Ryan Bennett Posted about 2 years ago Would atheists benefit from a community? Are they maximizing such benefits? This question would be better phrased as "Are atheists human?" To which the answer would be your same 'YES!' It seems self-evident that we humans all need and benefit from community. This is probably the reason we've come up with so many religions over the years. And we atheists, despite our flat non-belief in the supernatural, still need community. Which is why we find ourselves now contemplating forming a religion of our own. Chris Anderson asked a very good question in Atheism 2.0 about the need to be part of something greater than oneself. Alain De Botton, despite having just delivered an excellent sermon, gave what I consider to be the typical cop-out atheist answer. And I've given it more times than I can count, so there... Being part of the hugeness of the universe is inspiring and numinous to the right sort of person yes, but I think the real meat of the issue lies elsewhere. It is not enough to be a part of something greater than the individual, one must feel that he or she is a contributing part of such greatness, whatever it may be. And so the standard secular answer fails to fulfill this need, for it's hard to feel like we actually contribute anything substantial to the greatness of the Cosmos itself. By contrast, devotion to pleasing the creator(s) of everything feels both within our reach and important. So what can we become a part of, what can we devote ourselves to, that is real, improvable, and worthwhile? Ultimately we all must decide for ourselves (such is the problem with lacking an infallible deity), but I'm currently leaning towards "Each Other."