Monday, January 14, 2013

Richard Carrier to the rescue

In a new blog post, Richard Carrier deems Atheism+ the "The Name for What’s Happening"

In it he endorses Adam Lee's petition to change... something... about atheist groups.
I’ve written about this issue before, of course. I brought up the rising sexism and abuse women are facing within the atheism movement

Wait, rising sexism and abuse? Has there been an uptick in domestic abuse that I did not hear about?

I explained further what the movement is that this term is a name for, and why no one needs to adopt the label “Atheism+” but rather “we are only at odds with those who condemn Atheism+ and its values,” the values I spelled out in those two posts, and which have been embraced and furthered by its most avid activists at the resource hub

And what is AtheismPlus for? Reasonableness, honestly, integrity, compassion, inclusivity, and generally being nice!

Who can be against those things?! Bad people, that's who!

In short, you don’t have to call yourself a “member” of the A+ movement to be welcome by it, or to support it.
It is abundantly clear that Richard has never posted to the Atheism+ community forums.

The next segment is about how if one doesn't support the brand, they don't support atheism finally achieving support:

The same has long been done to “feminism,” and now those tactics are being picked up and used by organized atheists to attack feminism the same way the Tea Party does. Indeed they do this the same way Christians do with the term “atheism.” They pick absurd caricatures and extremists (e.g., Stalin) and then claim all atheism is that or that’s what atheism inevitably leads to. The antifeminists in the atheist movement are doing the same thing, picking absurd caricatures and extremists (e.g., Dworkin) and then claim all feminism is that or that’s what feminism inevitably leads to.
Hostility to Atheism+ is often born of the same seed. By trying to make it impossible to give a respectable name to what we are doing, haters are trying to interfere with our ability to promote and organize in defense of our values and aims. This is fundamentally irrational, rather immoral (in its dishonesty as well as its ruthless disinterest in the welfare and feelings of others), and embarrassing to atheism as a whole.
Loosely translated: "If it weren't for all you nonbelievers, atheism would have a respectable name."

What Richard doesn't seem to realize is, Atheism+ is making atheism look ridiculous.

Atheism+ should do what communism should do, which is take its half-baked moral/political framework and shove it up its ass.

They are so successful at this they even convince women to declare they are not feminists

No, ambiguity about what feminism is exactly means people are less likely to identify as feminist.

The same problem applies to atheism, once you add this Atheism+ nonsense.

Atheism+ is not like a religion, not least because it embraces nothing supernatural, but also because its epistemology is not at all faith-based but entirely responsive to reason (as in, arguments devoid of logical fallacies) and evidence (as in, actual documentable facts), and it does not embrace “authorities” (we have no Popes) but only “arguments” (we side with those who argue well, meaning those who make logically valid arguments from well-evidenced premises). In other words, it is far more like science and philosophy than cults or churches. When it comes to what we should believe, including what we should believe about how we should behave, we expect people to be reasonable and persuaded by sound arguments. Nothing more.

Let's break this down.

Atheism+ embraces nothing supernatural... okay.

Atheism+ is entirely responsive to reason and evidence... if it happens to pass an inclusivity test.

Atheism+ is entirely responsive to reason and evidence... if it makes it past the filter.

Atheism+ is entirely responsive to reason and evidence... but will not demand it in regards to measuring sexism.

Atheism+ does not embrace “authorities” (we have no Popes)... unless you count the moderators.

Atheism+ only has "arguments"... among those allowed to participate.

In other words, Atheism+ is just atheism + skepticism + humanism. Why anyone would have a problem with that quite astonishes me.

Today you learned that some people might not agree with everything that happens under the banner of secular humanism. Were you born yesterday?

...(with covertly sexist and racist political policies, and overtly homophobic ones, for example). We now have enough atheists in our movement behaving in exactly the same way to become a visible problem.

Yep, TAM was the most sexist, racist, homophobic conference ever, wasn't it?

Greta Christina already exposed the joke of them calling us divisive last year. No, they are the divisive ones, making women and minorities feel unwelcome, and attacking anyone who makes an effort to welcome them.
Our movement has been largely white, predominately because it was only interested in “white people’s problems,” and thus uninterested in anyone else’s (and thus not attracting their interest in turn).
We care a lot about discrimination against atheists, but not so much about discrimination against black atheists or Hispanic atheists. We care a lot about creationism in schools (and often only in schools with lots of white kids in them), but don’t show as much interest in the quality of schools generally (such as in predominately black or Hispanic neighborhoods). That can change.
Where did this more wanton sexism and more subtle racism come from?

Now, here we have a bunch of white men:
  • Adam Lee
  • Richard Carrier
  • PZ Myers
  • Ed Brayton
  • All the other old white jerks at FreeThoughtBlogs
To come solve a problem put forward of predominantly a group of white women (e.g. Rebecca Watson)

And now we're getting told that we're racist. Wow. Carrier's got balls the size of the patriarchy.

It's OK though, because we've already been told that we're mass murderers and a lot of other things.

Keep up the battle though, Richard, one day Atheism+ will save us from the cisgendered, Apple and limericks.

How about we spend a bit more time at that Atheism+ forum?

Maybe we'll learn what it is really about.

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