One of the advantages church-going theists have over non-believers is community. They know that in their church they are accepted, supported and cared about. Non-believers have no such support system. We make our own friends, perhaps relying on our other interests (i.e. hobbies) to provide us with a sense of community.

Perhaps that's why I'm such an advocate of forums and atheist websites. I joined my first forum (Lockergnome) in 2001, and since that moment have tried to establish a similar setting for my fellow atheists and free thinkers. To date I haven't been very successful.

Which explains my interest in the Atheist Nexus. Here's the fruition of my hopes, the realization of my desire. This site has the potential to provide, within the normal constraints of a website, a community for those of us without a sympathetic social circle in real life.

Community isn't essential. It is a comfort and a pleasure. It's a nice thing to have, not a necessity. Still, it gives me a good feeling to contribute to establishing and growing this community. It should be an asset to the members. It can be like a friendly bar where one retires at the end of the day to relax and talk among like-minded compatriots. If this site is truly what we, the members, make it, I want to make it a community.

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Tags: atheism, atheist, community, nexus

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Comment by Josh Gough on July 20, 2008 at 10:48am
Enjoyed this post! It's a lot like the one I just made about Areligious Community.

I agree about the hobbies and interests. But, it is nice to find people to meet in person that share some of the core beliefs regarding lack of supernatural beings.

Have you been able to find people in person to discuss things with too?
Comment by Jack Carlson on July 15, 2008 at 9:20am
I did check out the local atheist's MeetUp group. I even built a forum for them, but they hardly use it. It seems their interests in socializing aren't especially interesting to me. There's a humanist's group that appears to be quite popular, but I haven't looked into it yet. Between a full time job and a nearly full time commitment to online activities I'm involved with, I don't have a lot of time for real world socializing. That's why I appreciate Atheist Nexus.
Comment by ZombieArcher on July 15, 2008 at 5:22am
I don't know where you are located, but have you tried organizing meetups via meetup.com? Thats how I have managed to find several local atheists.

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