The Skeptic Friends Network
Posted by Ethan Clow on August 28, 2010
One of the great things about being a skeptic in Vancouver is that this city has a very active and close-knit community of freethinkers. As someone who values critical thinking over superstition and wishful thinking it’s not surprising that I would typically find myself a bit out on a limb socially. And that’s really no fun. Especially when dealing with difficult times, having such a strong community is all the more important.
I was actually discussing this very topic with our London bound co-host Rob, it can be extremely intimidating moving to a new area and leaving behind your social circle of friends, colleagues and family. After all, you’re in a new city, you don’t know many or any people there, you’re away from your family and friends…that can be very daunting. However, what so many of us have discovered is that freethinkers like to flock together.
Those of us who value skepticism and critical thinking often feel the need to get together and just “don’t believe” together. That’s putting it simply. That feeling of being around others who won’t fly off the handle if you announce your disbelief in God or acupuncture. For a lot of skeptics, the community is a place of catharsis.
For Rob, leaving Vancouver will be a fantastic adventure, but should he ever feel lonely, isolated, or home sick; he has a community of like minded people willing and able to embrace him and all his skepticism. And that goes the same for any person suddenly finding themselves transplanted to a new location. Making friends can be tough, especially if you live in a city like Vancouver that whole heartily embraces woo. Finding a group of people willing to call homeopathy bunk is hard to find, but thanks to the great social network of skeptics in this city, the rational don’t have to worry about it.
For me, when I decided to stop hiding my skepticism and be a vocal disbeliever, I soon found that many of my friends were now “former” friends. I was overjoyed when I found fellow skeptics who would happily tolerate my critical thinking.
Now, I’m lucky to count many local skeptics as close friends. Especially when hardship knocks on my door, I’m even more grateful that I can count on their support and friendship. What still amazes me is that it’s a friendship inspired by a mutual disbelief and shared love of evidence and reason.