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Aug 24 2012

What is Atheism Plus a response to?

By now, you’ve probably already read this article on The New Statesman about the inception of Atheism Plus and what it means to the movement. There are, to my mind, a few misconceptions within it, and I think some people — even some high-profile people in our various communities, judging by Richard Dawkins’ recent pushback against “controversialist blogs” in response to this article — have evidently bought into those misconceptions. Chief among them is that Atheism Plus is a response to Dawkins’ New Atheism.

Any community, new or old, has its tensions, and in the past year the atheist/sceptical community has been rocked by a divisive and increasingly bad-tempered debate over sexism and, more generally, a sense that the dominant voices have tended to be white, male and middle-class. On the one hand, there have been suggestions that atheism and scepticism are philosophies disproportionately attractive to men. Indeed, the stereotype of the atheist as white, intellectually overconfident male – as Richard Dawkins – has long been a favourite among religious apologists.

While this is all in some sense true, that atheism has an image problem, it’s certainly not Richard Dawkins’ fault that the folks who’ve done the most to popularize atheism are educated white males. It’s society’s own fault that these folks’ voices are overprivileged — that those with privilege are heard disproportionately more easily than other valuable voices representing other demographics that have been left to the wayside.

The Atheism Plus movement is not a response to these privileged folks representing atheism. The people now identifying themselves as A+ have been talking about social justice, humanist ideals and privilege for some time. Factions within the community absolutely loathe the idea that these topics are being broached within “their movement”. And those intractable folks are simply horrified, despite the fact that these A+ people have been talking about these topics for quite some time. Years, in some cases. The Atheism Plus movement is primarily a response to those people who are horrified that someone would dare intermix these other concepts in “their” movement, and simultaneously it is a labeling of an already-existing faction within our communities.

So, I’ve prepared some Venn diagrams to try to help illustrate who and what Atheism Plus is a response to, exactly. First though, we have to find Atheism Plus on it. I’ve had to make a number of design choices that mean some things are not perfect. I expect people will argue with this; that’s fine. Please do. I kept the .odg file so it should be easy enough to manipulate.

Let’s start simple. First, we have atheists, and the religious. Presume that this does not include religious buddhists or other atheists who appreciate or engage in religious ritual for the time being — let’s say, for the purposes of simplicity, “religious” is shorthand for “theists”.

Atheists and the religious. They do not overlap.

That’s simple enough, of course. But there are two other factions we’re talking about. There’s the social justice advocates who comprise feminists, LGBTQ advocates, those who fight bigotries, those who fight the 1% who own all the wealth and power, and every other social injustice and privilege our societies have to offer. And there’s the humanists (with a small H), who heavily but not entirely overlap the atheists, who believe (rightly) that human morality and ethics should be informed by reason and reality to the exclusion of claims of the supernatural or of divine moral arbiters.

This latter group should, theoretically, encompass only those that follow the letter of the present movement (in other words, the Humanists), including only those who expressly reject that there IS a supernatural or any deities to contend with. However, with self-identification, and with the existence of multiple movements since the Renaissance that all lay claim to the name, the circle is muzzy and probably will be contentious where I placed it.

Social justice advocates and humanists added to the diagram.

So, where are the Atheism Plus folks in this? It should be relatively obvious, but let’s label it in the next diagram.

There are also humanists/social justice advocates who are religious — the ones who do good deeds for humankind and who advocate social change that benefits our society — who are not religious at all. If they could be convinced that there is no god, they would join A+. It is they whom we most hope to peel away from religion.

Note that while there are many people who are in the cross-section marked A+ who aren’t happy about the name, who talk about the branding as being unworkable. They are still part of that cross-section, they just have quarrel with the name, honestly.

Identification of where Atheism Plus and the “good deeds” religious folks are.

But that’s not the whole of the story, is it? When people talk about how Atheism Plus is prejudicial to “vanilla atheists”, how we’re trying to drum “them” out of the movement or make stringent rules that define what they can and cannot do, they’re actually talking about how the A+ folks are against a small subset of our community who do terrible things and have terrible moral compasses. They are added to the diagram here. Note that there are a large number of these folks outside the atheist circle altogether — A+ are equally fed up with those folks as well.

The actual misogynists and scumbags. This is probably shown way larger than it needs to be, for illustrative purposes.

But are we therefore calling every person who disagrees with A+’s goals misogynists, scumbags, privilege-defenders, etc! …Aren’t we?

No, not really.

The final diagram, showing where the loudmouths and offense-reifiers lie.

This final diagram adds two more circles, describing the loudmouths, the people who love to give offense as though mere offense was its own virtue. They are the trolls, and they are the people doing most to hamstring discourse.

You’ll note there’s some overlap even in the A+ group. There are some A+ folks who are more interested in giving offense than they are in fostering communication; people who think that the fact that someone can be riled to emotional outburst actually somehow justifies riling them to emotional outburst. People who misunderstand that epithets are slaps in the face, tools in the chest that we can employ to good or bad use. They are people who have discovered the joys of calling people names, who hold the idea of being a jerk to people absolutely sacrosanct.

They overlap heavily with those scumbags in the last Venn diagram. They are not one in the same, however. These loudmouths hold that we are trying to drum them out of the community, but we’re really not — not when some of us employ those same tactics, e.g., the “New Atheists” who use confrontationalism to force people to face their cognitive dissonance.

There are lots of people who hold terrible misanthropic views or who proudly defend their privilege who try to stay civil and whose backs get up if someone shows the least hint of irreverence. And the A+ folks are not ALL against giving offense — some even wholly embrace it as its own good, while others wholly vilify it as unacceptable in any context.

I’d put in another circle to describe those people who dislike the concept of Atheism Plus, who dislike the label, or who dislike the merging of other social justice movements with their own pet social justice movement, but that would complicate an already complicated graph. And I really don’t plan on talking about the people who are pushing back against this faction’s inception in this post, but rather discussing where A+ came from and why.

You’ll notice that the A+ folks are all against a certain type of person — the kind of person who would engage in concerted hate campaigns against certain members of the community merely for being pro-social-justice. By declaring the zone in which we occupy as uniformly against this other group, we are not attacking the atheist community as a whole. We are demanding that these horrible people either smarten the hell up or expect to be slapped down. We refuse to embrace those people as “part of our tribe”, as DJ Grothe put it in his introduction speech at TAM.

And that’s fine. If you other folks want to embrace the real scumbags, you go right ahead. We’ll know on what part of the Venn diagram you fall, and we’ll know that to reach our goals, we’re best off segregating ourselves from you; disassociating from those that would embrace the scumbags and staying in our own little corner of the movement where we don’t have to fight the same fights over what privilege is or how it hurts everyone, over and bloody over again. There is, after all, only so often we can explain what privilege is or how it skews whose voices we hear.

Ultimately, we might want our slice of the intersectionality presented here to grow, and we might want to eventually raise enough consciousnesses that those “dictionary atheists” — those folks who think “there are no gods” is enough to tell if you’re a good person — become the minority, rather than the mode. We may even succeed in marginalizing or shrinking the red blotches on our communities, convincing others within the movement to cut out the deadwood, so we can go on to fight the enemies outside. That is not our immediate goal, though. Our immediate goal is to delineate a space as safe for minorities and the underprivileged, and to demand that we all take to task those who do harm to that space. We want to criticize people for doing harm to those goals without “drumming them out of the movement” as some people would have you believe. We want each person who represents the banner of atheism to best represent the plurality we’d like to see the community become.

Atheism Plus is a way for the physicians to heal ourselves. We are at least triaging what we see as the problem where members of our communities are attacking us for our social justice views so frequently and with such aplomb. We are declaring ourselves “not with those jerks”. Because those jerks are giving the rest of us atheists an awful name with their incurious, unskeptical, and frankly atavistic views on how society works.

121 comments

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  1. 1
    Nathair

    Could not be clearer, well done.

  2. 2
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Yep, well said. Now, the difficult part: getting those people who are believing the bullshit spewed by the scumbags etc. on Twitter – it’s sad how so many people who call themselves skeptics aren’t actually bothering to inform themselves before making judgement.

  3. 3
    Steve A.E.

    Jason, your diagram has an overlap of Atheists and Social Justice Advocates that is unlabeled, while the only bit that’s labeled A+ is the bit that’s the overlap of those two and Humanism. Wouldn’t the overlap between the first two be A+ whether they also overlap with Humanism or not?

  4. 4
    Jason Thibeault

    Yeah, I’m not sure, Steve A.E. Maybe? I’d say without putting humanity first, and fighting against the supernatural truth claims that underpin many current social justice issues, you’d have a hard time of it. Maybe they’d be an auxilliary branch or something.

  5. 5
    John Morales

    Jason:

    First, we have atheists, and the religious. Presume that this does not include religious buddhists for the time being — let’s say “religious” is shorthand for “theists”.

    You labour under a misconception; many theists are not religious, and Buddhists aren’t the only atheistic religious (e.g. Raëlism, Wicca).

    (It’s arguable that Atheism+ itself constitutes a religion)

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    Very arguable. We have no dogmas, only a strong moral compass and a willingness to point out others’ incuriosities about certain social norms.

  7. 7
    Steve A.E.

    I’m half-ready to concede your point in 4, Jason, but I’m a little confused. Your reply to me there seems to suggest that atheistic social justice advocates will mostly also be humanists. Essentially, plussers would be all three and just emphasize their atheism more than their humanism–is that the gist? If so, is the diagram a little off, then, by showing the equally-sized Atheism/Social Justice overlap that’s not also overlap with Humanism?

    I feel kind of bad about nitpicking, but the diagram holds such potential that I want it to be as right as possible.

  8. 8
    Jason Thibeault

    I might be able to move them around some. But I’ll tell you, circles are the worst things to use for a Venn diagram on this scale. Moving it too much inside another circle eliminates the outside-that-circle altogether, sometimes in ways that affect others. Honestly, without a real set of statistics about who identifies with what, to plug into a generator of some sort, all of this is eyeballing.

    How would you recommend I ameliorate this? I need to keep “atheists” as the focal point, obviously. And I need to overlap humanists with atheists more.

  9. 9
    Patricia, OM

    Well said, very clear.

  10. 10
    Steve A.E.

    Yeah, you make good points about the difficulties of improving it. And as much as I feel bad about nitpicking, I guess I don’t actually have suggestions for circle improvement.

    I’m happy enough, I suppose, with confirmation that I understand your point correctly now.

  11. 11
    John Morales

    Jason,

    We have no dogmas

    You call them premises, but if they’re non-negotiable then they are functionally dogmatic, no?

  12. 12
    Jason Thibeault

    Only if you consider the premise that reality exists and isn’t merely a projection by your mind (e.g. solipsism) a dogma, John.

    Foundational premises for movement inclusion do not a dogma make. A dogma requires an established belief that neither can, nor should be attempted to, be proven. Since the foundational premises in this case are emotive, e.g. that every human deserves basic dignity, self-determination, etc., as well as evidence-based, e.g. that there are no Gods or supernatural, it’s difficult to say that all of it can be “proven”. Maybe we humans DON’T all deserve basic dignity. But I’m not calling that premise a dogma any more than I would the premise that reality exists.

  13. 13
    John Morales

    Jason, I see you grok what I’m getting at.

    (Nice response!)

  14. 14
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    @Jason Thibeault #12:
    Article: Wikipedia – Dignity

  15. 15
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Hmm. You’ve left out scepticism and I don’t know that all people attaching themselves to the A+ label identify as Humanists. Sorry to make things more complicated for you, Jason.

  16. 16
    jackal

    Good post. Same quibble as some of the previous commenters: the diagram implies that A+ is a subset of Humanism. I’m evidence of the exception: A+ but not Humanist. I’m an atheist who cares deeply about social justice, and I think that skepticism and rationality can and should be applied to political and economic theory. Equally important is the need for a safe space within the secular movement for women and minorities to participate without being harassed, bullied, threatened, or just plain ignored. That’s what A+ means to me. I’m mostly on board with Humanism, but there’s a bit too much creed (i.e. the AHA manifesto), too much Religion Lite. I don’t see Humanism as a bad thing, just not for me.

  17. 17
    MichaelD

    Atheism + a religion… probably not having nothing to really do with the supernatural or spirituality (what ever that means). More accurately its probably closer to a philosophical movement of sorts.

    Also venn diagrams are just a way to show an idea and generally the more ideas you try to cram into them the more muddled they become. The fewer intersecting ideas the better for overall clarity (especially if you’re sticking with circles).

  18. 18
    Katkinkate

    I agree that maybe not all humans deserve basic human dignity but I defy anyone to figure out a system or criteria to reliably determine who does and who doesn’t that doesn’t produce false negatives (ie. branding someone as undeserving when they are really). So it’s better to start from that basic premise (ie. that all humans deserve to be treated with dignity) and go on from there. False positives aren’t as damaging to society.

  19. 19
    John Morales

    Katkinkate,

    So it’s better to start from that basic premise (ie. that all humans deserve to be treated with dignity) and go on from there.

    Your terminology is problematic; I think you refer to the ‘null hypothesis’ when you speak of ‘basic premise’ — but they’re not the same thing.

  20. 20
    MichaelD

    I’m curious as to why you think it should be a null hypothesis. This suggests that you should be able to collect data to compare against it. How does one collect data on how deserving a human or humans in general are of dignity?

    To me this seems far more like a philosophical value judgement and premise seems the appropriate word to use.

  21. 21
    Birdterrifier

    Humanists are all atheist and place a special emphasis on social justice issues. James Croft does an excellent job explaining and correcting these misconceptions: http://www.templeofthefuture.net/uncategorized/what-humanism-is-and-isnt

  22. 22
    Anonymous Atheist

    The solution to the overlap-or-lack-thereof venn diagram problem would be to use squares/rectangles instead of circles. :)

  23. 23
    John Morales

    [meta]

    MichaelD, I didn’t claim I thought it should be a null hypothesis, but rather than I think Katkinkate is using it as such, based both on the contention and its phraseology — i.e. assume it’s the case unless shown to be wrong, which is a conditional.

    (My personal opinion is that the word ‘deserves’ is only appropriate once one has a certain knowledge-base about someone sufficient to judge worthiness; it’s a reactive stance, not a proactive one. Also, I don’t overload the term ‘dignity’ as human rights terminology does)

  24. 24
    eean

    Yea I agree with the Anonymous Atheist there, use more rectangles.

    Or define it first with set notation. :D

  25. 25
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    @MichaelD #20:

    I’m curious as to why you think it should be a null hypothesis. This suggests that you should be able to collect data to compare against it. How does one collect data on how deserving a human or humans in general are of dignity?

    That would depend on how ‘dignity’ was defined in the hypothetical system, and how individuals might negatively affect the society if they continue to exercise it versus having it revoked.
    The ethics of imposing restrictions/punishment when there is evidence of significant risk to contradict the charitable null assumption. And the toll on everyone else for living in such a place.
     
    From the wikipedia article:

    In ordinary usage it denotes respect and status, and it is often used to suggest that someone is not receiving a proper degree of respect, or even that they are failing to treat themselves with proper self-respect. There is also a long history of special philosophical use of this term. However, it is rarely defined outright in political, legal, and scientific discussions. International proclamations have thus far left dignity undefined, and scientific commentators, such as those arguing against genetic research and algeny, cite dignity as a reason but are ambiguous about its application.

  26. 26
    iain carstairs

    I like the venn diagrams – clear; a lot of thought and insight has gone into them.

    Everything I’ve read by A+ writers has been heartwarming and positive, cheerfully upbeat enough to shrug off some of the, frankly, astounding bile thrown at them by A- members. I remember when RD changed his online discussion format, he was called by one A-, “a rat – a dead rat, a supporating dead rat stuffed up a dead rhinocerous’ rectum” or something similar. Just for changing a web page! This is an anti-human mindset.

    I’m part-atheist because though I believe in God and an intelligent universe, I can understand why anyone would be an atheist; my family were and are atheists and I was one too. But when I compare my mindset to the A+ I find this is really a minor difference, because I love the idea of improving the world through reasoning and intelligence.

    Why else would Nature give us intelligence, if not to use it? When all the starving are fed, when all have access to clean water, when war is abolished, and when corporations are no longer allowed to plunder and ruin our home, our one and only planet, that would be an ideal time to sit back and congratulate each other on our debate re the existence of God.

  27. 27
    John Morales

    iain:

    I’m part-atheist because though I believe in God and an intelligent universe, I can understand why anyone would be an atheist; my family were and are atheists and I was one too.

    There’s nothing atheistic about your professed beliefs, you know.

    Why else would Nature give us intelligence, if not to use it?

    Why else would Nature give us cruelty, if not to use it?

    (Such anthropomorphisation*!

    Also, it’s an epitome of the naturalistic fallacy)

    * You should bear in mind that A+ is empiricist and rationalist atheism and therefore such fallacious appeals don’t carry much weight.

  28. 28
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    When all the starving are fed, when all have access to clean water, when war is abolished, and when corporations are no longer allowed to plunder and ruin our home, our one and only planet, that would be an ideal time to sit back and congratulate each other on our debate re the existence of God.

    I understand your sentiments, but I have to disagree. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the people that work to counter and debunk the claims of religious apologists. Without their scholarship and dedication, many of us wouldn’t be atheists. They deserve congratulations and support in the now, rather than at some unattainable idealistic future.

  29. 29
    Brian Fields

    So everyone who disagrees with the idea of forming A+ is either a misogynist or a troll. Thank you for clearing that up.

  30. 30
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    So everyone who disagrees with the idea of forming A+ is either a misogynist or a troll. Thank you for clearing that up.

    Are you incapable of reading a Venn diagram?

  31. 31
    hyperdeath

    Brian Fields says:

    So everyone who disagrees with the idea of forming A+ is either a misogynist or a troll. Thank you for clearing that up.

    Didn’t you see that the part of the diagram outside of the A+ segment was lots of different colours, indicat…oh what’s the fucking point. It’s like explaining tensor calculus to a syphilitic chimpanzee.

  32. 32
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    “Atheism+” is one side of an internet blogosphere-geek squabble upping the ante and attempting to co-opt real-life atheist organizations into heaping scorn on hyper-strawmanned versions of the folks they are hating on. “We believe in rational thinking”, they say, while at the same time concealing their true agenda of vilifying their rivals and presenting a fallacious false dichotomy: “you are with us or you are against us”. Anyone who questions their motives and methods is labelled a “douchebag” or a “psychopath” and marked for ostracism (see the comments section of Richard Carrier’s announcement of “A+” for examples).

  33. 33
    MichaelD

    @ Brian fields.

    Here I’ve simplified the diagram http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/6492/justforbrianfields.png

    The green wedge is A+ the 2 red circles are the misogynists not associated with A+ leaving all the white space people who don’t agree/associate with A+ who are not misogynists etc.

    “But are we therefore calling every person who disagrees with A+’s goals misogynists, scumbags, privilege-defenders, etc! …Aren’t we?

    No, not really.”

  34. 34
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    while at the same time concealing their true agenda of vilifying their rivals and presenting a fallacious false dichotomy

    Hahahaha. True agenda? Seriously? So we’re conspiring now? I’ll take it as a compliment that you think us capable of such collusion when public blogs and comments have been the primary means of communication.

    Why, I must be writing in code even now!

  35. 35
    Jason Thibeault

    One thing I apparently didn’t make sufficiently clear, despite the title of this post and the explicit focus of this post, is that this is about what Atheism Plus is a response to. It is NOT about where those who disagree with the idea of Atheism Plus (either giving the faction a name, or that the faction exists at all) lie on the diagram. This should be patently obvious by the fact that I did not add a circle for those people. That circle would probably overlap the scumbags, the loudmouths, and part of the loudmouth A+ area, I’d think.

  36. 36
    michaeld

    @1000 needles

    Yes commander it will be done as you direct 0.0

  37. 37
    Jason Thibeault

    Orders received and understood, One Thousand Needles. Will comply.

  38. 38
    mikmik

    Birdterrifier says:

    August 25, 2012 at 2:42 am ADT

    Humanists are all atheist and place a special emphasis on social justice issues.

    Yeah, you are correct. There is virtually no difference between the beliefs/understandings between humanists and A+. The only area of possible further categorization is the preferred method of communication and resolve.
    I heard, when I was in my teens, that it was called secular humanism. That both reinforces the atheism but suggests that there is a theistic humanism, which is incorrect.

    It just seems to me that the difference, if any, is the vocal effort and proactive approach taken with A+. Yes, I think that is a good way to put it.

  39. 39
    James

    I fully support feminism, equality, and the social justice issues of A+. I denounce bigotry, privilege, MRAs, misogyny, etc. Yet I see some of the originators and many of the members of the movement as not acting in good faith. Often they try to silence honest, non-misogynistic and non-bigoted criticism with cries of “MRA!” “Bigot!” “Misogynist!” I denounce these tactics and I will not willingly associate myself with people who use them. I also take umbrage to certain people setting themselves up as arbiters of who is a True Feminist, etc. Sorry, can’t join you. Good luck with your movement, although it is off to quite a bumpy start.

  40. 40
    michaeld

    @40

    Which is why I honestly can’t stand trolls or poe’s law. They muddy the waters of trying to have any sort of reasonable conversation in good faith. With people doing that kind of shit you end up always questioning every conversation going forward as to if this person is just messing with you. Nothing good comes of it.

  41. 41
    Chris Mella

    Ok, so I don’t really care what it’s called or where it fits in a Venn diagram, what I’m mostly concerned about is the practicality of it all.

    Since you’re combining, for example, LGBT rights into the “plus” how is it that + will be able to actually work with the religious LGBT rights activists toward a common goal? Inevitably everyone will be together at a convention and someone will bring up how homosexuality isn’t actually a sin in the bible and all the atheists will roll their eyes.

    Or won’t you be working with them towards a common goal? At which point you’ve now orchestrated a splintering of the LGBT community?

    I can replace LGBT with any of the other groups that are said to be part of the +.

    I hate to be a critic, convince me I am wrong please. So far all the plussers on Twitter that I’ve encountered (I read only and stay out of the discussion) are unable to answer any legitimate questions asked of them.

    Cheers!

    Chris

  42. 42
    iain carstairs

    I think A+ people wanted to start a group which thought service to others and trying to fix world problems was more important than being so clever that we can one-up everyone with lofty, all-knowing put-downs. You’re so busy putting people into neat little compartments you forgot we’re all in one big compartment – the human race! And one in seven of us is starving.

    I’m not in either group because I’m not an atheist – but have you people never heard of oxytocin?! Have you ever heard of listening to someone’s comments without the urgent, pressing need to unzip the fly of intellect and empty your bladder of cleverness all over their heads?

    Flame on!

  43. 43
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    Since you’re combining, for example, LGBT rights into the “plus” how is it that + will be able to actually work with the religious LGBT rights activists toward a common goal?

    This kind of question will have a different answer depending on the group or individual asked. Some people are willing to put aside religious differences to accomplish a common goal; others are not. There is room for both in A+.

    I certainly wouldn’t want somebody that escaped a traumatic religious upbringing to feel obligated to work hand in hand with religionists.

  44. 44
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    @ iain #43:

    And one in seven of us is starving.

    Okay, so you work on fixing that. I’ll work on fixing this. What seems to be the problem?

    I’m not in either group because I’m not an atheist – but have you people never heard of oxytocin?! Have you ever heard of listening to someone’s comments without the urgent, pressing need to unzip the fly of intellect and empty your bladder of cleverness all over their heads?

    Smug condescension? Well I’ll be!

    Flame on!

    This right here is the mark of a dishonest argument. You don’t get to waltz in here, drop a rambling insult, and then preemptively claim that hostile reactions are “flames” and therefore without merit.

    If you want people to engage you in a serious discussion, you should begin it without sounding like a snide little brat.

  45. 45
    michaeld

    Umm aren’t groups already working with religious people on goals we agree with. For example Americans United for Separation of Church and State is currently run by an ordained minister. That hasn’t stopped atheists from sharing that goal or working with them. It also hasn’t stopped other atheist groups with similar goals from forming or working on them in far as I can see harmony.

    Similarly I don’t see why its a problem for say LGBT issues. On the off chance that groups can’t directly work together they can always form separate groups and work towards the same ends. The mormons and the evangelicals both work against same sex marriage despite having big problems with each other. That doesn’t seem to have caused any great divisions on that goal (unfortunately).

    To come at it from a different direction lets say there is not A+ movement (no one ever came up with it). You end up with atheists who delieve in marriage equality without a label (possibly a structure in the future) and you have religious people who believe in marriage equality. Even in this situation you have the need to either work together between these groups or work separately towards the same goal. If these groups are going to clash they will whether or not the atheist side is organised or not. So I don’t see how the formation of A+ has in anyway changed this issue.

    So at this point and time I just don’t really see that this is going to be a big issue or something to really be concerned about.

  46. 46
    Ad Sinistram Deus

    The last thing we need are atheist denominations. We are not a faith and we do not have tenets. Can we stop dividing into groups like the church has done? The only thing we have in common as atheists is that we do not believe in god. That is it.

  47. 47
    michaeld

    @48

    Umm atheism was already divided. Realians, scientologists, some forms of wiccans and budhists. There were also atheist organisations with goals like the humanists who already shared the A+ goals (more or less), or say MRFF which focused on religion in the military. Groups like the ACA have been proponents of many of the things A+ is advocating for a while now. So I don’t think this is really anything new or different from what we had a month ago.

  48. 48
    Becky

    Chris Mella said:

    Since you’re combining, for example, LGBT rights into the “plus” how is it that + will be able to actually work with the religious LGBT rights activists toward a common goal?

    and michaeld Said:

    I don’t see why its a problem for say LGBT issues

    What if a social justice advocacy group outright rejects working with atheist organizations or self-identified individual atheists? Do we cast aside the “A” part for the benefit of the “+”? It seems like the designation of A+ (as opposed to Humanist) is precisely for the purpose of maintaining the Atheist part front and center. What if we can’t engage in the “plus” work? What if we’re unwelcome? What if we don’t have the infrastructure to make our own social justice org/team/club? Would you say it’s better to drop the A for the greater good of social justice?

  49. 49
    michaeld

    @Becky

    I don’t see that happening so far but we’ll deal with that if and when we come to it. I don’t even know if there is some grand monolithic LGBT force for example that decides who gets to advocate on behalf of them or work towards some of their rights (there are also LGBT people involved in atheism+ like greta). Either way it doesn’t significantly change the issue that some atheists want to work on these issues as well whether or not they have a label.

    Also I find the list of what if’s kind of funny. What if a giant cuttlefish rises from the ocean and drags florida into the depths of the atlantic? ;p

  50. 50
    mikmik

    I don’t think the cuttlefish would be considered for inclusion under the label A+. That’s a little too militant, and more in line with the A²

  51. 51
    michaeld

    @mikmik

    Now thats just discriminatory! I thought A+ was for diversity but now I hear cuttlefish need not apply! ;p

  52. 52
    Jason Thibeault

    I have it on good authority that Cuttlefish is fine with the ideals of atheism plus, but isn’t keen on the labels.

  53. 53
    Kind Avenue

    Excellent article. As someone who technically falls within the “A+” section of the Venn Diagram — I disbelieve in deities, I’m a Humanist, and I’m a vigorous advocate for social justice (peace / anti-war, feminism, LGBTQ rights, democratic socialism, etc.) — I have mixed feelings about the movement.

    While I love (LOVE! LOVE!) that a group of people are organizing around Humanism, feminism, kindness, and social justice causes, I feel that the nascent A+ movement has a few flaws.

    First, A+, as has been mentioned in the New Statesman’s article and in Richard Carrier’s writeup, places a heavy value on atheism and, not just any atheism, but anti-theism — the opposition to religion. I don’t understand why promoting atheism is important. After all, as many here on Freethought Blogs have mentioned, social justice and philanthropy is far more important than simple disbelief in deities. There are numerous atheists who are “race-realists,” right-wing reactionaries, misogynists, and Neo-Nazis, and we obviously don’t want to associate with them. However, by marrying A+ to an explicitly atheist and anti-theist agenda, we also isolate ourselves from religious people who share our goals. A united group of Atheists+ and “Theists+” will be much more effective than simply a group of A+’ers seeking to deconvert peace-and-justice theists. Also, I know this question will be controversial (I apologize), but I feel like I should ask: Why should atheism be promoted? Why should we care whether or not one believes in God/gods/a higher power? Religious believers are perfectly fine as long as they are not dogmatic fundamentalists and care about issues of equality and justice. Why not just accept them as-is and start a “Plus” movement without regard for whether one is atheist or theist?

    Secondly, the Atheism Plus movement seems, in many ways, dogmatic, sectarian, and yes, even bordering on religious. The in-group out-group dynamic in A+ is strong, and many of the movement’s advocates seem to be advancing an us vs. them mentality. This quote from Richard Carrier (I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Carrier, but I disagree with him here) seems to drive home this concept:

    ” First of all, it’s not dogma if it’s open to discussion and evidence-based revision. So: fallacy of false analogy. Own it, correct it, or GTFO.

    Secondly, a culture has to define what’s destructive to its own ends and what is beneficial or even necessary to its own ends, otherwise it will self-destruct, and never make progress toward greater human happiness.

    So either you endorse the values and aims I have laid out, or you do not. If you do, just join the cause and stop fretting over being part of a culture whose values you embrace. But if you don’t endorse these values, then you are our enemy, in one fashion or another–because you will be endorsing, supporting (even if only through apathy and inaction), values that will ultimately destroy or undermine the human good. You are then in our way, the same way Neonazis and Marxists and anarchists and UFO cults and churches and right wing think tanks and so on, are in our way, and what we will denounce and disown. You can be among them, or among us. It’s that simple.”

    In saying this, Richard seems to be marking people who don’t agree with the Western liberal agenda as “The Enemy,” and I reject that mindset as dogmatic, sectarian, and borderline bigoted. It also seems to separate out a number of social justice advocates who don’t hold mainstream liberal Democrat political views, including socialists, democratic communists, peaceful anarcho-syndicalists, libertarian communists, and others who see structural political change and the eradication of capitalism as essential to eradicating the inequalities raged against by A+’ers. Why should we single out Marxists, anarchists, and other radicals who support social justice?

    By defining “Us” as liberal Democrats (Liberals in Canada, Labour in the UK, Social Democrats in Sweden, etc.) and labeling socialists, etc., as “The Enemy,” Atheism+ is setting up a religious-style divide that, in my opinion, will do more to alienate would-be allies for peace, freedom, and social justice than further the goals of the movement. Also, by having a rigid set of guidelines, tenets, and beliefs required to be “Atheist+,” the movement sets itself up as a religion with dogma, something it claims to be against.

    I’m sorry for the long, rambling post — please forgive me. I think “Atheism+” (or, if the name changes, whatever it will be called eventually) is a fundamentally good movement that, unfortunately, has exclusionary, dogmatic, and fundamentalist tendencies that make me uncomfortable with the idea of being a part of it. I hope that doesn’t get me put into the “scumbag” category, as I agree with the majority of your goals and abhor all forms of bigotry, hate, and discrimination.

    Peace, Love, and Kindness :).

  54. 54
    Jason Thibeault

    I hope that doesn’t get me put into the “scumbag” category

    Put that thought out of your head. Mere disagreement with the label, the convention, et cetera, doesn’t get you filed away in a category that plainly doesn’t suit your beliefs. Like I said, one faction I haven’t put in this diagram is the group of people who disagree with the labels, the necessity for, the self-arranging of Atheism Plus for various reasons. Some of those reasons are scumbag ones — that it would exclude them and their (misogyny/homophobia/ableism/race “realism”/etc). Your reasons are not like theirs, even if I disagree with those reasons too.

  55. 55
    Kind Avenue

    Iain said:

    “Why else would Nature give us intelligence, if not to use it? When all the starving are fed, when all have access to clean water, when war is abolished, and when corporations are no longer allowed to plunder and ruin our home, our one and only planet, that would be an ideal time to sit back and congratulate each other on our debate re the existence of God.”

    This.

  56. 56
    Kind Avenue

    Jason said:

    “Put that thought out of your head. Mere disagreement with the label, the convention, et cetera, doesn’t get you filed away in a category that plainly doesn’t suit your beliefs. Like I said, one faction I haven’t put in this diagram is the group of people who disagree with the labels, the necessity for, the self-arranging of Atheism Plus for various reasons. Some of those reasons are scumbag ones — that it would exclude them and their (misogyny/homophobia/ableism/race “realism”/etc). Your reasons are not like theirs, even if I disagree with those reasons too.”

    Thanks for your tolerant and kind response :).

  57. 57
    mikmik

    I like the line representation, like real numbers. A sliding scale between two extremes. In the middle, where zero would be, is the ‘A.’ Not really concerned with rights and bigotry.
    Towards the left, the negatives lol, are those that are less inclined to worry about civil rights and the environment, for example, towards ‘A-.’ Dogmatic and prejudiced. Simpletons.
    The right, positive of course, slides towards the civil rights, and I would include environmental, end. ‘A+,’ of course. The compassionists.

    Well, it started out as an idea, lol. Probably best if we just leave it at that.

  58. 58
    John Morales

    Kind Avenue:

    This.

    That.

  59. 59
    Becky

    michaeld wrote:

    @Becky
    I don’t see that happening so far but we’ll deal with that if and when we come to it. I don’t even know if there is some grand monolithic LGBT force for example that decides who gets to advocate on behalf of them or work towards some of their rights (there are also LGBT people involved in atheism+ like greta). Either way it doesn’t significantly change the issue that some atheists want to work on these issues as well whether or not they have a label.

    Also I find the list of what if’s kind of funny. What if a giant cuttlefish rises from the ocean and drags florida into the depths of the atlantic? ;p

    The first “what if” (not the cuttlefish) is happening as we speak. :( Trying to get it resolved, but keep ears open.

  60. 60
    michaeld

    @ Becky
    Assumeing you mean this what if:
    What if a social justice advocacy group outright rejects working with atheist organizations or self-identified individual atheists?

    Well then that really sucks (especially as members of groups they are trying to help are atheists). At the end of the day though even if they didn’t want to work with them (I would think at least some such organisations would) then it seems similar to that american cancer society atheist money thing from a while back. Atheists interested in social justice will just have to work in paralleled with groups that don’t like them on the same goals or work with the ones that aren’t so prejudiced (this may not be the exact term depending on the situation I freely admit I am not the best read on the current standing of the players in the social justice movement).

    Now if only we just had to deal with giant cuttlefish stealing states….

  61. 61
    Drew Hardies

    I’m curious about the intersection between the “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants” circle and the “Humanists” circle.

    In what ways do you think that first set of values is compatible with Humanism?

  62. 62
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    @48:

    The only thing we have in common as atheists is that we do not believe in god.

    And now, a segment of the atheist population is coming together in pursuit of common goals, hence A+.

    ****
    Jason
    In your fifth diagram, why does the large red circle (with the miscreants) overlap with Humanism? Given that Humanists believe in equal rights and dignity for all, the miscreant(M) bubble shouldn’t overlap it at all, no?
    Also, the M bubble should have some overlap with religious.

  63. 63
    John Morales

    Drew, you might care to take a look at the very next post; it might well answer your question.

  64. 64
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    @One thousand needles:

    Your self-declared “intellectual artillery piece” Richard Carrier has the gall to think he can declare that ALL atheists must choose between your petty army-building agenda and ostracization (as if you clods spoke for even a sizeable portion of atheists). This Dubyan false dichotomy fallacy (You must join us or you are The Enemy and a “douchebag”, Carrier says), by the way, puts him and anyone else who panders it right outside of your own stated tenet of “…anyone who makes a fallacious argument and, when shown that they have, does not admit it, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with”. http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2207/

  65. 65
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    @”Jason Thibeault says:
    *****
    August 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm ADT

    I hope that doesn’t get me put into the “scumbag” category

    Put that thought out of your head. Mere disagreement with the label, the convention, et cetera, doesn’t get you filed away in a category that plainly doesn’t suit your beliefs.”
    *****

    Except that is not how things are going in practice:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2207/

    *****
    8. Tom says:
    August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I’ll stick with the original atheism, thanks.

    Richard Carrier says:
    August 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

    So, one vote for douchery. Got it.
    *****

  66. 66
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Taqiyya, your comments read as if you imagine Carrier is a more authoritative spokesperson for A+ than Jason is.

    (Where does Jen stand in your estimation?)

  67. 67
    Nidair

    I love the fact that in your last diagram, the “Loudmouthed jackholes who enjoy giving offense for its own sake” circle partly overlaps the A+ circle.

    I dislike the fact that it does not reflect reality. It should overlap some more. The thought that people should not only coexist with, but also think the same way as a small group of people or be called irrational, a scumbag, or a douche is offensive. And while it is a good idea to gather atheists in America a movement (which, by the way, is what Troy Boyle and Jakob Kramer are already doing with the National Atheist Party), it is a bad idea to force people to think the same way about every subject concerning social interaction (which is why the National Atheist Party is also a bad idea).

  68. 68
    Joe

    I like your diagram, but it clearly defines how the A+ crowd coukd not work with someone like me. The most telling image is the second one: the religious dominance of the “Social Justice” movement.

    Any discussion of “social justice” which ignores its roots as “social gospel” must always be suspect.

    I am a veteran with a history of substantial health and financial challenges. I’m very aware of what real-world “social justice” looks like in this country. I have seen so much harm caused by faith-based “social justice” organizations.

    It is very offensive for an atheist, who has chosen to sleep on the street rather than being reuired to “pray for his supper”, to see how “social justice” is some grand thing to aspire to.

    For me the bigger discussion is how to create a post-”social justice” framework which has been purged of its christian foundations.

  69. 69
    Weeble

    I had a go at drawing these diagrams in a way that allows for easier tweaking of the size of each intersection. Feel free to make use of them. I can send the Inkscape SVG if anyone wants to work on them.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/109717246143151148473/AtheistPlusDiagrams

    What do you think? Does it capture the same intent?

  70. 70
    Matt Sheard

    I’m guessing that most of the contributors to this blog and comments are from North America. I fit into the A+ intersection but hail from the UK where at least a third of the population are atheists, a large fraction are indifferent to theism and atheism, and a smaller fraction are actively religious. It strikes me that the contemporary irreligious in the US are in a similar position to atheists in the UK (and other European countries) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s. Anti-atheist prejudice is strong in the US, as it once was in Britain, which produces a highly polarised situation. This is reflected in Jason’s excellent Venn diagram. However, I would suggest that this doesn’t reflect the whole truth. There will be people who identify as religious but don’t attend church, don’t read scripture and don’t prey, there will also be those who definitely don’t believe but do participate in religious practice for social reasons. These two groups are significant because they are transitional positions between belief and unbelief. If A+ is to be effective in promoting a more balanced view of the irreligious in wider society it needs to engage with those who are moving however tentatively away from religion.

    Increasing the number of atheists / nones / whatever will be a slow process though, it’s taken over 200 years to get to the position in the UK and Europe. Focussing on promoting tolerance of irreligion will probably be the most productive policy at this stage in the process. In Britain tolerance was increased by many factors of which the reduction in tension between Catholics and Protestants due to the settlement of the ‘Irish question’ in the 1920s was very significant. Clearly campaign groups and support networks would not have had any influence on factors like these.

  71. 71
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    @”[meta]

    Taqiyya, your comments read as if you imagine Carrier is a more authoritative spokesperson for A+ than Jason is.”

    Do I smell an attempt at damage-control and crawfishing away from Carrier’s insane hyperbole?

    “(Where does Jen stand in your estimation?)”

    Has she publicly recoiled in horror at Carrier’s Storm-Trooper vitriol?

    In either case, this attempt at a coup-d’etat and at establishing an atheist/other-social-agendaist oligarchy isn’t fooling anyone who is aware of and sees through the blog-wallah facade.

  72. 72
    Drew Hardies

    Drew, you might care to take a look at the very next post; it might well answer your question.

    The next post defines humanism this way:

    Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

    I do NOT see where this intersects with “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”.

    Could you be more specific about the overlap? Which of those villainies do you see as compatible with leading an ethical life that works for the greater good of humanity?

  73. 73
    Jason Thibeault

    I expressly caveated the post where I blockquoted James Croft by saying that the circle of “humanism” is not the same as the circle of “Humanism”. The former includes self-identification and people who hold to older Renaissance-era ideals. They might think they believe in those things but still hold terrible prejudices that they haven’t purged (or have no will to purge).

  74. 74
    Drew Hardies

    You still have not answered the relatively straight-forward question.

    You drew a circle of “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”. Then you intersected it with (apparently lower-case) humanism.

    I’m asking, for a third time, which of those first ‘values’ you think is compatible with humanism?

    The answer I’m looking for is something like, “Nothing in the definition of humanism precludes a hatred of social justice”. (Though, it’s probably some different ‘value’ as renaissance humanism was a social justice movement.)


    The comment on ‘self identification’ being a problem raises a really interesting point. You seem to imply that, unlike humanism, Atheism+ will not rely merely on self-identification.

    If Atheism+ differs from humanism in that the label isn’t just self-applied, then who gets to be on the committee that controls the use of the label?

    I’d assume that, as founder, Jen would have a say. But do you imagine yourself on this council next to her?

  75. 75
    Jason Thibeault

    Nothing about identifying as a humanist — that you believe in the primacy of humans over the supernatural (which you may expressly deny, or may not) and the necessity of helping one another out in absence of that supernatural — suggests that you are devoid of prejudice. Those prejudices might come in all sorts of forms. In fact, I could see self-identified social justice advocates who are, in actuality, grossly prejudiced against certain types of social justice and blatantly wrong about the types of justice they advocate (think MRAs).

    Beyond all that, Venn diagrams are de facto reductionist, they are not exact, they are not perfect, and there are lots of people who should go on one spot but identify as another altogether.

    Understand that Jen isn’t really a founder of anything. This is the naming of a set of ideals that already exist. The people identifying as A+ were all already talking about these things for a very long time. She might parlay it into an actual movement, but it’s not like there’s some kind of A+ high council, or authoritative figures (judging by some folks’ demands that we all answer for Richard Carrier’s call to exclude the real scumbags from atheism as a whole), and if your understanding of this movement includes such, you might want to rethink your arguments. Possibly even reread what I wrote above in the original post.

    (Which, speaking of, I need to polish. There are a few rough patches.)

  76. 76
    Jason Thibeault

    If I am unclear, the fault is mine. If I am clear but you’re looking for a different answer, the fault is yours.

  77. 77
    Drew Hardies

    Nothing about identifying as a humanist — that you believe in the primacy of humans over the supernatural (which you may expressly deny, or may not) and the necessity of helping one another out in absence of that supernatural

    Which current humanist thinkers or humanist organizations actually use this definition? Talking about current philosophical divisions by using an extinct definition seems like a large (and frankly offensive) strawman.

    If you think this is not a strawman, can you show me any currently-existing humanist group that uses a definition of humanism compatible with, “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”

    In fact, I could see self-identified social justice advocates who are, in actuality, grossly prejudiced against certain types of social justice and blatantly wrong about the types of justice they advocate (think MRAs).

    I agree that bigoted people identify as not-bigoted. And every wrong-person I’ve ever met self-identifies as not-wrong.

    What will keep “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants” from self-identifying as A+ members?

  78. 78
    Jason Thibeault

    Absolutely nothing would keep them from identifying as A+, any more than would prevent scumbags from defining as humanist, or pseudoscientists as skeptics. While I’m saying “no true scotsman” would be both an A+ and a scumbag, and you’re saying the same about humanism (presuming that humanism always means Humanism), I’m frankly surprised that you’re taking offense at the idea.

    As for someone who uses the definition as a current Humanist, James Croft. There are plenty of people who are humanists who do not fit his definition of Humanist, because they do not expressly deny supernaturalism. A person that springs to mind is Pamela Gay, who is a theist of sorts, but well allied on every other front with my ideals.

  79. 79
    Drew Hardies

    Jame’s Croft definition of Humanism doesn’t seem to be compatible with, “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”.

    The problem is the passivity of that approach, its reactive nature. I, as a Humanist, want more than equal rights. I want societal change, perhaps on a very large scale. To achieve that we need to move beyond recognizing areas in which we are discriminated against, and get active in our local communities to build Humanist alternatives, as Epstein suggests. And we mustn’t wait until equal rights are achieved to do this—we have to start now.

    http://thenewhumanism.org/authors/james-croft/articles/humanism-2-dot-0

    Pamela Gay’s website does not appear to have a definition of humanism, let alone one that is compatible with “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”.

    And, I’m not taking offense to the idea that people can wrongly identify themselves as humanists. That’s possible for all labels.

    Instead, I think you’re doing a deep disservice to humanist groups and humanists by blundering into an area, ignoring everything that’s been written since the Renascence and then telling people what their label means.

    It’s the same problem I have when theists come around and tell me that Atheism really means a hatred of god, or a certainty that God doesn’t exist.

    Not only is the person wrong, but their lack of research is disrespectful as is their trampling of groups’ right to define their own labels.

  80. 80
    Jason Thibeault

    You’re repeatedly and intentionally conflating “humanist” with “Humanist”. Could you stop? I told you we’re talking about the small-h. James Croft said in the comments that he agrees with my differentiation between the two right here.

  81. 81
    Drew Hardies

    And yet you wrote “Humanists” not “humanism”.

    I’m saying that every follower of humanism or Humanism that I’ve ever actually met defines their ideology such that it is incompatible with “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”.

    Which living h/Humanists oppose the principle of equality?

    Unless you can actually point to some, your Venn diagram’s implication that h/Humanists have these problems (while A+ is, of course, immune to scumbags) is insulting and wrong.

  82. 82
    Jason Thibeault

    And yet I clarified several times that I was talking about humanists and not Humanists, and atheists and not Atheists (which is only capitalized by people who claim it’s a religion), and social justice advocacy and not Social justice advocacy, and religious folks and not Religious.

  83. 83
    Jason Thibeault

    I think that I can only clarify the distinction so many times before I realize I’m talking to someone who is intent on projecting difficulties onto me that are simply not there.

  84. 84
    Drew Hardies

    We’re not talking past each other.

    You’ve asserted that there’s a non-empty set of people who are* h/Humanists and also “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”.

    I asked you to point me towards these vile humanist groups. And you started discussing people who lived in the Renascence and people who don’t self-identify primarily as lower-case-humanists.

    *And I mean ‘are’ not ‘wrongly identify as’.

  85. 85
    Kind Avenue

    Why are labels even that important? Why not just be a kind, good person, regardless of whether you’re a Humanist, Atheist+, Christian, whatever? Labels are overrated and often serve to obfuscate rather than bring clarity.

  86. 86
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Taqiyya:

    Your self-declared “intellectual artillery piece” Richard Carrier has the gall to think he can declare that ALL atheists must choose between your petty army-building agenda and ostracization (as if you clods spoke for even a sizeable portion of atheists). This Dubyan false dichotomy fallacy (You must join us or you are The Enemy and a “douchebag”, Carrier says), by the way, puts him and anyone else who panders it right outside of your own stated tenet of “…anyone who makes a fallacious argument and, when shown that they have, does not admit it, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with”.

    I, and others who embrace A+ are not supportive of Richard Carrier’s attitude. He is not ‘in charge’ of A+. He doesn’t get to dictate how this nascent movement will develop. If he continues along the path he’s travelling, he may find himself in a lonely corner of A+.
    By the way, do you have any opinions about Jen’s views on A+, given that the idea is largely hers?

  87. 87
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Kind Avenue:

    Why are labels even that important? Why not just be a kind, good person, regardless of whether you’re a Humanist, Atheist+, Christian, whatever? Labels are overrated and often serve to obfuscate rather than bring clarity.

    Labels are an important part of self identification. Especially for marginalized people.
    If you don’t want to label yourself, fine (though I hasten to add, society already labels people, so labeling oneself is in one’s best interests), but other people *do* want to.

  88. 88
    Russell's Teapot

    @Jason & Drew.

    Part of the problem with this diagram is that Humanism (secular humanism) already carries within it the values of atheism and social justice. There are a few religious-humanism groups, but there are also Christian-atheist groups. Many of the (mild) criticisms of Humanism coming from A+ supporters seems to be coming from anti-theist perspective. As such, I’ve created this Venn diagram which I think more accurately describes the overlaps.

    Let me know what you think.

    http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/1152/aplusvenn.jpg

  89. 89
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    @90

    You are the first of its proponents to back away from Carrier’s. But then, do you yourself speak for A+?

    And yet none of A+’s inner circle have distanced themselves from the stormtrooper mentality– including Jennifer — so you are really saying nothing at all.

    Jennifer has declared she wants to see who does and doesn’t don your silly pins so she knows who she does and doesn’t want to talk to. Do you really think she is unaware of Carrier’s manifesto? If so, how could she possibly be that dumb? And if she is aware and is doing nothing to shut him up, she either agrees with him or too dumb to see that he has torpedoed your Putsch before it got out of the Bier Hall.

  90. 90
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    Oh, and I almost forgot: pretty damn hypocritical to claim to be anti sexist, genderist, etc and turn around and complain about “old white male cisgender hetero…etc etc.” members of the movement. Tu Cocque, all of you.

  91. 91
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Taqiyya Mockingbird wrote:

    And yet none of A+’s inner circle have distanced themselves from the stormtrooper mentality– including Jennifer — so you are really saying nothing at all.

    Jen has voiced her disagreement, as has Greta.

  92. 92
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    @Wowbagger:

    finally? Where? Links.

  93. 93
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    …’cause I’m lookin’ at both of their recent blogs here and there’s nothing…..

  94. 94
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    @”When people talk about how Atheism Plus is prejudicial to “vanilla atheists”, how we’re trying to drum “them” out of the movement or make stringent rules that define what they can and cannot do, they’re actually talking about how the A+ folks are against a small subset of our community who do terrible things and have terrible moral compasses.”

    Yeah, scumbags and miscreants like this douchebag Tom:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2207/

    *****
    8. Tom says:
    August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I’ll stick with the original atheism, thanks.

    Richard Carrier says:
    August 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

    So, one vote for douchery. Got it.
    *****

  95. 95
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    Oops, I seem to have left out the “straw” in “douchebag”. My bad….

  96. 96
    Taqiyya Mockingbird

    @ “it’s certainly not Richard Dawkins’ fault that the folks who’ve done the most to popularize atheism are educated white males. It’s society’s own fault that these folks’ voices are ***overprivileged***”

    WTF does that even mean? It’s nothing but a petty, self-revealing, self-serving, “othering” (to use the silly buzzwords of your fascistic echo chamber) fallacious ad hominem. Time to purge yourself for your own sins against the Revolution, Comerade.

  97. 97
    Jason Thibeault

    Taquiyya Mockingbird: about done with your threadhogging and ridiculous reductionism of the whole idea of identifying those atheists who also care about social justice as some kind of fascistic monstrocity. If you’re not going to argue on something’s merits, if you’re not going to engage with what I’m saying about things but would rather damn me for what other people say, there’s no actual arguing with you. So you’re in moderation. Scream and howl and bay at the moon; I’ll hear you, but my readers will not unless I deem what you say actually worth reading.

    Protip: “you’re a fascistic echo chamber” isn’t worth reading. It’s a tell that YOU’D rather silence ME, would rather what I have to say disappear from the public discourse.

  98. 98
    Jason Thibeault

    You’ve asserted that there’s a non-empty set of people who are* h/Humanists and also “Scumbags, privilege-defenders, misogynists, anti-feminists, anti-gay bigots, people who hate social justice causes, and other miscreants”.

    I also explained exactly who I meant by that: people who believe that the supernatural must take a backseat to humankind, and that humans are the only ones who can help other humans. The subset of those people who happen to redefine humanity such that their bigotries persist, they claim the mantle of “humanist” even though they’re in diametric opposition to some of the fundamental tenets of “Humanism”. One need not point out a GROUP of these people to know that some such people exist.

    I asked you to point me towards these vile humanist groups. And you started discussing people who lived in the Renascence and people who don’t self-identify primarily as lower-case-humanists.

    I’ve even told you exactly the sort of people whom I’d consider humanists (but not Humanists, who might put their philosophies about Humanism on their websites — what a moving goalpost that is!). I honestly, at this point, don’t know what it would take to satisfy your requirements, as fluid as they happen to be and as quick as you are to conflate humanists with Humanists, and individuals with Humanist organizations. We’re not talking past each other — I know what you’re asking for, and you’re not asking for anything that’s even remotely relevant to what we’re talking about. Your argumentation is slippery as an eel. I doubt even if I thought humanism and Humanism were the same thing, and even if I could identify Humanist philosophers who happen to also be on the Scumbag part of the diagram, that I could satisfy your requirements.

  99. 99
    Jason Thibeault

    Russell’s Teapot: I suspect that is one among a number of tangible differences between Secular Humanists and the A+ faction. Another is the willingness to own the label of “atheist” — with any given Secular Humanist, you may or may not be able to convince them to come out as atheist to others.

    Ultimately, A+ is a subset of the atheist movement that recognizes that there are problems intra-community, demands the right to point those problems out and ameliorate them for the benefit of the community, and puts a priority on including otherwise marginalized voices. Dawkins has done his part in popularizing atheism, but I’d personally like to hear from other folks who represent other demographics and walks of life. Fighting for inclusion of minorities and the underprivileged shouldn’t receive this kind of pushback. Individuals choosing to be “dictionary atheists”, to be “the original kind of atheist”, are free to do so — but they are short-changing our movement.

  100. 100
    Jason Thibeault

    I have heavily edited the original post to rectify some grammatical tangles and to clarify a few points that have evidently repeatedly been misinterpreted in these comments.

  101. 101
    Frank Burton

    Alas, these Venn diagrams indeed illustrate the one boundary all these circles belong within: Tribalism.

    It’s past time for us to admit our real problem is that we as individuals and as groups neither reason enough, nor help our fellow sapients to reason more. If we did, then which boundaries we circumscribe around ourselves wouldn’t matter anymore, because we’d all interact rationally in our worldly lives.

  102. 102
    connielingus

    Rather than “A+” I think I will just refer to anyone associated with this movement simply as an Atard, which I have defined as someone who believes that atheism has anything to do with something other than belief in deities.

  103. 103
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    connielingus wrote:

    Rather than “A+” I think I will just refer to anyone associated with this movement simply as an Atard, which I have defined as someone who believes that atheism has anything to do with something other than belief in deities.

    Does that include coming to a blog and whining about what other people do with their time? Because I’m pretty sure I can’t logically extrapolate that from not simply believing in deities – can you?

  104. 104
    Eli Vieira

    Atheism Plus? Oh please… secular humanism is its real name and its chief organisation, IHEU, is more than 50 years old. There’s nothing “new new” about it.

  105. 105
    'Tis Himself

    Atheism Plus? Oh please… secular humanism is its real name and its chief organisation, IHEU, is more than 50 years old. There’s nothing “new new” about it.

    The only problem with this is that Atheism+ and secular humanism are two similar but not identical things. For instance, many secular humanists claim to be agnostics and reject atheism, whereas Atheism+ consists of atheists.

  106. 106
    Chris

    I’m an atheist, but I really don’t see the value in atheism being some sort of “movement”, be that New Atheists, Atheism+ or whatever. Atheism is just the absence of belief in God, not a positive programme. It frees us from the need to be part of some sort of movement based on our metaphysical beliefs.

    Also, as a European socialist I’m sceptical about the Americo-liberal tone of all this. This stuff about “privilege” and “safe spaces” means little to us, because what we’re fighting is capitalism, not some nebulous web of “privilege” and as socialists, we’re never safe!

  107. 107
    Debbie

    I appreciate the diagrams which help to explain Atheism +. Thanks for taking the time.

    Frankly I’m freaking out that we are beginning to look and sound like the Baptists, who now have three major movements in the United States. I loved that we atheists (strong/weak) could agree, disagree, have our debates, and our joint membership in humanist and skeptic organizations, etc., in one big tent/playground. Now it seems we must choose. It’s enough to stand in contrast and often in opposition to all the religionists. I do not want to have to defend my “plus” or “non-plus” status to other atheists! I understand that I will not like, admire or agree with all atheists – be they plus or whatever. But that is the way it is with us human beings. In the end, each individual is responsible for their behavior, and what they create in the world. I simply dread the future in my world if this Atheist+ movement takes hold.

    I agree wholeheartedly with a previous poster who said, “I think “Atheism+” (or, if the name changes, whatever it will be called eventually) is a fundamentally good movement that, unfortunately, has exclusionary, dogmatic, and fundamentalist tendencies that make me uncomfortable with the idea of being a part of it. I hope that doesn’t get me put into the “scumbag” category, as I agree with the majority of your goals and abhor all forms of bigotry, hate, and discrimination.”

  108. 108
    Hose-aye

    Atheism has nothing to do with feminism, etc.
    This stupid semantics trick would be as pointless as appending “plus” to any view you hold; I am now a Liberal-Plus! oh boy.
    This reminds me of that South Park episode with Richard Dawkins.
    Fail lolz

  109. 109
    mikmik

    See, that’s one of the problems in society and countries, this splintering into smaller and exclusive subcultures. This is, to me, a sign that the world is becoming more confrontational and fractured. What we need to do is instill some values for co-operation and recognition.

    No one has the right to appropriate a widely shared name for their own specific agenda. I mean really, you want to fight privilege by creating an exclusive and arrogant sounding group?

    Fuck that, matey!

  110. 110
    Jason Thibeault

    Yeah mikmik, how dare we declare that we’re atheists and won’t stand for rampant bigotry in the communities we build? The minute we declare ourselves against such nonsense is the moment we forfeit our claim to use YOUR LABEL and must cease calling ourselves atheists forthwith. AMIRITE?

  111. 111
    Hose-aye

    Jason, if you are against bigotry, then do something about it and don’t make stupid terms likes Atheism+

  112. 112
    'Tis Himself

    Hose-aye want people to stop banding together against bigotry and stop using a name that he(?) feels they shouldn’t use. He(?) offers no reasons for these demands, he just makes them.

    So, Hose-aye, tell us why anyone should pay attention to you?

  113. 113
    Hose-aye

    Nice straw man…
    I never said people shouldn’t ban together lolz wtf
    Read my posts douche

  114. 114
    mikmik

    Jason, I would be/am solidly in the A+ dynamic myself. I should have been more clear. The term A+ sounds elitist, and to be honest, it IS exclusive.
    It reminds me of church sects, that’s all(I’m not deliberately trying to suggest religious overtones as an insult – I just can’t think of another analogous example).
    For instance, I would have absolutely zero problem with terms like ‘Atheist’s for Equality’, or ‘Atheist’s for the promotion of civil rights,’ and what-not.
    I don’t know if I’m quibbling, or not, here, but I think Atheist’s for X is an inclusive terminology that suggests that Atheism is our common bond and central belief, whereas A+ suggests a boundary between, for lack of a better word, factions – placing more emphasis on separate identity than common foundation. I liked the idea at first. It pisses me off no end that a certain type of people are rebellious to common decency and just want to be ignorant, or are ignorant, no matter what social setting they are in.

    I’d rather call myself an atheist and a secular humanist or a freethinker than an Atheist Plus.

    Man, I’m having a moment of the opposite of clarity right now, LOL, and I won’t say a hair color, you know what I mean. Aphasia, I suppose. What I mean is that I’m not sure I’m saying exactly what I’m trying to say.

    Like this is an example of exactly what I mean:

    Alferd E. Packer says:

    Hose-aye want people to stop banding together against bigotry and stop using a name that he(?) feels they shouldn’t use. He(?) offers no reasons for these demands, he just makes them.

    So, Hose-aye, tell us why anyone should pay attention to you?

    You sound hypocritical and uncivil, which isn’t the purpose of A+, yet here you are telling Hose-aye that he gives no reasons when all you are doing is attacking his character an making a false claim against him, without any reasons for this.

    Jason, anyone can say that they are an Atheist Plus, and ignorance will rear it’s ugly head amongst you anyways. Some people have no insight into their behavior, so what does it lead to? More infighting. That’s what I mean.
    I just mean that when you want to express yourself as an Atheist plus, you explain, at once, what the + is, for individual clarity. People can’t say then, Atheist plus what? Myself, I’m an atheist and a secular humanist, and I an individual that subscribes to the idea that I stand for the importance of individuality and don’t use, or suggest, that my identity is implied as as member of some group.

    We are atheists who’s strength is built upon a diverse collection of individuals, and that implies diversity and equality.

    I do very much appreciate you taking the time to illuminate, or identify, where the views of A+ers lie. It is tough to take everything into consideration, and basically define where the different influences are placed in a ven diagram. But I do want to ask you what you would think if there were Catholic+ or Republican+, and on and on (what Hose-aye was saying).

    Now I will go, and wonder if I made sense

  115. 115
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Hose-aye:

    Atheism has nothing to do with feminism, etc.

    The basic definition of atheism doesn’t, that’s correct.
    But are there any logical implications to a believing there is no higher power?
    For many people who are interested in trying to advance social causes (such as improving the lives of blacks and hispanics, or gays and lesbians), without the boundaries arbitrarily placed upon society by various religions, there is no reason to not seek equality.
    -Thus, if you don’t believe in god, some individuals feel there is no reason for women to be treated as inferior to men (as a tremendous amount of justification for such treatment is religiously based).
    -There are people that hate anyone queer. Why? In many cases, it’s due to their religious beliefs. Remove those beliefs, and what’s left? What’s the barrier to full and equal treatment of queers?
    -God belief leads far too many people to oppose the teaching of evolution in schools. Remove that belief, and what’s the opposition? What stands in the way of teaching evolution?

    None of the above means that you *have* to fight for the equality of minorities (although I think that’s a fight worth having), but for many atheists, it *is* the logical implication of their non belief.

  116. 116
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    mikmik:

    But I do want to ask you what you would think if there were Catholic+ or Republican+, and on and on (what Hose-aye was saying).

    That depends tremendously on what the ‘+’ stood for. Assuming it stands for social justice I can’t really argue against it (although I’m not sure how far a Catholic+ could advance such a cause, as their belief system stands opposed to progressive social justice. If they aren’t willing to criticize their belief system, they’re not going to get terribly close to the root of the problem).

    Also, I disagree with your opinion of Hose-aye’s comments. Xe asserted that atheism has nothing to do with feminism. That’s stated as a fact, with no supporting material. No explanation for where that belief comes from. No argument for why xe believes that. Contrast that with my post @127, where I explain why I feel that feminism (along with other concepts) is related to atheism (for me at least).
    Hose-aye also has a negative opinion of A+, but it’s extremely questionable how much xe knows about A+. Why? For one thing there is no acknowledgment on hir part that A+ is more than just atheism plus feminism (which, as you know, there certainly is).
    The ‘arguments’ Hose-aye puts forth are that A+ is bigoted. I guess someone could believe it’s bigoted to want to have a safe space away from sexist and hateful people. Unfortunately, xe offers no argument for why that’s the case.
    Hose-aye also refers to A+ as a stupid semantics trick. If one applies a critical, unbiased eye to Atheism Plus, they would quickly see that is *not* the case. Instead of Atheism Plus, if this new subset were called “Atheism!”, that would be a reasonable argument. However, it is *NOT* a matter of semantics, as the addition of the PLUS indicates that this is more than just non belief.
    Hose-aye is either ignorant of what Atheism Plus is about, or xe is being dishonest.
    Given the level of dishonesty that has come from many people opposed to A+, I can understand someone having the opinion that Hose-aye is also dishonest and see no reason to be civil.
    If Hose-aye is just ignorant of what A+ is about, I can understand why someone would be uncivil as well. It’s not like xe could not learn about A+ and oppose it with an informed opinion.

  117. 117
    mikmik

    Also, I disagree with your opinion of Hose-aye’s comments. Xe asserted that atheism has nothing to do with feminism. That’s stated as a fact, with no supporting material. No explanation for where that belief comes from.

    Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10]

    The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning “without god(s)”, used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word “atheist” lived in the 18th century.[11]

    Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Atheists tend to be skeptical of supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence for deities.[12] Other rationales for not believing in any deity include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies,[13][14] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[15] Many atheists hold that atheism is a more parsimonious worldview than theism, and therefore the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of God, but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.”
    and
    “The demographics of atheism are difficult to quantify. Different people interpret atheism and related terms differently, and it can be hard to draw boundaries between atheism, nonreligious beliefs, and nontheistic religious and spiritual beliefs. Furthermore, atheists may not report themselves as such, to prevent suffering from social stigma, discrimination, and persecution in some countries.[1]

    Research by Doctor Professor Luke Galen suggests that atheists may be more likely to be less agreeable, but also more open minded compared to religious populations.
    and
    Atheism at a glance

    Atheism is the absence of belief in any Gods or spiritual beings. The word Atheism comes from a, meaning without, and theism meaning belief in god or gods.

    Atheists don’t use God to explain the existence of the universe.
    Atheists say that human beings can devise suitable moral codes to live by without the aid of Gods or scriptures.

    Reasons for non-belief

    People are atheist for many reasons, among them:

    They find insufficient evidence to support any religion.
    They think that religion is nonsensical.
    They once had a religion and have lost faith in it.
    They live in a non-religious culture.
    Religion doesn’t interest them.
    Religion doesn’t seem relevant to their lives.
    Religions seem to have done a lot of harm in the world.
    The world is such a bad place that there can’t be a God.

    Many atheists are also secularist, and are hostile to any special treatment given to organised religion.”

    Okay, the first two are from wikipedia, which is generally good at providing comprehensive descriptions. In fact, there is not one description or definition anywhere that includes any opinion on anything besides the opinion about god and religions.
    Okay? Please, do some research before you make outlandish claims which demonstrate your lack of knowledge about even the most fundamental characteristics of atheism, or what its definition is.

    That depends tremendously on what the ‘+’ stood for. Assuming it stands for social justice I can’t really argue against it (although I’m not sure how far a Catholic+ could advance such a cause, as their belief system stands opposed to progressive social justice. If they aren’t willing to criticize their belief system, they’re not going to get terribly close to the root of the problem).

    Are you intentionally trying to be obtuse? I was clearly asking what it would accomplish by dividing every generally applied title that indicates a common philosophy of that group – the reason for the name in the first place – into subcategories that effectively dilute, and even render meaningless, the meaning or usage of the term/name in the first place. Plus, it sounds stupid when applied to other groups, and I was trying to show that this is true foe atheism as well.

    The basic definition of atheism doesn’t, that’s correct.
    But are there any logical implications to a believing there is no higher power?
    For many people who are interested in trying to advance social causes (such as improving the lives of blacks and hispanics, or gays and lesbians), without the boundaries arbitrarily placed upon society by various religions, there is no reason to not seek equality.

    This is a false choices dichotomy. There are many reasons for prejudice besides religion, FFS. Xenophobia and tradition are two that immediately come to mind. In fact, religion is used mainly as an excuse to justify these prejuddices, and co-incidentally, I just read an explanation of this before answering you: Godless Sodomites are Enemies of Christianity & the Bible

    It can be difficult for extremists on the Christian Right to convince everyone else that their desire to discriminate against gays, women, atheists, and sundry non-Christians is justified or appropriate in America. The “American Way” is supposed to be freedom and equality, not privilege and discrimination. This means that the best tactic for convincing others that discrimination and oppression are necessary is to convince them that it’s somehow to preserve freedom. It’s an Orwellian tactic to get people to believe that War is Peace in this manner, but it can be amazingly persuasive if framed correctly.

    I don’t even care to address anything else you said, at all. Every one of your assertions is as easily refuted, and for the record, you misunderstood, again, what I was saying when you said:
    “Also, I disagree with your opinion of Hose-aye’s comments. Xe asserted that atheism has nothing to do with feminism.”
    What does that have to do with me giving credit to Hose-aye for stating the idea before myself? Even if I think of some idea independently, I will mention others who originally expressed the idea so as not to pretend that it was MY idea only.
    Atheism+ is a badly flawed idea, listen to this on youTube:
    Hopefully my last video on: Why Atheism+ (plus) is a really really bad idea

  118. 118
    frankathon

    “I don’t even care to address anything else you said, at all.” Thank goodness your post is over.

    I dont see why everyone should be upset if I want to call myself Frank-o-mania instead of Frankathon. I’m still Frankie and it doesn’t affect you. If you dont like the way I label myself you know where you can go.

  119. 119
    Nick Gotts

    Also, as a European socialist I’m sceptical about the Americo-liberal tone of all this. This stuff about “privilege” and “safe spaces” means little to us, because what we’re fighting is capitalism, not some nebulous web of “privilege” and as socialists, we’re never safe! – Chris

    As a European socialist, I’m sceptical about that kind of bullshit. Declaring yourself a socialist doesn’t magically mean you don’t have privilege – and if you don’t understand the term, as seems likely from your scare-quoting, educate yourself.

  120. 120
    Marco Tarantino

    Good article explaining the venn diagram, although I have a few questions on this paragraph:

    Ok so what do you mean when you say they are not religious at all, if you just said they are religious? My brother is religious and would fall into this category (I’m excluding the part about ” – who are not religious at all.” when I say this) and he is one of the most intelligent people I know. He also has a very good understanding of the Bible (he doesn’t take it literally and laughs at people who do). I grew up in a Christian household (still trapped) but I became an atheist around eighth grade. I don’t reject the possibility of a higher power, but I don’t accept that one exists. I explained this so you have a better idea where I’m coming from. The church my brother and I attended growing up is deeply conservative and we both found it annoying. For him, the message of the (non-literal and open to interpretation) Bible is where he gets his foundation for social justice and humanist ideas. However, he would be the last person I expect to become an atheist because of how deeply religious he is. I only say this because you also mention that “It is they whom we most hope to peel away from religion.” The problem is, out of all the religious people I’ve met and dealt with, the kindest and most in favor of social justice and humanist thought were the most intelligent about their religion. For the people you are talking about here, most of the time, their social justice and humanist leanings or advocacy are rooted in their religion. So yeah, they would probably be the most difficult to convince… though we can at least try!

  121. 121
    Jason Thibeault

    I suppose that sentence wasn’t clear, but the intent was that there are people who are culturally or habitually religious who don’t actually “believe”, or vice-versa, who believe in a loosey-goosey “higher power” but don’t do any of the religious trappings. Humanist ideals are their own axis; you can be “good” in the humanist sense with or without religion. The Atheism Plus folks are advocating for a lot of things all at once, none of which are mutually exclusive.

  1. 122
    James Croft on what Humanism is | Lousy Canuck

    [...] is for that reason that I have defined Atheism Plus as the intersection between social justice advocacy, humanism and atheism. They, and we, are very [...]

  2. 123
    What’s in a Name? (a.k.a. on Atheism+) | Subjunctive Morality

    [...] Christina, Richard Carrier, Daniel Fincke, Russell Glasser, and so many others. (Not to mention Jason Thibeault‘s helpful graphics!) Like everything on the internet, there’s even a reddit page for [...]

  3. 124
    Atheism+, Sectarianism and the Venn Diagram « irritually

    [...] process of narrowing suggests about Atheism+, but because of the recent and fortuitous creation of a visual explanation of the movement by Free Thought Blogger Jason Thibeault I’ve been given an excellent opportunity to do so. [...]

  4. 125
    Teeny, Tiny Rifts | Almost Diamonds

    [...] Canuck: What is Atheism Plus a response to? Share this:DiggEmailPrint Posted in Difference, Politics « Saturday Storytime: Honey [...]

  5. 126
    Atheism+, misogyny, and the trouble with trolls | Cognitive Revolution

    [...] the same as humanism. In addition to the verbal rebuttals linked to above, Jason Thibeault uses a nice set of Venn diagrams to make the same [...]

  6. 127
    That did not take long | Cryptic Philosopher

    [...] summary of what the whole Atheism+ concept is supposed to represent. It might just be because he used pretty Venn diagrams, [...]

  7. 128
    Atheism+: Fighting Over Vaporware | StealthBadger.net

    [...] sofiarune pointed me to this blog post by LousyCanuck purporting to declare where people fall in his neat little Venn diagrams. I guess he forgot that [...]

  8. 129
    Decency is too hard » Agent of Chaos

    [...] New Wave of Atheism Why Atheism + Is Good for Atheism What’s In A Name? Quite A Lot Actually What is Atheism + A Response To? Teeny, Tiny Rifts Atheism + Is Humanism Rebranded and That’s Okay A+ As A Label: My [...]

  9. 130
    Transcript for Google+ hangout on Atheism Plus | Lousy Canuck

    [...] than try to convince everyone else that you’re nasty. I mean, if you’re one of those in the ‘miscreant’ circle, you’re pretty self-evidently nasty, and people are de facto tarred by association with you [...]

  10. 131
    Αθεΐα+ (⅝ x) 28 ημέρες μετά « On the way to Ithaca

    [...] στη φωτιά έριξε άθελά του ο Thibeault 4 ημέρες μετά με επεξηγηματικό άρθρο του για το πώς και πού τοποθετεί την Α+ στο ευρύτερο [...]

  11. 132
    I am no movement or wave « being human today

    [...] only a few days ago, enter Atheism Plus (A+): the “new wave” of atheism plus social justice, plus making everyone feel safe and [...]

  12. 133
    PATAS September Meetup | Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS)

    [...] secularism. For more information on this issue, please refer to these articles by New Statesman, Lousy Canuck, and the one that started it all, Blag Hag. I will also try to upload a new article about this [...]

  13. 134
    PATAS and Atheism Plus | Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS)

    [...] Plus is the first side. However, as the author of Lousy Canuck in Freethoughtblogs, Jason Thibeault explains, they don’t want a divide between the two other [...]

  14. 135
    The scope of the problem, and the availability heuristic | Lousy Canuck

    [...] that end, I guess we need another Venn diagram like the one I used to explain what exactly the atheism plus label is constructed in opposition to. The last one worked well [...]

  15. 136
    *sigh* again with the venn diagrammes | Christopher's Blog

    [...] In one post, he tries to explain why the atheismplus folly is necessary and why he thinks he is one of the good guys: [...]

  16. 137
    And people complained about MY Venn diagrams! | Lousy Canuck

    [...] ad, which completely mangles the very concept of the Venn diagram to a far greater degree than I ever [...]

  17. 138
    The 2012 Lousy Year In Review » Lousy Canuck

    [...] on the Geeks Without God podcast, and had a blast talking about comics and aliens. Played with some Venn diagrams to explain why Atheism Plus came into being (and no, it’s not in response to Richard [...]

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