So Atheism+ is about two weeks old now. Even though it’s still in its infancy, it’s already accomplished more than a few things. The obvious example is A+ Scribe, which everyone with the time and ability should contribute to. There are several other ideas still being hashed out on the forums, all with varying degrees of promise. But even if none of these ideas pan out, even if A+ Scribe doesn’t end up working, A+ will still have accomplished something great. A+ will have changed the conversation on social justice issues within the atheism movement.
Think about what the atheist movement did to the perception of atheism in society as a whole. (Note: I’m mainly referring to American society, because that’s what I’m familiar with, although this could easily apply to other places as well.) A decade ago, atheism was on hardly anyone’s radar, and many atheists felt isolated and alone. Now, people are talking. Atheism is mentioned in the news, atheist books are bestsellers, and there are hundreds of atheist groups all over the world.
With all of this increased publicity came real change. Atheism became more popular, atheists were accepted into communities, and for the first time in American history, a sitting president publicly acknowledged our existence in a speech. These are important things, and they were accomplished almost entirely by atheists talking with each other and with religious people. Richard Dawkins’ Out Campaign is a prime example of this. It consisted of a bunch of people telling their friends and family that they happen to be atheists.
Awareness raising sometimes gets a hard time among activists. But raising awareness is a crucial step toward fixing a problem. More people knowing about a problem means more people willing to help fix it, and that’s why A+ is so important. By raising awareness about social justice issues, A+ highlights a serious problem in our community and brings us that much closer to fixing it. So even if A+ does nothing else, it will have still accomplished something huge.