New Atheism+ calls for “middle-class white cis-man” Dawkins to move over.

by bohm 47 Replies latest jw friends

  • bohm

    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).

    (sounds familiar?)

    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.

  • talesin


    This reminds me of some folks in the third wave of feminism, who wanted to label -- you can't be a feminist if you wear makeup, want to be a stay-at-home mom, etc.

    I don't think any of my friends would agree with this, either. Isn't atheism all about free thought?

    This Carrier guy sounds like a closed-minded bigot. Good point, Bohm.

  • bohm

    Here is an interesting thing: Who is it who actually disagree with the core values of atheism plus? how many well-known people in the free-think non-religious movement can we think of who think Racism is OK, that Gay or transgender people should not be treated well?

    Is it James Randi? Richard Dawkins? Paula S. Kirby?

    Yet reading eg. Richard Carrier, you would think it would be the easiest thing in the world to find 10 well-known people who actually did that, but I simply dont think it is possible.

  • King Solomon
    King Solomon

    Yeah, good luck on anyone who tries to co-opt independent thought in a ill-defined group that attracts free-thinkers, lol. Once again, the Internetz allows some to cast a large hand-shadow on the wall when it doesn't exist in real-life.... I dont seek out other atheists in real-life, and don't need to.

  • 00DAD

    It's an interesting psychological phenomenon that some people just gotta' pass judgement on everyone else. It's funny that they call themselves "freethinkers" but choose to distinguish between THEIR BRAND of freethinking and THE OTHER GUYS'!

    Looks like another cult is forming.

    Note to self: Avoid organizations that insist on defining and controlling your behavior and create an "us v. them" mentality!

    PS - Had to look up "cisgendered". Didn't even know I was. Why do I need to have a perjorative label attached to me because I am not transgendered? Looks like another cult is forming. Oh, I already said that.


  • talesin

    who think Racism is OK, that Gay or transgender people should not be treated well?

    Exactly. Also, something I find interesting, after going over a list of my friends and chosen family in my mind, is that my agnostic and religious friends all feel the same way.

    Labels? Defining who I am by joining a formulized group that chooses to define what I must believe in order to join said group?

    No, thank you!


  • talesin

    00DAD, just saw yr post.

    Looks like another cult is forming.




  • james_woods

    I have said it many times before here on JWN - (to great criticism) - but, the really evangalistic and vocal Atheists have formed a "belief system" of their own - hence, they are practically a form of religion.

    Atheists/Agnostics who have simply put these god ideas behind them but are not trying to proselytize some system of belief could care less about this kind of belief control.

  • bohm

    james woods: i have been one of the people who have disagreed with you on that at some length, i still do in a sence, but i agree now there is considerable overlab in terms of mindset and attitude.

  • slimboyfat

    Dawkins is his own worst enemy. How much of this trouble originated with him anyway?

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