I’ve mentioned this odd duck conference sponsored by Mythicist Milwaukee before…now Martin Hughes clarifies what bugs him about it, too. The meeting has been doing some unusual things. They’ve been advertising some well-known attendees — not speakers, just popular atheists who will be doing the hard work of showing up — which is the first time I’ve seen that.
On Saturday, September 30th, 2017, several atheist celebrities will be at the fourth annual Mythicist Milwaukee Mythinformation Conference. The more well-known names include Matt Dillahunty, Richard Carrier [Wait! I thought we destroyed his reputation and his career! At least, he claims we did that, and is suing us for one million dollars for it], Aron Ra [edit: Aron Ra has recently decided not to attend. His wife cited the reasons here), and Seth Andrews. Their presence at this conference is being well-publicized.
But the people coming to hear these people speak are going to be disappointed. Because none of them are giving a talk.
Which is…weird. I mean, Matt Dillahunty, the one exception, will only serve as a moderator for a debate; he’s not speaking.
Some of them, like Seth Andrews, have been awfully defensive (and offensive) about it, too. I’m curious about a couple of things.
Are you being paid, or at least having your travel costs covered, to be an attendee and to promote the meeting?
Are you comfortable being window-dressing?
No condemnation if they were to answer yes to either of those questions — it’s just that it would make me a little uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t accept an invitation to a conference on those terms.
But then the next question is, when you’ve got Dillahunty and Andrews and briefly, Aron Ra, why are they being sidelined? Who are the even more brilliant speakers being showcased at this meeting?
Why, in a conference attended by so many shining stars of the atheist movement, aren’t any of the celebrities speaking?
It’s a simple mystery. Here’s the clue: All the speakers at this skeptic conference are anti-SJWs who, for the most part, haven’t had a prominent voice on the atheist conference scene before.
A bit of background: See, the three YouTubers speaking were not given opportunities to speak at VidCon 2017, the major YouTube conference. In spite of the fact that they are fairly popular on YouTube, they have been unable to cross over into a legitimate, respectable level of status…possibly because their views were considered disrespectful to marginalized groups, and the organizers of the conference didn’t want to give those views a platform.
Now that anti-SJW YouTubers have failed to gain legitimacy in the arena of YouTube, it seems they need a stepping stone. Enter the much smaller American atheist community.
And honestly…the conference seems to be a way to give their views legitimacy in the atheist community. I mean, why else would you have these anti-SJWs (who aren’t known as much, these days, for criticizing religion) speak, and have atheist “celebrities” merely come to watch, acting as window-dressing, than to give their more sidelined views legitimacy?
That sounds a little too conspiracy-theorish for me — I don’t think it was a conscious plan by these rather unpleasant youtubers, but more of a conference organizer with anti-SJW leanings seeing an opportunity to both promote their personal ideas, stir up some publicity for their organization, and cheer on a couple of haters they like. That’s it. I suspect the rot is imbedded in Mythicist Milwaukee.
In spite of the well-publicized phenomenon of the atheist celebrities showing up, this is not your average atheism conference. These celebrities, it seems, are there as window dressing — a way to give additional prestige to these voices in a way that seems engineered to give anti-SJW thought greater legitimacy in American atheism, and to show that social justice ideals might be as ill-placed and mythical as religion. Perhaps this anti-SJW perspective failed when it came to the more respectable, “legitimate” corners of YouTube, but if its representatives can get a respectable, influential platform in the much smaller atheism community…maybe they can build on it.
And, so far as I can see, this conference is less about criticizing religion, and more about giving anti-SJW views that platform.
Which, admittedly, may make the atheist community more uncomfortable for me, but there’s no sense in denying the obvious…
Oh, gosh, suddenly a couple of more questions suddenly arise for the window-dressing.
Why are you willing to prop up an openly anti-social justice conference of the type that makes many women and minorities “uncomfortable” (to put it mildly) with atheism?
If your defense is
Free Speech!and that you’re all about the open discussion of ideas,
why is this conference so one-sidedly promoting anti-humanism? I mean, here’s Martin Hughes speaking about social justice and atheism — the kind of talk not represented in Milwaukee.
Again, for the
Free Speech! dogmatists, this isn’t saying that Mythicist Milwaukee can’t hold a Nazi rally if they want, but it’s clear that they are trying to legitimize blatant anti-feminist, racist views as a respectable part of atheism. Why would anyone support that? Unless they’re sympathetic, of course.