Aug 25 2012

More heads talking

There has been another hangout. This one was hosted by Alex Gabriel, and had Debbie Goddard, Jason Thibeault, and Stephanie Zvan along with me. It was to discuss atheism+ and humanism and “divisiveness” and the fact that it’s not a coup or a usurpation.

To me, in fact, it’s mostly a label for a stance or point of view, a useful shorthand. I don’t think that’s terribly divisive.


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  1. 1

    FYI, the newly formed volunteer group A+Scribe is working on a transcript right now. May we have your permission to post it when finished?

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    Brian Engler

    I agree. When I read Atheism Plus I think Atheism and more. Nothing really new, just a shorthand expression that rejection of gods is fine but doesn’t express a complete world view. Social justice issues (your choice which) can be addressed in very important ways from the non-theist standpoint, and, I’d argue, should be.

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    I’m so glad Debbie Goddard was there. Pretty much raised every point I wanted to hear a response to.

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    Anonymous Atheist

    You need to get one of those name ID bar things for your video feed like the other people had, Ophelia! :)

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    Bjarte Foshaug

    Re. “divisiveness” and “drumming people out of the movement”, I agree with Greta Christina and others that alienating the assholes who have turned the atheist/humanist/skeptical movements into such a toxic, stinking sewage is a very good thing indeed. I just want to add that there’s a difference between saying “You have to go” and saying “You can stay, but I’m leaving”. It’s not as if I have a duty to be part of their movement no matter how shitty their behavior. And this is where “Atheism plus” is more than just a “rebranding” of a pre-existing movement: We cannot force anyone to stop calling themselves “atheists” or “humanists” or “skeptics”, but nothing prevents us from deliberately adopting a new label that they wouldn’t want to adopt and organizing around that.

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    James Howde

    It is divisive, that’s kinda the point. Whether the division is going to be good or bad is yet to be seen.

    I guess that the success of A+ will very much depend on getting a good start.

    If enough people join up then choosing not to join will be seen, as Richard Carrier put it, as a vote for douchery. If initial take up is low then A+ will have an unfortunate whiff of self-satisfied clique about it.

    Personally I’m a fundamentalist ‘atheists don’t believe in gods’ type but still hope the idea takes off – being called a douche not withstanding. At least I’d get to star in a secular version of “Left Behind”, only hopefully with more believable characters and a less stupid plot.

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    Ophelia Benson

    Pteryxx, yes, sure. Thanks!

  8. 8

    For everyone’s information, A+Scribe completed the transcript last night (our first one!) and it is now here:


    Happy reading!

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    Αθεΐα+ (⅝ x) 28 ημέρες μετά « On the way to Ithaca

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