What is Atheism Plus a response to?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atheists and the religious. They do not overlap.

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

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

Social justice advocates and humanists added to the diagram.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, not really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Atheism Plus a response to?

138 thoughts on “What is Atheism Plus a response to?

  1. 101

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

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

  2. 102

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

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

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

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

  3. 103

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

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

  4. 104

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

  5. 105

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

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

  6. 108

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

  7. 109

    connielingus wrote:

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

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

  8. 113

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

  9. 114

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

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

  10. 115

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

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

  11. 117

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

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

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

  12. 119

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

  13. 120

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

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

    Fuck that, matey!

  14. 121

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

  15. 123

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

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

  16. 125

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

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

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

    Like this is an example of exactly what I mean:

    Alferd E. Packer says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now I will go, and wonder if I made sense

  17. 127

    Hose-aye:

    Atheism has nothing to do with feminism, etc.

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

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

  18. 128

    mikmik:

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

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

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

  19. 129

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reasons for non-belief

    People are atheist for many reasons, among them:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  20. 130

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

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

  21. 132

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

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

  22. 137

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

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

  23. 138

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

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