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Let’s be SHARPs Together: The Need for a New Umbrella Term

Two things that serve to maintain morale, focus, and motivation within the “community of reason” are its comparative unity and its growth over the past century, in particular within educated, affluent, liberal, democratic communities. This relative unity contrasts with the bickering, arbitrary schisms—and even bloodshed—among various religions around the world.

While supernaturalists’ criteria for truth, sources of knowledge, and philosophical positions vary widely, wildly, and arbitrarily, this quietly emergent community of reason, bolstered by extraordinary successes in hundreds of technical, medical, and other scientific endeavors, is in overwhelming agreement as to the sources of true knowledge.

While theists murder each other over how an allegedly sacred text should be interpreted, atheists join various (overlapping) groups or subscribe to parallel publications according to their individual interests or preoccupations. Those focused on ethics in society and improving people’s lives tend to join humanist organizations. Those concerned with pseudoscience and the spread of belief in the paranormal will read or contribute to skeptical magazines. Those upset over the continuing harmfulness and absurdity of the world’s religions contribute to online atheist forums, and so on.

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