McEwan takes exception to something I wrote.
And then there were the atheist men, in most cases ostensibly sympathetic to my position, who piped up to let me know that I wasn’t talking about them, that they were one of the Good Ones. Even Myers linked to my list with the curious line: “Melissa McEwan has some Advice to Atheist Men. The long list sounds very good, but I do have one reservation: none of it is exclusive to atheists or men. I think it’s more Advice for Decent Human Beings.”
I’m not sure why my “long list” (of 18 suggestions) would engender reservations simply because it is not “exclusive to atheists or men,” unless one is keen to deflect accountability for being part of the group being urged to decency.
And one commenter interpreted that to a remarkably vicious degree.
Where the HELL does Meyers get off asking for advice and then saying “oh, well that doesn’t apply to me.” Uh yeah. It does.
So let me clarify. I was not saying I disagreed with the list in any way. I was not saying that McEwan was not talking about us ‘good atheists’. I was not trying to deflect accountability away from atheists. Most importantly, I was not saying it doesn’t apply to me — a bizarre charge, since I most certainly aspire to belong to the category of decent human beings, and I would hope that being decent human beings would be one of the goals of all atheists.
It was a reservation that wasn’t really a reservation — it was an appreciation of the universality of the suggestions, and a comment that the title of McEwan’s post was not adequate to describe the usefulness of the content.
I would definitely hope that more atheists would pay attention to her work.