Thursday, April 25, 2013

Let's save the Earth to annoy the haters!

PZ and the FreeThoughtBlogs people decided to do a video chat to talk about Earth day and environmental issues.

Thankfully PZ provided his lead in to "focus" the discussion in plain text:
For a long time, I’ve been saying that atheism is a heck of a lot more than just disbelieving in gods: we arrive at that conclusion by various means, so the history matters, and recognition of the consequent reality matters — it has implications. I am an advocate for increasing the depth and meaning of atheism, for broadening it and increasing its relevance to more people. In that sense, I’m kind of an ur-atheism-plusser.
But actually, I think we all are. Atheism has always meant more than just disbelief. Probably the narrowest interpreter of atheism on freethoughtblogs is Edwin Kagin, who has openly said that he thinks the only issue that ought to matter to atheists is separation of church and state. But even that is adding extra meaning to the word, and it’s also a terribly narrow meaning, that really only applies to constitutional issues in the United States. The New Atheists (and Old Atheists, too), blithely fold Science into atheism, with scarcely any complaint from other atheists. There seem to be some affiliated issues that atheists, even atheists who still dumbly assert that atheism just means an absence of god-belief, are happy to unthinkingly accept as natural parts of atheism.
And then there are others. All you have to do is look at the angry loons who have freaked out over Atheism Plus. You want atheists to care about equality, and ethics, and social justice? NNNNOOOOOO! How dare you add stuff that isn’t in my minimalist understanding of atheism to my obligations as a human being? I want to be selfish and self-centered and Darwinian!
Now I’m curious to see what would happen if we say that environmentalism is a natural part of atheism, too. Will there be a freak out again? Will the Libertarians finally go away? Or will a majority happily recognize it as a necessary component of an ethic that tries to build a sustainable society on a world that is not propped up by magic?
So you’re all here to agree or argue with me, to consider the ramifications, to suggest where we’re going to hit a brick wall. And maybe we can also talk about why religion is a poor foundation for a responsible stewardship of the planet.

It is plainly obvious that some of this massive block of text is created solely to say something absolutely insane in order to seed the discussion that will have to fill the hour or so the FTB people needed to kill.

But the thought process is illuminating.

In PZ's mind, critics of Pharyngula and Atheism Plus are "angry loons" that "freaked out" about "equality, ethics, and social justice". Further, critics have a "self-centered and Darwinian" view of the world, which we can only assume would looks like a remake of a Schwarzenegger film. (Perhaps The Running Man?)

Now the question PZ poses to his "social justice" allies is what exactly would these lunatic haters would do if they were to say that environmentalism has something to do with atheism.

Right here there seems to be some things that are completely asinine and self-evident.

It is obvious that atheists would to some degree care about the environment. Everyone that needs to breathe ought to.

Further, it is obvious that religion is not a good basis for environmentalism. Why would it be? Is it a solid foundation for anything else?

What does PZ and this Atheism Plus crowd really think is going to happen?

Here's how the fairy tale plays out in their fantasy land:

SkepChick, Pharyngula and FTB come out to say that Rebecca Watson was wronged in that elevator, conferences should clean up their act and people should stop objectifying women.
Immediately after this tour de force, the misogynist masses that inhabited the atheist community all committed seppuku while contemplating their privilege.
Now, the social justice dream team is back to tell you that littering is bad.
Libertarians, conservatives, and any pesky people that think that the state should balance development with environmental concerns or think incentive programs are half baked will hear this clarion call for environmentalism. They will immediately self-immolate as they will understand they have lost the argument forever and ever and ever.

This is not a group of people that wants to have a discussion about the environment.

The primary goal is exclusion of opinions already deemed false.

While this is nonsense, we should be glad that Pharyngula is so pro-Earth Day.

Will PZ stop flying to multiple conferences every year for the sake of Gaia?

1 comment:

  1. Myers, FTB, and the Skepchicks are attempting a Stalin like purge of the atheist movement, but it won't work as they are really a very small subset of the community. We atheists come in many different flavors, and their attempts to force an en mass flavor leaves a nasty taste in many's mouth.