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20 September 2012

what the heck is atheism plus

(Please note that the following should be taken with a large helping of NaCl. I'm still researching Atheism + and lot of my ideas about it are still forming. I may have a totally new perspective on Atheism + come tomorrow.)

This is What Happens When You're Out of The Loop

c0nc0rdance posted the following video.

Apparently Atheism + (formally Atheism Plus) is causing some consternation among atheists. So, just what is Atheism +?

Declaration of Atheism+ on Ftb

The bloggers at FtB started the Atheism +. Richard Carrier posted an artcle Jen McCreight posted an article describing Atheism +.

In summary, Atheism + is:

We are…
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.

Frankly, these are worthwhile goals. Personally, I'd put critical thinking and skepticism at the top as it was critical thinking and skepticism that lead me out of theism. When I think "atheist" I tend to think "naturalist" and "skeptic". I digress.

That said, let me examine these one-by-one from my own limited perspective on the whole Atheism + issue.

  • Social Justice: I'm very concerned about issues like social justice. I see social issues around me all of the time and I do what I can when I can. However, someone not being concerned about social issues, or even denying social issues doesn't make one less an atheist. Uneducated perhaps, maybe ineducable in others, but not any less an atheist.
  • Women's Rights: I consider myself a feminist. I have a wife that I love and who faces challenges in the working world simply for being female. I have three little girls and I worry about what kind of future they'll have. Women's issues weigh heavily in my life and it's important to me that the women in my life have equal opportunities and support. Again, even atheists that are misogynist pigs are still atheists. I agree that currently misogyny is the more pervasive and insidious of the two, but misandry exists and can't be ignored either.
  • Racism: Again, an issue I see around me all of the time. Again, atheists that are racists are still atheists.
  • Homophobia and Transphobia: Another prevalent issue. Same as above.
  • Critical Thinking and Skepticism: Important skills to have, but many atheists aren't critical thinkers or skeptics. In fact, there exist superstitious and even religious atheists. They just don't believe in gods.

All of these issues are good, but what if one is an atheist and otherwise a very good person, except they fall short on one area? What if this atheist were a homophobe, or racist? Is every good thing they've done undone?

If these issues are important than one shouldn't be afraid to correct or admonish the individual in question. One could state how they think others should interact with this person if they don't change. From what I've seen so far, atheists who don't conform to Atheism +'s ideals seem to get quite strongly attacked (by the movement?).

Conclusion

Currently I have none. I'm still reading and trying to figure out what Atheism + means to me, if anything. Now you'll probably want some water from eating all of that salt. :-)