The Secular Web is owned and operated by Internet Infidels, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization dedicated to defending and promoting a naturalistic worldview on the Internet. Naturalism is the “hypothesis that the natural world is a closed system” in the sense that “nothing that is not a part of the natural world affects it.” As such, “naturalism implies that there are no supernatural entities,” such as gods, angels, demons, ghosts, or other spirits, “or at least none that actually exercises its power to affect the natural world.” And without miraculous interventions into nature from a spiritual realm, neither prayer nor magick are more effective than a placebo.
Our Value to You
Listen to Richard Carrier explain naturalism and the mission of Internet Infidels.
Since its founding in 1995, the Secular Web has grown from a small site spawned in a dorm at Texas A&M University into the most comprehensive freethought resource on the Internet. We offer thousands of outstanding essays, reviews, and critiques, covering everything from articles of general interest to scholarly papers by prominent nontheistic philosophers, scientists, historians, and others. Unlike most of our opponents, we even publish responses to our own pieces to encourage readers to make up their own minds. For more, see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
For independent perspectives on the value of the Secular Web, check out these reviews.
Why You Should Care
Life is short. Nevertheless, billions of people invest incalculable hours making fruitless pleas to nonexistent gods, participating in lavish rituals with no tangible effects, and whittling away tight budgets to support extravagant religious institutions or “spiritual advisors.” Worse still, antiquated religious ideas lead people to impose needless hardships on themselves and others, to rationalize discrimination and other forms of mistreatment, and to hasten environmental destruction because they believe that “the end of the world” is imminent anyway. And for every outward manifestation of wasteful, counterproductive, and even downright harmful activity motivated only by religious belief, there are countless instances that are not nearly so obvious.
Religious belief has exacted a toll on people’s emotional well-being as well. Just how much energy has been drained searching for meaning where none is to be found, or been squandered on false hopes and unwarranted fears? How many believers have agonized over the uncertain destination of their loved ones after death? How many have struggled to discern exactly what they did to displease God after falling victim to a natural disaster? How many have been tormented trying to make sense of why God allows terrible things to happen to good people? In the absence of any clear revelation about what God wants us to do, how many have fretted about whether their own actions or beliefs, or those of the people dearest to them, are enough to avoid hellfire?
How many of those who have lost their faith in old age have looked back at all the missed opportunities, the roads not taken, the life that could have been, had they not been born in a religious household, or had they abandoned religion in their younger days! Imagine how deep the regrets must be for the former missionary, seminary student, or long-time minister after realizing that this life is probably the only life that one will ever have.
Why Internet Infidels?
Have you ever felt that there would be fewer religious believers if only more information about the reasons for nonbelief were readily available? As the only truly equal opportunity information medium, the Internet represents our best hope for promoting a naturalistic worldview to the wider public. No other medium has the power to reach so many people across the globe, and no other medium affords us the opportunity to reach them without having to lobby, against the odds, corporate interests wary of airing anything potentially offensive or too controversial.
A number of freethought organizations focus on providing their members with a secular identity and fellowship with other nonbelievers. Internet Infidels is unique in its design as a nonmembership organization that focuses on providing a free educational resource available to anyone with access to the Internet. In fact, we are the only organization that aims to reach beyond the memberships of freethought organizations by providing arguments for naturalism and atheism in an effort to educate the wider public about the grounds for holding that all religions are false.
As an educational resource we provide a number of valuable services. These include, but are not limited to:
- letting fellow freethinkers know that they are not alone, but are in fact voices in a chorus that spans across the globe and throughout human history;
- making information that would otherwise be difficult to find conveniently available at your fingertips, providing veteran freethinkers with the resources to combat irrational and unwarranted beliefs;
- reaching out to “would-be freethinkers,” believers in the grips of religious indoctrination who probably would not have become believers if religious belief had not been inculcated in them in the first place;
- publishing critiques of the most popular works of apologetics in the hope that current believers will stumble upon them and be persuaded that apologetic arguments fail after uncovering their serious flaws for the first time;
- encouraging readers to make up their own minds by exploring ideas at their own pace, with no pressure to conform with the conclusions of any of our authors;
- providing a “secret library” for inquisitive believers with the impulse to find out for themselves whether what they have been taught is true, away from the judgmental eyes of intolerant religious brethren.
How You Can Help
Our opposition has access to nearly unlimited financial resources. Given the current size of the freethought movement, we are not likely to match major religious organizations dollar-for-dollar. But by making the best arguments for naturalism and atheism available to anyone with Internet access, we expose our opponents’ shallow caricatures and deliberate misrepresentations for the farce that they are. Defending naturalism and atheism from those who would seek to repress it is only a click away, and all donations to Internet Infidels from US citizens are fully tax deductible.
We cannot stress enough that Internet Infidels is the only organization dedicated to providing an extensive online library, accessible to all, covering every major facet of nonbelief. Won’t you chip in the help keep the Secular Web online? If you don’t do it, who else will?
We also have a number of volunteer opportunities at various levels of commitment.
 Paul Draper, “Natural Selection and the Problem of Evil.” In God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence, ed. Paul Draper. The Secular Web. 2007-2008. <https://infidels.org/library/modern/paul_draper/evil.html>
 US citizens may fully deduct donations to Internet Infidels from their federally taxable income. Canadian citizens can only deduct donations from their US taxable income. (See Article XXI, Paragraph 6 of the US-Canada tax treaty on donating to US nonprofits.) Readers donating from outside of the United States should contact a tax professional for the details of deducting such a donation.