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Aug 23 2012

Nice article on Atheism+ in the New Statesman

Most of it’s really good and gets it right.

On one level, this is just the logical culmination of the huge upsurge in interest prompted by the so-called "New Atheists" and the growth over the last few years of a recognisable community or movement based around ideas of atheism, scientific scepticism and a progressive political agenda. While atheism is, by definition, no more or less than a non-belief in God, in practice it clusters with a variety of other positions, from pro-choice to campaigns against homeopathy. People who espouse "liberal atheism" as it might be called, oppose religion for political as well as philosophical reasons, just as the forces of religion seem to line up – though of course not exclusively – behind seemingly unconnected issues such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and, in the US, gun-control.

Atheism+ is, at its most basic, an attempt wrap things together more formally, to create a movement that prioritises issues of equality and does so from an explicitly non-religious perspective. Some would say that such a philosophy already exists in the form of humanism. Others prefer the label Skeptic. Atheism+, however, seeks to capitalise on the sense of identity that has grown up around the word "atheism" during the past few years. One supporter of the idea, Greta Christina, celebrates the term as "a slap in the face that wakes people up."

The only problem? The figure caption.

Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins.

Nope. The body text had it right: it’s “the logical culmination”, not an opposition to the New Atheism. I’m actually doing a talk on just that next week in Denver — as the New Atheism was the incorporation of science into atheism, Atheism+ is a synthesis of social justice into the New Atheism.

214 comments

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  1. 1
    Ace of Sevens

    That part seemed to hurt Dawkins’ feelings judging by Twitter.

  2. 2
    'Tis Himself

    Don’t read the comments on the New Statesman article. There’s some serious sneering going on there.

  3. 3
    Inaji

    I’ll second ‘Tis on the comments, stay away. Same old shit, different day. I just love reading about how silly we wimmins are and it’s okay if some atheist dude wants to ogle and call women sugartits, eh, who is it hurting? :eyeroll:

    Oh yes, there’s the standard, “silly atheists, religion is already weak, de-fanged and dying, has no impact on the West anymore.” No, no.

  4. 4
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Dawkins is already tweeting about “blogs” that just generate controversy to catch hits. He muses about how using Adblock will deny them revenue. When your fellow FtB bloggers ask him to clarify? Nothing. No response. And no, his admission that Greta showed controversy doesn’t increase traffic does not make it all better. His knee-jerk motivation to slander feminists is disgusting and disturbing.

    I was so delighted in 2007 to volunteer for his foundation at the AAI conference in DC. But his behavior over this issue has been despicable and he goddamned well oughta be called out for it. Fuck him.

  5. 5
    logicpriest

    @Tis I third the comments thing. My brain now burns. A lot of anger directed towards Jan daring to be a woman who happens to also be center front of a new brand.

    The more hate I see spewed over the thought of someone daring to say a particular label or movement isn’t going where a large chunk of it wants, the more involved I want to be in said (new) movement. I was dubious at first, but the shear rage from teh menz and their apologists has eroded any doubt.

  6. 6
    logicpriest

    @Josh
    I’m just going to pretend Dawkins’ brain is rotting from too much scotch or something. I love so much of what he has done and written I would prefer to ignore his childishness now :(

  7. 7
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I wish I could ignore it, logicpriest. It makes me furiously angry, though. Dawkins was so instrumental for me in getting the (rudimentary) scientific education I never got in school, and so inspiring to me as a frustrated US atheist. That he’s such a douche about feminism galls me.

  8. 8
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    As Adam Lee tweeted the other day, those commenting*on Atheism+ fall into two broad categories: those who agree it’s needed and those who demonstrate why it’s needed.

    *Please note, nit-pickers, that I specified ‘commenting’. I know there are no small number of you who aren’t entitled misogynist douchebags. However, it would have been nice if you’d bothered to stand up against the misogynist douchebags so no-one would have had to have said, ‘fuck this shit, I’m forming my own group’ in the first place.

  9. 9
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Gah. I’ve read enough stupid comments on FTB. Now way am I going over to the New Statesman to read any more today. I’ll just take PZ’s excerpt and run.

  10. 10
    logicpriest

    I’m not sure I can even be mad, though. It is more pathetic than anything else. It just seems like he really meant well overall but just hit some sort of wall where he stopped being able to think clearly, so then he started to lash out. It’s scary. What if we all hit some wall where we can’t be rational past it? Hitchens’ was the Iraq war, Dawkins’ appears to be western feminism, Harris’ I suppose is profiling. If we all hit walls then there really are no heroes.

  11. 11
    logicpriest

    10 is back at Josh, btw. ;)

  12. 12
    hjhornbeck

    logicpriest @ 10:

    If we all hit walls then there really are no heroes.

    No, then we’re just frail human beings, who were never designed for rational thought. To find our heroes, we instead pick and chose the best characteristics of those we admire, and try to have one less wall than each of them. We try to rise above what we were given ourselves, instead of hitching our yoke to the person we hate the least.

    Dawkins may have gotten me addicted to religious apologetics, by simultaneously pointing out how shoddy most of it was while making a few errors himself, but he also once demonstrated (and in a very different fashion demonstrates again) the very points I made above.

    I have no heroes, and I view that as a strength.

  13. 13
    olivercrangle

    Are you the Judean People’s Front?

  14. 14
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    olivercrangle wrote:

    Are you the Judean People’s Front?

    Fuck off. We’re the People’s Front of Judea.

  15. 15
    SallyStrange

    SPLITTERS!!

    /obligatory

  16. 16
    SallyStrange

    I find the reaction quite hilarious.

    I’ve seen all kinds of nonsense, describing A+ as anything from atheist jihad to new militancy to atheist Jehovah’s Witnesses to the final solution.

    Yeah. “We don’t like you guys so we’re doing our own thing so nobody confuses us with you” is apparently just like arming your group and engaging in an organized campaign of violent retribution and/or genocide.

    The hyperbole is so ridiculous that to comment on it is superfluous.

  17. 17
    Akira MacKenzie

    Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins.

    Ummm.. no, but it IS a reaction against the “Bro Atheism” of thunderf00t, D.J. Grothe, Abby Smith and The Amazing Atheist.

  18. 18
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Ummm.. no, but it IS a reaction against the “Bro Atheism” of thunderf00t, D.J. Grothe, Abby Smith and The Amazing Atheist.

    Well said! That is the primary reason I’m excited for Atheism+!

  19. 19
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    SallyStrange wrote:

    Yeah. “We don’t like you guys so we’re doing our own thing so nobody confuses us with you” is apparently just like arming your group and engaging in an organized campaign of violent retribution and/or genocide.

    For all this talk of harming the ‘atheist movement’, it has to be far less harmful for a subgroup with specific goals to be formed than the revelation via reactions to it that so many within the community are in fact complete fucking idiots.

    But, as I’ve said before, from what I can see the angry ranting hyperbole is coming from almost entirely straight white cis-gender dudes, while the supportive tweets and blog posts and comments are coming from both that kind of person (of which I’m one, presumably since we’re not all privileged assholes) as well as every other kind of person.

  20. 20
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Goody our own A+ thread.

    @ Josh/logicpriest

    Richard Dawkins

    I just wish someone close to him would sit down and explain things to him. Mmmmm…. I wonder who would be in a position to do just that?

    @ logicpriest

    center front of a new brand.

    The brand “Atheism” must stay as such. We have struggled too long and hard for the term and it is a battle we are going to win. Rebranding at this stage is really not on. Both atheism and atheism plus belong to us (as does “new atheism”). “New brand” is not the way these things work and is completely unecessary anyhow. The haters can fuck off and start their own. (The term “atheist” is deeply entrenched we have to take it over completely and not abandon it.)

    Atheism and atheism+ are perfectly compatible under the same umbrella. (McDonalds and McDonalds+ … er McDonalds Cafe live side by side. They work symbiotically to enhance the core brand: McDonalds ™ . (You might not like McDonalds, but their understanding of branding is profound.))

    Quo Vadis? Humanism, Science, Rationality, Skepticism,… these are all tributaries of atheism. Consistently followed, they will all end up in a rejection of gods and mingle into the same set of goals. Each bringing with it another aspect of the main stream of thought. Atheism+ is a means to affirming this. This affirmation is important not just as a means of strengthening of our our position, but to act as a means of guaranteeing the inclusiveness that is so important if we are to expand and move forward.

    What about the DAB‘s then? We simply have to keep them out of the pool, there is no other way. We cannot have their toxic shit constantly flooding into the mix. They are fucking up (brand) atheism. As much as some people are allergic to them (I understand this only too well), we have to channel these people away from us. And this will entail challenging and calling out the toxic dreg wherever we find it.

  21. 21
    rorschach

    I just wish someone close to him would sit down and explain things to him. Mmmmm…. I wonder who would be in a position to do just that?

    Paula Kirby? Oh, wait…

  22. 22
    howardpeirce

    I made this point earlier in another forum, but since this is a Pharyngula thread with fewer than 100 comments, I’ll say it here.

    In addition to social justice, Atheism+ needs to include economic security in its platform. There’s no greater predictor of religiosity than economic insecurity. We need reasonable regulation of banking and finance, decent labor laws (including white-collar labor), a social safety net, progressive taxation, food security, basic health-care guarantees (a single emergency shouldn’t render you bankrupt), upward mobility — the whole package of New Deal/Great Society/Keynesian reforms that made the mid-twentieth century possible.

    I know that there are Marxists out there who want to throw away the baby with the bathwater, but say what you will about the bourgeoisie, they’re overwhelmingly secular. If you want a secular society, see to it that at least 80% of your population is concerned about keeping up with the Joneses. If 80% are concerned about where their next meal is coming from, or whether Grandma’s death will sink them into poverty, you won’t have a secular society.

    In an age of global warming and resource shortages, it’s easy to believe that there’s not enough wealth around to afford everyone a secure lifestyle. That’s not true; there’s plenty of wealth, but it’s all in the hands of a handful of narcissists where it’s doing no good.

    Female and LGBT equality means nothing when income inequality means that Gay/Straight/Cis/Bi/Trans/PoC Americans are all in living insecure lives with no hope of escape.

    This isn’t Marxism; it’s the standard package of New Deal/Great Society reforms that people of my generation grew up with.

  23. 23
    robro

    The only problem? The figure caption.

    Of course, editors usually pick the pictures and write the captions, not the writer of the article. The writer probably may be as appalled as the rest of us at the misrepresentation.

  24. 24
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    [explaining to Richard Dawkins]

    Dear Muslima ™ would be a good starting point if only because it so beautifully illustrates how rationality and feminism can flow together.

    The argument he gives fails on two levels simultaneously: sexism and irrationality. So attacking from either angle will work

    If I was to sit down, I would start at the thin end of the wedge, the failure of the DM argument from a purely rational point of view. He can certainly grok that (if he were ever to reconsider his position). Having proved the argument untennable at that level, we could move on to the rejection of it via an argument of its inherent sexism. Either way, we must inevitably arrive at the same point.

  25. 25
    Balstrome

    Anyone got any ideas when the new ranks and badges for Atheism+ will be coming out. And how will the order of battle be designed? Will it be courses and conferences to move up in the ranks, or will one have specialise in certain fields like blogging or speech giving?

    It’s really going to be a hard thing to do, trying to create an in-group without giving the idea that we are creating an in-group, but we have skilled folk here would are up to this, no?

  26. 26
    dailydouq

    As a relative n00b I can just barely understand the A+ issue but reading comments and posts it sounds like a highly charged emotional issue where it would be incredibly easy to say something that will set people off. I don’t want to do that so apologies in advance for my ignorance and the misspeaking I will undoubtedly do.

    But it is scary to a new person, without years in this debate, to even be a lurker much less a participant. And at a time when theocracy is closer than ever to taking over the U.S. I think scaring people away is unwise, even though that isn’t the intention (at least I can understand that much, but being “inclusive” means to n00bs too).

    A friend once dragged me to a gunshow, because I’d grown up rural and vaguely knew about guns. I hate guns but even more gun shows, not just because they push an evil product, but because how incredibly nice and inclusive they are. They literally sweep in you, using every trick in the book to make you feel welcome. You can asked dumb questions without being attacked. You can even be hostile and they’re try to convert you. You can call them rednecks or gunnuts and they’ll just laugh. This is an evil movement but one happy to get new followers.

    I bet if I walked in a church, even expressing skepticism and using offensive words, deliberately or accidentally, most would embrace me and try to talk me into their woo.

    I am amazed that sects within xtianity that spent centuries killing each other can unify long enough to put even a mormon into the White House. They’ll take over first and then start purging each other or raising the bar for membership in their coalition.

    When you’re a minority of just a few percent I think you want to include anyone who seems interested. Imposing a large and complex list of duties and beliefs and vocabulary to use and not use that are required for even joining the discussion doesn’t seem like a good way to grow any segment of the movement. Liberals have always been referred to as herding cats and as witnessed by the steady rise on steadily-more-insane conservatism. Liberalism has somehow fragmented its ability for coalitions to at least pursue the most common goals. The war on the war ‘liberal’ has been so successful no one wants to use it, even liberals. Will this happen to atheism as well?

    I can’t imagine anyone included in the umbrella of A+, as I only still vaguely understand it, wanting to live in a Taliban theocracy of the Bachmann’s and Perry’s and Santorum’s or any of the tea baggers. Religion is the enemy of all social justice. Perhaps the FtB community can hold more complex ideas than the right, but sometimes a bumper sticker as the primary goal is not such a bad idea. If it takes many pages to explain A+ then how many can really follow it, much less fully embrace it.

  27. 27
    Jafafa Hots

    I think those comments go perfectly with the article to help prove the point.
    The fact that those making the comments don’t see that they’re undermining themselves even makes it funny.

  28. 28
    fenne

    The comments here concerning Dawkins are pretty much inadressable by now. When you’ve reached this amount of raging nonsensical hate, no decent discussion or argument will have any effect. As many A+’ers will agree, only ridicule remains. I can only say http://www.mememaker.net/static/images/templates/14288.jpg

    It’s quite typical that the so-called critical thinking and skeptical freethoughtblogs would mention a positive article, while failing to mention the bucketloads of criticism A+ is getting. For every positive post, there are a multitude of skeptical or negative ones. But of course, in good tradition, those are all by definition douchebags that ‘don’t get it’. Why don’t you mention #atheismplus on Twitter, PZ, where it’s being mocked and ridiculed en masse. And don’t start calling those doing it trolls and MRA’s, please don’t. It just doesn’t fly when the critics are a majority. It’s time to face the facts, swallow the pride and stop dismissing dissent so easily. Which is, btw, the main reason why you’re getting this much ‘hate’. It has nothing to do with the values you supposedly defend (i do too), and everything with the attitude surrounding how you do it.

  29. 29
    Jafafa Hots

    I’ll assume that those mocking atheism+ (who are not also clearly trolls or sexist or libertarians or otherwise have opposing viewpoints) are people who don’t want anything to do with the idea.

    And they don’t have to. So I’m not sure what they have to complain about.

  30. 30
    rorschach

    Why don’t you mention #atheismplus on Twitter, PZ, where it’s being mocked and ridiculed en masse.

    What’s next? Worrying about Youtube comments?

  31. 31
    jameschambers

    “Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins.”

    Hu?! Since when is New Atheism © Richard Dawkins? To think all these years I’ve been giving it away for free hahah

  32. 32
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    fenne wrote:

    It just doesn’t fly when the critics are a majority.

    Hahahahaha! Xe thinks the people on Twitter are the majority. How cute!

  33. 33
    feedmybrain

    @fenne

    Have you noticed that the majority of the world’s population is against atheism? Maybe we should give that up too. I mean, the majority are always right, right?

  34. 34
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    jafafa hots wrote:

    So I’m not sure what they have to complain about.

    They hate that people are exposing atheism as something that isn’t perfect. That they’re not that much better (and, in some ways, are even worse – because of the hypocrisy) than the religious who they desperately need people like PZ to remind them they’re better than.

    And because there a bunch of fucking entitled douchebags who aren’t used to not getting what they want, and are stamping their feet like pissy little toddlers.

  35. 35
    Christoph Burschka

    Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins.

    Maybe they needed to make something up to justify putting a picture of Dawkins on an article that technically has very little to do with him.

  36. 36
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    I’m liking this A+ thing. It might not work that way for everyone, but for me personally fully abandoning any belief in god was pretty much what set me down the path to the whole “actually giving a shit about other people” thing. Atheism is inextricably tied to my activism, and it’s nice to have a movement that ties the two together so neatly.

    RE: Richard Dawkins

    I can’t really feel angry about his actions. Just really, horrendously sad. He’s better than this sort of shit, and it’s mind-boggling that he could be so awful on this particular issue.

    @fenne
    >Twitter
    >Worth mentioning

    No.

  37. 37
    Bernard Bumner

    I struggle to reconcile this:

    The comments here concerning Dawkins are pretty much inadressable by now. When you’ve reached this amount of raging nonsensical hate, no decent discussion or argument will have any effect.

    And this:

    …stop dismissing dissent so easily.

  38. 38
    Bernard Bumner

    Apparently Dawkins has issued an edict by Twitter that controversies must be official vetted before being blogged about – I’m not sure how else to interpret this notion of manufactured controversy from a man who made his name as a controversialist.

    I wonder how many of those outraged by the supposed Elevatorgate Boycott will be rushing to condemn Dawkins for calling for a boycott of bloggers in an attempt to damage their revenues?

  39. 39
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I wrote this originally when there were only 14 comments and then I lost internet for several hours. I’m still posting it damnit.
    -
    -

    I look forward decades from now surrounded by allies talking about all the good we’ve done, all the fights won and the continuing fight for people’s rights, reminiscing how I was there when Atheism+ started and how the assholes opposed its creation.

    What if we all hit some wall where we can’t be rational past it? Hitchens’ was the Iraq war, Dawkins’ appears to be western feminism, Harris’ I suppose is profiling. If we all hit walls then there really are no heroes.

    This is a good thing. It reminds us we have to keep fighting even against our selves, keep striving for better and not being afraid to call people on bullshit no matter how much you like them, because everyone messes up. Everyone has blind spots and makes mistakes, but we can’t let it go. We can’t let people slip just because they are so great on other issues. We have to be vicious to those fighting against people’s right and to each other when we do things that harm our allies, like Dawkins’ idiocy on feminism. It makes us better allies, better people.

  40. 40
    hyperdeath

    dailydouq:

    When you’re a minority of just a few percent I think you want to include anyone who seems interested. Imposing a large and complex list of duties and beliefs and vocabulary to use and not use that are required for even joining the discussion doesn’t seem like a good way to grow any segment of the movement.

    Such unity is fundamentally unobtainable. There’s no way of reconciling women who don’t want to be sexually harassed, with people who subject women who complain about sexual harassment to year-long hate campaigns.

    People are going to be alienated, regardless of what happens. My preference is for alienating the rabid misogynists, and those who make excuses for them.

  41. 41
    John Morales

    Wowbagger @8,

    *Please note, nit-pickers, that I specified ‘commenting’. I know there are no small number of you who aren’t entitled misogynist douchebags. However, it would have been nice if you’d bothered to stand up against the misogynist douchebags so no-one would have had to have said, ‘fuck this shit, I’m forming my own group’ in the first place.

    So… you’re unhappy that it had to happen but happy that it did happen, I presume.

    (Which wins out?)

  42. 42
    feedmybrain

    Dawkins’ position on this disappoints me, I’ve enjoyed so much of his work.

    Oh well, on to other things. A+ all the way!

  43. 43
    fenne

    Wowbagger, you are súch an ironically delicious fanatical cult follower. The way you zealously defend ftb and A+, how you speak for its detractors, the way you seem to be able to probe into their true motivations and thoughts, it’s food for a dissertation. Your insights are truly amazing. And it’s a real feat how they always confirm your bias and and the memes that circulate here. You’re so deep in your trenches, you’ve no idea of the battle itself.
    I understand the need to distance oneself from genuine douches. This is however just one small step to take, not a giant leap. Because then you end up at an extreme at the other side. You’ll end up seeing even moderates as douches due to their distance from you. This is the polarization you have wrought.

  44. 44
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    John Morales wrote:

    So… you’re unhappy that it had to happen but happy that it did happen, I presume.

    Yeah, pretty much. I tend to agree with what SGBM has been saying about trying to ‘keep’ atheism by forcing the creeps and scumbags out, but considering how many people are commenting and blogging about how A+ has motivated them to get involved when before they wouldn’t has made me realise it has some merit.

    What the frothing hordes of spurned, entitled douchebags – who are almost entirely limited to Twitter; few of them have the mettle to bring their complaints to the blogs – don’t seem to realise is that no-one involved in A+, as far as I can tell, gives a flying fuck whether they do or don’t have the army of d00ds on board, and that ‘the numbers’ (in terms of a majority) are completely irrelevant as long as those who want to get involved do so – and there are plenty who have put their hands up.

    It’s hilarious what happens when you tell a bunch of people who think their opinions are important that you don’t give a crap what they think. I suppose it’s one of the advantages of atheism over theism; even if we get it wrong it’s unlikely that it’s going to prompt anyone to start believing in gods.

  45. 45
    John Morales

    [meta + OT]

    fenne:

    Wowbagger, you are súch an ironically delicious fanatical cult follower.

    “Your insights are truly amazing.”

    You’ll end up seeing even moderates as douches due to their distance from you.

    You sure you’ve not ended up seeing even douches as moderates due to their distance from you?

    (What sort of rhetorical cheap trick is this, anyway?)

  46. 46
    rorschach

    Wowbagger, you are súch an ironically delicious fanatical cult follower.

    You’re either a slymepitter or unfamiliar with the term “cult”.

    The way you zealously defend ftb and A+, how you speak for its detractors, the way you seem to be able to probe into their true motivations and thoughts

    He reads the relevant posts and has an informed opinion based on them, whereas you seem to be coming from a position of prejudice and to be harboring a few weird conspiracy theories.

    You’ll end up seeing even moderates as douches due to their distance from you. This is the polarization you have wrought.

    No, I don’t see that danger at all. This A+ business is still in its infancy, and my feeling is that the community itself will come up with rules and regulations and a scope of the issues we want included over time. The only polarization at the present, as far as I can see, is with regards to those who trot out the #ftbullies lies and keep hating Rebecca Watson and anyone who ever came within a 5-mile radius of her. And that’s a polarization I welcome and support.

  47. 47
    Bernard Bumner

    Uh-oh, fenne,

    …stop dismissing dissent so easily.

  48. 48
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I love that polarisation is being used as a threat.

    Newsflash, pissants: we want to be polarised from you. That’s our fucking goal. So, unless it’s going to make you start believing in gods again, we really don’t fucking care whether you like Atheism+ or not.

    This is what happens when you tell a bunch of people who’ve fought hard for atheism that you don’t care what they think. They take the skills and resources they’ve acquired from fighting against religion and they use it against you.

  49. 49
    carlie

    I don’t want to be a “small step” away from douches. I want there to be a yawning chasm between me and them. One might even describe it as a deep rift.

  50. 50
    consciousness razor

    When you’re a minority of just a few percent I think you want to include anyone who seems interested.

    Huh? This is after you tell us about how much you dislike people at gun shows trying to rope in anyone who seems interested?

    Whatever. A whole lot of fuckers are not interested. Do you get that? They do not want to do what I want to do, which is trying to stop evil shit from happening all the fucking time (even when it isn’t because of a religion). Maybe some of them are just whiny, lazy, ignorant, etc., and not completely hate-filled shitheads. That’s just so fucking pitiful I’d rather they fuck off right now so their lives will be easier, if that’s what they want. Maybe they’ll come around in the end or maybe not, but either way it’s their decision.

    Imposing a large and complex list of duties and beliefs and vocabulary to use and not use that are required for even joining the discussion doesn’t seem like a good way to grow any segment of the movement.

    Our first priority shouldn’t be growing the movement. I’m not looking for more friends or another social club. And although I’m sure it would be profitable, I don’t want to start a pyramid scheme. And we’re not the fucking Borg either. So having lots of people in the movement means shit if most of them are working against me. And honestly, I haven’t been impressed with the concept behind A+ so far; but as it stands, I’ll take it over appeasing a bunch of stupid assholes any day of the week.

  51. 51
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    fenne wrote:

    Wowbagger, you are súch an ironically delicious fanatical cult follower.

    Ugh. Sorry, I only enjoy word salad with blue cheese dressing. Do toddle off and fetch me some, would you?

    Your insights are truly amazing.

    By the sound of things you probably find shiny spoons amazing, so I’ll hold myself back from blushing at your flattery.

    And it’s a real feat how they always confirm your bias and and the memes that circulate here.

    Ah, yes. Reality, with its infamous liberal bias. Well, I can’t aruge with that. And I do love a good meme.

    I understand the need to distance oneself from genuine douches. This is however just one small step to take, not a giant leap.

    I think you should leave the distance one chooses to leap to the person who’s doing the leaping – and have the decency to at least try and grasp why they’re doing what they’re doing.

    Would you suggest to non-religious Jewish atheists that they shouldn’t leap from neo-nazi atheists? How about LBGQT atheists and the leap they need to make from homophobic and transphobic atheists? Or African-American atheists and racist atheists?

    This is the polarization you have wrought.

    This is the polarisation we want. Why should we pretend to be tolerant of those who openly hate us and oppose our goals?

  52. 52
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I tend to agree with what SGBM has been saying about trying to ‘keep’ atheism by forcing the creeps and scumbags out, but considering how many people are commenting and blogging about how A+ has motivated them to get involved when before they wouldn’t has made me realise it has some merit.

    This is pretty much my view too.

  53. 53
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Imposing a large and complex list of duties and beliefs and vocabulary to use and not use that are required for even joining the discussion doesn’t seem like a good way to grow any segment of the movement.

    What these obtuse, entitled, self-absorbed douchemongers don’t realise is that there are a fuckload of people who don’t consider themselves part of the movement because the movement has shown itself to be very welcoming to misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and generally bigoted assholes – who they know will treat them the way they’ve treated people like Rebecca Watson and Surly Amy (amongst others).

    Atheism+ is growing the movement, because there are people who want to be involved in it when they otherwise wouldn’t have any part of organised atheism in its current asshole bigot-friendly state. We know this because they’ve said so.

    The movement will only increase because the dimwitted fuckweasels who are so offended by atheism+ will remain part of the larger movement; they can’t leave because they need to keep being reminded how totes awesome they are compared to stupid religious folk.

  54. 54
    PZ Myers

    Fenne claims there is this massive opposition to atheism+ and FtB, and that there’s a huge surge of vocal resistance.

    If that is so, why is it always the same handful of nobodies I see complaining and whining and blaring the same tired arguments? Even on the New Statesmen article, I recognize the same familiar idiots that I see griping incessantly on twitter, and none of them are people I see organizing, writing coherently about, or leading the movement. There are a tiny number of cranks sock-puppeting away, counting every pseudonym as a vote against progressive values.

  55. 55
    fenne

    So, unless it’s going to make you start believing in gods again, we really don’t fucking care whether you like Atheism+ or not.

    oh, but you do. Your Twitter spam proves it. But oh yes, that’s a source from outside ftb so it doesn’t count as evidence. How could i forget. Your inanities have made it clear I shouldn’t worry about this loony movement. In fact, the less I show up as a common foe for you to gang up on, the more you’ll start turning on each other and imploding. (After some congratulatory mutual mental masturbation of course). Imma go grab me some popcorn and watch the drama and BAWING unfold. This A+ stuff will leave you all bitter and more hateful than before.

  56. 56
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    oh, but you do.

    No we don’t.

  57. 57
    rorschach

    There are a tiny number of cranks sock-puppeting away, counting every pseudonym as a vote against progressive values.

    And the funny thing is, I have no doubt at all that Dawkins would happily sign up to a movement that combines atheism and progressive values and matters of equality. But right now, he is being bombarded by sucking-up tweets from the likes of Blackford, and his personal friend Paula Kirby has gotten herself into a mess with the whole feminazi business, so it’s hard for him to go and oppose all of these people now. His recent tweets are a sure sign of that.

    Dawkins, Harris and surely Dennett should have no problem at all acknowledging that a larger movement that encompasses social justice issues is something we should aspire to.

  58. 58
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    fenne wrote:

    oh, but you do. Your Twitter spam proves it.

    Wait – you think you and your entitled douchebag friends are the only ones on Twitter? You don’t believe that there are people wondering what A+ is and reading those tweets to get an idea?

    But oh yes, that’s a source from outside ftb so it doesn’t count as evidence.

    Please cite where I, or anyone else, has suggested that only things posted at FtB counts as evidence.

    Your inanities have made it clear I shouldn’t worry about this loony movement.

    I’m fine with you sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending it’s not happening. Whatever helps you sleep.

    In fact, the less I show up as a common foe for you to gang up on, the more you’ll start turning on each other and imploding.

    Yes, yes, you’re 100% right. Please stay away so we can turn on each other.

    Imma go grab me some popcorn and watch the drama and BAWING unfold. This A+ stuff will leave you all bitter and more hateful than before.

    Considering that the bitterness seems to be increasing from those opposed to A+, while those involved in it are actually getting on with the business of puttig it together and fielding all the inquiries from the many people showing interest in it, you may just have that one backwards.

    So, fuck off back to Twitter where you can convince yourself that A+ not being accepted by the sort of clueless assholes it was created for the purpose of not being accepted by is ‘failing’.

  59. 59
    fenne

    You don’t get it PZ, just like every other nobody in your camp it is the same old tired argument that we (critics of ftb, A+) are ‘voting against progressive values’. Why is it so hard to see there is also a rift between people that genuinely oppose said values (douchebags, to use your technical term) and the people that subscribe to those values, but not to how ftb goes about defending and propating them . That fear your actions are in the end not promoting the (actually our) cause, but just damaging it, by driving people away with the war rhetoric and instant namecalling of anyone being a tad critical of your actions (not the values). You’re so sensitive. Even secular humanists are not overjoyed with A+, ffs, that should give you some damn pauze, if you like to consider yourself a serious person.

  60. 60
    gerry

    The stuff on Jen and Greta’s blogs makes me want to be part of the Atheism+ movement. But the stuff on Richard Carriers blog (both the post and the way the comments were dealt with) makes me want to avoid it as much as possible. I think I’ll remain cautiously optimistic until I can see where this thing is going.

  61. 61
    hyperdeath

    fenne:

    Your inanities have made it clear I shouldn’t worry about this loony movement.

    Then why the fuck are you still here? All the evidence points to you caring very much about this movement.

    I, for example, couldn’t care less about the dynamics of the stamp collecting community. I exhibit this lack of interest by not going onto stamp collecting forums, and pompously lecturing them on my lack of interest.

  62. 62
    Inaji

    oh, but you do. Your Twitter spam proves it.

    Hahahahahaha, oh my. Twitter isn’t nearly important as you seem to think it is, Cupcake.

  63. 63
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    You’ll end up seeing even moderates as douches due to their distance from you.

    What you call “moderates” I call “fence-sitters”. And yes, I do see people who try to sit on the fence over the issue of not treating women like shit as douches.

  64. 64
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    fenne wrote:

    You don’t get it PZ, just like every other nobody in your camp…

    Before you cited Twitter as the arbiter of popularity. PZ has over 100,000 followers on Twitter. So, either you’re wrong about Twitter or you’re wrong about PZ being a nobody – which is it?

    Why is it so hard to see there is also a rift between people that genuinely oppose said values (douchebags, to use your technical term) and the people that subscribe to those values, but not to how ftb goes about defending and propating them .

    It’s funny how many people claim that despite never showing anything to support it. But it’s easier to claim you support something than it is to actually do something about it, isn’t it?

    That fear your actions are in the end not promoting the (actually our) cause, but just damaging it, by driving people away with the war rhetoric and instant namecalling of anyone being a tad critical of your actions (not the values).

    Where are these people being driven to, exactly? Back to church? Remember, anyone who stops fighting for social justice when they aren’t being rewarded for it wasn’t ever really an ally in the first place.

    You’re so sensitive. Even secular humanists are not overjoyed with A+, ffs, that should give you some damn pauze, if you like to consider yourself a serious person.

    Why do you keep on thinking that the opinions of people outside the target audience/membership of A+ are important? Here it is again; I’ll write extra slowly so you might understand: the people who A+ wants to appeal to are those who currently feel rejected by the atheist movement as personified by the idiots on Twitter; ergo, a negative reaction from them is irrelevant to its success.

  65. 65
    logicpriest

    And I missed the fun stuff by going to bed :( Base accusations of wanting to split a movement and ruining the chastity of said movement. Oh and the whole apologist angle from fenne “Your methods involve action and criticism therefore you are evil.”

    I really think I dislike apologists for the anti-progressives far more than the anti-progressives. At least the assholes are just assholes.

    @theophontes

    I nominate Carl Sagan. He was good at explaining stuff as calmly as possible and everyone smarter than a cucumber loved him. Someone biology-y help me with my machine while some engineer make me a lightning rod to power it.

  66. 66
    Nick Gotts

    I understand the need to distance oneself from genuine douches. This is however just one small step to take, not a giant leap. Because then you end up at an extreme at the other side. – fenne

    What, becoming a genuine non-douche? Even perhaps a genuine anti-douche? How awful.

  67. 67
    Bernard Bumner

    …Why is it so hard to see there is also a rift between people that genuinely oppose said values (douchebags, to use your technical term) and the people that subscribe to those values…

    If you’re including all of those “cunt”-parroting idiots along with those who provide succour via tired arguments about free-expression. All of those people who claim to care deeply but act as though they don’t, then the rift is very clear.

    Similarly, self-proclaimed allies who cannot match rhetoric with action are on the wrong side.

    …That fear your actions are in the end not promoting the (actually our) cause, but just damaging it, by driving people away with the war rhetoric and instant namecalling of anyone being a tad critical of your actions (not the values)…

    It isn’t your cause. You aren’t allied under the same banner. You’ve rejected the cause. The cause is A+.

    You’re just an annoyance who happens to share atheism in common.

    Even secular humanists are not overjoyed with A+, ffs, that should give you some damn pauze, if you like to consider yourself a serious person.

    The people who are developing A+ are setting out a platform, and it is for others to decide whether or not the want to share it. Dictating that they’ll share a platform, but only if the platform is fundamentally different is perverse.

  68. 68
    hyperdeath

    gerry:

    But the stuff on Richard Carriers blog (both the post and the way the comments were dealt with) makes me want to avoid it as much as possible.

    I don’t think agreement with Richard Carrier is a tenet of the movement. Plenty of self-described A+ers were annoyed by some of what he wrote.

  69. 69
    fenne

    I was redoing PZ the favor, he called the detractors nobodies and among those people are some that got quite some followers as well.

    Where are these people being driven to, exactly? Back to church? Remember, anyone who stops fighting for social justice when they aren’t being rewarded for it wasn’t ever really an ally in the first place.

    They might be driven back into not giving a shit. People wanting to start to engage themselves for social justice, might stumble upon A+, could very well be put off by how you’re dealing with it. Granted, they might tell you to fuck off and join another organisation, so perhaps it’s not that big of a deal.

    Why do you keep on thinking that the opinions of people outside the target audience/membership of A+ are important?

    Because I value a different perspective cupcake. Because I try to be skeptical. Try to keep an open mind. Because of comfirmation bias. Because I recognize I’m not infallible. You don’t seem to realize what you’ve just said. Explains why you don’t understand why so many atheists and skeptics are suspicious of ftb by now.

  70. 70
    Nick Gotts

    Because I try to be skeptical. Try to keep an open mind. – fenne

    You fail. Miserably.

  71. 71
    fenne

    I really think I dislike apologists for the anti-progressives far more than the anti-progressives. At least the assholes are just assholes.

    Goddamnit, get it through your thick presumptious skull: I’m not apologizing for anti-progressives. It’s amazing how I’m getting vilified and automatically considered some crypto-somethingbad’ist.
    I’m an annoyance ? I thought the talk about FTB being like a cult was semi-hyperbole, for some comedic effect, but I’m starting to take it serious.

  72. 72
    Nick Gotts

    I don’t think agreement with Richard Carrier is a tenet of the movement. Plenty of self-described A+ers were annoyed by some of what he wrote. – hyperdeath

    DEEP RIFTS within the HIVE MIND that is FTB!!!eleventy1!!

  73. 73
    fenne

    How exactly, KG?

  74. 74
    Nick Gotts

    Goddamnit, get it through your thick presumptious skull: I’m not apologizing for anti-progressives. – fenne

    Yes, you are. The fact that you don’t recognise it makes it rather amusing.

  75. 75
    vaiyt

    I don’t consider people who are willing to debate whether women, non-straights and brown people are deserving of full rights “moderates”. That’s the minimum line I expect people to cross before I can even begin thinking of them as allies.

    Maybe it’s because my perspective is opposite the one of most people here. My starting point was humanism and progressive values; I ended up allying with people like PZ through our common goals. I’d rather team up with the religious on social issues than tolerate mysoginists, racists and raging assholes.

    Good day, and a giant middle finger to them.

  76. 76
    vaiyt

    The fence-sitters aren’t moderates or even undecided. They chose to sit in the middle of the fence, so they can pretend they’re superior to both sides via Golden Mean.

  77. 77
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    fenne wrote:

    They might be driven back into not giving a shit.

    Then, like I said, they were never allies in the first. Anyone who gives up on social justice when they’re not given a cookie and a pat on the head for doing it is doing it wrong.

    And we already know they don’t give a shit. Because of how they reacted to ‘Guys, don’t do that’.

    People wanting to start to engage themselves for social justice, might stumble upon A+, could very well be put off by how you’re dealing with it.

    Have you actually read anything other than the tweets from your creep friends? Because from what I’ve seen – you know, at places other than Twitter, the people who are actually on the other end of the privilege spectrum from the majority of frat-boy assholes so vocally opposing A+, are saying this is exactly what they wanted to hear.

    Granted, they might tell you to fuck off and join another organisation, so perhaps it’s not that big of a deal.

    Uh, we’ve already created another organisation. That’s what A+ is. We tried reason, but after a while we realised we might as well be talking to fundamentalist Christians, so another option was taken.

    Because I value a different perspective cupcake.

    What the fuck does that even mean? Or did you just hope if you threw those words together it might magically form into an argument?

    Because I try to be skeptical.

    You do realise that being skeptical actually means more than just going ‘nuh-uh!’ don’t you? Actually, don’t bother answering that; I think I already know.

    Explains why you don’t understand why so many atheists and skeptics are suspicious of ftb by now.

    The target audience is people who already want social justice, and those whose minds can be changed. You, and people like you, have demonstrated that you aren’t capable of that – at least on this issue. So, your opinions are irrelevant.

  78. 78
    Nick Gotts

    fenne@73,

    For example:

    Your inanities have made it clear I shouldn’t worry about this loony movement. In fact, the less I show up as a common foe for you to gang up on, the more you’ll start turning on each other and imploding.

    Does that look like someone open to the possibility that they might be wrong about A+? Maybe your mind is only open in the douchebag direction? I’d compare your stance – assuming you are sincere in your declared attachment to progressive values – to that of accommodationist atheists, who spend almost all their time attacking those actually willing to say that religion is absurd and often poisonous garbage, rather than religion. A frequent gnu atheist response is: “Fine, you don’t want confrontation with religion. OK, we’re not claiming ours is the only way to proceed: you do it your way and we’ll do it ours.” I say exactly the same to you, substituting “bro atheism” (to use the useful characterization someone suggested on this thread) for “religion”. You don’t want to be involved in A+? Fine, do your own thing. But if you spend all your energy attacking A+ rather than bro atheism, don’t be surprised if you tend to get lumped in with the douchebags.

  79. 79
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    They might be driven back into not giving a shit. People wanting to start to engage themselves for social justice, might stumble upon A+, could very well be put off by how you’re dealing with it.

    I support the goals of feminism. Strongly. I support the goals of secular humanism. Strongly. I am progressive and a little bit socialist. I try to work towards econimic justice and better education for all. And I am a social activist. I do not consider myself an A+er — I don’t put that much thought into what or who I am in terms of atheism.

    Every single episode of social activism goes through exactly the same problems:

    – those who claim there is no problem.

    – those who claim that it (whatever ‘it’ is) is natural and should be left alone.

    – those who claim that, although the goal is laudable, the tactics turn people off.

    – those who claim that if the oppressed group would just sit down and shut up, us white men will fix the problem for you.

    – those who are militant, uncompromising (yet willing to work for small goals on the way to larger goals) and actually create change within society.

    I will freely admit that, before I started to hang out here, I was a sexist asshole who thought anti-LGBT jokes, rape jokes, sexist jokes, and even racist jokes were no problem. I engaged in victim blaming and slut-shaming. I honestly thought of myself as a full-bore supporter of feminism while I was actually doing my part to support the patriarchical rape-culture of my society. Which means that I, an atheist, was also supporting the Abrahamic religions which created (and continue to create and maintain) that same patriarchical rape culture.

    So I guess that I am one of those interested in social justice who was so totally turned off by the in-you-face honesty found here that I have just given up and will sit it out on the sidelines. Or not. Maybe honesty and passion works for some of us idiots.

  80. 80
    fenne

    urg, by moderates I don’t mean people that are ‘on the fence’ about rights for women or minorities. It would be nice if you could refrain from automatically assuming I do. It’s a small thing to ask ‘what do you mean by this or that, could you clarify’, instead of just quickly labeling me as ‘of the to be ignored camp’.

  81. 81
    hyperdeath

    fenne:

    They might be driven back into not giving a shit.

    And? You say this like it’s a bad thing.

  82. 82
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Your inanities have made it clear I shouldn’t worry about this loony movement.

    That guise of “concerned moderate” sure didn’t last long.

  83. 83
    vaiyt

    Try to put yourself on our side.

    So, Atheism(tm) tolerates the douchebags for the sake of fighting the religious. Imagine Atheism wins. Yay, right?

    Except you’re left with a whole bunch of people who, while not being religious, act just as bad as them – and they’re just as sure they can’t be wrong, because everyone has been coddling their precious fee-fees for so long.

  84. 84
    hyperdeath

    “fenne” seems very upset for someone who doesn’t care about the “inanities” of our “loony movement”.

  85. 85
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    fenne:

    What do you mean by ‘moderates’ in the fight for human rights?

    In my (limited and loony) view, human rights either apply to everyone or to no one. There is no in between because if the human rights of one group are being trampled, then so are mine! There are few black and white issues in the world but (and again, this is me) human rights are one of them.

  86. 86
    nms

    It’s a small thing to ask ‘what do you mean by this or that, could you clarify’, instead of just quickly labeling me as ‘of the to be ignored camp’.

    Maybe if, instead of rapidly switching between “you hive-mind FTB cultists are oppressing me!” and “but I’m one of the reasonable ones why won’t you listen?!”, you just clarified what you meant in the first place, you would be more successful at communicating.

  87. 87
    nms

    “fenne” seems very upset for someone who doesn’t care about the “inanities” of our “loony movement”.

    bros gonna mad

  88. 88
    fenne

    What do you mean by ‘moderates’ in the fight for human rights?

    In my (limited and loony) view, human rights either apply to everyone or to no one. There is no in between because if the human rights of one group are being trampled, then so are mine! There are few black and white issues in the world but (and again, this is me) human rights are one of them.

    You’re right, those (basic) right are quite black and white. I’m talking about more subtle ‘Don’t do that’ issues. Plenty of people there with plenty of opinions. One can also be moderate in how your attitude is (so called tone trolls i guess). Like even A+’ers are taking issue with how Carrier is handling it.

  89. 89
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I’m talking about more subtle ‘Don’t do that’ issues. Plenty of people there with plenty of opinions. One can also be moderate in how your attitude is (so called tone trolls i guess). Like even A+’ers are taking issue with how Carrier is handling it.

    If your ‘Don’t do that’ issue regarding Rebecca Watson, there was nothing subtle about that. It is a clear black and white issue. Harassment policies and being necessary is a clear black and white issue. Being against torture in every instance is a clear black and white issue.

    Really, I’m not seeing the issue with what side I’m on. If you have an issue with how we say ‘Don’t do that’ or ‘Torture and racial profiling is never right’ then you can fuck right off. Focus not on how we say it, but what we say it. Go lecture the douches calling Watson and other women in the movement ‘cunts’ and making death threats. Go lecture rape apologist and forced birthers. Don’t argue with us on how we tell them to fuck off.

    We aren’t harming any movement or turning away people.

    We are making our own movement, dumbass, and if you don’t like go join another.

  90. 90
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    You’re right, those (basic) right are quite black and white. I’m talking about more subtle ‘Don’t do that’ issues. Plenty of people there with plenty of opinions.

    “Guys, don’t do that,” WAS the fucking moderate statement. Rebecca Watson, without naming the guy, stated ‘here is what happened, here is why it was wrong, don’t do that because it makes women feel less safe and less welcome at atheist functions’ and she was threatened with rape and violence, she was insulted using extremely sexist gender-based language, and is still being castigated for that mild and moderate statement. The only reason the newly self-identified A+ers are getting shit for being militaristic assholes unwilling to take a joke is because of the 3d5k shitstorm. Whether the individual commenter participated in that or not, the misogyny, intollerance, frat-boy assholism, and outright hatred displayed by those attacking Watson helped to create the current culture here at Pharyngula. Rebecca Watson was, by your definition, moderate’ and look what she got hit with! Her attitude was moderate. Her language was moderate. Those who disagree with the socially progressive A+ atheism are willing to use every weapon in the patriarchical arsenal, even if it means using misogyny in an attempt to silence a single voice. Using the tactics of your enemy (Abrahamic patriarchy) to silence large groups within a movement is wrong and claiming that we should not push back, hard, against this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

  91. 91
    fenne

    Being against torture in every instance is a clear black and white issue.

    Only to moralfags it is xD … I just attracted a baboon feeding frenzy now, right? :/

  92. 92
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Only to moralfags it is

    Torture is illegal, but you support it? Torture does not work, but you support it? Torture is a tactic favoured by right-wing authoritarians, but you support it? Really?

    Oh, and forget the reasoned response I wrote to you. You, based on your use of ‘fag’ as an insult, really are part of the group using patriarchical tactics to force atheists to maintain the unwanted, religion-based, status quo. Bise mich!

  93. 93
    Nick Gotts

    I’m talking about more subtle ‘Don’t do that’ issues. Plenty of people there with plenty of opinions. – fenne

    That’s a very revealing example to choose. Rebecca Watson issued a very mild remonstrance about an instance of sexual harassment at an atheist conference. In response, she, and other women who supported her, have been subjected to a year of the vilest misogyny, up to and including a stream of rape and death threats. I absolutely do not want to be associated with anyone who has any doubts about which side to choose on that issue.

  94. 94
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    .

    One can also be moderate in how your attitude is (so called tone trolls i guess). Like even A+’ers are taking issue with how Carrier is handling it.

    WTF is your definition of moderate? Does moderate mean being polite and nice to everyone? Guess what there are people here who don’t cuss out or insult people because that’s not their style. Guess what no one here has a problem with that. We don’t make people be rude, cuss and insult. We don’t tell you to get mean, you don’t tell us to get nice. You’re the one coming in here telling us to get nice when there’s no fucking reason for it. Being nice to asshole and douchebags doesn’t have a better rate of success or anything. The only reason to be nice if that’s your own style of comment, want to be nice or if you feel the pressure from society to be nice, polite, sit, smile and take it. Too often it’s forced to be failing nice in meat space even when being harassed and this place is loved by many people as a safe place to be able to tell asshole how we really feel.

  95. 95
    Nick Gotts

    fenne@91,

    Ah, I see your inner scumbag just couldn’t be restrained any longer.

  96. 96
    Bernard Bumner

    Fenne,
    Did you not realise that A+ is designed to divide the atheist movement? It isn’t meant to be universal, it is meant to be a line in the sand.

    I’m an annoyance ? I thought the talk about FTB being like a cult was semi-hyperbole, for some comedic effect, but I’m starting to take it serious.

    You are an annoyance. You personally. Dismissing FtB as a cult, pretending that you have high-minded concern for PZ whilst sneering at his efforts, lecturing on civility whilst contributing nothing so much as rude noise, all of that is just a minor annoyance.

    You are like a buzzing,bloated housefly circling a light bulb.

  97. 97
    hyperdeath

    fenne:

    …baboon…

    There goes the last lingering remnant of your concerned moderate disguise. Which of Franc Hoggle’s lines do you intend to use next?

  98. 98
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Plenty of people there with plenty of opinions.

    As a 25+ year skeptic, I don’t give a fuck about OPINIONS, I give a fuck about what the evidence says. If your OPINION is against the evidence, that is your problem, not mine. The MRA fuckwits who think “guys, don’t do that” have nothing but OPINION. Evidence says otherwise, as the idjit here the other day with an attitude who didn’t like his OPINION being treated with the same skepticism he wanted a woman’s opinion treated, and he was too stupid to see the irony.

  99. 99
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ logicpriest.

    [Carl Sagan]

    Sadly Carl Sagan is dead. I meant quite literally that a well respected and progressive member of our community sits down and engages Richard Dawkins on the issues raised by , for example the Dear Muslima argument. And even more so wrt the damage it does by endorsing or appearing to endorse the misogynist menZ within the atheist movement.

    Atheism plus can provide a space (platform) for new and progressive voices but we will inevitably need to engage the fifth columnists (a term from the Spanish Civil War). We cannot just move goalposts. We’ll fix what we can and, sadly, always be in conflict with an obtuse minority.

  100. 100
    David Marjanović

    fenne, I find it fascinating how you can build up so much… what were your words… “raging nonsensical hate” in so little time? It’s only been a few days! :-D

    If we all hit walls then there really are no heroes.

    Have fun with the sliding scale of antiheroes!

    I have no heroes, and I view that as a strength.

    Seconded.

    In addition to social justice, Atheism+ needs to include economic security in its platform.

    Same thing.

    Of course, editors usually pick the pictures and write the captions, not the writer of the article.

    I still don’t understand why. I mean, editors fuck this up all the time!

    What’s next? Worrying about Youtube comments?

    I laughed… so hard… :-)

  101. 101
    nms

    I wasn’t aware that baboons had feeding frenzies.

  102. 102
    fenne

    Must be great to go with you guys to a stand-up comedy show.

  103. 103
    David Marjanović

    Only to moralfags it is xD … I just attracted a baboon feeding frenzy now, right? :/

    Iiiiiiiiinteresting choices of words. Tell me, dear, are you trying to troll us? :-)

    Bise mich!

    Really, people, stop that.

    1) It’s misspelled, and that makes the pronunciation completely unrecognizable. It would be beiß mich.

    2) It would be, but it doesn’t exist. That kind of phrase can rarely be translated 1 : 1 between any two languages!

    What’s actually said in German is leck mich, “lick me [on my ass]“; the 18th-century version, used by Mozart in a letter, was “lick my ass neatly clean”.

  104. 104
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Bernard.

    [atheism plus ... a line in the sand ]

    Should we not rather phrase it as follows: Atheism is already a line in the sand. Atheism plus is the avante guard – moving us forward into a more progressive, more embracing terrain. We need not concede an inch. But as sure as there will always be trolls crossing the line, there will always, also, be the need for rearguard action.

    We not only claim the term atheism but also seek to expand it.

  105. 105
    David Marjanović

    The longer version leck mich am Arsch still exists.

    I wasn’t aware that baboons had feeding frenzies.

    Just to kill the joke: they don’t.

  106. 106
    logicpriest

    @vaiyt HUG. Nothing annoys me more than the golden mean /phallacy/ pushers. They want to shove the middle way down our throats regardless of any given side’s validity. I definitely don’t want to argue for some compromise with someone who thinks equality is debatable. While I’ve always been atheistic, except for 6 weeks that one time, I also come from a humanistic perspective first.

  107. 107
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Must be great to go with you guys to a stand-up comedy show.

    You must be stupid if you think we care about your vapid OPINIONS, or you can bully us. We don’t care, won’t be bullied, and your OPINIONS are nothing but smelly flatulence.

  108. 108
    Thomas Lawson

    Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins.

    What part of PLUS do people not understand? It means “in addition to.” The reaction should be “Oh, something that adds to the discussion,” and not “Oh, someone wants to take everyone else’s ideas and make them into something new.” WHAT???

    -

    PS- And about Dawkins passive-aggressive Tweet…Greta Christina showed him the data regarding his assumption and he apologized for jumping to conclusions.

  109. 109
    logicpriest

    @theophontes

    I know you meant for real, I just can’t think of anyone alive who Dawkins would listen too. Also I need to stop re-watching Cosmos. Depressing sometimes.

    We can hope many who were so instrumental in the whole new wave atheism can see the progressive slide of A+ and its ilk and take the time to look inwards. Otherwise we leave them in the dust.

  110. 110
    anteprepro

    fenne is either trolling or is an awful human being. Either way, Wowbagger at 8, paraphrasing Adam Lee, got it right on.

  111. 111
    Pteryxx

    By the way, Carrier in comments:

    Richard Carrier says:
    August 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Ray and Nerd, I’m not in agreement on all the points you make, but I’m persuaded to agree the word is inappropriate, and I am renouncing the use of the word, deleting gratuitous uses of it, and will write a blog post correcting what I said above.

    (And by no means are you hogging the conversation–these are reasoned arguments on a relevant subject in the thread. That’s exactly what comment threads are for.)

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2207/comment-page-1/#comment-20542

    re using the word ‘retarded’. Also, his apology here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2207/comment-page-1/#comment-20570

  112. 112
    hyperdeath

    Thomas Lawson:

    PS- And about Dawkins passive-aggressive Tweet… Greta Christina showed him the data regarding his assumption and he apologized for jumping to conclusions.

    Dawkins apologized for advocating that the movement be harmed with an ineffective method. He didn’t apologize for advocating that the movement be harmed.

  113. 113
    fenne

    You must be stupid if you think we care about your vapid OPINIONS, or you can bully us. We don’t care, won’t be bullied, and your OPINIONS are nothing but smelly flatulence.

    A bit like the laughable hot air you’ve just blown?
    Quick, go tell your radfem how though you’ve been on the bad boy and maybe she’ll give you a kiss. Truth be told however, she likely hates you as hard as you hate yourself.

  114. 114
    Bernard Bumner

    @theophontes (坏蛋)

    Should we not rather phrase it as follows: Atheism is already a line in the sand. Atheism plus is the avante guard – moving us forward into a more progressive, more embracing terrain.

    I’m perfectly happy with that.

    (I presume that you mean Scarlet Letter Atheism being a line in the sand? Godlessness per se, I think we have learned is not so much a line in the sand, as simply a place to stand. As far as I can tell, there are as many unthinking poseurs on this beach as there are splashing about in the sea of religiosity.)

    We not only claim the term atheism but also seek to expand it.

    Claim the term? (Pedantically) Not so much that as the brand.

  115. 115
    Bernard Bumner

    Quick, go tell your radfem how though you’ve been on the bad boy and maybe she’ll give you a kiss. Truth be told however, she likely hates you as hard as you hate yourself.

    This is literally incoherent. Get a grip; you are a frothing mess.

  116. 116
    anteprepro

    “Radfem”, huh? Aren’t we so glad that we took fenne seriously as a critic of Atheism Plus? I mean, surely, xe is a logical person who isn’t at all anti-progressive. Nosireebob.

  117. 117
    hyperdeath

    fenne:

    Quick, go tell your radfem how though you’ve been on the bad boy and maybe she’ll give you a kiss. Truth be told however, she likely hates you as hard as you hate yourself.

    Amateur psychology works much better when you don’t project your own insecurities onto others. If you believe that feminists (besides a semi-apocryphal minority) hate men, then that says far more about you than it does about them.

  118. 118
    logicpriest

    fenne went from apologist/middler to full blown ass. Which is yet more reason to totally trust the apologists mean well!

  119. 119
    fenne

    besides a semi-apocryphal minority – like radfems?

  120. 120
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    fenne went from apologist/middler to full blown ass.

    Fenne had posted here before, xe’s a full blown slymepitter. Just temporarily putting on a reasonable sounding attitude before finally showing its true colors. Amusing to watch it devolve as its misogyny finally appears.

  121. 121
    hyperdeath

    fenne

    besides a semi-apocryphal minority – like radfems?

    Ooohhh… scary radfems under the bed, waiting to pounce with their castration tongs…

  122. 122
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I’m always amazed at how quickly those who start off arguing in these threads for rhetorical moderation reach the level of sputtering, incoherent insults.

  123. 123
    hyperdeath

    Straw feminists in the closet!

  124. 124
    fenne

    I had to look up slymepit, no idea what it was. Turns out there’s a thread about you there Nerd of Redhead :) It seems accurate even. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t troll, but you guys make it real hard not to.

  125. 125
    logicpriest

    @Nerd

    Ah. This I did not know. Makes sense though. Most of the apologetic for misogynists tend towards being who they defend, I reckon.

    @ fenne

    I just want to know who the “radfems” even are? Are they radical because they think wiminz should be equal? Do they secretly want a gynocracy? Are they radical because some aren’t cis/hetero? OR are the radfems going to sacrifice us all to some sort of fallopian goddess?

  126. 126
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’m sorry, I shouldn’t troll, but you guys make it real hard not to.

    Actually, you are the problem with your trolling, not us. You always have the ability to delete the bookmark here, and shut the fuck up. But then, that requires you understanding you have said nothing cogent, and the likelyhood of saying something cogent is near zero. Again, your OPINION isn’t evidence, and I only treat as flatuence.

    Why should there be a thread about me? Oh yes, I don’t let them define anything, even how to be a skeptic, for me. After all, I’m a 60+ year old bald headed male with tons of privilege. I understand the system. Their juvenile attempts at ridicule is them showing us their immaturity, like you are doing with your trolling.

  127. 127
    PZ Myers

    “moralfags”? “baboons”? Those are dead giveaways. So I looked you up on twitter: you’re a follower of Hoggle and Justicar and Stangroom and CLS and all those other misogynistic assholes, and now you claim you never heard of the slymepit?

    Liar.

    Fucking liar and fraud. I can tell where your sympathies lie, and you’ve been misrepresenting yourself as a neutral party here. I have a policy about that dishonest coven of slime, and you’re gone.

  128. 128
    vaiyt

    Bring the bingo cards, fenne is on a roll!

    It’s astounding how the bleating assholes always out themselves as the putrid people they are. Is the pretense that hard to maintain, or do they fear we may look too reasonable?

    @vaiyt HUG.

    I feel loved. ;~;

  129. 129
    vaiyt

    Obaluaiyedammit, ninja’d by an aging biologist. Guess I should just give up sports.

  130. 130
    PZ Myers

    If you want to see the clues, look at who fenne is following. Lots of people I don’t know, of course, but scattered throughout that list are the usual suspects, the same small collection of “cunt”-screaming assholes we know and despise.

    I might have put up with him longer if he’d been upfront about it all, but no, he’s in the thick of those slymepit vermin and was denying it.

  131. 131
    Paul

    “xfag” is a dead giveaway for chan troll or slymepitter. Perhaps he hadn’t heard of the latter, but it sure doesn’t seem too likely.

  132. 132
    logicpriest

    Damn shoulda guessed with fenne, though. He sounds like someone from a certain image board. I try to take everyone at face value until they prove otherwise, though, and I am not familiar with all them thar slymepitters. In fact, I have never seen someone not from said board use “moralfag” or anything like it.

  133. 133
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Really, people, stop that.

    No people involved. Just me.

  134. 134
    JJLatFtB

    Now I understand why I’m attacked from all angles when I defend my atheism. I’m neither a “New Atheist” or an “Atheist+”, just an atheist. Now when I join an atheist outreach event prepared to answer questions on theology, religions, religious texts, the 1st amendment, astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution, I have to field questions on unrelated political movements that should have their own name unrelated to a simple non-belief in a deity. In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    Note, that I did NOT say there is anything wrong with the latter movements, so please don’t tell me how big the internet is and that I’m welcome to leave and find a corner more amenable to my beliefs.

  135. 135
    John Phillips, FCD

    Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish
    24 August 2012 at 5:46 am

    I love that polarisation is being used as a threat.

    Newsflash, pissants: we want to be polarised from you. That’s our fucking goal. So, unless it’s going to make you start believing in gods again, we really don’t fucking care whether you like Atheism+ or not.

    This is what happens when you tell a bunch of people who’ve fought hard for atheism that you don’t care what they think. They take the skills and resources they’ve acquired from fighting against religion and they use it against you.


    QFFT

  136. 136
    anteprepro

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    Note, that I did NOT say there is anything wrong with the latter movements

    No, you just implied it. Either that, or it is just too damn difficult for you to argue for rationality and human decency on the issue of religion at the same time you are arguing for rationality and human decency in the political realm. I’m sorry that our concern for human welfare has a scope that is broader than religious issues and that this inconveniences your internet debates. You have our sincerest apologies.

    (You notice how you seem to take it for granted, and as acceptable, that issues related to evolution are fair game in debates about religion and atheism? Exactly why is that permitted, but bringing feminism into it is not?)

  137. 137
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Poor JJLaFtB.

  138. 138
    Weed(less) Monkey

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    Disassociating social justice from atheism is not a goal, it’s a problem. If you don’t agree, please just stay out of the way.

    Note, that I did NOT say there is anything wrong with the latter movements,

    How nice of you.

    so please don’t tell me how big the internet is and that I’m welcome to leave and find a corner more amenable to my beliefs.

    That does not follow.

  139. 139
    consciousness razor

    Now when I join an atheist outreach event prepared to answer questions on theology, religions, religious texts, the 1st amendment, astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution, I have to field questions on unrelated political movements that should have their own name unrelated to a simple non-belief in a deity. In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    If you think they are, then say “those issues are unrelated.” How fucking hard is that?

    And if that’s what you think, then why should we support feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc.? Because there’s a god? Because of something else? Or should we not support them?

    What’s the fucking argument you’re making? Do you even know what one would look like?

  140. 140
    mojave66

    >That’s a very revealing example to choose. Rebecca Watson issued a very mild remonstrance about an instance of sexual harassment at an atheist conference. In response, she, and other women who supported her, have been subjected to a year of the vilest misogyny, up to and including a stream of rape and death threats. I absolutely do not want to be associated with anyone who has any doubts about which side to choose on that issue.

    Which is why I I so strongly support A+. I’m one of the lurkers who spoke out in support of A+ on Jen’s blog. Before that, I felt exactly like Natalie Reed– ready to give up the atheist movement because the sexism was, frankly, that toxic.

    A+ has given a lot of us hope again, and Jen’s 700+ comments, the vast majority supportive and willing to become a part of this, shows how powerful this idea is within the larger atheist community. A lot of us atheists became so because we are women, GLBT, knew that we can’t use the Master’s tools to dismantle the Master’s house, as (irony: ON) self-hating radfem (irony: OFF) Audrey Lorde wrote.

    Just the fact that we are fellow atheists should mean our voices and experiences SHOULD be listened to, and taken seriously by other atheists, without being drowned in a cesspool of mysogynistic, homophobic language. A+ promises to do just that.

  141. 141
    anteprepro

    I’m going to go with the opposite of JJthejetplane’s argument here: Atheism Minus is a liability for everyone who wants to argue atheism of any kind.

    Atheism Minus sees the outrageous homophobia of Abrahamic faiths and says “that’s fine, just a difference of opinion”.
    Atheism Minus sees the institutionalized sexism of Abrahamic faiths and its terrible attitudes towards rape and says “ain’t no crime to not be a feminist”.
    Atheism Minus sees religion begetting all sorts of ignorance and racism about the ignorance. Sometimes.

    Atheism Minus feels that religion is a harm to society, Minus actually disliking the ways that religion actually harms society. It undercuts any reason for actually even trying to get people to abandon religion. It is the amoral, sociopathic atheist stereotype come to life. And it is an albatross around the neck of every atheist that doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed as nihilistic fuckwads who care more about logical fallacies than human rights violations.

    Fuck. That. Noise.

    So shut the fuck up Atheism Minus. You are making it harder for me to argue on the internet without being rejected as one of those atheists who manage to be more regressive than followers of a 2000 year old ideology.

  142. 142
    anteprepro

    Atheism Minus sees religion begetting all sorts of ignorance and racism, and only cares about the ignorance. Sometimes.

    FTFM.

  143. 143
    consciousness razor

    It undercuts any reason for actually even trying to get people to abandon religion. It is the amoral, sociopathic atheist stereotype come to life. And it is an albatross around the neck of every atheist that doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed as nihilistic fuckwads who care more about logical fallacies than human rights violations.

    Fuck. That. Noise.

    Fuck yes. I have to wonder what they think “you can be good without god” means, or if they’ve thought about it at all. Have any of these fuckers not conflated being ethical with religiosity, with all their nonsense about liberal “dogmas”?

  144. 144
    John Phillips, FCD

    anteprepro, word.

  145. 145
    Hershele Ostropoler

    If atheists who believe society should be based around the needs and interests of white straight cismen, and want to move things back in that direction*, form a submovement built around that, I’m not going to object. Particularly if they give it a name that marks it as a submovement within atheism rather than implicit in the word “atheist”.

    *This is not what everyone who isn’t involved in A+ believes, or even what everyone — or anyone — opposed to A+ necessarily believes; it’s simply the opposite of what I understand A+ to be about.

    Akira @ 17:

    Atheism+ is a reaction against the “New Atheism” of Richard Dawkins.

    Ummm.. no, but it IS a reaction against the “Bro Atheism” of thunderf00t, D.J. Grothe, Abby Smith and The Amazing Atheist.

    And of the guy who wrote that shameful “Dear Muslima” response to the elevator incident.

    Wowbagger @ 44:

    no-one involved in A+, as far as I can tell, gives a flying fuck whether they do or don’t have the army of d00ds on board, and that ‘the numbers’ (in terms of a majority) are completely irrelevant as long as those who want to get involved do so – and there are plenty who have put their hands up.

    I don’t think A+ is about being a majority, even within atheism — not that it would be considered a bad outcome, but it’s not really the intent.

    Besides, what do the critics care if A+ers are few in number? They don’t like it anyway.

    vaiyt @ 83:

    you’re left with a whole bunch of people who, while not being religious, act just as bad as them

    Tangent: I think atheist misogynists are worse than religious misogynists, because 0% of the atheists are people who have given no thought to their misogyny and are just following what it says in the magic book. So they’re probably even more sure they can’t be wrong, because they are rational people who use reason, so it follows that any thoughts they think are rational thoughts they arrived at through reason.

    JJ @ 134:

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    I don’t see why that’s necessary, particularly if, as you claim, you don’t actually have a problem with those things. In any case, that, of course, is the entire point of creating a separate thing. If you’re promoting atheism rather than Atheism+, you don’t have to worry about those nasty non-privileged voices trying to get heard.

  146. 146
    Hershele Ostropoler

    Heh, I wrote the first para before I saw anteprepro’s post. So yeah, that too.

    M3 T00!!!

  147. 147
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    . . . I have to field questions on unrelated political movements that should have their own name unrelated to a simple non-belief in a deity.

    So is the oppression of women completly unrelated to the dominant paradigm of Abrahamic monotheistic patriarchy in the US? Is the fear and loathing of minorities unrelated to relegion in any way? Is gay-bashing completely separate from certain biblical verses? Is rape culture, victim blaming and slut shaming independent of religious ‘morality’? Is the modern incarnation of prosperity gospel fundamentalism divorced from politics? My point is, if you are an atheist but are willing to condone or support the social inequities created by religion, why bother? Seriously. If the only difference is that the people oppressing will be atheists rather than goddists, there is no point. (Please note, this is not meant to represent other atheists, this is my opinion so go ahead and ignore it.)

  148. 148
    anteprepro

    Wow, kind words. Guess I said something articulate for once. Probably similar to the “Thousand monkeys at typewriters for a thousand years” principle.

    I have to wonder what they think “you can be good without god” means, or if they’ve thought about it at all.

    I honestly wonder if by good they mean “just as bad” or if they simply don’t include treating women and other ethnicities like human beings in the category of “good”. Or if they really are just a bunch of dumbfucks. A real puzzler.

    And of the guy who wrote that shameful “Dear Muslima” response to the elevator incident.

    Shhhh. He might angrily Tweet about you without giving any indication that he is angry or Tweeting about you!

  149. 149
    JJLatFtB

    No, you just implied it.

    No. You inferred it.

    I’m sorry that our concern for human welfare has a scope that is broader than religious issues and that this inconveniences your internet debates

    If they were only internet debates, it probably wouldn’t be a problem since time is nearly unlimited. When you’re standing on the street with a sign and you have 30 seconds to make an impression about atheism, but the other guy already has an impression wholly unrelated to atheism, it becomes a firewall.

    You notice how you seem to take it for granted, and as acceptable, that issues related to evolution are fair game in debates about religion and atheism? Exactly why is that permitted, but bringing feminism into it is not?

    Evolution is a fact of nature that contradicts the religious beliefs of a significant portion of the population. Evolution is rarely denied by atheists, so it’s almost entirely and uniquely denied by theists. Feminism is rarely an objection to atheism. Feminism may be objectionable to certain religious adherents, but that isn’t unique to theists. When I ask a theist why they object to atheism, I hear something like “because God created Adam and Eve, they didn’t evolve from monkeys”. I never hear, “because God said that women must be subservient”. To some theists, evolution threatens their belief. Feminism does not.

  150. 150
    PZ Myers

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    You have to fight to disassociate yourself from being a decent human being in order to defend atheism?

    Then I think you’re doing it wrong. Please stop.

  151. 151
    John Phillips, FCD

    Hershele Ostropoler, regards your remarks on misogyny, spot on. As I have said previously, at least the religious have their teachings and holy books to excuse their misogyny, what’s the atheist’s excuse for their misogyny.

  152. 152
    PZ Myers

    When you’re standing on the street with a sign and you have 30 seconds to make an impression about atheism…

    Ah, there’s your problem. You think the way to live as an atheist is to stand on the street holding a sign, offering 30 second long messages.

    Then I think you’re doing it wrong. Please stop.

  153. 153
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    To some theists, evolution threatens their belief. Feminism does not.

    Feminism does not threaten belief among some Christians? Really? What planet do you inhabit?

  154. 154
    consciousness razor

    When you’re standing on the street with a sign and you have 30 seconds to make an impression about atheism, but the other guy already has an impression wholly unrelated to atheism, it becomes a firewall.

    So don’t stand on the street and try to answer questions on “theology, religions, religious texts, the 1st amendment, astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution” in 30 seconds. You’ll do a piss-poor job of convincing them of anything anyway.

  155. 155
    Inaji

    When you’re standing on the street with a sign and you have 30 seconds to make an impression about atheism,

    This ^ would be known as atheism: you’re doing it wrong. Seriously, I would rather get across a solid message of the importance of being a decent human being. Considering how many people already think atheists are immoral critters on the brink of monsterhood, I think that’s a pretty good message.

  156. 156
    Ace of Sevens

    @153: There are plenty of feminist Christians. Fweminism and Christianity were heavily linked during the prohibition campaign and these days you have people like Stacy Boorn. Most of the mainline denominations are at least not anti-feminist.

  157. 157
    consciousness razor

    May as well walk around with a sandwich board that says “The End is nigh!”

  158. 158
    Ace of Sevens

    Plus, there’s the Da Vinci Code Christianity, which makes no more sense than any other branch, but is pretty feminist in its outlook.

  159. 159
    John Phillips, FCD

    JJLatFtb

    When I ask a theist why they object to atheism, I hear something like “because God created Adam and Eve, they didn’t evolve from monkeys”. I never hear, “because God said that women must be subservient”. To some theists, evolution threatens their belief. Feminism does not.

    But the bit I bolded comes next, after all, where did women come from and who was the evil one who allowed herself to be seduced by the talking snake. I.e. theistic misogyny comes directly from their teachings while atheistic misogyny has some of its roots there as well. After all, it would be stupid to argue that 2000 years of toxic xianity has had no influence on our culture. The difference is, and I repeat myself, at least the religious can still use their teachings to try and defend misogyny, the atheist can’t any longer. And it’s a very small minority of the vocal xians who don’t see a problem with feminism. Are you really that unaware of the GOP’s battle against women over the last couple of years alone.

  160. 160
    John Phillips, FCD

    oops, hit submit too soon, and most of the GOP’s rationalisation for that war is xian based.

  161. 161
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Most of the mainline denominations are at least not anti-feminist.

    True. However, those with political power in today’s US society tend to be those for whom women’s rights — health care, education, pay — are not even up there enough to be second fiddle. Many mainline Christian groups are very much against the idea that women have enough brains to be allowed bodily autonomy.

  162. 162
    Nick Gotts

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc. – JJLatFtB

    Hey, we’re making progress!

  163. 163
    wdimac

    I have not seen anyone leaving the atheist movement because of the bloggers at FtB, et. al. I have seen people leaving because of the vitriol from the other side. I support the idea behind A+. (Although the geek in me wants to call it A++ for geeky reasons.)

  164. 164
    Maureen Brian

    JJLatFtB @ 149,

    But what if “the other guy” is a woman?

    ——

    Ogvorbis,

    Love you, man!

  165. 165
    Amphiox

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    And what, exactly, pray tell, about an “atheism” disassociated with feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism (all, incidentally, variants on one theme – that all humans should be treated equally) is WORTH defending or promoting at all?

  166. 166
    Jadehawk

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    excellent.

  167. 167
    Jadehawk

    @153: There are plenty of feminist Christians. Fweminism and Christianity were heavily linked during the prohibition campaign and these days you have people like Stacy Boorn. Most of the mainline denominations are at least not anti-feminist.

    and there are also Christians who are on board with the ToE.

    Point being, there’s no good reason to say that arguing about evolution is inherent to atheism, but arguing about feminism isn’t

  168. 168
    JJLatFtB

    You have to fight to disassociate yourself from being a decent human being in order to defend atheism?

    Ah, there’s your problem. You think the way to live as an atheist is to stand on the street holding a sign, offering 30 second long messages.

    I really didn’t think this would be the place on the internet where people actively misread simple English. I didn’t say that I disassociate myself from those things. And I didn’t say anything about how I live my life, live my life as an atheist, or that I’m offering 30 second long messages.

    You don’t care if I run a women’s shelter, lobby congress or the U.N. for the rights of women and girls, or if I’m just a guy fighting to free people from the shackles of religion and all the harm it causes. All you care about, apparently, is that if I’m talking to a theist who walked over to discuss my sign about “evolution”, I’m serving no good purpose if I don’t also tell her that misogyny is worse.

    Man! Did you take a course on how to turn away as many people as possible? Some subscribers to this blog could certainly write a book on how to leap to unsupported conclusions. You have a variety of colloquial slurs for new people who accidentally say a word or misuse a word that could be teased and tweaked to suggest less than perfect lockstep agreement. Oops. I know. It’s MY job to lurk and learn the ways of the existing community and then I’m free to comment once I know how to conform.

  169. 169
    Paul

    I really didn’t think this would be the place on the internet where people actively misread simple English.

    Do you have no sense of shame, stating that in the same post that you say

    All you care about, apparently, is that if I’m talking to a theist who walked over to discuss my sign about “evolution”, I’m serving no good purpose if I don’t also tell her that misogyny is worse.

    That’s nothing close to what anyone said. It’s not even implied. How are we supposed to believe you’re arguing in good faith at this point?

  170. 170
    Hershele Ostropoler

    I guess, if there are two steps to deconverting someone — first getting them away from the magic book and its godism, then getting rid of the peripheral but no less toxic oppressive messages — putting the cart of the second before the horse of the first, or explicitly avoiding doing so, takes up a lot of space in the atheism elevator pitch. But the solution is not to bother with it, not complain that it’s supposedly necessary. I doubt a significant number of people to whom anyone here tries to sell atheism resists because they’re afraid it means they have to give up their precious misogyny and homophobia.

    And again, the point of A+ is precisely to separate all that from pristine “dictionary atheism” so that “atheism” can mean no more and no less than “no belief in gods,” with A+ being that plus being a decent human being.

  171. 171
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    It’s MY job to lurk and learn the ways of the existing community and then I’m free to comment once I know how to conform not to be an asshole.

    Yes

  172. 172
    Nightjar

    In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.

    Sweet. I hope you keep having a hard time doing that, although I have no idea why you would want to.

    All you care about, apparently, is that if I’m talking to a theist who walked over to discuss my sign about “evolution”, I’m serving no good purpose if I don’t also tell her that misogyny is worse.

    No, but if the subject of misogyny comes up and she already has the idea that atheism is generally more women-friendly than religion, we don’t want you to “fight the battle of disassociating” atheism from feminism. Why would you? Having atheism associated with positive, socially progressive values in people’s minds is a good thing.

  173. 173
    Inaji

    All you care about, apparently, is that if I’m talking to a theist who walked over to discuss my sign about “evolution”, I’m serving no good purpose if I don’t also tell her that misogyny is worse.

    You’re being dishonest and if you aren’t careful, all those strawpeoples you’re erecting will ignite and engulf you.

    If your main focus is dealing with creationists, great, do that. You won’t find anyone here saying “no, you can’t focus on that!”. What we’re doing is paying attention to the larger picture, rather than one section of it. Intersectionality, you should try to do some learning on that score. It all ties together, really, and being an atheist + decent human being (Atheist+), it works.

  174. 174
    JJLatFtB

    @165: Amphiox

    And what, exactly, pray tell, about an “atheism” disassociated with feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism (all, incidentally, variants on one theme – that all humans should be treated equally) is WORTH defending or promoting at all?

    Atheism is not a variant or among variants that deal with the treatment of human beings, or how to organize a society, community, or government. In fact, each of the others can coexist with some theistic beliefs.

  175. 175
    JJLatFtB

    @163: wdimac

    I support the idea behind A+.

    For the most part, I too support the ideas behind A+. I only raise an objection to the name. Most of the ideas of A+ can coexist with theism, so now that Secular Humanism is evolving away from just “ignoring religion” to “rejecting the supernatural”, Secular Humanism seems more appropriate than trying to fit other isms under the atheism umbrella.

  176. 176
    John Morales

    JJLatFtB:

    Atheism is not a variant or among variants that deal with the treatment of human beings, or how to organize a society, community, or government. In fact, each of the others can coexist with some theistic beliefs.

    As opposed to astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution?

    (Your special pleading basis is noted but unconvincing)

  177. 177
    Patricia, OM

    I for one could not be more over joyed that A+ is happening! Good for us.
    Having both hands around the throat of religion was fun, it’s working, but it’s time to move on. Thank goodness it’s happening in my life time. Lets go!

    /cheerleader

  178. 178
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Your special pleading basis is noted but unconvincing

    Amen, JM.

  179. 179
    John Morales

    JJLatFtB:

    For the most part, I too support the ideas behind A+.

    This claim is in stark contrast with “In defending and promoting “atheism”, it’s getting harder because more and more often I must first fight the battle of disassociating it from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.”

    (If you supported the ideas for the most part, you’d be associating, not disassociating!)

  180. 180
    JJLatFtB

    @176: John Morales

    As opposed to astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution?

    (Your special pleading basis is noted but unconvincing)

    None of those are isms. These bodies of knowledge and study are the ones that must be employed to refute scientific claims made by theists. They can not be used in a discussion of human rights, especially if the other person thinks there are divine rights that supersede human rights.

  181. 181
    vaiyt

    From my point of view, there’s no substantial difference between using god, is/ought conflation or straw evo-psych or pseudoscience to explain one’s misogyny. It’s all equally bad.

  182. 182
    John Morales

    JJLatFtB:

    These bodies of knowledge and study are the ones that must be employed to refute scientific claims made by theists.

    Leaving aside that scientific claims aren’t religious claims any more than sociological claims are religious claims, your claimed basis for exclusion was that “In fact, each of the others [the treatment of human beings, or how to organize a society, community, or government] can coexist with some theistic beliefs”, and I put it to you that astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution can (and do) coexist with some theistic beliefs.

  183. 183
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters
    As opposed to astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution?

    (Your special pleading basis is noted but unconvincing)

    None of those are isms. These bodies of knowledge and study are the ones that must be employed to refute scientific claims made by theists. They can not be used in a discussion of human rights, especially if the other person thinks there are divine rights that supersede human rights.

    You’re incoherent. If you’re involved in discussion with someone who thinks “there are divine rights” then you need Atheism+ even more than if you’re merely refuting “science claims”. Default atheism will get you nowhere – it allows the repeated stupidity of things like “you have no moral basis as an atheist”. You have to offer something positive for your brand to be accepted. You have to offer a positive future of equality, justice, and cooperation.

    Stop. Think. Start getting coherent.

    Why are you acting so silly about rebranding the positive aspects of atheism ? What are your real objections ?

  184. 184
    JJLatFtB

    @179: John Morales

    This claim is in stark contrast…

    Only because more was read into what I wrote than what I meant or actually wrote. When I’m out there for atheism, I’m sometimes talking to people who live in radical corners of the Tea Party. In those times, I’m really not trying to convert them, but rather some of their less radical friends with them and standers by. It’s the angry, radical who comes in talking big about me wanting to take away their SUVs and guns, and put them in jail for spanking their kids, etc. Of course I don’t condone violence or discrimination, and I don’t let them think so. But, for that moment, I think it’s better to call into question certain things in the Bible or what they THINK is in the Bible. Hopefully something keeps one of them thinking.

    I think it’s ludicrous for women to be treated in any lesser way than men, or for any person to be treated worse in any way than any other person. But when I’m out conversing with people who think the Earth is 10K years old or humans and dinosaurs coexisted, the other agendas muddy the water. Not that they’re any less important. I’ve stood on the same ground with groups fighting for the rights of women and girls, and during THOSE events, I don’t think I’ve ever discussed dinosaurs or the big bang or implied I’m an atheist.

  185. 185
    Jadehawk

    All you care about, apparently, is that if I’m talking to a theist who walked over to discuss my sign about “evolution”, I’m serving no good purpose if I don’t also tell her that misogyny is worse.

    you… actually just strawmanned yourself, I think. amazing.

    you are the one who said you find it difficult to discuss evolution etc. without being also dragged into discussions of social justice. and now, you’re giving a hypothetical with a theist who wants to talk about evolution only, thus refuting your previous claim. Instead, now you’re claiming that we’re forcing you to change the subject? what? you’re very very confused.

  186. 186
    Jadehawk

    Atheism is not a variant or among variants that deal with the treatment of human beings, or how to organize a society, community, or government. In fact, each of the others can coexist with some theistic beliefs.

    so can the acceptance of the ToE, which is not inherently atheist, either. Because atheism is not a biological theory, and the ToE has nothing to say about deities in general.

    There is no rational argument that makes discussions of evolution inherently part of atheism, but not discussions of feminism. after all, strictly speaking, dictionary atheism doesn’t require you to accept the ToE to be true, nor does theism prevent you from accepting it.

  187. 187
    JJLatFtB

    @183: hotshoe

    If you’re involved in discussion with someone who thinks “there are divine rights” then you need Atheism+ even more than if you’re merely refuting “science claims”. Default atheism will get you nowhere

    Yes, in an online discussion or a format where time is not short. But if your standing in a booth at a conference or a busy street corner or outside a store, those people aren’t going to give you that time and you don’t have that kind of time. You have one message to bring them over and get them engaged for maybe 5 minutes. If the message is “equal rights for women”, you’ll never get to the environment or sustainability, you’ll never get to man caused extinctions, or evolution. At a women’s rights booth, they don’t call it “Feminism+”.

    Equality is not a property of atheism. “Lack of belief in a god” is about the only property of atheism.

  188. 188
    Jadehawk

    None of those are isms.

    yup no -isms in atheism. none at all.

    These bodies of knowledge and study are the ones that must be employed to refute scientific claims made by theists. They can not be used in a discussion of human rights, especially if the other person thinks there are divine rights that supersede human rights.

    they also think that divine knowledge supersedes human knowledge, but that’s not a valid argument either. besides, if you think feminism etc. are not scientific, you’re wrong and ignorant. feminism for example is a method of analysis in sociology (other ones are Marxian Theory, functionalism, and symbolic interactionism)

  189. 189
    John Morales

    JJLatFtB:

    [1] Only because more was read into what I wrote than what I meant or actually wrote. [2] When I’m out there for atheism, I’m sometimes talking to people who live in radical corners of the Tea Party. In those times, I’m really not trying to convert them, but rather some of their less radical friends with them and standers by. It’s the angry, radical who comes in talking big about me wanting to take away their SUVs and guns, and put them in jail for spanking their kids, etc. Of course I don’t condone violence or discrimination, and I don’t let them think so. But, for that moment, I think it’s better to call into question certain things in the Bible or what they THINK is in the Bible. Hopefully something keeps one of them thinking.

    1. Nope; you wrote you “must first fight the battle of disassociating it [atheism] from feminism, secular humanism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism, etc, etc.” whilst allegedly having no problem associating it with “astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution”.

    2. So you’re fine calling into question “certain things in the Bible or what they THINK is in the Bible” when it’s a scientific issue, but not when it’s a social issue?

  190. 190
    Jadehawk

    At a women’s rights booth, they don’t call it “Feminism+”.

    indeed not. they call it intersectional or 3rd wave feminism. your point?

  191. 191
    Jadehawk

    You have one message to bring them over and get them engaged for maybe 5 minutes. If the message is “equal rights for women”, you’ll never get to the environment or sustainability, you’ll never get to man caused extinctions, or evolution.

    will you ever present a reason for why arguments about environment, sustainability, extinctions, and evolution are inherently part of atheism (considering that plenty of theists will agree with us on this topic), but “religion supports the patriarchy” is not?

  192. 192
    Nightjar

    Of course I don’t condone violence or discrimination, and I don’t let them think so. But, for that moment, I think it’s better to call into question certain things in the Bible or what they THINK is in the Bible.

    Do you really think anyone here wants you to do more than not letting them think you condone violence or discrimination and proceed with the conversation you’re having/want to have with that theist? Do you really think anyone here will have a problem with you doing that or think any less of you?

    Heh. Talk about actively misreading simple English.

    I’m out conversing with people who think the Earth is 10K years old or humans and dinosaurs coexisted, the other agendas muddy the water.

    How do they muddy the waters? Like you just said, you can just let them know what values you do and do not support, and then make it clear that those things have nothing whatsoever to do with the age of the Earth and make whatever argument you think you should make next. No one here will have a problem with that or think any less of you for doing that, and doing that is not fighting the battle of disassociating atheism from anything.

    You are seriously confused.

  193. 193
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Why do I get the feeling that a lot of people who are opposing A+ would be perfectly fine with all of the bad shit that religion causes as long as it wasn’t religion causing it?

    It’s a bit baffling – but, since (thanks to people here and at other good blogs) I know about privilege, I have to assume that it’s mostly because these people just don’t give a fuck about anything that isn’t a problem for them and only them.

    So very sad that the only reason people have to condemn religion is so they can feel superior to the religious. Kind of makes me wonder – and fear – what they might do when/if religion does fade away.

    But it certainly explains the rage directed at FtB and the other A+ers; these people just want to be reminded of their superiority over religious folks; casting the same critical eye over the behaviour of atheists doesn’t make them feel good about themselves, and is therefore bad.

  194. 194
    Jadehawk

    It’s the angry, radical who comes in talking big about me wanting to take away their SUVs and guns, and put them in jail for spanking their kids, etc. Of course I don’t condone violence or discrimination, and I don’t let them think so. But, for that moment, I think it’s better to call into question certain things in the Bible or what they THINK is in the Bible.

    better for what, precisely?

  195. 195
    Jadehawk

    I’m out conversing with people who think the Earth is 10K years old or humans and dinosaurs coexisted, the other agendas muddy the water.

    and when I’m out conversing with quiverfullers, “the other agendas” like like “muddy the waters”, too.

    or rather, they don’t,since I’m capable of talking about one subject at a time. The point is though that atheism can be approached from either direction, and one is not inherently more atheistier than another

  196. 196
    Nightjar

    But if your standing in a booth at a conference or a busy street corner or outside a store, those people aren’t going to give you that time and you don’t have that kind of time.

    Yes, because saying “yes, I support feminism, now let’s move on to the subject we’re here to talk about” takes more time to say than “how dare you assume I support feminism, feminism has nothing to do with atheism, atheism is just about disbelief in gods, blah blah blah dictionary blah blah blah”?

    If they want to try to derail the discussion in that direction, they will regardless of what approach you take. Better to take the decent human being path rather than the douchebag one, don’t you think?

  197. 197
    Jadehawk

    like like evolution

    FIFM

  198. 198
    Inaji

    You have one message to bring them over and get them engaged for maybe 5 minutes. If the message is “equal rights for women”, you’ll never get to the environment or sustainability, you’ll never get to man caused extinctions, or evolution.

    So…in 5 minutes, you’re going to tackle the social issues of the environment/sustainability and human caused extinctions, but if one brings up how religion is invested in believing that women are not full human beings, it will completely kill off that amazing 5 minute discussion?

    You have some issues and trouble with clarity of thought here. It’s obvious you simply don’t wish to consider women at all. Why not just cut to the chase already and state what your specific problem is when it comes to discussing women and feminism? Or more to the point, state what your problem is with having atheism involved with feminism, clearly and briefly.

  199. 199
    Jadehawk

    “Lack of belief in a god” is about the only property of atheism.

    if that’s so, then “the 1st amendment, astrophysics, geology, biology, and evolution” have as little to do with atheism as feminism, racism, environmentalism, etc. do.

  200. 200
    Amphiox

    The ONLY reason religion is an evil that should be thought is because it is a “-” to the “+” of Atheism+.

    If not for that, religion would be harmless, just a quirky hobby of eccentric people, like knitting with pasta.

    And the only reason Atheism is worth fighting for is the +.

  201. 201
    John Morales

    Amphiox:

    And the only reason Atheism is worth fighting for is the +.

    First, I am an atheist, not an Atheist.

    (Atheism+ might be an ideology, but atheism ain’t)

    Second, is seeking truth worth nothing, aside from its utility?

    Third, the “+” doesn’t necessarily need atheism.

  202. 202
    Jadehawk

    Second, is seeking truth worth nothing, aside from its utility?

    if you’re asking if it has some sort of inherent worth, that would be a “no”, since worth is a human construct anyway, and thus not an inherent property of anything :-p

    truth is generally valuable for a variety of reasons, but some truths are more valuable than others. if religion didn’t cause and/or promote patriarchal, environmentally damaging, anti-scientific, etc. views, it would be as harmless an untruth as believing in the existence of the Yeti.

  203. 203
    Jafafa Hots

    There seem to be some non-stamp-collectors who are worried that their ability to not collect stamps will be hindered by other non-stamp-collectors finding something more worthwhile to talk about besides how stupid people are for collecting stamps.

  204. 204
    Jafafa Hots

    Less sarcastically, being an atheist is a very minor achievement (except for those who had to battle many years of parental brainwashing).

    That’s why I haven’t bothered with atheist groups and conventions.
    If that’s all they are about, just atheists getting together to celebrate their ability to notice the obvious, I think I’d have more fun at a Star Trek Non-Enthusiasts convention.

    I realized I was an atheist at age 4 without a guide, though I didn’t know the word of course.

    Learning to tie my shoes took longer. In fact I was in my 40s and totally relearned and revised my shoe-tying skills. I now use an “Ian’s Knot.”

    I’ve learned a few more knots since then, but they are tricky.
    Tying pieces of cord together properly for a given task is more difficult than coming to the conclusion that an obvious fairy tale is obvious.

    Atheism without social justice activism is just a word in a dictionary – hardly something to gather to celebrate yourselves over.

  205. 205
    Amphiox

    Second, is seeking truth worth nothing, aside from its utility?

    Well, Jadehawk pretty much answered this.

    Pursuing truth has value for every individual, by everyone can do this, on their own, in private. Why fight to convince others of something? Why build advocacy groups and communities?

    It is justified only if groups of other people acting in a certain way do real, measurable harm to other human beings. If religion did not produce the harm from its “-”‘s, there would be no cause to campaign for other people to abandon it.

    It is the “+” that justifies political atheism. Without that, it is just a matter of individuals freely choosing to believe as they will.

  206. 206
    John Morales

    Amphiox:

    It is the “+” that justifies political atheism. Without that, it is just a matter of individuals freely choosing to believe as they will.

    Note that Marxist–Leninist atheism also justifed political atheism.

  207. 207
    Jafafa Hots

    Who is that famous guy who was also a vegetarian?

  208. 208
    Ace of Sevens

    @207: Paul McCartney.

  209. 209
    Patricia, OM

    Jafafa Hots @204 = Thanks for the exemption for those of us that suffered majorly fucked up lives from decades of religious indoctrination and bullying. Becoming an atheist for us is a huge step, and the consequences are beyond mere inconvenience.

    I don’t say this to poke you in the eye with a knitting needle, but to gently prod you to consider that becoming an atheist really is a big deal.

  210. 210
    Jafafa Hots

    I don’t say this to poke you in the eye with a knitting needle, but to gently prod you to consider that becoming an atheist really is a big deal.

    Yes, that’s why I mentioned it.
    Splitting hairs here, but I’d say that being an atheist isn’t the hard part, it’s getting over the lifelong mindfuck that is the big step.
    Without having been indoctrinated, being an atheist is as much an achievement as not believing in Santa Claus.
    I didn’t HAVE to become an atheist the way others did.

    I suppose that what I’m really saying is that once you get there, however you get there, BEING an atheist or perhaps maintaining your atheism isn’t that hard for most. LIving with the consequences might be.

    So events meant for people who are struggling with religion or have struggled and succeeded and want to share with others can do great work, but for those of us who are atheists comfortably and without trauma or trauma scars the question soon becomes “OK, NOW what?”

    The “now what” always comes down to activism, even for the folks at JREF. At the least activism in making atheism more visible.

    But for others, not just myself but others who have expressed the same thing, atheism is NOT the main issue. Our atheism informs those things we care about, but it isn’t the THING we care about.

    I haven’t been immune to the damage religion does. In school twice had to face entire classrooms full of students and the TEACHERS red-faced and shouting at me because they found out I was an atheist.

    I’ve never had to deconvert, but I sympathize with those who had to. I sympathize with those working on it and helping others. But a group focused solely on that, being or becoming an atheist… simply doesn’t offer much to me. I can’t help others deconvert, so I don’t have anything to offer it.
    I’m not the joiner or pep-rally type.

    So that has left me with no reason to attend any atheist-anything.

    Political rallies, protests, marches? Yep. That’s the hard work (for me at least).

    But again, I understand that for many people becoming an atheist is very difficult – the evidence of that is all around… most people I meet can’t manage it. I can sympathize but I simply cannot place myself in their mental shoes… because of my lack of experience with it, I simply can’t imagine what its like to be religious.

    Cripes, I have PTSD (and according to some docs am bipolar) so I even understand delusion from personal experience. I traveled thousands of miles running from something in my imagination.
    But I can *never* fully grok the experience of ex-religious atheists.

    …so “Atheism Regular,” if it’s just talking about being an atheist, having endless philosophical arguments about atheism, finding plot holes in the bible, discussing the color of the popes robes etc. is just not something that stokes my furnace very much.

  211. 211
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    You might be onto something there, Jafafa Hots. I, too, am a never-theist so my perspective is also different from that of a lot of atheists; it may be that those who have escaped its clutches consider the deconversion aspect by far the most important one, and want to spend more energy on simply slamming religion than thinking about the ethics of atheism.

    It’s just a pity such a vocal contingent seem unable to grasp anyone else’s perspective on the issue. Particularly when those people also stress the importance of skepticism.

  212. 212
    opposablethumbs

    Amphiox #200 and others above have put their finger on it for me – it’s like Greta Christina’s great post on “Why are you atheists so angry?”: the whole point, the whole reason we give a toss one way or the other about people’s religious beliefs, is the real harm they do to real people. If religion weren’t intimately bound up with misogyny, discrimination, , environmental destruction and cruelty then people could toddle off and indulge their little hobby of “knitting with pasta” to their heart’s content; it’s precisely the “+” that makes atheism important and valuable beyond the purely intellectual aspects of pursuing a better understanding of the universe. That understanding is valuable in itself of course because it’s true, but the “+” is what matters in terms of opposing human suffering and seeking a more just society.

  213. 213
    Nick Gotts

    Note that Marxist–Leninist atheism also justifed political atheism. – John Morales

    And your point is?

  214. 214
    John Morales

    KG, my point is that there is at least one other way to justify political atheism — the which I noted since Amphiox’s implication was that without this particular +, political atheism is not justifiable.

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