Thinking about various efforts, and their weaknesses:
- Reason Rally type things: clubs for self designated like minded people. Largely defined by unpopular views, does not appeal to common people or outsiders.
- the local “Secular” Church: imitates Christian churches in form and terminology. Weird group creed recitations.
What I’d like to see (or, failing that: do) is a group that welcomes the masses to rational discourse, without pre-emptively proclaiming my views to be the only rational ones. Something appealing enough for a wide variety of people to mingle and learn from each other. I want it to function in a productive way, to actually make the population more reasonable over time, through direct participation.
This was written in a hurry, and I won’t be defending my accusatory impression of Reason Rally. RR was probably good for rallying a certain in-group, but probably not good for creating the lasting, and well rooted change I want. Especially since I want people of (nearly) all views to feel welcome in the intellectual dialogue.
There is merit to people gathering with like-minded people. But I want to see my local community center hosting intellectual discussion nights that anyone is welcome to. Something like that. And a wide variety of “intellectual” topics, relevant to the people of the community, parenting would probably be an important topic, for instance.
That’s all I can think of to write for now, but this is something I think I’ll write more about, and research more.