OpinionAn atheist's bible would be popular, even though atheism implies thinking for yourself.
      – Lee J Haywood, 2009-01-12 at 11:09:05   (12 comments)

On 2009-01-12 at 11:14:14, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Most atheist web sites are about countering existing religions, are defensive and take different approaches. A bible, on the other hand, can be a set of statements about what we know about our origins and include rational approaches to morality.
On 2009-01-12 at 19:53:24, Thelevellers wrote...
That's an interesting idea... It would on the one hand make life easier when debating in some ways (You read MY 'holy' book? No? Shut up then! ;). But I would imagine that it would be quite hard to draft one that would be agreed upon by atheists every where. As someone far wittier than I has said: grouping atheists is like herding cats. Or similar...
On 2009-01-12 at 19:59:42, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Well, what I didn't mention was the idea of having it written as a wiki, so that a consensus can be reached for each concept involved. Of course, when it comes to morality you have to ask "whose morality is it?" Particularly difficult to manage between countries/cultures, in spite of the ever-improving Zeitgeist. When it comes to what we know about the universe, etc., it'd be difficult to avoid just listing facts but at least we could provide a chronology and tell it like a story.
On 2009-01-12 at 20:11:01, Thelevellers wrote...
The one factor I am certain on is the presentation of the scientific version of 'creation' being put down in a coherent and ordered fashion, like the bible. It would prove tricky I believe, but with the power of the wiki I think it's possible. You would have to have a fairly controlled wiki though, as it would be ripe for religious interference - slipping in religious versions and then claiming it was an atheist saying it - they'd love it! I'm almost convinced to change my vote to a yes, but I'm not sure about the popular factor - I'll give it a think...
On 2009-01-12 at 20:15:24, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Right, that's the problem with getting a wiki started - someone has to put a lot of work in initially, and even then maybe no-one else will contribute. It's like the way there ought to be a wiki dedicated to JavaScript programming (they exist, but are devoid of content). Religious interference wouldn't be much of a problem provided that the atheist community keeps an eye on the page histories, as they do on Wikipedia. But again, Wikipedia only succeeds because it has a big community that believes in it. Even there, the more obscure pages can stay vandalised for weeks or months at a time...
On 2009-01-12 at 21:46:46, Baslisks wrote...
I'm surprised there isn't already a wiki devoted to atheism. If you could get a nice dig with Dawkins I could see it sprouting much fruit.
On 2009-01-12 at 21:50:01, Lee J Haywood wrote...
There are plenty of wikis, but the point isn't to create yet another list of anti-religious arguments - rather, it's to create a philosophical guidebook. The Dawkins ideas is good though... that could really boost it.
On 2009-01-13 at 18:14:38, Thelevellers wrote...
Try bringing the idea up on the richarddawkins.net forums :) Or make the wiki, then link it... I would imagine that would definitely help with the activity... I'd love to say I'd do it/help with it or something, but realistically I know I wouldn't cause I'm lame, so meh! ;)
On 2009-01-13 at 23:38:17, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Well I've been trying to figure out the structure of it and I'd have to write most of it myself if I were going to claim any sort of ownership. I did dream about ideas a lot the other night, but it's not easy to turn into a reality. The first thing is that an actual bible is a collection of myths (even though people recently claim that they're literal, even though their ancestors never believed any such thing). So to have a similar structure it could do with stories, which is hard. Secondly, it needs to cover a lot of history (not just the block of time when some long-bearded goat-herding dude was walking around, or whatever). So everything from Archimedes to Kant and Hubble, etc., but written in a terse form. So that's a huge amount of research to get the chronology right. And then I'd actually have to start it...
On 2009-01-14 at 00:16:55, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: narrate the great atheist's lives. less biographical and more literary. Make morals that are universal.
On 2009-01-14 at 20:54:24, Thelevellers wrote...
You could somewhat ignore who actually came up with the ideas for the stories, and maybe add the real names in a reference section or similar... I'm beginning to think of it along the lines of Sophie's World, but good...? (I was unimpressed by that book, dunno what the fuss is about myself...!) I guess I'm thinking ignore the real stories, make up your own concise versions, and maybe ref the real peeps at the end of each! ?
On 2009-01-14 at 21:23:20, Lee J Haywood wrote...
When you look at the structure of the New Testament, for example, it's quite a strange sort of thing to emulate with secular text. The body of human knowledge is staggering, so there's no point having every little bit of trivia. But having only a bunch of philosophy about morality wouldn't take up much space either. I did think myself that keeping the references hidden (maybe with links if online) would be better. But no-one wants to read biographies either, so just having a list of facts or whatever would be very dull indeed. The structure alone is key, and will require more thought.