Atheism+: It’s time to walk the walk »« Atheism+

Why Atheism+ and not Humanism?

People keep asking me “Why Atheism+ and not just Humanism?” So I want to give a quick response:

Honestly, I see A+ as Atheism + Humanism + Skepticism. Not all humanists are atheists or skeptical, not all skeptics are atheists or humanists, not all atheists are humanists or skeptics…but I want to bring it all together. And hell, not all humanists are progressive – you don’t know how many times I’ve had humanists yell at me for calling myself a “feminist” instead of a “humanist” because what feminism really means is hating men.

Why keep atheism as the label, then? Well, for one, the atheist movement is the one I most associate with, and progressive atheists interested in social justice are already a growing group within the atheist movement. It seemed natural to focus my efforts there. But also, “atheist” is still seen as a dirty, confrontational word, while “humanism” is often a softer way to dodge the drama…since most people don’t really know what humanism means. Trust me, I used to use the label “secular humanist” a lot when I lived in Indiana and was too scared to out myself. No one had a clue what it meant and never wanted to appear stupid by asking me to explain. But now I want to keep using the word atheist until it becomes destigmatized.

EDIT: I also want to add that one of the reasons I don’t personally use the label “humanist” is because the humanist community puts a lot of focus on replicating church-like communities and having chaplaincies. That’s totally cool if that’s what you want, but I personally don’t feel like it applies to me.

But really, people can use whatever label they want. Humanist, atheist, atheist+, whatever. I just want change.