
I understand what you're getting at Madhukar, especially living where you're at. In the end it's simply a matter of life priorities and time for most. Where I live in Canada, although still a high religious area, there is a significant atheist community. Personally, I devote more time locally with "like minded" people in my area. My hope is, working locally makes more people, more open minded, which will then spread from there. That does seem to be the case in my country. And who knows? Being such close neighbours to the states we might actually be able to have some influence over them for once. And from there...you never know...
I understand what you're getting at Madhukar, especially living where you're at.
We do have several Indian members and there are many others too, but AN appears to be a site for atheists largely from American christians. If there are many discussion subjects with American context and alll the time critical of christian religion, it is only natural that many persons, like me for example, will feel disinterested. We must endeavour to make AN a global site or declare it to be only for past American christians.
I have just discovered an Indian atheist site and it permits non-members too to participate in discussions. This seems to bring more variety in discussions. Many at AN have by now understood that although I am a strong atheist, I am not a religion hater. Having got tired with constant anti christianity tirade, and wanting a serious discussion on religion and atheism, I have managed to locate a strong creationist christian and have started a personal discussion with him. I am fully aware of difficulties that I may face while having a discussiion with such a strong religionist, but that is what we have to be ready to face. There is hardly any meaning in one atheist telling another how religion is bad and how Jesus is worst. We have to change this mind set if we have to have a global appeal.
Yes I agree. So just so there is no misunderstanding, I'm not a "religion hater" either. Hard for me to be, since although there are a few religious "nutters" in my area, most are what I call relaxed liberal christians. Hell, our local country church will have beer in the back room with beer mugs after service on occasion. In fact many of the people I know that call themselves christians, by definition are not in my opinion. Although somewhat vocal in my disbelief, I really don't try to be too pushy and don't outright try to "convert" as some theists may. As a result, I have found many here open to my reasoning and logic. Being with "like minded people" besides being enjoyable, simply helps give me courage to voice my thoughts to people who may have differing ideas. And this site helps me reinforce my ideas/values, as well as give me new ones to pass on to others. So I'd have to disagree on "There is hardly any meaning in one atheist telling another how religion..." Personally, I wouldn't use words like "bad" and "worst" to theists, as that rarely goes over well (^_-).
As for the American factor, there's no need to explain what you mean to me...I'm Canadian. No offense to the Americans here, but coming from a neibouring country with a pop of 39 million compared to the states and their 310 million, we get quite sick of their...I'll try be polite here and say "influence" and non consideration of the rest of the world. The US is known as the "melting pot" while we're known as the "mosaic". It's that attitude of non acceptance why American atheists are not accepted in their own country and why they don't know/understand other cultures. Sorry, I don't mean to generalize you Americans...I find many American atheists (being in a minority) don't necessarily fall into that category. Good enough save? (^_-).
Would I be wrong to assume India is similar to the States in that way, with just a different culture?
LOL Good save, Rudy! As your neighbor to the south, I honestly admit I'm not always proud as to how many of my fellow citizens present themselves to the rest of humanity. But that's a whole other topic!!
India can not be similar to America because we do not have the influence and power. Indians are also not agressive. From what I have seen here, Americans also appear unwilling to take critism. Indians, except for politicians, on personal level are much more tolerant and will accept criticism.
Again, this is from an "outsiders" observation, but I wonder if your neighbours would agree (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc). Much like Canada views the US... or NZ to the Aussies... or Swiss (and a couple other countries) to the Germans. World wide, India and China are becoming known as the "new powerhouses". Plus, isn't it India that has the strong "caste system?" Like the Americans, sometimes it's hard to see your "aggressiveness" as a country from the inside. Besides, being at nearly 1.2 billion people, it's nearly impossible not to. Listen to the opinions from the outside. They can tell you a lot. And remember, like my description of Americans, I'm not saying ALL east Indians are like that, it's just the image the rest of the world may have.
And I apologize for taking things off topic...whoops...there you go. A Canadian being stereotypically apologetic (^_-).