Should Males Be Eliminated from the Human Genome? »« Could Nudist Atheists be an Atheist+ Group?

There Is No Such Thing As “New Atheism” Either.

There have been ads hawking buying or selling “new gold” or “old gold.” There is no such thing as new gold or old gold. All gold has been here since it was first formed on our planet.

Similarly, there is no such thing as “new atheism.” Atheism means the lack of a belief in a god. That is all it means. There is nothing “new” about it. It has been around as long as there has been a belief in gods.

It is certainly true that language goes through changes. Often, big changes. But that has not yet happened to the English work “atheism,” which means, at present, nothing more than not having a belief in a god or gods. Sorry if you don’t like that—I didn’t make the rules.

We are now experiencing a most divisive phenomenon where some atheists are viciously excoriating other atheists for not embracing loudly enough certain of a list of worthy causes to which they are joined. Different inclinations champion differed lists.

One can be an atheist and like chocolate chip ice cream. This does not mean that it is a good idea to form a club that excludes, and sees as enemies, anyone who does not like chocolate chip ice cream, or who actually prefer some other flavors.

How many bloggers, laid end to end, would it take to bridge the gap between science and religion?

Lord dog, the Religious Right certainly need have no worry over us. We will self-destruct without their help.

A population that eats its own young will probably not long survive.

Maybe years from now your grandchildren will ask “What did you do in the great American Religious Civil War?” Do you suppose the answer, “Well, I got some atheists to condemn other atheists for not thinking the way they should” will be an entirely satisfactorily answer?

Edwin
© Edwin Kagin, 2012.

Comments

  1. A Hermit says

    “We are now experiencing a most divisive phenomenon where some atheists are viciously excoriating other atheists for not embracing loudly enough certain of a list of worthy causes to which they are joined.”

    Nonsense. What I see is a group of people with common goals being viciously excoriated and falsely accused of “divisiveness” for saying publicly that they want to work together on those goals.

    • Randomfactor says

      What Hermit said. I’m supporting the groups within atheism who act better than the religions they’re opposing.

      AA isn’t one of those groups.

        • r3formed says

          I think what is being said has less to do with what your implying than you think.

          It would be difficult to find any outspoken human who didn’t face immense ridicule and persecution. Man/woman/purple/green

          The reason hate mail is ever sent to anyone is because they present an ideology or a belief ( I know I know atheists are born that way and it’s a lack of belief not a belief but humor me) that is then countered by someone with an opposing ideology or belief. To not expect it would be foolish. ( I know… it makes so much sense though. If they only knew better they would agree!)

          Reminds me of a Gandhi quote:

          “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    • Jack Rawlinson says

      What you see is through dogma-tinted glasses. Take them off and you’ll see what the rest of us are seeing. A few of many possible examples:

      Wowbagger | 05/09/2012 at 23:22 |
      spectator, no decent person wants to interact with someone like you. Go die in a fire. No, I’m not being hyperbolic. I actually mean I want you to die in a fire.

      Wowbagger | 05/09/2012 at 23:27 |
      I don’t care who or what you are, you’re a worthless piece of shit. You add nothing to the conversation.

      ‘Tis Himself | 06/09/2012 at 13:06 |

      Hey, fuckwads, you’ve made your point. You hate it when women want to be treated like human beings. We understand you’re so fucked up you hate half of the human race. Maybe one of these days you’ll decide to grow up. But I doubt it.

      ‘Tis Himself | 07/09/2012 at 11:21 |

      Misogynist assholes like Spectator and you would improve the species by removing yourselves from it. If you’d prefer to drown yourself, I’m sure Wowbagger wouldn’t object.

      Anything else you want to whine about?

      Source for above comments: http://furiouspurpose.me/must-be-all-those-femistasi-and-ftbullies/

      Meanwhile, over at Pharyngula, that haven of peace and goodwill to all dissenters to the A+ creed, we have this opinion of Dawkins:

      eleutheria
      7 September 2012 at 11:42 am
      Why does PZ even bothering quoting from this discredited, authoritarian pig? Nothing he says can be relevant any more.

      I could, quite literally, spend all day pulling such quotes from the A+/Skepchick/FtB mob and still not be close to quoting them all. Like I say, you’ve apparently chosen to blinker yourself to this stuff. Most of us who oppose A+ have chosen neither to blinker ourselves to it nor to the genuine cases of abusive trolling received by female atheist bloggers.

  2. Killerrat says

    Haha Ed – You will not let this topic go and I appreciate it. (I will do my best to not derail this thread… I promise).

    To me, there are political issues which are very specific to atheism. Since I am an atheist and a father of atheist children, I want the US to accept me and mine as full and functional citizens.

    The thing that motivated me to start giving to atheist organizations was a comment made by one of my co-workers. This was a very well educated man and yet he told me that I did not have any “morals” because I was an atheist. This was a shock to me. This was a man I went to University with and was a coworker of 3 years. But… he told me I have no morals.

    So, when I look at what atheist activism is, I conclude that it is about showing my fellow Americans that I am a regular guy. I am not evil. I have a moral code and compass. I am not much different from them. Atheists can be political leaders and teachers and neighbors. They can be liberal or conservative. They can be NRA members or gun restriction advocates. They can support traditional sexual morality or they can be pornography produces.

    Atheists are regular people. This is the ONLY goal I have for anything called an atheism movement and I support those groups that help me pursue this goal.

    and… I have other goals too. I have favorite charities for medicine and the environment etc. In these cases I also support these causes. This is easy to do. Put you time and money into the thighs you want to change.

    So, what value is a atheist group that embraces a large variety of social causes? Well, it might be valuable, but it will be a very small subset of people since the members must be atheists, feminists, environmentalists etc. This just slices the pie smaller and smaller.

  3. Tom says

    Secularism is not a part of atheism yet you fight, as part of American Atheists, for the constitutional separation of church and state.

    The separation may be valuable to you, protecting you from discrimination, it may make moral sense; but it is not “Atheist”. Atheist simply means having a lack of belief in god.

    American Atheists are divisive, they exclude non-American atheists and focus on issues that are of no interest to non-American atheists.

  4. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    You’re appalling. Women and minorities have been harassed, threatened, hounded off the Internet (these are your blogging colleagues Ed) and you have the fucking nerve to characterize their attempt to carve out a safe space as creating an exclusionary club?

    One can be an atheist and like chocolate chip ice cream. This does not mean that it is a good idea to form a club that excludes, and sees as enemies, anyone who does not like chocolate chip ice cream, or who actually prefer some other flavors.

    My civil rights as a gay man are not a contest between flavors of ice cream.

    Jen McCreight’s right to be left unmolested and free from rape threats is not a contest between flavors of ice cream.

    Rebecca Watson’s right to say “don’t do that” without being called a cunt (with the helpful silence or approval of people who should have had her back) is not a contest between flavors of ice cream.

    We’re people. This isn’t a frivolous matter of taste. How dare you be so flip? You bet your fucking ass I’m going to exclude people who think mine and women’s rights to full equality are as silly as chocolate or vanilla.

    Fuck you Kagin. You’re the very embodiment of the self-satisfied smug white guy atheist harumphing from Mount Atheist Incorporated. You’re a dinosaur and you’re completely out of touch with legitimate concerns that motivate a lot of young secular people. Welcome to obsolescence.

    • kbonn says

      He didn’t equate ice cream flavors to gay rights, he equated their relevancy to being an atheist.

      Be honest here, Atheist is NOT the main thrust of A+, so why call it that?

      • ChasCPeterson says

        Not the main thrust, but the starting point. The foundation on which to build. You don’t want to build? Don’t build. Here: here’s a comfortable chair right here on the foundation floor. Enjoy your ground-floor atheistic day, but please try not to get in the way of those other atheists who are trying to build shit over there.

        • kbonn says

          I am not against A+ or the goals of A+, I simply can acknowledge legitimate points.

          1) Is this really and atheist movement, or a movement made up of atheists?

          2) If the latter, is it really appropriate/accurate to label the movement as “Atheism Plus”?

          I can also read a statement for what it is. The main subject of Ed’s discussions on A+ is that in his experience keeping the more narrow focus is the more effective way to do the job.

          So consequently, can he not be “against” A+ because he sees it as quite possibly making achievement of his primary goals more difficult(which is only relevant if those goals are themselves worthy, which I think we can all agree they are worthy goals)?

          Being against A+ is not a sign of bigotry in and off itself(though the reasons for being against it can be). There is no reason to be hostile to Ed for simply being against A+ and voicing his own opinion on his own blog.

          What I think Ed is saying is this “Atheism plus will very possibly make the goals of activist Atheists(Separation of church and state, keeping religion out of public schools, etc…) more difficult to achieve. Therefore, I am against it.”

          If this is not what he is saying, I will retract my statement.
          But who are you to tell him what his priority should be, or that he isn’t allowed to be against it without being labeled a bigot or anti-gay?

          • Randomfactor says

            And what would the difference be between #1 and #2?

            I see A+ as a movement OF atheists who believe that if we want to show the world that religion is a pernicious force in the world, we’d damned well better be able to show an improvement over the religious groups we’re targeting, IN OUR OWN RANKS.

            I think there are reasons to support equal treatment of all genders, races, etc. which stem in part from the fact that there’s no god to say otherwise.

            Conventions of atheists which make it impossible for a sizable number of atheists to participate because they tolerate an atmosphere of harassment are not places I want to be. And I say that AS a white, older male.

        • says

          If atheism is simply the absence of belief and nothing else, then there is no need for any atheist organization whatsoever.

          No need for TAM, no need for JREF, no need for RDF, no need to blogs, no need to even self-identify as an atheist except as an answer to a random question.

          If a person engages in any of these things – blogging, commenting on blogs, going to any conventions, then they are taking “atheist” out of the dictionary. They are imbuing it with moral value. They are making an assertion to the world.

          They are taking a political stance.

          Given this fact, when these politically-active atheists condemn others for being politically motivated, they aren’t being honest. They are NOT objecting to the injection of politics into the subject of atheism – the are objecting to a possible change in the dominant political stance of public atheist groups.

          Condemnation of people supporting A+ for supporting it is a political position.

          There are the “polite” people condemning others for daring to care about what they have the right to care about, daring to speak about what they want to speak about, daring to call themselves something they have every right to call themselves… and there are those raging “trolls” who threaten rape and attacks and who ridicule and use sexist insults.

          The difference between these groups is like the difference between a Job Bush and a Rush Limbaugh. One uses racist and sexist vitriol to push his political views, and the other publicly decries such tactics and the advances the same political agenda.

          I am NOT calling myself an Atheist+ because I’m not really a slogan or joiner type, but I do not fool myself into thinking my actions are apolitical.

          Taking a position against those who want to call themselves that is a political position, as is the opposite.

          If you have a politely worded position against people exercising their right to group together however they want and discuss whatever they want and call themselves whatever they want, it is taking the same political position as those who advance the same position through insults and harassment.

          “Polite” people and “trolls” are defending the same political position preservation of the status quo. Preservation of the power base of the atheist movement (deny it all you want, it IS a movement) in the hands of those who have had it for too long, who don;t want different voices or ideas to be heard.

          “Polite” and “troll” alike have joined hand in hand to wage political war against heretical ideas – they fired the first shot and they maintained a barrages of lies, threats, slime, harassment, denial, dismissal and misdirection for over a year.

          “Polite” and “troll” are using every tool at hand to enforce a rigid orthodoxy while hypocritically (and with transparently) screaming that some atheists sharing a name & viewpoint is somehow forcing something onto others.

          “Polite” and “troll” complain about imagined dogma while pointing to a dictionary entry to tell others what they are allowed to call themselves, what they are allowed to talk and think about and be motivated by and what they can include in their atheism.

          “Polite” and “troll” will have to learn to face the fact that cannot control what people who call themselves “atheist+” think and want and do, in the same way that those calling themselves “atheist+” cannot and make no attempt to tell others who are NOT in “atheist+” call themselves or talk about.

          If you’re fooling anyone it’s only yourselves.

      • says

        Cause the membership is atheist and the reason’s for taking this stance is in part based on their rejection of religious arguments made on social justice issues. For example the repeated references to biblical justification to keep marriage between one man and one woman is part of why they favor marriage equality.

        • kbonn says

          Well if he did, I will retract my statement. That was not how I read his meaning. If he did mean that, it is pretty awful.

          • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

            Remember that he was making an analogy. A+ wants a safe space for women and minorities. This is a serious thing. In Kagin’s analogy this is on a par with different club for chocolate ice cream lovers. That is a not serious thing.

            The implication is that we A+ ers are being silly about mere matters of taste. It’s disgusting, and yes, that’s exactly what he’s saying. It’s not a slip of the keyboard. Whether he’s so blinded to the experience of people like me that he can’t conceive of how important it is or something else matters not.

            Please understand why this makes people like me so angry. Try to imagine something so important to you, so fundamental. . (like being treated as a whole person) being treated this way.

    • hannanibal says

      What. The. Fuck?
      Ice cream infringes your rights?
      Get back to licking windows on the special bus you fucking moron.

    • Jacques Cuze says

      If you spend a bit of time at the atheismplus forums, or at http://www.reddit.com/r/atheismplus/ and if you’re honest with yourself and the rest of us, you will quickly realize that what is important in the triangle of atheism, skepticism, feminism is not atheism, and not skepticism.

      Atheism+ is not a movement arising from atheism, it is a movement arising from feminism, projected onto, demanded of, atheism.

      And from time spent at the atheismplus forums or at reddit or at the FtB, it’s pretty hard to say that it is even a safe place or a place for equality, egalitarianism, or humanism.

      My guess is that in the forums of Atheism+, a skeptical atheist feminist space, one can be skeptical of atheism and ask questions of it.

      My guess is that in the forums of Atheism+, a skeptical atheist feminist space, one can be skeptical of skepticism and ask questions of it.

      My experience is that in the forums of Atheism+, a skeptical atheist feminist space, one cannot be skeptical of feminism at all, in any way shape or form, or ask questions about alternative forms of feminism, or critique it, or support mens rights from a male perspective and not a women’s studies perspective.

      What do we call a form of skepticism that precludes discussion of itself?

      What do we call a form of atheism that forces an a priori group consensus demand to take feminism as unquestionable axiom on faith?

      What do we call it when one group penetrates and invades another against its will? Is that colonialism? Imperialism? Hegemony? Domination? Something else?

      • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

        What do we call it when one group penetrates and invades another against its will? Is that colonialism? Imperialism? Hegemony? Domination? Something else?

        Ah, feminism is raping atheism. That’s what you wanted to say. This must be the new “calling out bigots is the real bigotry!” You deluded fuck.

      • Killerrat says

        If it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck…etc… then it is a duck.

        Feminism (of a kind I do not support) is one of the key features in A+.

        How can I make this claim? Simply look at the leaders and the initial followers. Jen, and Greta, and Carrier, and PZ are all supporters of the theory that “atheism is full of misogyny”. This is a common and most often discussed thread of thought.

        A+ is sponsored by people who think their brand of feminism is made obvious by pure logic. These people actually believe their logic is what leads them to their particular brand of feminism (including white man’s privilege, rape culture, etc.).

        The level of fervor and rage is evidence of the sincerity of these A+ feminists. I do not doubt the honesty of their belief, but it smells like a cult to me.

        This is the battleground, and those of us who do not subscribe to these particular versions of feminism are not interested in supporting zealots who will ultimately destroy the traditional concept of atheism.

        I have had this thing called atheism for 35 years and you A+ folks can’t have it!

        • says

          Oh dear, is somebody telling you that you have to share your toy?
          It’s not like we’re even doing that, we’re not interested in “taking over”. But it looks like you want to shun us.
          We “can’t have” your atheism. Oh dear. Tell you what, it’s our atheism as well. We’re atheists, too. And we’re more than that. That’s why we added the handy +.
          I love the smell of entitlement in the evening

          • Killerrat says

            You make a good point. In a way I do want to shun you. The reason is that I disagree with many of your social and political views.

            and this is why I fight with you. You are trying to leverage a concept (atheism) to try to promote your views which I happen to disagree with.

            I would rather allow us all to be atheists with the simple goal of showing theists that we are regular people. No better and no worse than them. This is what I want and this is why I fight.

            I believe that your fracturing of this simple “atheist” concept will directly affect my success in reach my person goal.

          • says

            I would rather allow us all to be atheists with the simple goal of showing theists that we are regular people. No better and no worse than them. This is what I want and this is why I fight.

            So, you’d graciously “allow” us to be atheists with the goals you set for us.
            Thanx, but no thanx. I set my own goals and tell you what, regular people are bad. They’re misogynists, racists, homophobes and transphobes. You probably don’t want any better because it doesn’t affect you but I want more.
            Fuck the staus quo and whoever defends it.

          • Killerrat says

            Hey Borg – just being honest here. I think that the use of the word atheism in the atheism+ name is a mistake. It will make it harder to reach the goal that I have in my mind. This goal… as I have stated before… is to get Americans to see atheists as regular people.

            Your goal might be to try to get people to see atheists as “superior” people. Well… I just don’t think that will work.

            So, I am trying to defeat this Atheism+ thing. Hell… if you called it “Secular feminists” I wouldn’t give a shit one way or the other. This would not affect me at all. But why take the word atheists and tie it to social causes?…wellllll….

            I think this is being done by a group of people who think they can leverage the new growing popularity of atheism to promote their social agenda.

            PZ and his classic BS posts about the evils of “dictionary atheists” was the start of this crap. Claiming atheism is a guide to a social philosophy was wrong then and it is wrong now.

          • says

            Hey, Rattie
            So, it must suck for you not being able to dictate the terms of the game. Probably happened for the first time to you.
            1) Learn something. About the history of atheism. It was always linked to philosophical questions and for most of it tied to social justice
            2) I don’t want people to view atheists as superior, I want them to be better. People in general, atheists in special. You are obviously happy with the world as it is and see your priority to fight everybody who doesn’t. Well, guess that makes us opponents.

          • Killerrat says

            Rattie.. haha … I like it. Thanks Borg

            1) I have been an atheist for 35 years. I have pimples on my butt that are older (and perhaps wiser) than you. I claimed that atheism does not lead to any particular social philosophy. Don’t change my claim and then tell me I am wrong. Mommy don’t like to argue that way. Telling me to read is pretty lame. What do you recommend I read? Perhaps I have already read it…. My favorite book about religion is written by the Frenchman Pascal Boyer called “Religion Explained”. Even if you hate me and my opinions, it is still a great book (so please, don’t hold it against Mr. Boyer)

            2) More power to ya. I find that it is often a bit tricky to figure out what makes people “better”. Let me know when you figure it out cause you are a bit off target in my opinion. (and don’t conflate your desire to improve mankind with the idea of atheism)

          • says

            1) I have been an atheist for 35 years. I have pimples on my butt that are older (and perhaps wiser) than you.

            Teach them to write on the internet, it will probably better read.
            You’re seriously arguing that you’re right because you’re old?
            So, hey, I miss your 35 years by a 2 years mark.
            As for a read, try Feuerbach for a starter.

          • Killerrat says

            Thanks for the suggestion. Feuerbach looks a bit like a communist Spinoza. I will think about it. After reviewing your recommendation I feel even more convinced you should read Boyer… he is an anthropologist.

            Are you a proponent of the Feuerbach or Spinoza ideas about spirituality? I am a strict materialist myself.

          • John D says

            Borg – you are a Spinoza style deist of sorts… right? Not to worry… one of my daughters is too.

        • says

          “Jen, and Greta, and Carrier, and PZ are all supporters of the theory that “atheism is full of misogyny”.”

          Let me fix this for you. The human society of which the atheist movement is a part is full of misogyny and the atheist movement is not immune to this.

          • Jacques Cuze says

            No it’s not, and I suspect not a single person here would do anything other than support and cheer on FeministAtheism or FeministSkepticism, a safe space for atheists of all kinds.

            But if you choose an obviously inflammatory name that has clear pejorative connotations on another, older, existing group, you shouldn’t be surprised when you are accused of misappropriation and your motives are judged suspect.

          • Jacques Cuze says

            I don’t see anything inflammatory about the label atheist plus.

            That was a legitimate excuse 2 – 3 weeks ago. But we’ve seen lots of blog posts, hundreds of comments, and tens of youtube videos from people explaining precisely how and why they do see the term as inflammatory.

            Now the excuse I don’t see anything inflammatory about the label atheist plus is on a par with people that don’t understand why it’s not cool to call it “The Democrat Party”, or name their football team the Redskins (after all it connotes great fighting ability!), or use the n word (Hey, African Americans use that word all the time!), or say, “We’re Jews For Jesus!” (hey, it’s like Jews+!).

            The label Atheist+ is inflammatory and divisive. It’s not an accurate depiction of the movement, and it’s a slur to other atheists. This has been explained over and over.

          • says

            Sorry if you’d like to install internet at my cottage I’ll be sure to stay better informed on the discussion in the future. Or maybe if you’d like to give me the future time table of upcoming inter movement discussions I can try to plan my vacations around them.

          • Jacques Cuze says

            Hey no problem, hadn’t realized this was your first day back on the net in 3 weeks.

            Anyway, now that you’ve been informed lots of people find the name inflammatory, feel free to research that and get back to us on whether you’ve had a change of understanding.

            Your voice could be the voice needed for A+ to find a less divisive name.

          • says

            The last week and a half (we now have a very nice shed rebuilt from the ground up). If you’d like to help me out and distill down an actual argument instead of trying to shame me with an appeal to emotion it wouldn’t hurt either.

            While I haven’t seen the argument being made the cynic in me isn’t hopeful if you thought trying to shame me was more persuasive then making your case.

          • sqlrob says

            @Jacques:

            Your definition of inflammatory would also seem to include the label “atheist” (see for example, the various billboard controversies)

            So how would you recommend fixing both the atheist and atheist+ labels?

          • Jacques Cuze says

            Michael, I am not trying to shame you, but you come to this argument with:

            Well, I don’t view it as inflammatory!!! SO THEREFORE IT’S NOT!!!

            And then it turns out you’ve been out of town for a month.

            So you’re ignorant.

            Me, when I get back into town, I listen first, do some research, don’t just mansplain.

          • says

            I have read several posts and listened to several discussions but it have not read every post nore half the comments (just not enough hours in the day and I’ve been busy). Whether it is or isn’t something I have not made a claim on but I don’t see it as inflamatory based on my current knowledge (as another commenter pointed out some people think atheist is inflammatory I don’t see that either). If you would like to enlighten me feel free but you have not presented me with anything.

          • Jacques Cuze says

            “If you would like to enlighten me feel free but you have not presented me with anything.”

            This is of course not true.

            Legitimate: I do not understand your argument.
            Legitimate: I do not agree with your argument.

            Bogus: You presented no argument.

            Just go up thread and read michaeld. And then do your homework, bring yourself up to speed with your 3 week absence, and then you can actually be an informed participant in the discussion.

          • says

            Rereads your posts. Fair enough if you claim your argument is in these posts then I concede that you have made your argument. I guess I was just expecting something of more substance. I find it weak, unconvincing, poorly supported and this is going no where so I will call this quits. Maybe I will read someone somewhere else can better articulate your position.

        • r3formed says

          You know I agree! We definitely need to make sure that water baptism stays as immersion and not sprinkling. Maybe we should just separate entirely into a new denomination… Wait wrong blog… Sorry folks.

          It always amazes me how people who don’t believe in something can have such internal squabbles as this! I mean you were all born atheists right? ( although that is a faith filled statement with no evidence to support that worldview, I’m an aeveryoneisbornanatheistist but I have no evidence to support that opinion or as most would say “fact”)

          But if you were all born atheists maybe these people were just born atheist plus? If that’s the case then it shouldn’t matter right?

        • says

          …who will ultimately destroy the traditional concept of atheism

          Really? Did you really just appeal to traditional values? What’s next, you break out an ancient book and demonstrate that according to this, atheism is unconcerned with the things you’re unconcerned with?

    • says

      Women and minorities have been harassed, threatened, hounded off the Internet and you have the fucking nerve to characterize their attempt to carve out a safe space as creating an exclusionary club?

      Josh, given that the world ballooning championiships actually ended on the 25th of last month there is simply no excuse to have this much hot air present in one location.

      Carving out a safe space you say.

      “This is our chance for a new wave of atheism – a wave that’s more than a dictionary definition about not believing in gods.” says Jen

      We know what the ‘old wave’ was, apparently, as Rebecca Watson informs us it was all those people who are too far marinated in privilege to count any more, the Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennetts of this world. Their atheism is outdated because it was, in the main, about atheism. Incredible I know.

      So explain to me how a ‘wave of atheism’ simply amounts to creating a safe space?
      My grandmother has an anderson shelter in her garden – maybe that amounted to a paradigm shift in global economic policy in its day but I suspect it was just thought of as what it was: a corrugated iron hut with soil thrown over the top – a safe haven from the bombing.

      I found your whole comment to be high on bluster but basically very deceitful. I certainly would not wish to deny anyone a safe environment to converse and debate; I would not deny anyone the right to have a forum or online space where only like-minded people can post. It is the height of deception on your part to imply that this is what has been claimed for atheism+

      • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

        Oh, I’m in tatters about your low opinion of me.

        No deception intended. You actually have a point—this is an active attempt to actually change things, not only to have a safe space. And I’m on board with that, too. Bring on your own “wave” of whatever you want if you don’t like this one.

        • says

          Well you are correct in so much as our opinions of each other are not the point, what matters is the arguments.

          I have a question for you, if I may?

          You accept that atheism+ is MORE than just a ‘safe space’, so how do you suggest that one should go about criticising the somewhat more enterprising aspects of it without attracting responses along the lines of ‘how dare you deny these threatened people a safe space!’?

          As it stands, it seems that the ‘safe space-only’ line is one that is only wheeled out in an attempt to make someone feel (or look) bad for criticising atheism+ as a whole.

          Jim (noelplum99)

          • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

            You accept that atheism+ is MORE than just a ‘safe space’, so how do you suggest that one should go about criticising the somewhat more enterprising aspects of it without attracting responses along the lines of ‘how dare you deny these threatened people a safe space!’?

            I don’t expect it to occur without criticism. It’s that I don’t care. I don’t care if you don’t like it. I don’t care if you find it exclusionary. I don’t care if it pisses you off because you feel “excluded” for not being on board with issues of equality. And I don’t care if you claim you care about these things but you “hate the exclusive label.”

            Why would you think I’d care about that?

          • baal says

            @ Josh,who typed out for our general consideration, “I don’t care if it pisses you off because you feel “excluded” for not being on board with issues of equality.”

            I’ve yet to see anyone who isn’t on board with A+ express that they feel left out or excluded. They have (and I have) complained about the incessant angry abuse from you and other A+ supporters at anyone who is not 100% in line with women’s studies narrow definitions of feminism. They have (I haven’t) also made a number of points about divisiveness. Specifically, how A+ adherents really seems like they are doing feminism first and atheism…somewhere down the list. You and a bunch of the comments in the thread exemplify both points. Could you try to address these two issues rather than consistently mis-attribute motive?

          • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

            Yeah, no. I’m not responding to people who mischaracterize my and others’ objections as abusing people who don’t fall into line with hardcore rad-fem women’s studies shit. That’s an ugly lie.

    • says

      Yeah, this. Perhaps it’s too charitable to tell Ed he’s committed a category error in comparing basic human rights with ice cream flavors. He really does not give a shit about the former, no matter how much “cred” he tries to trot out to “prove” that he’s our “ally.”

    • Jack Rawlinson says

      And here we see the blinkered A+ hypocrisy on the evil of abusiveness in full, nasty flow. This, Josh, is precisely why decent people are distancing themselves from A+. Because of people like you. People who badmouth good people when they are only trying to look at the situation rationally, to not jump to conclusions. You prefer to say “Fuck you” to such people, to insist that even the mildest dissent or questioning must be down to misogyny, to rape-apologism, to not taking harassment seriously… and that is all utter bullshit. You refuse to understand the nature of our objections, because it’s so much easier to just dismiss us all as a bunch of beyond-the-pale misogynists. You act like the worst sort of hellfire-and-damnation preacher spewing lazy venom over the “sinners”.

      You refuse to even try to understand the real nature of our objections. What we are objecting to is the irrationality, fallaciousness, hypocrisy and downright nastiness coming from your side. This does not mean that we support harrassment and nastiness against your side, or against women. Neither does it mean we are rape apologists, or that we are anti-female. Many of us are fiercely pro women’s and LGBT rights hand have written and spoken passionately in defence of those rights. What it does mean is that we want you to stop foaming at the mouth for a second or too and calm the fuck down enough to act like the rational human beings you claim to be.

      Got it? No? Didn’t think so. Enjoy your little club while it implodes.

    • Verity Manumit says

      Oh, for chrissakes Josh! People are going to say bad things to other people on the Internet, and there isn’t anyone in the whole wide world who can stop it. There’s no such thing as a “safe space” or “safe zone” that you guys keep blathering on about. Here, I’ll prove it: You are an overly-emotional panty-waisted drama queen who should learn to STFU and think before you fly off the handle.

      See, didn’t I tell you!

      Ed’s example of liking the different kinds of ice cream was an analogy. You probably understand what that means, especially since it contains the word “anal.” Unfortunately for you though, it’s not what you’re thinking (about 24/7).

      The point he was trying to make, since you obviously missed it, was that people spend too much time trying to bully everyone else into conforming to their likes or dislikes, beliefs or disbeliefs, etc. This is true for far right religious whackjobs, far left radical feminist vegan cocksuckers, and everyone in between (except me of course, who is without fault). He was not saying that civil rights are about as important as choosing between two flavors of ice cream, nor was it an apology for rape threats.

      Every individual will be excluded, disliked, or disparaged by someone in this world. That is inevitable and unavoidable. But if you make Universal acceptance and approval your raison d’etre, then you are doomed to a life of disappointment and frustration. We all exclude someone, which is our right in a free world. You choose to exclude people who think your rights to full equality are silly as chocolate or vanilla, which is your right. I exclude flaming faggots like you, for example, because I find your irrationality, duplicity, and outrage to be antithetical to my character and world view, not to mention embarrassing to my own identity as a gay man.

      Should everyone have equal access, opportunity, and privilege without regard to gender, orientation, race, nationality, disability, etc, etc, etc? Yes, of course they should. But being an adult means that we have to accept that not everyone plays nicely, but we can’t let it ruin our lives. We can and should stand against it, but crying over it and being irrational is not helpful to the cause.

      Your outrage and attack on Ed Kagin is both misplaced and inappropriate. Of all the people you could have chosen to be incensed towards, he seems to be the most innocuous.

      Now, why don’t you run along and leave the thinking to the rest of us. I’m sure there is some Gay Prance Parade out there you could be attending.

      Oh, and I nearly forgot. Let me thank you if you’ve read this far, and tell you that I’m impressed if you did. See, I absolutely forgot to preface this comment by waving a big cock in your stupid face, so I knew that there’d be a very good chance you wouldn’t even notice it.

      • Verity Manumit says

        Me, on 09/10/12: Oh, and I nearly forgot. Let me thank you if you’ve read this far, and tell you that I’m impressed if you did. See, I absolutely forgot to preface this comment by waving a big cock in your stupid face, so I knew that there’d be a very good chance you wouldn’t even notice it.

        Five days later, no response!

        Exactly!

  5. says

    “Maybe years from now your grandchildren will ask “What did you do in the great American Religious Civil War?” Do you suppose the answer, “Well, I got some atheists to condemn other atheists for not thinking the way they should” will be an entirely satisfactorily answer?”

    Dunno probably answer something along the same lines as you when your grandchildren ask what you did in the great Ontarian education battles over separate religious school systems. Yet again fun fact atheism isn’t limited to the states or its impacts their in.

    In your next article on this series can you please reference, quote, cite or link the people who are saying all atheists have to be atheist + and that everyone who doesn’t agree with them is against them. You make claims but provide no support making your pieces mostly empty rhetoric with no support to back them up.

      • says

        Sure now does Richard Carrier speak for all of atheism+? Is it a unified position or is it just one that some people take? And if its the latter how is that different from saying that Kagin speaks for David Silverman, the leadership of AA or the general membership.

          • says

            I figured but I have a habit of setting up part of an arguement in one post and waiting for someone to reply before i unfurl the next part ;p.

          • says

            No its does one person in the case of the original data point RC talk for all of A+. If Obama is a christian does in and of itself make all democrats christian or the democrats a christian party?

          • says

            An analogy,

            If someone makes the claim that biochemists support intelligent design. I reply with you need to cite and reference that claim. Someone reply’s back with Michael Behe as the one and only example I’m given. I don’t think it’s too much to ask if Behe can be said to speak for all biochemists. I agree there are biochemists that support ID but I am not convinced that this opinion is the majority. If you think this is the opinion of the majority then you need to present me with better evidence then one name or make a case that one name is enough to make a pronouncement on the views of the group as a whole.

      • trazan says

        I think Ed is wrong here, but I’d like him to write something in response to the “either you’re with us or against us” post of Dr Carrier.

  6. Makoto says

    I’m really hoping this is another one of those “I’m not posting what I actually believe, I’m posting the opposite to get people riled up” things. Kind of like Colbert does, but I’m not sure because I can’t see your face as you’re posting.

    But I still find it to be in poor taste, since you just lost a blogger on this network due to harassment from so-called atheists.

  7. Decnavda says

    Improbable Joe is correct. Suppose a group of atheists *DID* form the “Chocolate chip ice cream atheists” group. Would you care? Would you rail about how divisive and sectarian the chocolate chip ice cream atheists are? I don’t see the Atheist+ people saying not to work with other atheists, I see *YOU* saying stop the Atheist+ people.

    • says

      actually, pz myers refused to work with the secular student group that he is the faculty advisor for ‘on principle’, because they organized several activities in conjunction with a local church group. so not only is a prominent leader of the A+ ‘movement’ (see his soul of atheism video from the latest con) refusing to work with religious groups, but he is also REFUSING TO WORK WITH ATHEISTS….so….yeah….uh….what was that again?

  8. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    “We are now experiencing a most divisive phenomenon where some atheists are viciously excoriating other atheists for not embracing loudly enough certain of a list of worthy causes to which they are joined.”

    Evidence? Surely, you have evidence of this “divisive phenomenon” that is, OF COURSE, not the unhinged levels of bigotry aimed at women who won’t shut up when told to.

    Nah. Hate brings people together! It’s being against hate that’s divisive. To cowardly white dudes, anyway.

    • baal says

      “not the unhinged levels of bigotry aimed at women who won’t shut up when told to.

      Nah. Hate brings people together! It’s being against hate that’s divisive. To cowardly white dudes, anyway”

      Stop for a minute and consider this point – you’re name calling, sarcastic and assuming ‘the other side’ is down with bigotry and marginalization of women. Do you talk like this all the time? How tiring. I suspect other folks don’t really care for it IRL and it has negative consequences regardless of the context.

      Being right on the relevant role of women in society (equal rights and burdens) doesn’t mean you’re not being an asshole on-line in comment threads.

      I have yet to see the A+ adherents reach out to anyone who is not them. Instead, there is one argument (one!). It says that since actual marginalization of women happens, the A+ people are immune from any criticism. It has the corollary that anyone not A+ is a misogynist asshole who desires abuse. Both points are wrong and being yelled at everyone else at volume = 11.

  9. says

    Maybe years from now your grandchildren will ask “What did you do in the great American Religious Civil War?” Do you suppose the answer, “Well, I got some atheists to condemn other atheists for not thinking the way they should” will be an entirely satisfactorily answer?

    Well, probably my grandchildren will ask “What did you do when men harassed and threatened female atheists with rape? What did you do when they spewed their transphobic and homophobic venom all over the place? What did you do when they called for Sikivu Hutchinson to be put back in her place by white men?”
    Your answer would be “I told the women, LGBT and POC to shut the fuck up because I don’t give an damn about them and only care as far as they do the things I tell them are important”
    You are, in fact, telling us that we should just lie back and think of the movement.
    No thanks. Women have done this too often before. They fought in the IRA to free Ireland just to be declared little better than cattle after they won. I have zero interest in that.
    Why should I support anybody who, in case of victory would just treat me about as badly as the guys I fought against?
    You’re not entitled to our voices, hands and support. We chose to stand with those who support our cases.

  10. says

    Camp Quest?!?! WTF does camping have to do with atheism? Clearly you’re trying to foment dissent among atheists by dividing us into camping and non-camping factions, when camping doesn’t have anything to do with atheism!

  11. Leni says

    This does not mean that it is a good idea to form a club that excludes, and sees as enemies, anyone who does not like chocolate chip ice cream, or who actually prefer some other flavors.

    I was going to make the same point as Decnavda.

    Would you be surprised if the chocolate ice-cream atheists got tired of getting rape and death threats and just walked away from it altogether?

    • Besomyka says

      It’s more like we sat around and wondered why we were only eating vanilla and strawberry. Some of us thought, hey, other flavors are good too, and I’ve heard of people that tried chocolate chip and were harassed for it.

      We think we should make sure those other flavors are available and make it clear that if someone wants to have some other flavor and were getting shit for it, that we’d step in. Feel free to eat what you like. We want atheists that like ALL sorts of ice cream to participate!

      And then we were called divisive cunts for suggesting it.

  12. says

    New Atheism was a term coined by an outsider (Gary Wolf) to describe Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris, etc. whom he (falsely IMO) thought were more assertive in their athiesm (see http://atheism.about.com/od/fundamentalistatheists/a/What-Is-New-Atheism.htm)

    I think OfficialSpokesGay’s post is a good example of why A+ is such a turnoff. I know atheists who would also say,

    “We’re people. This isn’t a frivolous matter of taste. How dare you be so flip? You bet your fucking ass I’m going to exclude people who think {animal,gun,whatever} rights to full equality are as silly as chocolate or vanilla.”

    Going apeshit on people for even mild questioning or dissent seems to be the main distinguishing feature of Atheism+ at the moment.

    • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

      If you’re “turned off” by a group that unapologetically stands up for people who are harassed and spit on in public discourse you are no loss. Treating the dismissal of these serious issues as “mild dissent” is horrendous. Maybe someday you’ll see us as fully human.

    • Aratina Cage says

      New Atheism was a term coined by an outsider (Gary Wolf)

      It may have been popularized by Gary Wolf, but it was not coined by him. A Catholic Bishop used it at a religious conference just months prior to Gary Wolf’s publication in reference to the highly active online atheist community and to widely accessible modern atheist literature, citing Dennett and Harris in particular.

    • Waffler, of the Waffler Institute says

      You deny that there exist dudes who are both cowardly and white? Or are you so, um, lacking basic reading skills not to understand how adjectives modify nouns to create subcategories within the categories said nouns indicate?

  13. says

    Oh, my comment is “awaiting moderation”.

    One has to wonder why such a feature was not enabled on certain other blogs, as that surely would have cut out a lot of hate-speech and garbage..?

  14. Egbert says

    If you thought atheists were: superior to theists, more rational than theists, more moral than theists, then these recent displays of intolerance and irrationality ought to refute that delusion.

    This now means that atheism no longer has any credible foundation for anything.

    • Killerrat says

      You finally get it! Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god. The goal of the “atheism movement” should be to simply prove that atheists are just the same as everyone else. This is the truth and we can sell this idea to the public.

      We cannot sell the idea that atheists are better than anyone else. This will simply piss off everyone else… and it is a lie.

      • joeschoeler says

        If that’s your idea of an atheist movement, then I don’t want to be in your atheist movement. I prefer a movement that promotes science education and removes religious indoctrination from public schools. I want a movement that counters the religious fundamentalism in our politicians. A movement that condemns misogyny and homophobia, which in many cases is justified by religion.

        An atheist movement that ignores these issues is cold and dead. I won’t be part of a movement who’s only goal is to prove that atheists exist. I find that idea exactly as interesting as proving that traffic laws exists.

          • says

            justice dept. statistics show domestic violence at almost the same levels for both sexes, lesbians report domestic abuse, rape is one of the lowest occurring violent crimes, men are drastically more often victims of violent crimes. women offenders routinely cut off penises, men are drafted for wars, women aren’t, on The View, the panel laughed at a man who’s penis had been cut off and put in a garbage disposal. women are almost always selected as primary caregivers after divorces, men are made to pay. women solely determine to have or not have a child, thereby forcing the issue, men are allowed NO say. the list is endless.

            the playing field is more than level. it favors women. sorry lady, but all the facts militate against the BS of patriarchy ‘theory’, and ‘rape culture’–the facts just aren’t there. radfems have rhetoric, dogma, indoctrination, and little else to back up their claims, and that’s why ‘gender studies’ departments are laughing stocks in the academic community. it’s also why orgs like redstockings have so few supporters-if you, and they, had arguments instead of just BS, there would be more support. that’s the real world bottom line, though feel free to hate me all you like if it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. for my part, i no more hate women than i hate the religious. i do, however, pity you and ppl like you with such poorly informed views.

          • says

            justice dept. statistics show domestic violence at almost the same levels for both sexes… rape is one of the lowest occurring violent crimes… women offenders routinely cut off penises… women are almost always selected as primary caregivers after divorces…

            Citations sorely needed, you lying MRA pukepuddle.

            women solely determine to have or not have a child

            When you have to incubate the fetus for nine months, running the folowing risks, then birth it out your urethra or anus, then you can whine about who gets to choose.

            Again, I feel sorry for your daughters.

  15. Brownian says

    Similarly, there is no such thing as “new atheism.” Atheism means the lack of a belief in a god. That is all it means. There is nothing “new” about it. It has been around as long as there has been a belief in gods.

    It is certainly true that language goes through changes. Often, big changes. But that has not yet happened to the English work “atheism,” which means, at present, nothing more than not having a belief in a god or gods. Sorry if you don’t like that—I didn’t make the rules.

    It’s like you’re purposefully stupid.

    If you don’t know anything about a subject, in this case sociolinguistics, then shut the fuck up about it.

    You’re practically a fucking creationist, you’re so goddamn oblivious to what you don’t know.

    We are now experiencing a most divisive phenomenon where some atheists are viciously excoriating other atheists for not embracing loudly enough certain of a list of worthy causes to which they are joined.

    You wanna felch everybody who happens to believe there are no gods, then fucking fine. Be a one trick pony, a vacuous cheerleader. You do it well.

    I reserve the right to call out morons such as yourself regardless of whether or not they agree with me on any particular political, theological, metaphysical, or Baskin Robbins perspective.

    That’s what integrity means. Look that word up, you fucking twit.

      • Killerrat says

        This is the problem with the proponents of Athesim+. They do not provide a “safe space” for others to have a civil discourse. They use vile language and imply violence (ie. Fuck You and it’s equivalents) against anyone who disagrees with them. I think people like Brownian should be banned from FTB for his foul and violent language.

        • says

          LOL “violent language.”

          Where are all you concern trolls when women like Jen McCreight get actual threats and gendered slurs? Nowhere to be found, other than injecting “Well, of course I don’t support that…” into your long, whiny screeds about how rude Gnus and A+ people are.

        • Brownian says

          Wrong. You don’t fucking think at all.

          Seriously, “Fuck you” is implied violence? You people are fucking jokes. No wonder theists fucking hate you, you lying bags of shit.

          If Kagin the stupid wants to ban me, he can fucking well do it.

        • John D says

          So it is okay for a male blogger to call a female blogger a “Cunt”? Is this what you are saying?

          My interpretation of a “safe space” as proposed by feminist atheist bloggers (such as Jen) is to specifically restrict gender based insults against women. I just need some clarity on this.

    • eliott1 says

      Brownian…I’m just curious and serious about what I want to ask. Not trying to tweak you with this. You clearly are aggravated at the points Ed made, really aggravated. And I know you have an expanded vocabulary and are very thoughtful. Why approach the discourse this way? Why not make your points without the rancor?
      How do we collectively put he “mad” on hold so we can have civil discourse. And if you feel that course is not meaningful, what is meaningful? Thanks.

      • says

        Hmm. It seems more like being angry because someone doesn’t agree with you and less about having to “put up with the whole bullshit”. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t say A+ was supposed to be about love and tolerance. I was merely making an observation.

          • says

            Geez, somebody just treated my desire not to be groped, harassed, threatened, in short being treated like a human being

            Whilst it seems entirely reasonable why you would wish not to be subjected to those things, in what way is their absence associated with being ‘treated like a human’?
            I would have thought harassment and threats have been the norm for the vast majority of homo sapiens sapiens who have thus far trodden this planet. Not so sure about the groping part, but I am somewhat intrigued as to what non-human things you suspect of being subjected to more groping activity than humans have been????

      • says

        I’ve seen a lot of disagreeing and questions (many of which aren’t really being answered – just more angry posturing). Sure, a few jackasses are piping up and being hateful. But then your very statement brings me back to one issue (of several) I have with A+: “it’s us against them”. In any case, please do go on with your petty little squabbling. I’ll be over there…being an atheist (which has crap all to do with anything but me not believing in “God” or gods)…and *doing* something about social issues rather than discussing ad nauseum on forum posts about social issues.

        • Brownian says

          *doing* something about social issues rather than discussing ad nauseum on forum posts about social issues.

          Oh, not this fucking bullshit again.

          If you were all about action rather than talk, you wouldn’t have
          wasted time with your smarmy ‘love and tolerance’ comment.

          As for love and tolerance, I fucking hate liars, whether wilfully dishonest or simply self-unaware.

          ;-)

        • Brownian says

          “it’s us against them”

          You mean like atheists vs. the theists?

          Those *doing* things about social issues vs. those who aren’t?

          Life’s full of us against them. You’re no different.

          Fuck, think before you write.

          ;-)

          • Mike Wagner says

            Seems like every post that says “My atheism doesn’t need an ideology tacked on to it” is met with “fuck fuck fuck misogyny and haters”. The term atheism is already confusing to plenty of people. Why start creating new definitions for every group that turns up. Atheism+? or Atheism* as PZ suggested anyone who disagreed with him should belong to.
            If the main goal is respect or equality then call it Respect+ or Equality+. As it is, one might as well say KKK+. Is Atheism+ exclusionary towards religious people? There goes the whole equality thing.
            It’s a poorly conceived name. Not everyone who finds issue with the name is out to get you, has issues with your non-atheist social goals, or in need of being sworn at like someone posting to Rebecca’s youtube videos.
            It just reinforces that we’re ankle deep in assholes. They only cover a small part, but that’s all you need to raise a big stink.

          • Brownian says

            Seems like every post

            Now that’s a real dose of reason for you. “Seems like”.

            “Seems like” like Sun goes around the Earth. “Seems like” God exists. “Seems like” the [insert group here] is taking over. “Seems like” American Atheists are vapid idiots.

            “Seems like” seems like something someone who doesn’t feel like providing any real argument might say, doesn’t it?

            “Seems like” more and more people need swearing at every day.

    • Killerrat says

      They really value a “safe space” to communicate. Yeah… safe for them to curse at everyone…. hypocrisy much?

      • Brownian says

        Oh, for fuck’s sake. Really? You want to compare being told to fuck off, or hearing ‘fuck you’ to being sent rape and death threats?

        You really are an exceptionally stupid human being, and a shameless liar.

        You’re more vile as a human being than any curse word anyone’s ever uttered.

        • John D says

          citation needed…. and second hand accounts of rape threats is not evidence. This is hearsay evidence. Produce the threat so we can contact the proper authorities.

  16. Momo Elektra says

    Wow. Is anyone else feeling the love and tolerance from the A+ crowd? I know I am :)

    It’s as if somehow some people just fucking ignore it when those angry folks explain why they are so angry.

    But hey, standing up against hate, vitriol, harassment and bullying is just like liking one sort of ice cream.

    Yes, in some way A+ is divisive. If you want to get technical A+ wants to exclude – by creating a safe space – people who make rape threats, who use sexist, racist, ableist, transphobic, homophobic slurs and perpetuate a culture that silences and marginalizes those groups. It want’s to exclude people who belittle, harass and bully. Those get excluded by not being invited and shown out of the door when they misbehave.

    And somehow some people have a problem with that. I don’t fucking get it.

  17. Rabidtreeweasel says

    Not liking chocolate ice cream =/= not liking a woman for having ideas on the internet. Even so, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for someone to say in their atheist group, “I like chocolate ice cream. Who wants to come with?” That’s not exclusionary or divisive. After they are done having their ice cream, they can come back. But if, when the chocolate-eating-atheists return, there are other atheists waiting to throw scoops of vanilla at them and calling them chocolate-loving-whores? Well, then you have a problem.

    Wanting to address issues in addition to problems of church and state does not preclude belonging to any one group. It does in fact encourage people to visit, contribute to, and support multiple groups that bolster their various humanitarian interests.

    I think the question you might ask yourself is why this has you so fired up? Right now, women are being harassed out of the movement, but somehow their desire to set up a safe space to address this and other secular issues is so offensive to you that you dedicate a Thunder0us amount of blog posts to rail against them. And alright, if you can’t be swayed and are dead set against seeing it without your goggles on, so be it. It’s your blog so *shrug* as you like it. I just find the behavior perplexing.

  18. Momo Elektra says

    It seems more like being angry because someone doesn’t agree with you and less about having to “put up with the whole bullshit”.

    No, again your oversimplifying the problem.

    It’s not so much that others disagree, it’s that others disagree with “Hey, stop that, what you’re doing is really harmful” by essentially saying “Shut your mouth you overemotional cunt and get back into the kitchen – wah, how dare you call me a misogynist sexist!”.

    Why don’t you bother taking those extra 3 minutes and educate yourself about what those people actually disagree with! Because all ideas are NOT equal!
    Gah, imagine the theists saying atheists just need something to disagree with so they can complain about something. You don’t let them get away with it, or do you?

  19. Aratina Cage says

    Similarly, there is no such thing as “new atheism.” Atheism means the lack of a belief in a god. That is all it means. There is nothing “new” about it. It has been around as long as there has been a belief in gods.

    I, and others, have documented the beginnings of New Atheism at the Pharyngula Wiki (please search for it), in case you are interested in the background story of the whole phenomenon.

    But, you know, up until you (Edwin) started blogging here and Dawkins began treating fellow atheists with misplaced contempt, I actually did think that New Atheism, for what it was, was very progressive in its ambitions. It seems that it went too far for some of you, though, particularly for you and Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Seriously, I never once thought I’d be reading some of the things I’ve read here from the debaptism-with-a-blow-dryer guy himself who seemed to have a lot of fun skewering nonsense.

    • Brownian says

      I’d never even heard of this until you pointed it out, Aratina.

      He labelled the hair-dryer “Reason and Truth” apparently.

      The guy who can’t be bother to do the most basic research to support his claims.

      It’s Shibboleths, all the way down.

      What a fucking joke these American Atheists are.

      • Aratina Cage says

        I think I learned about it from a post of PZ’s. I had high expectations for Edwin, that’s for sure. Then he went and sunk them almost immediately. *shrug*

        • Mike Wagner says

          How many members of the Atheism+ “leadership” have obtained crackers to abuse to mock religion?
          You mock from such a high tower.

          • Aratina Cage says

            I’m not sure you understand me, Mike. I had expectations that Edwin would bring more stunts like the blow dryer debaptisms to FTB. They’re funny and sassy and along the same lines as cracker stabbing. His writing style and voice here have been nothing like what I thought they would be. Oh well.

  20. Eshto says

    I agree with at least 99% of the “atheism plus” people’s stated political beliefs and goals. I still oppose it.

    Why? Simple. It actually has nothing to do with the definition of atheism. The leaders behind it are unqualified jerks. Myers, Christina, Zvan, McCreight, Benson, Watson, Carrier… these people have little to no background in social science, they’re bad at explaining feminism, bad at organizing people around positive goals, and they seem to spend more time telling people to “fuck off” on twitter and facebook than actually discussing issues rationally, let alone doing anything about them. Lots of good, liberal, pro-women, pro-LGBT people have been accused of “misogyny” by these goofballs. I see “atheism plus” proponents misusing terms like “privilege” – which is a perfectly valid concept and tool for studying oppression in society – and turning it into a mindless insult to throw at people on the Internet. It’s particularly hilarious since the leadership behind “atheism plus” is whiter than the RNC. It’s a joke.

    There are better progressives, better feminists, better activists to listen to. I’m thankful I had the benefit of amazing Women’s Studies professors in college. It’s a shame that so many others are settling for getting their information from opinion bloggers who barely understand the issues they claim to care about, and think ranting and insulting people on-line is some kind of “activism”. Get off of twitter, and go volunteer or donate some money or do SOMETHING of value.

    • Aratina Cage says

      I’m thankful I had the benefit of amazing Women’s Studies professors in college. It’s a shame that so many others are settling for getting their information from opinion bloggers who barely understand the issues they claim to care about, and think ranting and insulting people on-line is some kind of “activism”.

      Aren’t you the same Eshto (RGL) who went after Ophelia Benson and Greta Christina on Twitter and Facebook? The same Eshto who actually threatened them? If so, yeah, what a shame… *sad sad face*

          • John D says

            This is the worst you got. Yeah… I thought so. Just a bunch of people blustering. Take this to the judge and she would laugh you out of court. This is obviously someone acting like a jerk and blustering. Most “normal” people wouldn’t consider this anything close to a real threat. “Normal” being the operative word. The law uses a “normal” or “average” person standard for things like threats. Ophelia is not “normal” in my opinion.

        • Aratina Cage says

          Not even a thank you, John D? You asked for photographic proof and I gave you a source, accessible on the Web, that has such proof. Take it or leave it, but I’ve done as you requested.

  21. Timon for Tea says

    Wow. Very striking that all the violent language, abuse, and aggression on this thread comes from those identifying as A+ ers. Kind of makes the thread’s point.

    • says

      These commenters are upset because they are tired of being marginalized by people like Edwin Kagin. But the real injustice, in your eyes, is that they aren’t being civil enough?

      Thank you for demonstrating why a subset such as A+ was necessary.

      • says

        Love the cactuar avatar (now I realise the one thousand needles reference)

        I have tried to scan as many of the blogs here as possible the last few weeks. It seems to me that this blogger appears to be pretty much out on a limb here at FtB and yet you say this:

        These commenters are upset because they are tired of being marginalized by people like Edwin Kagin

        I would have thought that if anyone was marginalised over in this neck of the woods it would be Edwin Kagin. Maybe that is why he is so upset, or do the personal attributes he is powerless to alter (age, skin colour, gender etc) preclude him from marginalisation whatever the circumstance?

        • says

          Thanks! Glad you like the avatar and namesake. :)

          I would have thought that if anyone was marginalised over in this neck of the woods it would be Edwin Kagin. Maybe that is why he is so upset, or do the personal attributes he is powerless to alter (age, skin colour, gender etc) preclude him from marginalisation whatever the circumstance?

          Well, it’s important not to confuse being a minority with being marginalized. The definition of ‘marginalize’, from Google: “Treat (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant or peripheral.”

          So being in a minority does not automatically make a person marginalized. An obvious example would be billionaires. Yes, they are a minority, but they are in no sense written off as insignificant by the rest of the world population. That is, being a billionaire is not disempowering.

          I think the same is true of Edwin Kagin. Yes, his position on A+ is a minority position, but holding that position in and of itself does not marginalize him. For instance, Natalie Reed has expressed her doubts about A+, but that has had little to no effect on her esteem in the eyes of FTB readers, including the many readers that identify with the A+ label.

          This blog post is, however, a demonstration of marginalization. Edwin has the luxury to draw an equivalence between pro-equality and pro-ice-cream-flavor because he (unintentionally, I presume), is treating the issues facing women, LGBTQ, and other groups as insignificant, because he has not endured the experiences that they have endured. Those groups are disempowered by people such as Edwin.

  22. ooopz says

    I think there is such a thing as “new atheism”… it’s the atheism of people who reject religion because they don’t like what it has to say, rather than because there is no evidence of God. It’s atheism-lite, without the commitment to rationality and logic. Just look above: according to one commenter, Rebecca Watson has the “right to say ‘don’t do that’ without being called a cunt”… which is obviously false. Free speech ends where the other person’s begins, and nobody is shielded from the consequences of their speech or actions. Except apparently these “empowered” women.

    For people who want to live ‘deviant’ lifestyles, “new atheism” is the perfect way out of the controlling environment of traditional religion, which says you can’t be gay, have sex out of marriage, enjoy drugs, etc. That’s what’s going on with Atheism+… it’s not about skepticism and rationality, it’s about validating the feelings of people who simply switched from one belief system to another.

  23. johnflerianos says

    Finally a FTB author with some common sense. Too bad you’ll probably be fired soon for speaking your opinion on “Free thought blogs”

    • says

      It’s “freethought”, not “free thought”. There is a difference. This isn’t “Speak your mind and expect no criticism or consequences as a result”. Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of logic, reason and science. It has nothing to do with uncontrolled free speech and free reign to say whatever batshit crazy things are dumped from one’s brain space.

  24. says

    “…some atheists are viciously excoriating other atheists for not embracing loudly enough certain of a list of worthy causes to which they are joined.”

    Edwin, you really should provide sources for this sort of claim. Unless, of course, you knew in advance that the comment thread would suffice.

  25. A+ Hermit says

    Much as I admire and respect Ed Kagin’s contributions to the cause of secularism I don’t need him or anyone else to tell me what kind of atheist I should or shouldn’t be.

    If I want to be an atheist PLUS a feminist PLUS an anti-racist PLUS LGBT friendly PLUS whatever that’s what I’ll be.

    I quit religion in part because I don’t like being told what to think or how to live my life, I’m not going to turn around and conform to someone else’s ideal atheist orthodoxy now. Fuck that….

  26. Mike Wagner says

    Brownian is just a bunch of noise. “Wah, wah. Americans!” “Icky boo boo, Americans!”
    Whatever arguments people have, it won’t do you any favors having that tool on your side :)

  27. kikkiplanet says

    All I’ve learned and discovered from reading all of the foregoing comments is that intelligent atheists can be just as contentious, ignorant and rude to others as extremist Christians are. The only difference is that intelligent atheists use better grammar and more “fuck you’s” in their vicious attacks on differing views and opinions. What a wake up call.

    This makes me feel rather dejected and ashamed. Yes, I really thought “free thought” people were of a higher conduct code.

    Innocence – lost.

    • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

      Yeah. “Both sides” do it. They’re equally bad. There’s no point in recognizing the difference between pushing back against bigotry and apathy as compared to bigotry and apathy. We’re all just awful, and on the same ethical plane, because we’re rude.

      Jeezis. Kindergarten ethics are an excuse for frustrated teachers to save time splitting up fights. They are not a guide to actual behavior.

      • kikkiplanet says

        One would simply think it logical to expect that people of great intellect would find a different means of expressing differing opinions than telling others to “fuck off” or engaging in personal attacks.

        As for your “kindergarten” reference: My understanding is the average age in a kindergarten classroom is 5. Should you wish to behave in a manner that would be acceptable to an audience of that median age, you’ve rather proven my point.

        Josh, you seem like a passionate person. That’s a highly admirable quality and is fundamental to accomplishing change. When passion is turned into attack, change cannot happen – nor can intelligent discourse.

        Personal attacks seem out of place in the arena of intellectualism. I expect better of me, of ourselves. I expect we are capable of not wallowing in the anti-intellectual ooze so many of those who would shove their “God” down our throats have a propensity to wallow in.

        But… that’s just me. Passion tempered with measured words and lacking in personal attacks has always served me well. For the time being, at least, it shall remain my code of conduct.

        I hope others would join in that.

        • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

          When you’ve spent years, both online and in person, fighting to get ideas like “women are people” and “equality is not special rights” recognized, you learn to figure out who can be persuaded and who should be publicly shamed. Not all people are educable. Some of them will hole up behind their walls of privilege and denial. One can either let them continue giving cultural support to actively hostile adversaries, or one can try to call them out so they realize there’s a cost for what they’re doing.

          The world doesn’t change only by “intelligent discourse.” That’s part of it. But anger and indignation is part of it too. If you don’t understand that sometimes a “fuck you—how dare you treat the issue so snidely” is necessary, then I can’t help. You and I may draw the line in different places.

          Go ahead and contribute to causes in the way you do it best. But do not make the mistake of believing that your personal comfort level with “attack” is the best measure of what other people ought to be doing. The world is not made up of rational people for the most part, and dinner party diplomacy can’t solve everything.

          Besides, don’t you have some actual nasty people (you know, the ones who snicker at women getting fed up with rape threats and being called cunt) to lecture to? Don’t you think you might make some progress admonishing them for their horrific behavior?

          Or is it just easier not to make ethical discriminations and judgments?

          • kikkiplanet says

            You’ve made some pretty broad statements with regard to who I may or may not be, considering you have no idea who I really am. That doesn’t upset me simply because you have no way of knowing.

            Again, my position is simply that personal attack – regardless of which side of the fence it comes from – does no one and no cause any good, whatsoever. In fact, it oft times causes a deaf ear to be turned to the argument, thus being of no benefit to the ongoing discussion.

            As for your suggestion that I am making ethical discriminations and judgments, I suppose if saying “I think we are better than the murky level of discourse laid forth on this page”, I’ll accept the accusation and not make apology for it. I believe we are better than what I’ve read here. I believe we are capable of quality exchange that doesn’t venture into attacks thrown across an imaginary wall.

            Yes, I believe we are better.

          • Alferd E. Packer says

            Malcolm X would have disagreed with you. He felt personal attacks were effective in making people examine their complacency in regards to racism.

  28. Liam says

    I see lots of “they are all homophobic and transphobic” is there any actual evidence for this? Not once have i seen anyone in the atheist community anywhere any time say something actually “homophobic”, let alone “transphobic”.

    What seems to have happened in the time since bleeding heart liberalism in all its manifestations has caught on here, is that labelling ones opponents has become pervasive. This is important because…

    The literal stated goals of A+ are noble, and very few could reasonably oppose it. However, the definitions of the words used.

    Bigotry, misogyny, sexism etc. have all be redefined by the people here. A rape apologist can be someone who thinks people should be able to chat up others at conventions. A bigot could be someone who does not believe that affirmative action actually helps minorities, a homophobe can be someone who has used the meme “DO IT FAGGOT”. Ableist can refer to someone who expresses concern about getting in trouble with copyright law in the process of transcribing other people work without consent. Men’s Rights is a swear word, absurd as it is because everyone deserves rights, and rights should not be confused with privilege.

    The reason A+ is so divisive is because the amazingly low standard for use of the what is now “in group rhetoric” at FTB.

    So when an A+ advocate says they are not being divisive, they simply oppose X. X being any one of the randomly generated insults thrown at a commenter who has happened to disagree with one of the more vitriolic members here.

  29. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    The wall isn’t imaginary, kikkiplanet, whether you like it or not. And I didn’t say you were making ethical judgments. I accused you of failing to do so. Of failing to discern which party has a higher ethical claim regardless of your fuss-budgety objections to tone.

    • kikkiplanet says

      “Higher ethical claim.”

      Given the behaviour on display here, specifically within your own posts, I daresay at this point in the conversation neither party does. Not certain how telling someone to “fuck off” stands as evidence of a “higher ethical claim”.

      I have not failed to judge you based on your behaviour here on this wall. Trust me on that. I simply realize that attacking you as a person rather than attacking the behaviour would be pointless.

      Conduct yourself as you see fit, Josh. But don’t trust that the outcome will be whatever your objective is if your modus operandi is to play rabid pitbull against any who dare disagree with the stand you take. Nothing good will come of it.

      • Josh, Official SpokesGay says

        If you’re that concerned with “fuck off,” and you think that the very words themselves —shorn of all context, regardless of what they are in response to—bear such great importance that they override any other consideration, you’re a fool.

        • kikkiplanet says

          It would seem, Josh, that when you are finally out of any kind of weight for your argument, you resort to personal attacks, thus claiming the weaker end of the argument as your own. I’ve a certain measure of sympathy for you now and don’t feel it would be in the best interests of anyone on this wall to continue the conversation you’ve engaged me in. Obviously nothing constructive will come from it.

          A final thought: behaving in the same manner as those we are opposed to in an effort to call them out on their behaviour seems rather….. hypocritical, wouldn’t you say? Just a thought.

          All the best to you, Josh. I don’t see you accomplishing whatever it is you’re here for if you continue on in the manner you’ve chosen as your action, but I still wish you all the best.

  30. clydey2times says

    Good for you, Ed. I’m thrilled that someone on FtB is willing to speak out against this.

    Your perspective has plenty of support, but you won’t find much of it on here. Keep sticking to your guns, no matter how much abuse you receive from the commenters.

    • baal says

      I don’t see Ed as ‘against’ so much as ‘I’m focused on atheism first.’ That should be a valid statement (free from the anti-on slaught here) if A+ were only about making a safe space elsewhere. This is pretty good evidence that despite all the “just a thing there” language, the A+ adherents are policing FTB and elsewhere. They then seem surprised to get blow back from making assertions in public (hint, this always happens and not only because people are against your stated goals).

  31. r3formed says

    Such strong opinions for people who claim that atheism is just a lack of belief and not a belief at all.

    It’s like you all have different ways of not believing.

    Which just sounds strange.

    • kikkiplanet says

      You’re correct. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in Gods. Nothing more than that. Efforts to change it into something other than that are pointless.

      • r3formed says

        There are implied social implications though correct? Cultural references and such… Like evolution for example.

        So it would seem to mean more in terms of its cultural connotations. ( sadly some of those are polluted with bad stereotypes brought on by rather disingenuous types such as Bill Maher and Sam Harris. I would even argue Dawkins.)

        Should people not associate evolution with atheism? Really though is it a bad thing if they do? Divisive as was said numerous times here?

        Is it wrong to then expand the definition to social issues that may benefit the cause? Maybe pull you up from the least trusted sort. At least above lawyer.

        I mean I understand the desire to keep it as the strict definition and on paper you would be right. In everyday life though words are much more powerful than you propose and bring about many and varied ideas with them. I have found in my discussions with Mormons that we both use the same words but with very different ideas and values.

        I being a believer certainly don’t have an important opinion on the matter and am simply playing devils advocate. Fascinating discussion though.

        • says

          “Is it wrong to then expand the definition to social issues that may benefit the cause? Maybe pull you up from the least trusted sort. At least above lawyer.”

          Who defines those social issues? Which ones do we include, which ones do we leave out? Do we add animal rights to atheism? Veganism? Where do we stop in adding values? Who and what decides that we do?

          What are the social issues that “benefit the cause”? What “cause”?

          I’m an atheist, therefore I support…what exactly?

          Atheism isn’t informing any position than what the word stands for. Connotations of the populace about the word doesn’t change that.

          It’s wrong to sacrifice the neutrality of the term because atheism isn’t a structure, it doesn’t have authority, it doesn’t have leaders, it doesn’t have any necessary positions that follow from it.

          The problem lies with the people that came to Atheism from an emotional argument. The people who came to atheism that thought that atheism actually supports or condemns XYZ because they didn’t like what their religion told them about XYZ.
          The people who thought atheism somehow is superior to their theism because it would inform “rational” decisions.

          However this is not how it works.

          Atheism doesn’t have a “cause” or “goal”.

          If you want religion to disappear, thats not informed by atheism, its informed by anti-theism.
          If you want separation of church and state, thats informed by secularism.
          If you want to support gays, thats informed from humanism.
          If you want social justice without religion, thats secular humanism.
          etc.

          • r3formed says

            Yes I fully understand the reasoning for wanting to adhere to the strictest definition.

            That kind of reasoning can lead to all kinds of problems but it does allow for the idea that atheism is not a belief.

            But what makes atheism+ different from American Atheists? They also claim America in their name. Should I be offended as an American believer?

            One would argue that the people that are starting these groups are atheist leaders like the purveyor of this blog.

      • Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

        It also says nothing whatsoever about commenting on blogs about what it is or isn’t – and yet here you are doing just that. How is that possible, according to your definition?

        • says

          “It also says nothing whatsoever about commenting on blogs about what it is or isn’t – and yet here you are doing just that. How is that possible, according to your definition?”

          Maybe his interest in linguistics informed his decision to comment here, or maybe his secular humanism, who knows.

          What is a fact is that I’m pretty sure his stance on god did not drive him to comment on this blog.
          Hes just a commenter that happens to be atheist.

          • r3formed says

            People’s stance on god is the motivating force behind a lot of things. It would be ignorant to say otherwise.

  32. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    It’s always interesting when the dismissal of people’s concerns as insignificant comes from those who never have to worry about being treated in a similar manner. It makes me wonder if they’re aware of the concept of empathy.

    • msironen says

      “I am a “wasn’t born yesterday” atheist.”

      “Born”… “atheist”… that’s it! The perfect new name for A+: Born Again Atheists!

  33. Janie Miller says

    All this hysteria and vulgarity will not promote the cause of atheism+. These ugly words will be fodder for atheist-bashing preachers around the United States. These words do not make me sympathetic to your cause. They make me cringe. I stand up for marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights and many other issues but I always tell people that I am an atheist, just an atheist. Period. If you feel mistreated in this group of atheists, stay and fight the good fight, separating from the group will not work. Being hateful toward Edwin does not work either. Does making him the target of your hate for the wrongs that have been done help you in any way? He is NOT responsible for what has gone on. If you get this emotional over Edwin’s blog,I think you have a problem. Stop reading it if it causes you so much discomfort.
    Atheist women where I come from are proud to be atheists. We lead atheist groups, are good role models in our community, and stand up for the rights of others and ourselves. We don’t need any other special title. “Atheist” is just fine and dandy with us.

  34. Momo Elektra says

    So, when I get angry about being dismissed, belittled, called hysterical and overreacting because I want people to stop being sexist, I am the problem because I use angry words and so many of you fine people find the time to tell me off, that I should shut up because it hurts the movement.

    But when people use sexist slurs, harass and bully women into shutting up, you don’t tell them off and say those people aren’t representative of the movement so they don’t hurt it.

    Glad you got your priorities straight.

    You have a bigger problem with people defending themselves against sexism than the ones being sexist.

    • A+ Hermit says

      You have a bigger problem with people defending themselves against sexism than the ones being sexist.

      This is what strikes me about the whole drama too; people who have been harassed, belittled and ignored get angry and it’s their anger that provokes a reaction, not the harassment, shit and abuse they’ve had to put up with over the years.

      I keep asking the tone trolls this question; which upsets you more: people making rape threats, or people complaining about getting rape threats?

      `cause that’s the divide I’m seeing.

    • Janie Miller says

      I’m on the front line with you for the advancement of social issues.There have been times when it’s just been my daughter and I protesting against the Susan B. Anthony bus. I was frightened and hysterical but those feelings would not have gotten me anywhere when some of those folks came over to talk to us. It would not have advanced my cause to be vulgar with them. And I AM a very vulgar person at times. It’s the same thing with obnoxious people within the movement. Things won’t get better if we separate ourselves from the problems. No one will have sympathy for those who run away. Stay strong and fight from within. We are all atheists, not pluses or minuses. I don’t want to think that I’m a minus just because I don’t share your idea of a solution. My priority is to stand up to the world as a proud atheist.

  35. Timon for Tea says

    “So, when I get angry about being dismissed, belittled, called hysterical and overreacting because I want people to stop being sexist, I am the problem ”

    No, Momo, nobody has suggested that anyone should have to put up with unpleasant behaviour, name calling or anything else. Everyone as far as I can tell is against sexism in all its forms. Where do you get the contrary idea? It’s just that some (probably most) people in the ‘atheist’ movements think the Atheism+ idea is meaningless at best, divisive and deliberately hostile at worst.

    It is noticeable that the only people on here using the sort of aggressive language you complain about are people who identify as A+ ers, like Josh (who really is hysterical).

    • A Bear says

      The problem is whenever you criticize an A+ follower, even very mildly, you are in for a shitstorm of abuse, you are evil personified. You are a bigoted tone troll, no different than the people that use gendered insults and rape threats against women.
      You are a douchebag, a dick, a liar, an asshole and you should be anally penetrated with a dead porcupine. These A+ social justice warriors can tell all these things by a few words you may send on the internet. After all, words are important, you scumbag.

  36. Momo Elektra says

    No, Momo, nobody has suggested that anyone should have to put up with unpleasant behaviour, name calling or anything else.

    When you tell me to stop engaging trolls who do that instead of telling them to stop being unpleasant, that is exactly the message you get across. That I should just put up with it.

    Everyone as far as I can tell is against sexism in all its forms. Where do you get the contrary idea?

    Well, in theory maybe. But y’all take more time telling me and others to stop being so hurt instead of telling the trolls to shut up.

    If you even notice the sexism we complain about.

    It’s just that some (probably most) people in the ‘atheist’ movements think the Atheism+ idea is meaningless at best, divisive and deliberately hostile at worst.

    Most? Again, you take all this time to tell me how A+ is divisive and hostile, but do you speak up when trolls call women atheists cunts and bitches and make kitchen and sandwich jokes or rape threats?

    Why the fuck do you not call them divisive? Why do you rather accept women leave the movement instead of those assholes? Why do you care so much about them being included?

    It is noticeable that the only people on here using the sort of aggressive language you complain about are people who identify as A+ ers, like Josh (who really is hysterical)

    .

    Of course. Those who complain about sexism are just as bad as those who are sexist.

    Gotcha.

    Why are we atheists so angry again? Those church officials and politicians will probably just stop excluding us if we act a little nicer to them when thy take away our freedom and rights. Because being nice is what’s important.

    • c says

      maybe some of these “trolls” are shills… plants.. ?

      I am sure there are agents within the Atheist movement that are trying to bring you all down.

      they are probably on these boards too.

  37. Timon for Tea says

    “When you tell me to stop engaging trolls who do that instead of telling them to stop being unpleasant, that is exactly the message you get across. That I should just put up with it.”

    I haven’t told you any such thing. As far as I can see on here nobody has. Please feel free to tell people who behave badly that they are wrong, block them, ignore them, criticise them as much as you want. Who is saying otherwise? But don’t lump in people who simply differ with you on points of principle, and don’t resort to abuse as a first step in any disagreement. And please don’t mis-characterise other people’s points of views in order to criticise them.

    “Why are we atheists so angry again?”

    ‘We’ aren’t. Some of you are.

    • Alferd E. Packer says

      “Why are we atheists so angry again?”

      ‘We’ aren’t. Some of you are.

      Sexism, misogyny, rape threats, etc. aren’t directed to you so you’re not angry about them. That’s why you don’t spend any time complaining to to sexists and misogynists but instead complain to the people who are angry about them.

  38. Momo Elektra says

    I haven’t told you any such thing.

    Yes you have.

    As far as I can see on here nobody has.

    I’m not going to repeat myself.

    Please feel free to tell people who behave badly that they are wrong, block them, ignore them, criticise them as much as you want.

    Aha.

    Who is saying otherwise?

    Anyone who calls that telling them they are wrong, blicking them, ignoring them or criticizing them is “divise”, for example.

    But don’t lump in people who simply differ with you on points of principle

    What difference on points of principle are you talking about? The only people who in this fight get lumped into groups are on one side the harassers and on another those who make excuses for them and rather tell the offended to stop complaining instead of telling the harassers to stop harass.

    and don’t resort to abuse as a first step in any disagreement.

    Abuse? You mean bad language like “fuck you”? That is not abusive, it’s entirely defensive, and it is the last step and not the first. Do you have any idea how often and long debates I’ve had about this and was nice? But when I’m nice I’m just as easily dismissed as when I’m angry, at least when I’m angry I don’t have to pretend not being hurt and pissed off.

    And please don’t mis-characterise other people’s points of views in order to criticise them.

    I haven’t mis-characterized your point of view, I told you what it looks like to me.

    ‘We’ aren’t. Some of you are.

    Besides the point. There was a message in there that you managed to ignore.

  39. c says

    As a non atheist I am finding it amusing to watch the old divide and conquer strategy rule.

    I went to a school during the 90’s where in order to attend you HAD to be a certain brand of Feminist or else you were demonized and almost run out of town. I couldn’t be merely Liberal, I had to be a militant feminist Liberal or else I wasn’t good enough.

    I care about equal rights for all. I believe that it is important to respect all persons, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, religion, non religion, color etc…even what kind of icecream they like.

    All Edwin is saying (from what I am hearing) is that you have a cause (and I don’t know if he is speaking specifically on behalf of AA or Atheism in general.) and if you start breaking off and talking about Feminist atheistm, or Gay rights atheism.. you lose focus on the goal of getting atheism respected in society.

    It is one of those conundrums because I am sure in the Gay Rights arena there are people who probably condemn Atheism and the same goes for Feminist groups.. I am sure there are those who don’t like Atheists either.

    and yes, in Atheism you have a big pot of people who don’t like Gay’s or women or blacks..

    This is the ultimate problem with any ISM (that I have discovered) You start throwing a label around (which sometimes is hard not to do) and you start getting little “camps” all over the place that are fighting amongst each other and then they all are battling and fighting and attacking each other and then there is this Group that is sitting there looking and laughing and pointing a finger and saying “Well that took care of our little problem”…..

    To be fully “conscious” means to ultimate be a better human all around. To not be a sexist Atheist or a bigoted Atheist or whatever. “Can’t we all just get along”.

    Peace Out!

  40. Timon for Tea says

    “Yes you have.”

    No, I really haven’t.

    “Anyone who calls that telling them they are wrong, blicking them, ignoring them or criticizing them is “divise”, for example.”

    But nobody is making that argument (or nobody I have seen at least). It is a figment of your imagination. If you fight against chimeras you will just waste all of your energies pointlessly.

    “What difference on points of principle are you talking about? The only people who in this fight get lumped into groups are on one side the harassers and on another those who make excuses for them and rather tell the offended to stop complaining instead of telling the harassers to stop harass.”

    That is what I mean. These two sides are a fiction of your own and some others’. There really are some differences of principle that do’t warrant this sort of immoderate hostility and ‘with us or against us’ attitudinising.

    “Abuse? You mean bad language like “fuck you”? That is not abusive”

    Yes it is. It has not other intention that to upset and/or intimidate. That is abusive. If you are against abuse in these debates (and you say you are) then don’t do it. If you take the position that using insulting, aggressive language is OK for you but not your opponents, you will come across as either hypocritical or very confused.

    “Do you have any idea how often and long debates I’ve had about this and was nice?”

    No, I only know what I have experienced. It is slightly narcissistic to expect people to be aware of your full biography. I am not claiming that you personally are abusive though, I mean allies such as Josh above.

    2I haven’t mis-characterized your point of view, I told you what it looks like to me.2

    You have, I have not argued the things you claim I have. I can’t see how it can look like anything other that what it is, it is written down after all.

  41. Momo Elektra says

    All Edwin is saying (from what I am hearing) is that you have a cause (and I don’t know if he is speaking specifically on behalf of AA or Atheism in general.) and if you start breaking off and talking about Feminist atheistm, or Gay rights atheism.. you lose focus on the goal of getting atheism respected in society.

    For a comparably wealthy, white, heterosexual middle-aged man being an atheist may be the only experience of marginalization that person has.
    Of course such a person maybe would rather focus solely on atheism and have others focus solely on atheism. That person doesn’t suffer any other marginalization.

  42. Momo Elektra says

    I really can’t take it anymore. It’s like a witch trial.

    The more I try to convince you the more you think I’m just hysterical and imagining things. If I stop debating you because I literally don’t know how to explain it so you can understand it you will consider it a sign of you being right.

    tertium non datur

  43. Timon for Tea says

    Momo, do you really take the position that atheist feminists should not make common cause with Christian or Muslim feminists just out of some sense of ideological purity? Even if both feminist groups have identical demands?

  44. Timon for Tea says

    ” If I stop debating you because I literally don’t know how to explain it so you can understand it you will consider it a sign of you being right.”

    I already think I am right. But if you cannot make a persuasive argument to the contrary, that does seem to support my point of view, yes. That is not ‘witch trialling’, it is how debate and argument work and it has been very effective at bettering the circumstances of marginalized groups.

  45. Momo Elektra says

    Momo, do you really take the position that atheist feminists should not make common cause with Christian or Muslim feminists just out of some sense of ideological purity? Even if both feminist groups have identical demands?

    For this thought experiment to make sense the christian feminists would, after telling the world how many feminists there are and how worthy their cause is, tell atheist feminists and muslim feminists to shut up about being atheist and muslim because that’s being “divisive”.

  46. Timon for Tea says

    “For this thought experiment to make sense the christian feminists would, after telling the world how many feminists there are and how worthy their cause is, tell atheist feminists and muslim feminists to shut up about being atheist and muslim because that’s being “divisive”.”

    Not if they didn’t make their religion an essential aspect of their feminism. This is what puzzles me. I personally know Muslim women who have and still do battle to improve women’s rights. working in various capacities in various organisations. They materially improve the position of women, especially the most marginalized women in society. But some people, such as Richard Carrier, would characterise them as ‘douches’ because they are not also atheists. How does this help anyone? How does this benefit either atheism or feminism? Surely you would be better allied to women like that than to blowhards like Carrier?

  47. Timon for Tea says

    “And if they did?”

    Then they would be in the position of Atheism+, creating a divisive movement that weakened feminism as a social cause because non-Christians couldn’t work with them. That way you end up with dozens of groupuscules that are utterly ineffective, and the status quo just keeps on rolling. Why would anyone want that?

  48. Momo Elektra says

    Surely you would be better allied to women like that than to blowhards like Carrier?

    Carrier has made one contribution to this. If you only focused on the harassers as much as on this we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Which is entirely the fucking point!

  49. Momo Elektra says

    Then they would be in the position of Atheism+, creating a divisive movement that weakened feminism as a social cause because non-Christians couldn’t work with them. That way you end up with dozens of groupuscules that are utterly ineffective, and the status quo just keeps on rolling.

    Sometimes a movement has, to stay effective, to exclude elements that don’t contribute but are rather part of the problem.

    What’s happening is, if we stay with that thought experiment, that atheist feminists and muslim feminists are fed up with the christian feminists pretending they are the only ones that matter, and combining their forces to work together.
    No weakening happening. Instead empowerment and stopping being patronized.

  50. Momo Elektra says

    In that thought experiment the christian feminists would cry “divisive” because they lost and keep losing influence with the other feminist groups, not because feminism loses influence in society.

    And the same is happening with A+.

  51. Timon for Tea says

    I can’t see how you see it that way Momo. In the example I gave, it would be the Christian feminists who caused division by refusing to work with other feminist groups even though they have identical agendas. That is what Atheism+ seems to be aiming for as well: anathametising and excluding atheists that they do not find congenial for one reason or another. That can only weaken the influence of atheist movements. Nobody is saying that atheists should not have other ideological commitments and work towards them in other spheres, but to refuse to work with atheists on atheist issues because they disagree with you over (say) abortion is petulant and counter-productive.

  52. Momo Elektra says

    I can’t see how you see it that way Momo. In the example I gave, it would be the Christian feminists who caused division by refusing to work with other feminist groups even though they have identical agendas. That is what Atheism+ seems to be aiming for as well:

    No, you have cause and effect wrong.
    In this thought experiment the christian feminists dominated within feminism because Christianity dominates generally, and the whole movement focused mainly on feminism from a christian perspective. But then the atheist and muslim feminists got fed up being ignored and now work together towards multiple goals, excluding the christian feminists who want to continue to dominate and only have their particular views demonstrated, but including christian feminists who want to work together towards the common goals.

    anathametising and excluding atheists that they do not find congenial for one reason or another.

    For “one reason or another”? Not find “congenial”? How easy it is to ignore that the ones being excluded are people who harass and bully.

    This is you being dismissive.

    That can only weaken the influence of atheist movements.

    Only from a very limited perspective. Many people will now also join atheism when it’s more inclusive.

    Nobody is saying that atheists should not have other ideological commitments and work towards them in other spheres, but to refuse to work with atheists on atheist issues because they disagree with you over (say) abortion is petulant and counter-productive.

    That isn’t happening. Talk about imagining things.

  53. Momo Elektra says

    Nobody is saying that atheists should not have other ideological commitments and work towards them in other spheres, but to refuse to work with atheists on atheist issues because they disagree with you over (say) abortion is petulant and counter-productive.

    That isn’t happening. Talk about imagining things.

    I probably should explain that a bit more.
    You seem to think that religion will win if we don’t stand a united front. That’s stupid. I’m not against religion because it’s religion, I’m against religion because it’s factually wrong and perpetuating a society with social injustice.

    If an atheist thinks I should not have access to abortion that person is not my ally, not even against religion. Because on this point that person and religion are on the same side.

    So why should I stand behind that person? It makes no sense.

  54. Timon for Tea says

    “For “one reason or another”? Not find “congenial”? How easy it is to ignore that the ones being excluded are people who harass and bully. This is you being dismissive.”

    No, because as I have repeatedly said harassers and bullies should be excluded, we all agree with that, nobody disagrees, so long as the definitions of those terms are non-ideological (that is based on behaviour and not private belief or opinion or conscience).

    “That isn’t happening. Talk about imagining things.”

    That is at least the opinion of Richard Carrier. Do you really think Atheism +ers will share platforms with atheists who, for example, are pro-life? I think you are mistaken.

    • Alferd E. Packer says

      No, because as I have repeatedly said harassers and bullies should be excluded, we all agree with that, nobody disagrees

      You disagree and quite emphatically. Atheism+ was established to exclude harassers and bullies and all you to is complain about how “divisive” that is.

  55. Timon for Tea says

    “So why should I stand behind that person? It makes no sense.”

    Because you are both atheists and you are driving for (on this occasion) a specifically atheist agenda. If people have to pass some sort of ideological purity test to be allowed to ally themselves with you, there will be not mass atheist movement and it will lose all influence. Of course, that does not mean you should not be a member of other groups committed to causes such as protecting the right to choose.

    Religion isn’t ‘factually wrong’ by the way. I know what you mean but that is pretty close to a category error.

  56. Momo Elektra says

    That is at least the opinion of Richard Carrier

    And? In case you hadn’t noticed, I am not him and neither is anyone else but him.

    Do you really think Atheism +ers will share platforms with atheists who, for example, are pro-life? I think you are mistaken.

    Of course they won’t. Why should they?

    If I’m against religion because of their pro-life stance, why should I stand with an atheist who is also pro-life?

    Why do you think it’s important to stand with them? Because otherwise religion wins? But I am marginalized by religion on many accounts, not just by not believing in god.

  57. Momo Elektra says

    Because you are both atheists and you are driving for (on this occasion) a specifically atheist agenda.

    Name that agenda.

    The end of religion? We may both be atheists, maybe even for the same reason – because we don’t believe in god.

    But what does atheism have to do with fighting against religion?

  58. Timon for Tea says

    2And? In case you hadn’t noticed, I am not him and neither is anyone else but him.”

    Yes, but he is a prominent leader of the movement you identify with. It should matter to you what he thinks.

    “Of course they won’t. Why should they?”

    For the reasons I gave: you agree on the issue at hand. To refuse to ally yourself with atheists who do share all your ideological prejudices or positions is unnecessarily exclusive and damaging to the movement. Opinions on abortion are irrelevant to debates about atheism in general and some very good, feminist, progressive atheists are also pro-life. If you disagree with them, persuade them different.

    “Why do you think it’s important to stand with them? Because otherwise religion wins? But I am marginalized by religion on many accounts, not just by not believing in god.2

    Then you are well advised to promote atheism by taking what allies you can find rather than excluding people for having the ‘wrong’ opinions on other issues.

  59. Timon for Tea says

    “But what does atheism have to do with fighting against religion?”

    If atheism grows, religion will wither. That stands to reason no? But I agree that organised atheism need not be, and should not be, anti-religion. It should be about resisting social pressures that negatively affect atheists qua atheists, fighting for a properly protected secular space.

  60. Momo Elektra says

    Yes, but he is a prominent leader of the movement you identify with. It should matter to you what he thinks.

    No, he really isn’t.

    Then you are well advised to promote atheism by taking what allies you can find rather than excluding people for having the ‘wrong’ opinions on other issues.

    No, actually, I’m not.

    If I ally with any atheist, even those who would oppress me, in case of atheism winning against religion I would only change the name of the oppressors.
    But I want to fight the oppressors. They now just happen to be mostly religious.

    It seems our goals are not the same. So what use are you as an ally to me? You aren’t. But I could be a useful ally to you when it comes to sheer numbers, but only if I shut up about how you and I don’t really agree on everything besides “there is no god”.

  61. Momo Elektra says

    If atheism grows, religion will wither. That stands to reason no?

    Why is that important? What good does it do me when the pro-life religious get exchanged to pro-life atheists?

  62. Timon for Tea says

    “If I ally with any atheist, even those who would oppress me, in case of atheism winning against religion I would only change the name of the oppressors.”

    You are taking ‘oppress’ to mean ‘disagree with’ here I think. There are limits, of course, to who you can accept as an ally. A KKK Grand Wizard would not be OK, because he supports a policy that is criminal. But the rights and wrongs of abortion belongs to a different category of honest disagreement. You lose nothing by allying yourself with such a person so long as she does not use your platform to pursue her other social agenda (which is what A+ is criticised for, of course).

    “It seems our goals are not the same. So what use are you as an ally to me? You aren’t.”

    Our goals are the same in one important aspect, so it is worth chasing that together. We may disagree on other things. It is as if you want to exclude someone from your football team because she disagrees with you on the proper way to play baseball.

    “But I could be a useful ally to you when it comes to sheer numbers, but only if I shut up about how you and I don’t really agree on everything besides “there is no god”.”

    No one has to shut up about anything. Disagree all you want, but not from the platform, keep that on topic, that is the message.

  63. Timon for Tea says

    “Why is that important? What good does it do me when the pro-life religious get exchanged to pro-life atheists?”

    There would be no ‘exchange’. You would still be in a society that has factions that disagree about abortion. Only now those who oppose you would have less influence because they could not rely so much on religious authority. So you have lost nothing but gained a lot.

    • msironen says

      “See, that’s the problem with trying to please fanatics. You’re just never pure enough for them.” – Ed Brayton

  64. Momo Elektra says

    You are taking ‘oppress’ to mean ‘disagree with’ here I think.

    No, I mean oppress. As in pro-life laws.

    There are limits, of course, to who you can accept as an ally.

    Finally!

    But the rights and wrongs of abortion belongs to a different category of honest disagreement.

    Do they? Why?

    You lose nothing by allying yourself with such a person so long as she does not use your platform to pursue her other social agenda (which is what A+ is criticised for, of course).

    Does not use my platform? I still lose if that person uses other platforms to pursue that social agenda of pro-life.

    A+ does not work they way you describe here. It does not work against atheism. It includes other topics besides intellectually pure atheism, because most people involved don’t just suffer marginalization for being atheists, but for being women, homosexual, trans, people of color etc.

    No one has to shut up about anything. Disagree all you want, but not from the platform, keep that on topic, that is the message.

    What platform? The A+ forums aren’t yours, neither is FTB. And for that matter neither is “atheism”. It doesn’t belong to you, and no one is taking it away. A+ includes atheism into other social agendas. It’s a widening of interests, not cutting something away.

    There would be no ‘exchange’. You would still be in a society that has factions that disagree about abortion. Only now those who oppose you would have less influence because they could not rely so much on religious authority. So you have lost nothing but gained a lot.

    What would I have gained exactly? You seem to think that atheist oppression wouldn’t follow. What makes you believe that atheists can’t be just as oppressive as religious people?

    Why would they have less influence? Wouldn’t they fill the power vacuum? And wouldn’t some fill it with their pro-life agenda? Just because they don’t believe god wants women to have babies doesn’t mean they can’t invent another authoritarian reason.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolae_Ceau%C8%99escu)

  65. gordonduffy says

    When I compare ice cream preference to sexist trolling abuse… I find little overlap. I can’t see why anyone would care about another person’s ice cream preference. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t care about another person hurling abuse and misogyny.

  66. Timon for Tea says

    “A+ includes atheism into other social agendas. It’s a widening of interests, not cutting something away.”

    No, as has been pointed out many times, atheists and atheism already play prominent roles in all the social movements that Atheism+ claims an interest in. The only new thing that A+ seems to bring is hostility and exclusion.

    “What would I have gained exactly? ”

    I explained what. If you diminish the role of the church in society through atheist activism, you will advance your position on abortion, even if some anti-abortion activists are themselves atheists because you will have lost nothing and at the same time weakened the influence of religious anti-abortionists (the majority). You wont have everything you want but you have something, whereas sitting in tiny groupuscules of activists congratulating each other on their ideological purity is likely to achieve nothing at all.

  67. Momo Elektra says

    No, as has been pointed out many times, atheists and atheism already play prominent roles in all the social movements that Atheism+ claims an interest in.

    So, they are atheists plus social issues? ;-)

    The only new thing that A+ seems to bring is hostility and exclusion.

    Actually, it doesn’t. People complain that it does, but that’s no proof. You may be right that some people will be put off by it. So what? Others are encouraged by it. You just focus on one thing and ignore the other.

    If you diminish the role of the church in society through atheist activism, you will advance your position on abortion

    Why? Where is the logic in that? Atheism is lack in belief in god. Nothing else. No morals follow from atheism.

    even if some anti-abortion activists are themselves atheists because you will have lost nothing and at the same time weakened the influence of religious anti-abortionists (the majority).

    I will also have strengthened atheist anti-abortionists. Btw, religious anti-abortionists aren’t necessarily the majority. There exist other countries than the U.S. and even there they are not the majority if the information I’ve read the last weeks during the elections is true.

    You wont have everything you want but you have something, whereas sitting in tiny groupuscules of activists congratulating each other on their ideological purity is likely to achieve nothing at all.

    “Something” isn’t good enough. And funny. The ones arguing about ideological purity are people like you who argue for a pure atheism.

  68. Timon for Tea says

    “I will also have strengthened atheist anti-abortionists. ”

    No you won’t. The position of atheist anti-abortionists would be the same as before since they must always and only have argued against abortion from a rationalist position. But the religious antis would have lost prestige and influence. So you would have advanced albeit imperfectly your objectives and lost nothing.

  69. Timon for Tea says

    ” I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t care about another person hurling abuse and misogyny.”

    Gordon, the issue isn’t about hurling abuse and misogyny, everybody agrees that should be opposed except those who are doing it and they tend to be anonymous internet trolls (I have never met any in real life). The issue is whether there should be some ideological test applied as to whether someone is considered an ‘acceptable’ atheist.

    • gordonduffy says

      But that’s a straw man. Acceptable to who? Am I obliged to accept every atheist? I don’t think so. If I find a sexist racist homophobe who happens not to believe in gods that doesn’t make us allies.

  70. Momo Elektra says

    No you won’t. The position of atheist anti-abortionists would be the same as before

    But their political and social influence would be greater than before.

    and only have argued against abortion from a rationalist position.

    WTF? How does that follow?

    But the religious antis would have lost prestige and influence.

    Yes.

    So you would have advanced albeit imperfectly your objectives and lost nothing.

    Because atheists are usually more liberal than religious folks. Doesn’t come from their pure atheism though.

    The issue is whether there should be some ideological test applied as to whether someone is considered an ‘acceptable’ atheist.

    But you are the one considering A+ not “acceptable” atheism because you believe it excludes the very people you think should be excluded. Somehow you’re not making very much sense.

  71. Timon for Tea says

    “But their political and social influence would be greater than before.”

    No, it wouldn’t have increased. Nor would yours. You would just be individuals in a more atheistic world. They would have not more influence than before (how? what would be the mechanism?), they would only be able to argue their position.

    “But you are the one considering A+ not “acceptable” atheism2

    No, I am objecting to behaviour, not ideological status. I will happily ally myself with people who identify as Atheism+ ers on atheist issues even though I think they are wrong about important things. But they will not associate with me because they consider people who slightly disagree with them (I am talking about the Carrier tendency here) as ‘filth’.

    • Momo Elektra says

      No, it wouldn’t have increased. Nor would yours. You would just be individuals in a more atheistic world. They would have not more influence than before (how? what would be the mechanism?), they would only be able to argue their position.

      Yeah, give me an example of world history, one will do, where a previously overcome group with political and social power left a power vacuum that no one else filled.

      But I don’t think you can because you live in a fantasy world.

      No, I am objecting to behaviour, not ideological status.

      The tone? Do you know what a tone troll is?
      You have been arguing for a ideologically pure atheism above thread. If that’s not what you wanted to do,… then fail?

      I will happily ally myself with people who identify as Atheism+ ers on atheist issues even though I think they are wrong about important things.

      Allright.

      But they will not associate with me because they consider people who slightly disagree with them (I am talking about the Carrier tendency here) as ‘filth’.

      No, I rather think you believe that because they don’t roll the red carpet out to you so you are offended.

      Stop implying Carrier is the leader of A+. I’ve already told you you are wrong about that. And no one is considered “filth” if they “slightly” disagree.
      Repeating it doesn’t make it so.

  72. Goblinman says

    Kagin isn’t happy about the Atheist Plus thing. Big shocker there.

    He’s also wrong about the “divisiveness” thing in this instance. Atheism Plus didn’t create the division–it was already there. It would have come up eventually in some way or another, and it may be fatal to the atheist movement. This is a revelation that we were never as unified as we thought.

    I’m going to be blunt: if the goals of Atheism Plus are not reached (whether under the A+ name or not), atheism as a movement will die. There is no going back at this point–if the atheist movement can’t change itself, the atheists who care about things other than plain old vanilla atheism are going to leave, and they’re going to take the future of the movement with them. It’s already starting to happen. (That’s an observation, by the way, not a threat. No one would notice if I left, obviously, but when people like Natalie Reed do it’s time to start paying attention.)

    It’s this simple: we atheists have a sexism problem. If we can’t fix it, we’re done.

  73. says

    “Yes I fully understand the reasoning for wanting to adhere to the strictest definition.

    That kind of reasoning can lead to all kinds of problems but it does allow for the idea that atheism is not a belief.

    But what makes atheism+ different from American Atheists? They also claim America in their name. Should I be offended as an American believer?”

    American Atheists is a political organization.
    Atheism+ is not an organization, political or otherwise.

    Atheism+ is right now closest to an ideology, like liberal, libertarian or republican. It’s broad, not well defined and generally dangerous as it questions the neutrality of atheism and brings exactly the confusion that we are discussing here.

    I don’t need more theists lumping me in with Stalin, thank you very much.
    What if Atheism+ (hypothetically) fucks up somewhere down the line? Do i need to again distance myself from them as if I am in any sense part of the group because of the label? No thanks, I honestly don’t need that shit.

    Right now I have no need to talk about collective responsibility of Raelians and Buddhists because they happen to also not believe in god.
    Once you start acting like Atheism informs something you give the word baggage it doesn’t need or deserve.

    “One would argue that the people that are starting these groups are atheist leaders like the purveyor of this blog.”

    On what authority?
    People who start groups are leaders for the -group- not a label.
    The person that started the group Atheism+ just recently rage-quit the internet, so is Atheism+ over?

    Again, what goals can we “lead” to as atheists?
    Will my goals coincide with Raelians?

    It’s like saying the Pope is the leader of Christianity, he isn’t, he’s the leader for Catholics.
    Would you consider Fred Phelps a leader of Christianity?

    You are using false equivocations.

    • r3formed says

      “American Atheists is a political organization.
      Atheism+ is not an organization, political or otherwise.

      Atheism+ is right now closest to an ideology, like liberal, libertarian or republican.

      From my understanding of atheism+ it would seem to be both. When does the transition occur from ideology to political organization?

      Wouldn’t have American Atheists began as an ideology? An ideology that supports their political activity? By your logic, since atheism implies nothing more than a lack of belief in God(s), what’s the function of American Atheists? Do they just promote lack of belief?

      A look at their website would indicate different. Anti-theism and Atheists must be different and you should be upset with American Atheists as an organization since they entangle other concepts into atheism that do not belong. Your standards would make many ideologies or organizations disband because they support more than just a simple lack of belief.

      “I don’t need more theists lumping me in with Stalin, thank you very much.
      What if Atheism+ (hypothetically) fucks up somewhere down the line? Do i need to again distance myself from them as if I am in any sense part of the group because of the label? No thanks, I honestly don’t need that shit.”

      I only ever lump Stalin in when I am lumped in with the likes of Fred Phelps and others. I am glad you see the fallacy involved when assuming like that but sadly that is a fact of life. People will lump me in with the likes of Fred Phelps and you will be lumped in with the likes of Pol Pot. Just like you lumped me in with “theists” who lump you together with Stalin.

      How do we avoid that though? Do we fight against any organization that doesn’t exactly fall into the same ideology as we do? Do we not allow any atheist organization that doesn’t simply lack belief?

      Sounds great… just not realistic.

      “Right now I have no need to talk about collective responsibility of Raelians and Buddhists because they happen to also not believe in god.
      Once you start acting like Atheism informs something you give the word baggage it doesn’t need or deserve.”

      Regardless of what you deem atheism needs or deserves there is baggage involved. I don’t think anyone is making the argument you are.

      ““One would argue that the people that are starting these groups are atheist leaders like the purveyor of this blog.”

      On what authority?

      Again, what goals can we “lead” to as atheists?
      Will my goals coincide with Raelians?

      It’s like saying the Pope is the leader of Christianity, he isn’t, he’s the leader for Catholics.
      Would you consider Fred Phelps a leader of Christianity?”

      What authority is exists for anything then? How do we have leaders if they must be placed their by an authority?

      and yes they are leaders in Christianity just ones I disagree with.

  74. Timon for Tea says

    “It’s this simple: we atheists have a sexism problem.”

    No I don’t think you do, no evidence for this has been produced at any rate. There is a sexism problem in the broader society and, for sure, some sexism involves atheists, but I don’t see any reason why this should be a major concern for atheists as atheists.

    All the egregious sexism that I have see has been directed at prominent atheists by anonymous trolls, people that atheism itself is unlikely ever to reach. The stuff from named atheist activists has all been moderate and reasonable. A lot of the heat in the argument comes from lumping those things together. There is an example of this on Rebecca Watson’t blog as we speak, perfectly reasonable tweeted comments such as ‘I have never experienced sexism in atheism’ by a named blogger lumped in with vile, aggressive, anonymous threats and treated as the same sort of thing.

      • Killerrat says

        Burp!

        Clearly you show examples of some rude people there. No ruder than posters here like Josh and Brownian of course.

        It looks to me like this is pretty hypocritical. You are basically deciding which exact curse words are acceptable (such as Dick, Douche, or Fuck) and which words are “harassment” (such as cunt, bitch, or twat).

        You are basically elevating some rude speech to the level of rape threats and harassment. Your argument has no integrity.

        • Killerrat says

          Haha… Needled One!

          Right on one of your examples about men mistreating women I find this Tweet by Rebecca Watson:

          “I’m gonna start advising men on how not to get kicked in the balls. “Don’t talk to any women in heels. Don’t leave the house w/out a cup.” – Rebecca Watson

          Oh my… it is to laugh!

          Men should stay indoors or expect to be kicked in the balls… nice!

          • Momo Elektra says

            Men should stay indoors or expect to be kicked in the balls… nice!

            She was paraphrasing an often used advice some men give women who complain about sexism and harassment.

            How come you didn’t recognize that? Could it be that you lack necessary information and are talking out of your arse?

          • Killerrat says

            Ok Momo – Somehow sexual assault is funny if it happens to a man? Is that what you are saying?

            I have looked at almost every post by the Needled One and so far I have found nothing more than some examples of rude speech and a report about a drunk guy who got kicked out of a conference. Am I missing something?

            While it is normal for many people on FTB to tell others to “Fuck Off” and shove “things” up their ass, it is somehow different when certain A+ “leaders” have crude speech tossed at them. Somehow speech is different from one person to the next only depending on if the agree with the particular A+ proponent.

            I can’t find anything other than the kind of rude speech people spew all over the internet on any of Needled’s links.

            Now if you all would setup a “rude-free” zone that would be a fair implementation… but you don’t. The FTBloggers spew horrible language at everyone and then cry when it gets tossed back.

            Hypocrites!

      • hannanibal says

        No offense but your “list” is stretching the definition of harassment.
        I’d wait until you get some more substantial proof before you start linking to it.
        If you are going to start conflating online name-calling with harassment then maybe you should start calling out the commentators on your “side” as well that way you won’t come across a as hypocrite.

    • Stevarious says

      There is a sexism problem in the broader society and, for sure, some sexism involves atheists, but I don’t see any reason why this should be a major concern for atheists as atheists.

      Ummm, maybe because some atheists are women, and don’t want to be treated like shit by other atheists?

    • Momo Elektra says

      No I don’t think you do, no evidence for this has been produced at any rate.

      A whole year and more of not looking at the evidence might produce the same position you are having right here.

        • Alferd E. Packer says

          Exhibit A.

          I wake up every morning to abusive comments, tweets, and emails about how I’m a slut, prude, ugly, fat, feminazi, retard, bitch, and cunt (just to name a few).

          • hannanibal says

            Name calling doesn’t constitute harassment. If it did then most FTB bloggers and commentators are guilty of it too. If that is the best you have got then I’m not convinced at all.
            I get threatening comments nearly every day but mine come from Youtube. Death threats, insults etc. etc. Sometimes the comments are from the same person. Does that mean I am being harassed? I don’t think so at all. If those threats came in the post directly to my house or the person said them IRL then I would take them more seriously.
            People talk shit on the internet and I don’t have the time, energy or naivete to believe every slur/threat directed at me is going to result in my family being raped and my pet rabbit boiled alive.

          • Momo Elektra says

            Name calling doesn’t constitute harassment.

            1. That’s not just name calling
            2. Writing an email (for example) to call someone names sure is (because it’s a one-sided forced interaction on someone else)

            You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

            What else is new?

  75. SAWells says

    Why is it OK to have “American Atheists”, which is so terribly divisive against non-American atheists, but it’s not OK to have “Atheism+”, which is so terribly divisive against atheists who aren’t into social justice issues?

  76. The Rose says

    …I’m tellin’ ya…Sapioprozandeist

    if ya want a NEW movement, isn’t it better get one rather than factioning?

    One of the main reasons they say A† isn’t like Secular Humanism is (it seems to me) that they don’t want to include the “co-exist-ers”. But, I think we may have to have some “coexist” people around for a while anyway. And that’s being exclusive.

    If you’re using A†eism as the “ground floor” and “raising up” aren’t you really raising the level of dogma up one notch?

    That’s why, to me, A† still seems a little like atheists bearing crosses.

    I’ve read it all, and you guys still haven’t hit me with a KO.

  77. James says

    I find it odd how strongly some people are opposing Atheism+ due to definition, a movement which has explicitly been mentioned as Atheists (that part hasn’t changed) who want to identify with more things than simply Atheism. It’s not claiming that Atheism itself means more, but rather some Atheists want more, mostly in the line of values also endorsed in Secular Humanism ethics.

    It’s odd how they’d be so opposed to a new sub-group adopting part of a word when that movement only added specific mention of valuing things “they already care about”. It’s odd how there wasn’t similar outcry against associating Skepticism with Atheism without making the difference expressively clear. It’s odd how they claim they’re being excluded when, by all measures, it’s them who’re actively trying to exclude themselves from the new group.

    I don’t recall any attacks from Atheism+ that targeted people who did not speak up enough about Feminism. Rather, efforts have been made against specific actions such as harassment, arguments denying there’s a problem within the group which needs to be dealt with as it undermines any of the social justice based cries against religion (if atheism could only mean non-religious aspects, why were prominent atheists always talking about the social harms of religion?), and other active efforts to oppose Atheism+.

  78. Momo Elektra says

    I’m so tired of these discussions.

    A book club wants to discuss a certain book and assholes who only read the summary on Amazon want to tell those who actually read it what reeeaaallly happens in the story and complain so bitterly when they aren’t given a medal for their efforts.

  79. Momo Elektra says

    Ok Momo – Somehow sexual assault is funny if it happens to a man? Is that what you are saying?

    Of course not. It’s a reframe, not an endorsement.

    I have looked at almost every post by the Needled One and so far I have found nothing more than some examples of rude speech and a report about a drunk guy who got kicked out of a conference. Am I missing something?

    Yes, more than a year of blog posts, forum threads, tweets and comments now in the numbers of 50.000. I read most of them. You didn’t.

    Hypocrites!

    No. You complained about Rebeccas framing, you consider it unacceptable because it is against men. When it is against women you consider it only “rude”.

    That’s a double standard.

    • Killerrat says

      Rebecca get out of jail free card = “It is a reframe!” Wow… your verbal gymnastics are AMAZING! Face it… Rebecca thinks it is funny to joke about sexual violence against men.

      Momo says: “Yes, more than a year of blog posts, forum threads, tweets and comments now in the numbers of 50.000. I read most of them. You didn’t.”

      My reply to this Momo is that you can still save your little victim story if you produce evidence. So far I have gone to Needled’s evidence and found horrible language by men and women and A+ supporters and A+ detractors. (oh… and one drunk guy at a conference). Can you do any better? Evidence please.

      Momo – You accusing me of a double standard is ABSOLUTELY BIZARRE. I pointed out to you how rude language is accepted on FTB if it supports the author and the rude speech is attacked if it disagrees with the author… then… wait for it… then YOU accuse ME of a double standard.

      • Killerrat says

        For those who are now confused… it appears that the magic of deleted threads has struck again. “1000 Needles” had posted some links to “prove” the claims of harassment in the atheist community. It contained this gem.

        http://elevatorgate.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/little-skeptic-twat-rhys-not-so-hot-at-science/

        so please note where Rebecca Watson jokes about sexual violence against men on a Tweet…

        “I’m gonna start advising men on how not to get kicked in the balls. “Don’t talk to any women in heels. Don’t leave the house w/out a cup.” – Rebecca Watson

        I can only guess that 1000 Needles list of “harassment” only proved that there is little to the harassment story (and now it is gone). That is the funny thing about rude language. Everyone looks to be doing it. It is just really annoying when someone uses it but can’t take it from others. Oh… wilting flowers….

        • Killerrat says

          well… not deleted threads… just threads that are not nested properly. Thus the confusion. The nesting is wrong (sorry… this can’t be fixed as far as I know).

  80. says

    baal says: @ Josh,who typed out for our general consideration, “I don’t care if it pisses you off because you feel “excluded” for not being on board with issues of equality.”

    I don’t like bowling. I have no interest in bowling. I don’t want to be forced to bowl.

    That’s why I spend hours every day hanging around at the bowling alley complaining to the bowlers that they shouldn’t be doing that. I criticize them for calling it a “sport,” it’s clearly not a sport IMO.
    Sometimes they get tired of me yelling at them even though I only yell because they refuse to stop bowling and listen to me. Every once in a while they DO stop what they’re doing and yell me to “get the fuck out.”

    Seriously…
    If you don’t like atheism+, if you want no part of it, then WHAT THE EVERLOVING FRACK are you doing here arguing about it?

    I don’t ski. I don’t harass people on skiing blogs. I’m not a Libertarian Atheist, I don’t troll Penn Jillette’s blog.

    If you don’t like it, here’s a thought – GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE.
    Unless, of course, you’re not being honest and your goal is actually to stop others from doing what you don’t what them to do.

    I promise – if you just say “uh, I guess that’s not for me…” nobody is going to start a twitter hashtag to call you ugly or threaten you on, nobody is going to call your workplace and try to get you fired.

    Admit it – you want those who are calling themselves “atheist+” to stop expressing themselves and stop calling themselves what YOU don’t approve of.

    I’m not sure where you got the impression you had that authority. Best get over that.

  81. Momo Elektra says

    Rebecca thinks it is funny to joke about sexual violence against men.

    No. I will not respond to you anymore. You don’t argue in good faith.

    • Killerrat says

      “I’m gonna start advising men on how not to get kicked in the balls. “Don’t talk to any women in heels. Don’t leave the house w/out a cup.” – Rebecca Watson (aka. hypocrite)

      • says

        Are you actually that obtuse? Are you really unable to grasp that Rebecca was illustrating what victim-blaming would look like if men were on the receiving end?

        I want to believe that you aren’t that stupid. But that’s actually worse, because it means you’re a dishonest, cynical scumbag that isn’t interested in truth. You’ve demonstrated a willingness to twist and distort statements when it suits you.

        That’s a deal-killer, dude. There is no reason for anyone to continue a discussion with you, other than their own amusement.

        • Killerrat says

          I am claiming the Rebecca finds it funny to joke about sexual assault against men. I can live with this. No big deal to me. I am sure she is just making a joke and exaggerating and at the worst perhaps she is shaming and name calling.

          Whatever… I don’t lose any sleep over Rebecca spewing vile language… free country and all.

          What I do object to is language of the similar vulgarity being used to claim people (usually men) are misogynists, rape apologists, and potential rapists when the gender is switched.

          Imagine if a man had said anything similar to what Rebecca did when she said: “I’m gonna start advising men on how not to get kicked in the balls. “Don’t talk to any women in heels. Don’t leave the house w/out a cup.”

          Simply insert female genitalia in for “balls”. Any man that wrote this would be accused of threatening to rape her.

          Rebbecca is a hypocrite.

        • John D says

          So Sally – It is okay to use vile and horrible violent imagery as long as it is a joke? Is that what you are saying? And so… you still think a man would be able to say anything similar to what the pink princess said without you threatening to kick him in the balls? Most A+ers would accuse any man of being a rapist if he even uttered the “C” word.

          Hypocrites.

          • insipidmoniker says

            It must be insanely hard to traverse the Internet without any ability to parse sarcasm and rhetorical tactics.

          • Sally Strange says

            This is like when we had that conversation about rape jokes, and how they are never funny, and I was like, “Well, there are some jokes that mock the conventions of rape apologia, like that article from the Onion…”

            http://www.theonion.com/articles/raped-environment-led-polluters-on-defense-attorne,817/

            And immediately the Slymepitters jumped on it and started claiming that “Sally Strange things rape is hilarious! She looooooves rape jokes!”

            It’s stupidity. That, or active malice. Your choice. Either way, you don’t look good.

          • John D says

            Hey Sally Dear – I am not the one complaining about how comments on blogs and youtube etc. equal the same thing as rape threats. Becci and Jen and you are. I think the stupid comments and dumb rape (or ball kicking) jokes are just stupid jokes. I am kind of a free speech person.

            You and you crybaby privileged pink princes friends are turning every rude comment into some kind of rape threat.

            When I point out the the pink princess Becci uses incredibly vile language to tell a joke you say its ok for some reason. No one else can tell vile, rude, or violent jokes except you princesses.

            This is HYPOCRISY!

            Look it up dear.

            If you really were threatened (or if Miss Becci were threatened) we would hunt the person down. No one should be threatened… but your standard for threats is bizarre and frankly embarrassing. You and your crew think a stupid rude youtube insult is a legitimate rape threat. We would be fools to try to chase these commenter down and do justice to them. What justice do we do to someone who is simple as rude as YOU are?

          • Sally Strange says

            John D – I reiterate: your intelligence is apparently less than average.

            You’re also clearly a ragist misogynist, angry because I and some other women dared to use OUR freedom of speech to speak out about sexist assholes like you.

            You are a perfect example of why this movement NEEDS a schism, so that you don’t have to deal with me and “Miss Becci” (seriously? you’re pathetic), and I don’t have to deal with you anymore.

          • Killerrat says

            Typical pathetic rebuttal from you Sally. Just call me a stupid misogynist asshole. Who taught you how to debate?

            Sally says “I’ll take my marbles and go home!”

          • Sally Strange says

            Gee, John D, from the way you complain about being called a sexist, it almost seems like you think there’s something wrong with being a sexist.

            Why the strong reaction? You say sexist things, so why do you object to having that pointed out?

  82. says

    Remember that one we kept hearing about how if men were not allowed to hit on any women they want anywhere they want, the human race will go extinct?

    Of course you remember.

    I just wanted to point out that atheists saying such things about atheist conventions and about women in general, and those things that they said were in no way political.

    That was pure dictionary atheism, that was. Don’t condemn it with your dogmatic attacks!

  83. Goblinman says

    “No I don’t think you do, no evidence for this has been produced at any rate.”

    Just so you know, this sort of response right here proves exactly how bad all this is. I could address the content of your argument (of course society at large is sexist and it’s influencing atheism–that’s what so many people are trying to make change within the movement itself), but it’s the fact that so many people are making arguments like this at all that’s the real issue. Every time someone speaks up about this not-so-little problem, we get hordes of people jumping at the bit to deny there’s anything wrong at all.

    It’s obvious that there’s a vocal segment of the community that is hoping they can make this whole issue go away by basically telling the people complaining about it to shut up (not directly, of course, but by arguing tangents and refusing to acknowledge the substance).

    That’s not going to work. It’s too late.

    The question currently on full display is “Can the atheist movement be inclusive of people who aren’t white, straight, cis men?” The more pushback there is, the more the answer to that question becomes “No.” If we can’t change it to a “yes”, most of the people who aren’t white, straight, cis men are going to move on.

    If we lose those people, the atheist movement will lose its ability to grow, and its ability to be taken seriously as anything other than a special-interest club. It won’t be able to reach out to the people who are most seriously endangered by religion, and it won’t have the numbers to stand up to the threat religion poses.

  84. jessiexl says

    If you want to be a dictionary atheist, that’s up to you. Many of us want the atheist community to be far more than that and to offer a welcoming environment to those who are regarded as inferior by society.

    Don’t expect us to hang around to be abused just to make your numbers look good.

  85. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m getting a bit fed up with all the tone/language rubbish like this random sample.

    Now if you all would setup a “rude-free” zone that would be a fair implementation… but you don’t.

    You’ve never met my grandmother nor her sisters nor her ladies church group, but I wouldn’t mind betting you’ve come across similar women in churches or schools or other social interaction. These people would never once have uttered a ‘bloody’ let alone a ‘fuck’.

    And more than a few of them were deeply wicked, vicious and downright poisonous in the many subtle ways they bullied people and the overt ways they humiliated others. My husband and I actually joked that we were playing with genetic dynamite when we looked at the horrifying possibility of producing offspring who might combine the attributes of his grandmother and a couple of my great-aunts. All of whom had created festering feuds in families and in their neighbourhoods and churches and social circles. And it wasn’t just the women, lest anyone thinks their husbands and sons held back from gossip or character assassination.

    None of these venomous people had ever been heard to raise their voice or utter a single vulgarity, let alone a swear word. By “non-rude” standards, their impeccable diction and ladylike conversations never put a foot wrong.

    A bit of honest passion with a few vulgarities and swearing is a great deal healthier than faux-polite drips of poison.

  86. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh, icecream. Icecream?!

    I know it’s a bit of a buzz when you first think of an analogy that appeals to you. But once you start writing, it’s a good idea to think whether another analogy might be better.

    Or maybe, just maybe, chuck the whole idea and start again.

  87. Sally Strange says

    But the rights and wrongs of abortion belongs to a different category of honest disagreement.

    No, they really don’t. And I’m tired of giving space and time to those who get mad that I refuse to argue with people who don’t accept my right to bodily autonomy.

    Deep fucking rifts, man.

    • says

      The refusal to discuss something on principle is the telltale sign of irrationality and religious faith.

      I understand that to you can’t imagine an argument that can put your bodily autonomy into question, however thats simply an argument from ignorance.

      Can I produce such an argument?
      No, I think not, but it’s irrelevant since I’m not arguing from such a position.
      However I can’t dismiss the possibility that someone could come up with a perfectly reasonable argument, and I’m willing to hear it.

      Once one refuses to hear arguments about something, how can they ever change their mind or falsify their position?

      • Momo Elektra says

        The refusal to discuss something on principle is the telltale sign of irrationality and religious faith.

        That isn’t what Sally said. She said she wouldn’t discuss something with everyone at any time (especially only their convenience).

        You can’t even get such a simple thing right.

        Once one refuses to hear arguments about something, how can they ever change their mind or falsify their position

        That’s easy to say for someone who’s right to bodily autonomy will never be questioned. Ignored, maybe, if you’re unlucky. But never questioned.

        However I can’t dismiss the possibility that someone could come up with a perfectly reasonable argument, and I’m willing to hear it.

        Trigger warning:

        Do you also lend an ear to child rapists who tell you that maybe what they do is actually beneficial to the children? Do you also lend an ear to people who tell you torturing people will make them tell the truth? Do you lend an ear to those who tell you that your race is actually a race of servants and should embrace slavery? Are you accepting the possibility that those could have perfectly reasonable arguments and that your position is wrong?

        I don’t believe you. I think you delude yourself into thinking that because you are so very far from actually suffering any of those and other injustices (safe maybe for being atheist) you are objective and intellectually curious.

        You’re not. You’re just so privileged and removed from the real stuff (or repressing it) that you can treat real suffering as a mere thought experiment.

      • Sally Strange says

        I’d love to hear how you think it’s possible to be a woman in this country and somehow miss out on hearing the arguments against abortion rights.

        Condescend much?

  88. Momo Elektra says

    ” she wouldn’t discuss something with everyone at any time ”

    That “something” should be an “anything”

  89. Sally Strange says

    However I can’t dismiss the possibility that someone could come up with a perfectly reasonable argument, and I’m willing to hear it.

    This is the problem with straight white male privilege exemplified.

    Of course you dismiss the possibility that someone could come up with a perfectly reasonable argument, on a range of subject.

    There are no reasonable arguments for the earth being flat.

    There are no reasonable arguments for flood geology.

    There are no reasonable arguments for climate change denialism.

    There are no reasonable arguments for enslaving an entire race of people.

    There are no reasonable arguments for firing gay people just because they are gay.

    However, according to you, there COULD possibly be a reasonable argument for depriving me of bodily autonomy, granting the state the power to force me to give birth against my will.

    FUCK YOU.

    I do not have time to deal with your bullshit. There more important discussions to be had, more important fights to be fought, such as, how are we going to stop the people who think they have reasonable arguments for depriving me of bodily autonomy from enacting their belief that I should be able to control whether I continue a pregnancy or not into law and policy, any more than they already have.

    Meanwhile you are providing what is essentially intellectual cover for their project of oppressing me and everyone else with the capacity to get pregnant.

    Fuck you.

  90. Badland, delurking for a bit says

    Also, “Carrier was strident! And said dictatorial stuff! And I shall ignore everything else written about this because, look: dictionary! Atheist! Dictionary agrees with me!”

  91. Stevarious says

    Even the original analogy doesn’t work, as offensive as it is.

    Ice cream is made out of two things: Ice and Cream. If you put chocolate in it, you can’t call it ice cream, because it’s not ice cream any more, because ice cream is just ice and cream! And whatever you do, you can’t add a descriptive modifier to the original concept of ice cream to indicate that it is different from, but related to the original thing, like calling it ‘chocolate ice cream’! That’s just super madness!

    This is what the anti-A+ brigade sounds like.

    • says

      I really am baffled. What is the point creating these false arguments that no-one is making just to knock them down? I hope it makes you feel intellectual because at least then it served you some purpose.
      As it stands, i have yet to hear anyone decry the practice of adding modifiers, in fact the anti-A+ brigade, myself included, has gone out of its way to suggest what would be suitable modifiers to name your group.
      It seems to me that ypur position is that if someone challenges one modifier then they challenge the entire concept entirely. Of course, i am not so stupid as to really believe that, I realise it is just your way of trying to score a cheap point.
      Atheism+ is not just ambiguous it is downright misleading. It sounds like a term for strident outspoken atheists, anti-theism or, just concievably, strong atheism.

      If you really want to continue with the mantra ‘If you don’t like misleading modifiers you don’t like any modifiers’ then go ahead. It impresses no-one (other than yourself, obviously).

      • James says

        Wow. What a disgustingly dishonest video you posted. Social issues have nothing to do with Atheism? Really? So when Atheist activist movements were pointing out all the social harms of religion that was just some meaningless bullshit tossed onto all the empiricism to, you know, fill the time? And Natalie Reed wanted to add something that wasn’t already there? Seriously?

        Then you decided to misrepresent Richard Carrier, make snide remarks about FTB not applying skepticism to itself, and accuse those using the term of “deliberately misrepresenting” the word Atheist as if there was more to gain from it than differentiating itself from non-Atheist social justice movements which frustratingly let religious sources of injustice slide… It’s not your most shining moment on YouTube.

        “Atheism+ is not just ambiguous it is downright misleading. It sounds like a term for strident outspoken atheists, anti-theism or, just concievably, strong atheism.”

        Yes… some atheists want to focus on the social justice benefits associated with atheism. HOW MISLEADING!!! Hell, it’s not even new so much as more explicit from what we’ve already been doing. I’m trying to wrap my head around your position and it’s just wrong every way I look at it.

          • James says

            If atheist gatherings purely focused on the empirical side you’d have yours. But they haven’t. How many atheists do you seriously see arguing against something like Jainism with any regularity? It comes up sometimes, more often when combating harmful woo, but you’re kidding yourself if you think the movements associated with Atheism have focused entirely on its philosophical side.

        • PG says

          YES! Social justice issues has NOTHING TO DO WITH ATHEISM.

          You can check this for yourself. Do you have to be an atheist to care about social justice issues? If you care about social justice issues, will you become an atheist? Simple! Obviously, the two are not mutually exclusive, but they do not denote the same thing!

          Pointing out the social harms of religion does not come about from atheism!

          Atheism is a seperate trait that comes about from questioning the evidence presented to you for a god or gods that doesn’t add up to scientific scrutiny!

          As a toddler, you’re an atheist by proxy, but you’re not conflating social justice issues with being a toddler, now do you? No! (That was a strawman argument, by the way. Ignore it.)

          • James says

            Your entire response was a strawman argument. Nobody here is claiming that Atheism itself means more than it does but neither did the various Atheist movements which appeared during this resurgence make that single facet the sole factor. That movement called itself Atheist activism and I didn’t see too much in the way of complaints from the Semantics Police outside of a few attempts which ultimately failed. Atheism+ is a new movement which makes atheism (and by extension Skepticism) a foundation behind how it approaches the issue of social injustice. You seem to think that you can tell people not to use the label because it pollutes your term… somehow worse than the previous Atheist movement despite this one being even more distinct.

            Like those attempts to convince people to use another term for the last movement (i.e. Brights, Freethinkers, etc.), your arguments aren’t convincing anyone, and you can’t seem to let that go.

          • says

            Exactly, i would have replied to James’ last comment here but there is no reply button!
            There are lots of issues *linked* to atheism, none more so that evolutionary theory but they do not arise from atheism. The idea that these social justice issues are inextricably linked to atheism ignores totally the diametric conclusions others have (equally erroneously) reached from godlessness.

      • Stevarious says

        As it stands, i have yet to hear anyone decry the practice of adding modifiers

        Oh really? There isn’t 12 million screeds out there, whining that Atheism+ is an attempt at ‘rebranding’ of atheism?

        Do you want a list?

        • says

          Oh really? There isn’t 12 million screeds out there, whining that Atheism+ is an attempt at ‘rebranding’ of atheism?

          I think you must have missed the part of my message where i said that it is not modifiers we are objecting to but a wholly ambiguous and downright misleading one.
          I have now had several exchanges with A+ers who accept it may mislead and cause confusion and, in some cases, are happy that it will.
          If Atheism+ is not a rebranding of atheism then in what way is it a ‘third wave of atheism’? Please explain that to me.

          Jim (noelplum99)

  92. PG says

    Why are so many of you equating Kagin’s analogy with the ice-cream as saying he doesn’t care about women? Why are so many of you equating it with saying he doesn’t wish for a safe space of harassment, threats and whatnot? He never makes light the plights of women in his post, nor does he mention it, nor does he specify that’s what his ice-cream analogy signifies. There is literally nothing you can take away from his post to mean marginalising or trivialising the treatment of women. Or this gem here:

    Geez, somebody just treated my desire not to be groped, harassed, threatened, in short being treated like a human being to be similar to a preference for icecream and I get angry
    Gosh, I must be easily offended.

    Where do you get this from his post?! There is literally nowhere in his post you can take away for it to mean this!

    • James says

      …Except the part where he used an analogy equating differences in ice cream taste with a harder stance against sexual harassment?

      • PG says

        Really? That’s funny! Because I can’t see a single instance in his post where he refers to “sexual harassment” or “plights of women” or “getting groped, harassed, threatened”! Not anywhere!

        Any chance you can cite very clearly where he points this out? That would be nice. Thanks!

        • James says

          You realize that his post was about Atheism+… right? Do you know what Atheism+ is being created for? Do you really need me to hold your hand for this?

          • PG says

            I do know, thanks. But I couldn’t help but notice that you did not a) cite evidence where he refers to sexual harassment or the plights of women in general and b) cite evidence where he specifically refers to sexual harassment or the plights of women in general because, as I’ve already pointed out, there is literally nowhere in his post where he states that!

            There is also no evidence that he refers to the other issues Atheism Plus is supposedly championing, hence there can be no case that he speaks ill of these issues either! Nowhere in his post!

            So, how about actually posting some fucking evidence?

  93. PG says

    @James

    That movement called itself Atheist activism and I didn’t see too much in the way of complaints from the Semantics Police outside of a few attempts which ultimately failed.

    Those “movements” or groups did the thing of seperating atheism from what they represented. E.g. Atheist Knitters, Atheist Bloggers, American Atheists, et al. Do you see the distinction being made here? Do you see the crucial part which makes these groups acceptable, and Atheism+ not so much?

    Atheism+ is a new movement which makes atheism (and by extension Skepticism) a foundation behind how it approaches the issue of social injustice. You seem to think that you can tell people not to use the label because it pollutes your term… somehow worse than the previous Atheist movement despite this one being even more distinct.

    You seem to have a problem with distinguishing nonsensical, illconceived ideas with ideas that actually make sense. Why is it important to make atheism the foundation of social justice issues? Why is it paramount for atheism to be at the forefront of these issues? I don’t get it. Another poster said that Atheism Plus wishes to approach social justice issues “with an atheist point of view.” Now, what does that even mean? That I should approach them in a godless way? It makes no damn sense!

    And it “pollutes our term”? What does “our term” mean exactly? Atheism? The term rational thinkers have been using for the past two centuries, that term? I didn’t think there was any “polluting” to be done. Then again, I’m not the one insisting on calling it the utterly vague and not very helpful Atheism Plus (or Atheism+ or A+) in an attempt to redefine a completely arbitrary word that means nothing else besides the lack of belief in a god or gods. ‘Pollutes our term’. Good grief.

    • James says

      People want to use the term ATHEISM PLUS to refer to a splinter from the Atheism movement that makes those social justice issues more explicit. They don’t care that you think it’s conflating atheism with other things. Get over it.

      Now, what does that even mean? That I should approach them in a godless way? It makes no damn sense!

      I made the whole need to focus on religion’s effects pretty clear (as apart from Secular Humanist groups which placate their religious aspects) and you decide you want to be obtuse? Fine. I made the case, but if you don’t want to listen there’s not much else that can happen with this conversation. Debate requires a two-way street and you only seem interested in hearing your own viewpoint. You really think I want to continue repeating myself when you ignore parts? Fuck that.

      • says

        People want to use the term ATHEISM PLUS to refer to a splinter from the Atheism movement that makes those social justice issues more explicit. They don’t care that you think it’s conflating atheism with other things.

        This is something I have heard time and again here and it is something I have rarely come across.
        Personally i am seriously concerned by what people think about what i do.
        You watched my video and thought it was misleading, for example. I was concerned and read your comments with interest and reflected on them. In fact before I continue i will address a couple of statements you made:

        And Natalie Reed wanted to add something that wasn’t already there? Seriously?

        This was about what I described as the hijacking of the skeptics movement. Let me quote you a comment I recieved to my video:
        “One thing though. As someone front and centre in the Skeptics movement in the UK (I even write for The Skeptic blog and mag) I can assure that we are still just a bunch of nerds debunking UFOs and psychics.”
        Clearly i wasn’t imagining that this is what the skeptics movement used to be about. If you want more evidence you could always read Natalie reeds blog and see her say it in her own words!

        So when Atheist activist movements were pointing out all the social harms of religion that was just some meaningless bullshit

        What I would hope these organisations are doing (i am not a member so i don’t know) is demonstrate the inconsistencies between the religious claims and proclamations and how the religion applies them. Another thing that is often done is to make the point that religion is a poor foundation for moral claims. When Dawkins makes his favoured point that if your only reason for not murdering is because it says so in the bible that sums it up. He isn’t making an argument in favour of murder but suggesting that our moral grounding must lie outside of all of this for theist and atheist alike.
        It seems to me that what you are saying goes along the lines that if we question a religious perspective towards ‘x’ then atheists clearly should hold a position, under the banner of atheism, even when the issues relating to ‘x’ have nothing to do with religion. That by questioning the morality of bears savaging children for mocking Elisha that atheism now has something to say on ursine-human interactions generally. I suppose that is a great point to hide behind if your main interests lie outside of atheism but you wish to forward your socio-political agenda under that banner. Personally, i don’t buy it but as we already know, you just don’t care.

        Anyway, back to my main point!
        Everybody’s views concern me but the views that concern me the most are those of people I don’t agree with, not least because those are the people I most want to engage with and hope to influence. I would give my eye teeth to have as many theists as atheists watch my videos even if it meant they were massively disliked and criticised. So, I just don’t understand the commitment here to create a club whereby everyone is excluded who thinks differently and, most significantly, no-one cares about what anyone else thinks unless they are on-board with the idea. This just looks like a recipe to achieve absolutely nothing other than as some grand exercise in mutual-affirmation.

        Jim (noelplum99)

        • James says

          It seems to me that what you are saying goes along the lines that if we question a religious perspective towards ‘x’ then atheists clearly should hold a position, under the banner of atheism, even when the issues relating to ‘x’ have nothing to do with religion.

          Where are you getting this from? I’m not saying anything about how Atheists should or shouldn’t behave. I’m pointing out that the movement identifying itself as the Atheist movement often incorporated issues of social justice into its framework when attacking those propped up by religious dogma. If people in that movement wanted to bring into light that one can’t simply follow the Bible there’s an implicit argument saying: “That’s a horrid morality”. Whenever an Atheist says they’d never worship the Abrahamic God because of its brutality, that is a statement of morality. There’s clearly been an undercurrent of Secular Humanism behind the modern Atheist movement so I’m not sure what you’re trying to do here by casting those arguments as purely logical ones without inserted values that have nothing to do with Atheism.

          Did people argue about UFOs and Bigfoot and all that silly shit? YES! But the sole purpose wasn’t just to go “Hur hur, look at those silly people who believe dumb things” but rather a large part of the passion behind the cause was pointing out how an irrational mindset WAS HARMFUL TO SOCIETY. From what I understand of your argument, you’re pretending that the Atheists of the past decade haven’t had squat to do with Secular Humanist morals and you’re refusing to recognize that Atheism PLUS holding those values explicitly is a legitimate usage of the label without being some shady conspiracy to mislead people about the term Atheist. That’s aggravating nonsense.

          Personally, I was annoyed when PZ Myers attempted to throw more meaning into a label of Atheism by itself, but I also find the new Atheism PLUS to be a perfect way to keep the identity of the Atheist movement, which is useful for keeping Atheism in the public eye and remind people that we exist (you might not understand how that’s important to us in America) but also say that we stand for more than that.

          • says

            often incorporated issues of social justice into its framework when attacking those propped up by religious dogma.

            Like I said, that was understandable and reasonable. What we are talking about here, however, is taking those issues and applying the ‘atheist treatment’ in all contexts even when the context is atheist vs atheist! I don’t see how the same justifications apply (and I listed what i thought were some of the entirely reasonable grounds which I assume we would both agree on) for flying these things under the banner of atheism when the atheist term cancels out on both sides.

            There’s clearly been an undercurrent of Secular Humanism behind the modern Atheist movement

            Maybe so. Like I say, I have had precisely nothing to do with your atheist movement (there is more than one in the world) or any atheist movement. As I and many many others have said time and again that if you wanted to reflect that and create a group that solely reflected that stance (though how some of the more extreme feminist viewpoints I have seen described here comes under secular humanism I am not entirely sure, maybe you aren’t either?) then by all means go ahead and you would do so with our blessings. just give it a name that doesn’t make it sound like simply ardent atheism, anti-theism or start talking of it as a ‘third wave of atheism’
            When you do those things then everyone else gets dragged along.

            but I also find the new Atheism PLUS to be a perfect way to keep the identity of the Atheist movement, which is useful for keeping Atheism in the public eye and remind people that we exist (you might not understand how that’s important to us in America) but also say that we stand for more than that.

            Now that I CAN understand from a US perspective but I fear, as do many others that you will simply make both the acceptance of atheism AND the acceptance of these social justice issues harder for some people to take on board, not easier (in the same way that the idea that evolutionary theory is the ‘atheists position’ has hampered its acceptance). I suppose you could say I am more in the camp of the Ken Miller’s of the world than the Dawkins when it comes to the practicalities of things like this.

          • says

            PS:

            Did people argue about UFOs and Bigfoot and all that silly shit? YES! But the sole purpose wasn’t just to go “Hur hur, look at those silly people who believe dumb things” but rather a large part of the passion behind the cause was pointing out how an irrational mindset WAS HARMFUL TO SOCIETY.

            I am sure the feminist movements in the US would have been thrilled if the nerds who were into the UFO’s etc had decamped from their old hideouts and come over to the feminist organisations and insisted they all talk about Big foot and new age medicine on account that a large part of what feminism is about is ‘pointing out how an irrational mindset WAS HARMFUL TO SOCIETY’. Undoubtedly this argument works both ways but i can’t help but feel they would have been told, in no uncertain terms, to piss off (and I would have heartily agreed with the response).

  94. James says

    The reply button isn’t appearing so new post.

    I do know, thanks. But I couldn’t help but notice that you did not a) cite evidence where he refers to sexual harassment or the plights of women in general and b) cite evidence where he specifically refers to sexual harassment or the plights of women in general because, as I’ve already pointed out, there is literally nowhere in his post where he states that!

    There is also no evidence that he refers to the other issues Atheism Plus is supposedly championing, hence there can be no case that he speaks ill of these issues either! Nowhere in his post!

    So, how about actually posting some fucking evidence?

    I guess I do have to hold your hands… Obviously there wasn’t ZOMG EVIDENCE!!! directly in his post because it’s derived by logical deduction. Do you comprehend or do I need to give you an Empiricism 101 Tour revolving around the fact that, no, not all of our understanding is created entirely by physical evidence and sometimes we arrive at new information by deducing from existing evidence? Please don’t say yes to the tour because I don’t have the patience for it.

    Now, let’s go to the actual analogy…

    One can be an atheist and like chocolate chip ice cream. This does not mean that it is a good idea to form a club that excludes, and sees as enemies, anyone who does not like chocolate chip ice cream, or who actually prefer some other flavors.

    Edwin is comparing the issues Atheism+ members are having with the mainstream Atheist Movement, i.e not dictionary atheists, because it has become clear that not everyone takes social issues (such as, you know, treating its female members with decency) as seriously as they do. Edwin is casting this disagreement as a club that excludes and sees enemies as anyone who doesn’t like a FREAKING ICE CREAM FLAVOR. He is conflating an ethical stance which personally affects people with one of subjective taste. Now… do you… or do you not… see the “fucking evidence”? Because I’m not going to make this more clear for you.

  95. Christopher Swing says

    We could just call “Atheism+” something more accurate and honest, like “DramAtheism” or “Emoprog Atheism?”

    Yes, they do want to carve out a “safe place.” A safe place for *them* to be the ones to viciously attack anyone that disagrees with them when they decree what everyone else should think is important re: the social justice thing o’ the day.

  96. see_the_galaxy says

    Sure Swing. What a great plan. Hey–I know. Bet it’s not your ox being gored now, is it? Guess if you’re not the one being crapped on, it’s just a bunch of emotionalism, isn’t it? Problem with us in the atheist movement is that the secular right and left do have to come together on a few issues of common interest, even though we disagree about a lot more than we agree on.

    • Christopher Swing says

      I see a subset of people generating drama, getting it, and then throwing a fit about it. Egged on by people who have the time and luxury to argue on the internet ceaselessly, of course. ;D

      Go ahead and have your Emoprog Atheism/Tumblr Social JUSTICE!!!111Eleventy1! thing, just don’t be surprised when some people don’t take it seriously. Or more accurately, don’t overreact with how you’re being “gored” and “crapped on” when you’re criticized (because people who criticize you are JUST LIKE the people that troll and threaten) and be surprised that people get entertainment out of your dramatics. XD

      By all means, carry on. :)

  97. Sally Strange says

    So, is A+ so dangerous it’s going to splinter the movement or so pathetically silly that it’s going to fade into irrelevancy?

    Make up your minds, folks.

      • Sally Strange says

        So A+’s dangerousness stems entirely from its potential to splinter the movement? What’s dangerous about splintering the movement?

        • Christopher Swing says

          I seem to recall that being addressed somewhere. If only I could remember reading the original post that these are comments on… :D

          • Sally Strange says

            Hmm, I just read the thread over and it’s not really clear what’s so dangerous about A+.

            Something about people thinking atheism is something it isn’t–and that something having to do with social justice… right. Horror. Shock. Terrible things are going to happen.

            Meh.

          • Christopher Swing says

            If you simply didn’t agree with the main point of the original post, why didn’t you just come out and say so in the first place?

            You seem to have a lot of time to waste attempting to look clever on the internet. XD

  98. Janie Miller says

    This a comment found on The Guardian in response to an article about Atheism+ (Sept.2,2012)
    Sounds like a typical American method of bringing an “underground” group or movement into the mainstream and making it commercially viable. How long before they start charging for membership? How long before they open an A+ store with mugs and t-shirts?

    The sheer arrogance of the supporters of A+ in their comments is truly unbelievable and only goes to show how delusion and unwarranted self-importance can bring out the worst in people. I have talked with Jehovah’s Witnesses who have claimed that homosexuals should be burned at the stake, but even they seem more open to rational debate than the supporters of A+.

    Taking the line of “If you don’t believe us then you are not only wrong, but immoral scum” is usually suicide for any political or religious organisation, yet people are still flocking to A+. Quite frankly, I think they are pushing this line because they want their supporters to feel as if they are part of some secret, intellectual treehouse club that is above everyone else.

    I am Agnostic but I believe that A+ is just as dangerous as any cult, such as Scientology and North Korea’s Juche ideology, in that it thrives on it’s indignant insistence that it and it’s propenents are absolutely 100% correct and infallible. Not only that, but anybody who dares to disagree is unworthy and should be shot. I do hope this so-called “movement” fails like it should.

    Maybe I should start my own movement? A4? “Agnostics Against Airheaded Arseholes”
    eism+.

    • Stevarious says

      Oh I agree with this completely! Those crazy people that believe that women and gay people and trans people are just as good as us cis white males, they are just like crazy cultists!
      (/sarcasm)

      Are you quoting this comment because you agree with it? And if you do agree with it, what part of ‘women, gays, and other minorities are people too and deserve to be treated as such’ do you disagree with and think is some sort of weird cult belief?

      • Janie Miller says

        There COULD be several reasons why I posted this commentary.
        1. It’s interesting to know what the world thinks of us.
        2.I’ve noticed a lot of vulgarity coming from the “compassionate” folks on this blog.(I think they’re taking their cue from Carrier.)
        3. Atheism+ folks seem angry and ready to believe that everyone is against them. This is an unhealthy mindset.
        4. As an atheist,I’m constantly out there supporting the rights of others, but I wonder what the folks on this blog have done lately?
        5. I wonder if this group will organize and do something for others or just wallow in pity.
        6. Maybe I just want my share of abuse. Come on. Call me a douchebag!Pretty please?

      • Christopher Swing says

        ‘women, gays, and other minorities are people too and deserve to be treated as such’

        That’s just being a decent human in general, and not a concept that needs to be specific to atheism, much less DramAtheism. But I don’t think that’s what “If you don’t believe us then you are not only wrong, but immoral scum” is really referring to. I suspect it has more to do with anyone who dares to disagree with other things held to be self-evident, like “rape culture,” despite the fact that some skepticism would be especially useful when discussing that theory… but there will be no discussion of “rape culture” as anything aside from Established Fact.

      • PG says

        Again, this harebrained idea that disagreeing with Atheism+ means you don’t believe that “women and gay people and trans people are just as good as ‘cis white males’,” (honestly, what the hell?) “they are just like crazy cultists!”

        Where the fuck do you get this from?

        Also,

        And if you do agree with it, what part of ‘women, gays, and other minorities are people too and deserve to be treated as such’ do you disagree with and think is some sort of weird cult belief?

        What is wrong with you?

  99. Jack Rawlinson says

    Very refreshing indeed to see this on FtB, I must say. There are increasing signs that more and more people have had enough of this crap and are becoming annoyed enough with it to say so.

  100. Erista (aka Eris) says

    It is certainly true that language goes through changes. Often, big changes. But that has not yet happened to the English work “atheism,” which means, at present, nothing more than not having a belief in a god or gods. Sorry if you don’t like that—I didn’t make the rules.

    Maybe years from now your grandchildren will ask “What did you do in the great American Religious Civil War?” Do you suppose the answer, “Well, I got some atheists to condemn other atheists for not thinking the way they should” will be an entirely satisfactorily answer?

    Sentiments like this confuse and frustrate me. If atheism really is nothing more than “not having a belief in a god or gods,” then atheism has nothing to do with any American Religious Civil Wars. After all, not believing in a god or gods doesn’t necessitate that you think that prayer shouldn’t be mandated in school, that creationism shouldn’t be taught alongside evolution, that atheists should receive equal treatment when it comes to jobs/housing/child custody/etc, that the government shouldn’t e subsidizing religious organizations, that religious people shouldn’t’ be able to use the law to force their morals on others, and all that. After all, there are atheists who hold that theism superior to atheism, and that while they don’t believe, religion should be promoted among the general populace. Such atheists will firmly assert that atheism is a bad thing that should be fought against, rather like a smoker might rail against smoking.

    In short, if you’re going to say, “Atheism shouldn’t address anything other than a lack of belief in God,” you’re going to have to bow out of any attempt to fight for truth or the rights of atheists.

    • Christopher Swing says

      “In short, if you’re going to say, “Atheism shouldn’t address anything other than a lack of belief in God,” you’re going to have to bow out of any attempt to fight for truth or the rights of atheists.”

      How you got that out of what was written is absolutely baffling to me. Especially as it makes no sense and isn’t true.

      And what does that have to do with all the emoprog “PLUS” stuff people are trying to tack on? (Or, more accurately, some people are complaining that atheists aren’t talking about the stuff *they* want to talk about. So they try and shame atheists into adopting their agendas.)

    • Erista (aka Eris) says

      Is not the whole point of this post that atheists should not attempt to “tack” women’s rights (etc) on to atheism because atheism is only the belief that there is no God?

      If we operate under this parameter, then it would be equally valid to say that atheists should not attempt to “tack on” atheists’ rights onto atheism because atheism is only the belief that there is no God.

      If atheism can’t be political, then it can’t be political. You can’t decide that atheism can’t be political when it comes to women’s rights, but that it can when it comes to and atheists’ rights. You have to decide if atheism can be political or not, and if it can’t be political, it can’t take part in the “American Religious Civil War” because the “American Religious Civil War” is political. Or, if we use your terms, we have no right to attempt to shame atheists for not adopting the agenda of participating in the “American Religious Civil War,” and as such, the answer to “What did you do in the great American Religious Civil War?” should be “Nothing; atheism is only the lack of belief in a God. It has nothing to do with ideologies or agendas, and attempting to tack participation in the American Religious Civil War onto atheism is wrong.”

      • Christopher Swing says

        “If we operate under this parameter, then it would be equally valid to say that atheists should not attempt to “tack on” atheists’ rights onto atheism because atheism is only the belief that there is no God.”

        No, no it wouldn’t be equally valid. Atheists rights is about atheism and vice versa. What you’re saying makes no sense on the face of it.

        Atheism+/Emoprog Atheism/DramAtheism/Don’t-call-it-secular-humanism is less about atheism than it is about a particular person being *that person* that comes to the X Club and insists on talking about Y, Z, A, B, and C as well. And gets upset when people just want to talk about X.

        • says

          Quite the opposite. We’re not talking about people coming to Club X and wanting to talk about other things. We’re talking about people talking about what they want on their own blog and others coming to their place to tell them that they shouldn’t be talking about that because it has nothing to do with what they think is important.

          Misogyny is a major aspect of many religions and all of the monotheisms. Pointing out how patriarchy negatively affects the lives of women helps to undermine religion and take away the power that the religious hold over people. Even the first wave Feminists recognized this, and many of them were freethinkers.

          Now, you don’t have to agree with that, and that’s fine. However, claiming that you are somehow being forced to participate in a discussion when the solution is to simply not do so is mind-boggling and leaves those of us hearing that thinking that you’re not sincere. You no more own the movement than anyone else and it makes no sense to tell people what they can and can’t talk about in regards to it.

          Regardless, it is disingenuous at best to claim that you’re being forced to talk about things when people make the effort of frequenting blogs that discuss A+ issues just to tell the writer that they shouldn’t be talking about them. And if it’s a woman, to call her a cunt, a whore, a prude, too ugly to rape, and to leave a rape threat. And if it’s a man, to imply that they’re a woman, because the trolls that do this can’t imagine a worse thing to be.

          • Christopher Swing says

            I never said I or anyone else was forced into a discussion. I pointed out that the person *trying to steer the discussion somewhere constantly is annoying.* And then they’re getting all upset when people refuse to go along with them, or have the audacity to criticize them at all. That’s drama, and you’re damn right I’m going to laugh at and mock it.

            And you know where I’m not? Over at the Emoprog Atheism site/forum annoying them. No one is stopping them from doing their thing over there. They can be as free from criticism and dissent as they want to be, and mod/ban it all away to their heart’s content.

            But coming over here and crying about say, this guy *in his own blog* criticizing it? And then likening all criticism to the Internet Tough Guy threats and harassment they get *like everyone else on the internet?* Ha haaaaa, go mod your own comments and deal with trolls like a grownup that’s been on the internet for more than a week. XD

  101. Verity Manumit says

    @ Erista:

    I think you’re missing his point. What I believe he is saying is that being an atheist is not indicative of whether or not you are pro or anti-gun control, pro-life or pro-choice, or a vegan or a carnivore. For that reason. atheist organizations should take a stand on issues that are of specific interest to atheists, such as separation of church and state. It should not take a stand on issues that are unrelated to atheism, such as school voucher programs or what have you.

    This is not to suggest that atheists are indifferent to women’s rights, only that such issues should be championed under women’s rights organizations, not atheist organizations.

  102. Sully says

    Wow. I haven’t been following this whole deal all that much, but have heard of the debate here and there from other sights. I haven’t really made my way to exploring this forum much yet. (I am a recent de-converted atheist, new to a lot of this discussion). But from reading this comment thread I get a good deal of insight into what the fight is about. I suppose I am in agreement with most people here that are turned off by the tone of the whole A+ movement. Not that I disagree with the issues presented or like others are saying, about 90% of what it says. I fully back the rights of the feminists and people in general to fight for equality and respect, but being banished into douchery because I won’t jump on the bandwagon and start belittling and chastising people I don’t even know and who may even agree with the movement, well it just kind of makes me consider the dignity of the source.

    That being said, my first thoughts are to the civil rights movement. There were two tactics involved, MLK and his solid but respectful protest, and Malcom and his panthers. Both were right in their cause, but who went down in history as accomplishing the most for racial equality? I’m sorry A+, but Malcom X could never have garnished the support to organize a million man march. You have a righteous cause, but acting like this will never get the rest of the world to take you seriously. Not even those still on your side (despite being spit upon with foul and hateful comments).

  103. Sully says

    Perhaps a more rational and effective approach would be for all of us to simply join hands and march forward in solidarity.

  104. says

    Throughout this awesome design of things you actually receive an A for hard work. For now I will, no doubt subscribe to your point. Scottsdale Dental Design Studio, 5425 East Bell Road #101 Scottsdale, AZ 85254?

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply