In what appears to be the 117th skism in the "atheist community", a group of people have desided to form "Atheism Plus", defined as good old unbelief PLUS various values such as social justice, support of womens rights, protest racism etc. See for instance Richard Carriers writeup:
It is ofcourse a very good idea to promote these things, and if they removed unbelief from the list they would properly have allmost everyone here on board. What I think is interesting is how they go about it -- instead of focusing on actually promoting these ideas, so far it seem to be mostly used to knock other unbelievers or (gasp!) people who have the audacity to only call themselves eg. secular humanists. For instance we have Jen McCreigh, who to the best of my knowledge has never written a thing of any substance, on Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris:
It’s time for a new wave of atheism, just like there were different waves of feminism. I’d argue that it’s already happened before. The “first wave” of atheism were the traditional philosophers, freethinkers, and academics. Then came the second wave of “New Atheists” like Dawkins and Hitchens, whose trademark was their unabashed public criticism of religion. Now it’s time for a third wave – a wave that isn’t just a bunch of “middle-class, white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men” patting themselves on the back for debunking homeopathy for the 983258th time or thinking up yet another great zinger to use against Young Earth Creationists. It’s time for a wave that cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything , including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime. We can criticize religion and irrational thinking just as unabashedly and just as publicly, but we need to stop exempting ourselves from that criticism.
Again this sound good --who would not want these values-- (but do anyone really believe dawkins disagree?), the problematic aspect is the very same group has imediately coined the term "atheism less" to refer to those other people. It works really wonderfully: If you simply claim to promote the same basic ideas and values as Atheism Plus but disagree with them on some issue or on methods, you are properly really not doing exactly that because why are you then not a member of atheism plus? our ideas are rational, why are you not being rational?
This behaviour is best exemplified by Richard Carrier (who i believe fancy himself as one of the groups major thinkers) on the very same blog post where he introduce the idea. Anybody who is interested should go over the comments and look at how Carrier react to critisism. For instance the essay conclude as follows:
In the meantime, I call everyone now to pick sides (not in comments here, but publicly, via Facebook or other social media): are you with us, or with them; are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or are you going to stick with Atheism Less?
Then at least we’ll know who to work with. And who to avoid. (--Richard Carrier).
or from the comments:
Tom: I’ll stick with the original atheism, thanks.
Carrier: So, one vote for douchery. Got it.
And so on it goes.