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Sep 22 2011

Tanya Smith explains the world

It’s so confusing. As you may know, there was an amicable split between the imperialist American atheists and the rest of the world a while back: there is now an Atheist Alliance of America (AAA), and Atheist Alliance International (AAI) that gets the rest — it’s kind of like how the Treaty of Tordesilla divvied up the planet between Spain and Portugal.

Anyway, Tanya Smith, president of AAI, had an interview with the Non Prophets. Maybe that will help clarify everything for you.

48 comments

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  1. 1
    Glen Davidson

    It’s the strategy of divide and conquer.

    No wait, wasn’t it the opposition that was supposed to be divided?

    Glen Davidson

  2. 2
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    splitters

  3. 3
    Zeno

    Are we on the Spanish side or the Portuguese side? Inquiring minds want to know!

  4. 4
    Jen

    so South Park is prophetic?

  5. 5
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Are we on the Spanish side or the Portuguese side? Inquiring minds want to know!

    I see what you did there. But I certainly didn’t expect it.

  6. 6
    Rob

    More deep rifts? That’s all we need!

  7. 7
    chigau (違う)

    Where is that Life of Brian clip?

  8. 8
    cervantes

    The funny thing is, I don’t actually feel the need to join an organization based on what I don’t believe.

  9. 9
    TheDawgLives

    Hold on. There are three main Atheist groups: the super-intelligent otters of the AAA (Allied Atheist Alliance), the humans of the UAA (United Atheist Alliance), and a rival human faction, the UAL (Unified Atheist League).

    This is all clearly explained on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_God_Go_XII

    “Science damn you, time child!”

  10. 10
    Otrame

    The funny thing is, I don’t actually feel the need to join an organization based on what I don’t believe.

    QFT

  11. 11
    HerbieTheBeagle

    “The funny thing is, I don’t actually feel the need to join an organization based on what I don’t believe.”

    No, you don’t need to join an organisation to be an atheist. But the world progresses towards atheism and secularism thanks to the work that is being done by AAI, AAA and plenty of other groups (as well as PZ on Pharyngula and all the others bloggers of course!). These groups are run by volunteers and rely on memberships and donations, so if you support what they do sign up and help them keep fighting for the cause of rational thought.

  12. 12
    HerbieTheBeagle

    Rob says:
    22 September 2011 at 3:03 pm
    More deep rifts? That’s all we need!

    No deep rifts at all! A friendly separation that allows each group to operate more effectively. AAA is now a US affiliate member of AAI.

  13. 13
    Smoochie

    What no “People’s Front of Judea” / “Judean People’s Front” gag? For shame!

    Splitter!

  14. 14
    Rey Fox

    The funny thing is, I don’t actually feel the need to join an organization based on what I don’t believe.

    Congratulations, you win a cookie.

  15. 15
    Rey Fox

    What no “People’s Front of Judea” / “Judean People’s Front” gag?

    A true Monty Python fan would have picked up on comment #2 right away.

  16. 16
    Grahame
    ” What no “People’s Front of Judea” / “Judean People’s Front” gag?

    A true Monty Python fan would have picked up on comment #2 right away. “

    Yes, keep up, jeez.

    There’s only one group we hate more than the christians…and that’s the fucking AAI.

  17. 17
    Rob

    Herbie – I know, I know, I was just referring to this.

  18. 18
    HerbieTheBeagle

    Grahame says:
    22 September 2011 at 4:37 pm
    There’s only one group we hate more than the christians…and that’s the fucking AAI.

    AAI would be interested to know what it has done to prompt your comment Grahame. Feel free to email [email protected].

  19. 19
    Rob

    @Rey Fox

    I’m actually starting up my own group, the Popular Atheists’ Alliance, if anyone wants to join.

    Anybody?

    No?

  20. 20
    spondee

    Herbie- don’t get lost in the Python references. Cause really, what has the AAI ever done for us?

  21. 21
    chigau (違う)

    Rob

    I’m actually starting up my own group, the Popular Atheists’ Alliance, if anyone wants to join.

    Is there free beer?

  22. 22
    Worldtraveller
    The funny thing is, I don’t actually feel the need to join an organization based on what I don’t believe.

    Congratulations, cupcake, you win a cookie.

    FTFY. ;-)

  23. 23
    drksky

    Is there free beer?

    No, but we shall eat off our tummies.

  24. 24
    mferrari

    To your battle stations fellow sea otters!

  25. 25
    HerbieTheBeagle

    @Rob. Thanks for clarifying. I am clearly not as across past references as I could be.

    @Spondee. I admit I don’t know much Python, sorry! Even if AAI was completely inactive I’m not sure why a group that promotes atheism and secularism deserves to be labelled as hated as more than the Xtians (as Grahame did). As for what AAI does – helping groups like the Pakistani Atheist & Agnostics get set up, supporting the Kasese Humanist Primary school in Uganda, facilitating atheist conferences around the world that get atheism in the media and raise the profile of local atheist groups helps promote atheism and secularism. That’s good for all of us. AAI wants to be more effective so, genuinely, if you have good ideas please contact them, I’m sure they’d appreciate the suggestions.

  26. 26
    Epinephrine

    I thought we were the AAI.

  27. 27
    Juice

    Sorry, but the most logical name is Allied Atheist Alliance.

  28. 28
    dcg1

    Is this split between elevatorists and non elevatorists?

  29. 29
    Rob

    @Juice

    No! Union of Unanimous Union of Unbelievers.

  30. 30
    M31

    So it’s a like a club for people who don’t join clubs? And there are several of these clubs?

    There needs to be an organization for atheists who don’t join organizations.

  31. 31
    M31

    “So whatever happened to the Alliance of Allied Atheist Alliances?”

    “He’s over there.”

  32. 32
    F

    HerbieTheBeagle

    Why are you such a literalist douchnozzle right at the moment?

    (And if you can’t take that as a joke, go ahead and take it seriously.)

  33. 33
    tricycle

    When will they convene the Congress of Atheist Associations so that the work of these disparate groups may be guided and unified?

  34. 34
    The Sailor

    “There needs to be an organization for atheists who don’t join organizations.”

    Ahh, Russell’s Paradox.

  35. 35
    Def-Star

    You can donate without joining. Just so you know.

  36. 36
    First Approximation

    Ah, Monty Python references dominated this thread as expected.

  37. 37
    I'mthegenie!Icandoanything!

    And now, for something completely different…

    A scotsman on a horse.

  38. 38
    I'mthegenie!Icandoanything!

    Make that:

    A true scotsman on a horse.

  39. 39
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Oh dear. Herbie, go now. Get yourself a copy of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Get off the internet (unless you are streaming it) and watch it. Now.

  40. 40
    Grahame

    Herb, if you’re going to respond to my posts, I’d like for you to call me Loretta.

  41. 41
    macallan

    Now write it out a hundred times. If it’s not dome by sunrise I’ll cut your balls off.

  42. 42
    Tony Bull

    @ 2 & smoochie

    you beat me to the punch by miles :(

    splitters!!

  43. 43
    Carbon Based Life Form

    Are we on the Spanish side or the Portuguese side?

    The Spanish side, not that it matters anymore.

  44. 44
    Erock

    This is like that South Park episode!

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s10e12-go-god-go

    “In the year 2546, the entire world is atheistic and dedicated to rationality and science. Atheism is divided into several denominations. These factions are at war with each other over who has the right answer to the Great Question. Cartman is told that their inspiring leader from the past, Richard Dawkins, showed them the way — and how it is OK to be a dick to people you don’t agree with. The UAL explains what happened to him and that his family and friends have been dead for over 500 years, but he does not care about it. However, Cartman is horrified to learn that no one in the future plays video games, including the Wii.
    On their way to the Ancient Technology Museum in search of a Wii console, the UAL comes under attack by a rival group, the United Atheist Alliance (UAA). After a fierce battle that leaves all the UAL members dead and Cartman a UAA hostage, the group is contacted by yet another faction, the Allied Atheist Allegiance (AAA) — who are super-intelligent sea otters at war with the humans of the UAL and UAA over world domination and the Great Question. The Otter King threatens to smash Cartman’s skull “like a clam on my tummy.”"

  45. 45
    dcg1

    I just visit this site occasionally, because the posts are interesting and I don’t believe in God. I spent my childhood being forced to go to church and sing in the choir; all the time thinking this is BS. If I have to be put in a pigeon hole, Yes I’ve been an atheist since I was seven.I’m not keen on organisations like the AAA and AAI who profess to represent me.

    I’m rather dismayed by what I’ve researched on this subject so far, and can see where this is going.

    Having looked at the history part of the AAI website, apparently there was some power hungry president of some atheist organisation in the U.S. who obviously had a falling out with another group of athiest control freaks in the U.S. and took legal action to try to prevent them setting up another atheist organisation.

    Anyone notice some parallels with the Catholic Church and other religions. F**k the aim, this is about power, ego and self aggrandisement. Human history is plagued with ass holes such as these.

    In my 45 years on this earth, observing the actions of religions, campaign groups, and charity organisations
    I’ve found that an unfailing test of whether the leaders of such groups are genuinely devoted to the aims of the organisation, or crooks and sheisters on the make (Look at TV evangelists).

    Is to investigate if they do it for no recompense, or whether they want paying for it, with generous expenses or in some cases salaried positions. Thats why I only donate to charity organisations who’s annual filed accounts, show that 90% of the cash, is spent on the cause or the proposed beneficiaries.

    I havent seen the filed annual accounts of the AAA or AAI to see what the case is there; I sincerely hope the former.

    Perhaps someone could enlighten me?

  46. 46
    Rorschach

    Having looked at the history part of the AAI website, apparently there was some power hungry president of some atheist organisation in the U.S. who obviously had a falling out with another group of athiest control freaks in the U.S. and took legal action to try to prevent them setting up another atheist organisation.

    Tanya Smith is Australian, and has only just recently been elected head of AAI. She’ll sort it out.

  47. 47
    PZ Myers

    Man, there sure are some twisted interpretations of AAA/AAI. From all accounts that I’ve heard, this was an entirely amicable split based on the entirely rational decision that different regions had different concerns, and that it was inappropriate to put a world organization under the umbrella of an American organization.

    And no, it’s not at all like the South Park episode. These organizations are entirely cooperative with one another — there’s no fighting at all between them.

  48. 48
    From AAI

    @dcg1: both AAI and AAA are run by boards comprised of volunteer directors, assisted by other volunteers. Neither group has any paid employees. Both groups rely on membership fees and donations to pay for projects (including grants) and the actual (external) costs of running the groups (eg production of their magazine, website fees, PayPal fees etc).

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