It’s a little difficult for me to believe that [37G] is a year old. It’s been a productive year, with over 30 atheism/secularism-related articles and over 30 podcasts going up, along with William’s Magic: the Gathering coverage over at the Blog portion of the site. We have come a long way in that time, and we have got a lot further to go before we end up where we want to be, which makes the one-year mark a great place to reflect on what has been and what (we hope) will be.
Re-watching our inaugural podcast is a trying affair, nostalgia aside. We had no real idea of where the site would go, nor were we entirely certain what tone we should take as we talked about admittedly sensitive and often controversial subjects. Should we be snarky and dismissive, in an attempt to cater to the more cynical adherents of atheism and secularism? Should we be inclusive and philosophically forgiving in an attempt to bring more people into the fold? Or should we steer for the middle path?
Without ever really vocalizing the decision, I realize now we picked the middle-road. I’m happy that we did, because I believe that only a moderate stance has a chance of truly sparking constructive debate between parties as potentially (inherently?) polarized as atheists and theists have proven themselves to be. If we are ever going to be effective in extending and defending our worldview, we have to present ourselves in such a way that people with a different opinion will be willing to engage with us. Being loud and dismissive – while effective in catering to those who already agree with you – rarely achieves anything except more animosity between the involved parties.
There has definitely been a subtle change to the tone of [37G] as it has evolved over the last year. I like to think that we are more concise, better informed, and more willing to be charitable in our characterizations of our intellectual adversaries. I don’t believe that our conviction has changed, nor have our positions shifted dramatically, but I am pleased to see both William and myself grow-up along with our site.
All that being said, I am very excited to see where this next year takes us. We’ve been kicking around ideas for months that I think will come to fruition soon.
- New set designs and lighting, because our delicate mugs need to be properly lit for your enjoyment (or amusement, I suppose). I will also be investing in a mic for myself, as William’s voice has a habit of making mine sounds tiny and sad. Damn those sultry tones!
- New segments, including the possibility of new weekly updates that highlight our favorite atheism- and secularism-related finds from across the web.
- New formats for Rational Discourse Weekly that will bring in outside, and possibly dissenting, points of view.
- A firmer commitment to the [37G] book reports. These have proven to be very popular in the past, and they force me to keep my nose to the grindstone with regards to my intellectually stimulating reading.
We’d love to be a resource for those people out there who want to be engaged in atheistic/secular/religious discourse, and your involvement can only make this site better. As always, you can follow us at the links down there (↓), and feel free to leave any comments. We’d love to hear what YOU would like to see from us, so let us know!