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alt.atheism is a Usenet newsgroup within the alt.* hierarchy that discusses atheism.[1] The group was originally created on February 6, 1990 [2] by a member of the alt.pagan newsgroup, to provide an alternative forum for the numerous discussions on atheism that were overwhelming the pagan group. A survey of usenet groups in 1994–1995 found that, among 70 groups discussing "consciousness, spirituality, and religion (broadly defined)", it was the group with the highest traffic volume.[3] Nash (2002) writes that "atheist and freethought newsgroups" including alt.atheism have "done much to remove the sense of isolation felt by many with antireligious opinions".[4]

Discussion matter[edit]

According to the alt.atheism FAQ,[5] the purpose of the group is to discuss atheism and atheist topics such as the following:

Ricker (2006) calls out another common discussion topic, the proper definition of atheism, as being "the thread that never dies on alt.atheism".[6] The popularization of the "weak and strong atheism" terminology for different definitions of atheism has been credited to discussions on the alt.atheism newsgroup.


  1. ^ Holbrook, N. (October 25, 1998), "Atheism Online", The Lantern, archived from the original on 2007-06-16, retrieved 2009-05-22.
  2. ^ Brian R. Holt's alt.pagan post announcing his creation of alt.atheism as sourced from Google Groups on January 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Kinney, Jay (1995), "Net worth? : Religion, cyberspace and the future", Futures, 27 (7): 763–776, doi:10.1016/0016-3287(95)80007-V.
  4. ^ Nash, David (2002), "Religious sensibilities in the age of the internet: freethought culture and the historical context of communication media", in Hoover, Stewart M.; Clark, Lynn Schofield (eds.), Practicing religion in the age of the media: explorations in media, religion, and culture, Columbia University Press, p. 281, ISBN 978-0-231-12089-0.
  5. ^ alt.atheism FAQ as sourced by the Internet Archive on February 11, 2005.
  6. ^ Ricker, George A. (2006), Godless in America: Conversations With an Atheist, iUniverse, p. 131, ISBN 978-0-595-39101-1.

External links[edit]