Enter your email address here to receive updates from the team.
This new movement has an energy that makes it hard to ignore.
Special Offer: Get 12 issues of New Statesman magazine for just £12
Except the idea that people can divorce their beliefs and non-beliefs from their other biases and perspectives is a delusion. Atheists are fond of saying that atheism is just not believing in gods, but it's not actually true. Atheists are people, atheism is a human perspective and it has a lot of other human baggage. It has become a political movement and ideology.
Alot of different women are noticing the same thing about it - that it is hostile to them and their perspectives. When you get the same thing happening, then it's time to start thinking it's more than coincidence.
Atheism is a hyper rationalist movement that has emerged from male dominated, western universities and philosophies. It's not neutral.
Well, and that's were you are wrong. One example from my home country: a lot of neo nazis in (especially in East) Germany are atheists and anti-religious (except some of in favor of heathen beliefs, but that's a minority) - I'd say a lot about them, but not that they (respectively national socialism) share a human perspective or any of what's mentioned above.
If you want I can point out less extreme groups that don't share a human perspective as well, but have in common, that they deny the existence of a supreme being, means: they are in fact atheists.
Atheism is no political movement or political ideology at all - it can be part of a political movement or ideology, but it can be part of ANY political movement, no matter if left or right. You're right that due to its strong rational origin it's often something that unites rational people, but it's not a guarantee.
In fact, atheism is a personal choice that can correalate with lots of different political views - and giving a very special political movement the label "Atheism+" just shows that those who did it a) don't know anything about the meaning of atheism or b) just want to abuse the term for their own views and add flaws it never originally had.
This "thing" woman (or any other group) notice is nothing more than "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" - of course there are sexist atheists, because sexism is something you can find everywhere in the society! It has nothing to do with atheism, but of course it can correalate with atheism - like racism, chauvinism, and lots of other negative -isms.
P.S.: There are even groups of atheist republicans (US), groups that mix atheism and racism (worldwide), atheist pro-life supporter, atheist death penalty supporter, so on...
The movement is based out of the USA.
Atheism tends to take a very pronounced lefty flavour because being an atheist is so rare over here that only those who truly don't care much about fitting in wear the atheism badge with pride. Those people who don't fit in and see themselvs as adversaries of their society tend to be on the left, in the usa.
If atheism ever becomes totally normal, like it is in many european countries, the far left flavour of US atheism will lessen considerably.
"Atheism is no political movement or political ideology at all - it can be part of a political movement or ideology, but it can be part of ANY political movement, no matter if left or right."
Yes, and that is what Atheism+ is. A political movement. And atheism is part of it. It's a left-wing movement, but absolutely nobody from Atheism+ is saying that everybody who is an atheist is also a feminist, freedom fighter, left-winger. In fact, given their criticism of Hitchens and Dawkins, I daresay they are saying quite the opposite. Atheism+ is a political movement built on combating sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia specifically in sectors relating to religion. It's about dealing with Bible bashers who think all gays are going to hell, and Islamic societies where women can't work, or work in the same factories as their male counterparts. And the reason Atheism+ exists is to separate themselves from other modern atheist movements, which are themselves often sexist, racist, or homo/transphobic.
Nothing Atheism+ is doing is new to the political movements, or even specifically atheist political movements. New Atheism has the word 'atheism' right in its name. And many, if not most, political parties outside of the big ones are created directly in response to problems with the more popular movement. And before you say that Atheism+ is aggressive, or trying to convince other people of their views, allow me to direct you to literally every ideological movement to ever exist, be it religious, secular, or atheist. New Atheism was about getting people to turn away from God; Atheism+ is about getting people to turn away from God because he's a misogynistic twat.
"Alot of different women are noticing the same thing about it"
ok, so it sort of feels like it is true, therefor it is true? seems rather insufficient for a conclusion.
"When you get the same thing happening, then it's time to start thinking it's more than coincidence."
more than coincidence? perhaps, perhaps not.
so the thing to do prior to coming to your conclusion is to do some data gathering and analysis. have you done so? are you familiar with any? i'm not aware of any studies that show atheist males are any more or any less sexist than other types of males. how about you Pavlova? or is that kind of verifiable evidence not needed when you sling mud?
"She has called for a "new wave" of atheism on that "cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime."
I guess she created this movement because organized atheism ( in north-america at least) wasn't doctrinaire leftist enough as it is.
I can somewhat understand her predicament :
"White priviledged" atheists like Richard Dawkins have the gall to criticize islam once in a while. It must drive Jen the skepchick crazy. "Oh noes, how dare you criticize brown people!! we need more sensitivity training in the atheist community!"
I'm quite the atheist but I just can't stand the equivalence, in the minds of many of those people, between not believing in god and being into far left political activism, occupy this and that, childfree-ism, extreme gender confusion, being poly, etc.
In European or asian countries, a lot of people find ways to be atheists without being total freaks like that skepchick.
""White priviledged" atheists like Richard Dawkins have the gall to criticize islam once in a while. It must drive Jen the skepchick crazy. "
Did you miss the bit in the piece where it mentioned that 'Jen' created Boobquake, specifically directed at Iranian clerics?
re "I don’t feel safe as a woman in this community", I think the idea that online fora/social media can constitute a 'community' is fundamentally ill-conceived. Most online discussion is poisoned by hostility and invective, but it's not physically 'unsafe'.
That said, obviously conventions IRL that arise out of those 'communities' can be unsafe - though it seems that the real sting and polarisation of the 'Elevatorgate' business took place online rather than in the elevator (don't they call these things 'lifts' in Dublin?), and the comments concerning safety relate to online 'discussion' and are largely rhetorical.
Just looks like tiresome people trying to stir up some relevancy. I don't believe and I support social justice issues, however, I've no interest in cheer-leading these self-appointed ideologues, what they decide are the issues and what version of same they subscribe to.
Before one becomes too intrigued with the latest atheist variation, it would be good to read the book, "The Last Superstition" by Edward Feser.
Feser, like all apologists, is coma inducingly dull, although I suppose the other side think that about Dawkins et al.
Who could have imagined that there are people in the atheist community who behave badly, just like in the "religious apologist" community. Shocking. Apparently not all deep-thinking, philosophizers like McCreight appreciate her desire to walk on the "f***ing sidewalk." At some point, we all need to grow up.
We are all born atheists. You don't become an atheist or more of one. Society simply forces religion on you from birth and then you drop the label, christian, muslim, jewish whatever and become free of a religious tag. If you were never shown the bible or koran etc, you would not know about those religions. Gods are not hiding in fitted wardrobes and cornflakes.! If you only gave a child a copy of X Factor magazine, it would likely only know about that. X factor may be their god! But where is the X factor god? Have you seen him? her?
I can use the bible for moral or cultural guidance, or any other religious texts, like i might a diet book or self help book etc as they were written by humans. Doesn't mean i believe in a god.
So if anybody wants to be very much an atheist, it means nothing. You could really be in to science and hate christmas holidays, but how would that make you any more an atheist?
Religion is a set of beliefs, that does not even require a god. As the existence of god has not been proved or disproved, we are all living according to a set of man made assumptions and beliefs whether we are following a so called religious book, or the interior decorators guide to kitch living spaces!
I think nontheist would be a better description of our non belief in deities at birth.
If you can tell me a difference between atheist and "nontheist" then you can say it's a better word.
Since anyone who is not a theist is an atheist by definition I fail to see why it's better to use a second word that means the same thing as the first one.
Look at my response below.
You're right though, getting bogged down in semantics is beside the issue here, which is that Atheism+ is a load of crap.
So, if I understand your comment, we are all born as passive in the debate about the existence of a deity. Atheists, by extention, have become active in promoting/persuading/forcing others to the view that that there is not a deity. Do I understand you correctly?
No, atheism does not require proselytising, just an assertion. I'm an atheist because I've asserted my disbelief in a deity. Nontheists are ignorant of theism. If a tribesman in Papua New Guinea has no knowledge of religion or any deity, could he truly be called an atheist? I think not, I think nontheist would be more apt, just like babies.
Papua New Guinea has got to be one of the most Christian places on the planet, but anyone from wherever who had no knowledge of the idea of a god would be objectively an atheist just the same as someone who had the knowledge but not the belief.
The prefix 'a-' denotes "without" or "absence of", and 'atheism' is simply the absence of a belief in a god.
What is Atheism+ if not just another kind of religion?
I'm an atheist, but I don't want to join a club about it.
If Atheism+ is a religion, then every movement with a cause is a religion.
Or is it that any "club" trying to define its goals is a religion?
This is an old rotting chestnut. The goal is to try to win irony-points on atheism. But it's just a silly comparison--so, no points.
Did you even read the article?
Sure. Care to expand on your comment?
How about you make a comment that at least indicates you skimmed the article first?
How is this at all a "reaction to New Atheism"? "New Atheism" is not defined as "looks like Dawkins" or "dislikes feminists".
"hard to ignore" Nelson?
On the contrary, I find it absolutely essential to ignore these echo-chamber blog circles. They represent a very small number of people who love, above all other things, drama and attention. As an atheist myself, there was a time when I felt that I had some sort of duty to keep up with what was going on. When I disagreed with things I would continue down the rabbit hole, reading in search of the promised "enlightenment" that these bloggers are apparently coalescing around. I was never persuaded. Giving up on trying to understand this community has improved my life immeasurably.
I am amused that the NS has presciently used their profanity filter to stop people posting the word that refers to annular onanism.
Jesus would return in their lifetime"
The 'Caesar's Messiah' site has an interesting explanation for this prediction.
Atheist+, is a good idea, no one is content to just be an atheist.
Who can believe that atheists exist?
where there is theism there will be atheism. seems a fact of life.
so if you are certain there are theists then you should have an educated guess Keir about the likelihood of their counterparts being just as real.
I'm not a person of faith and appreciate this article in that it provides coverage of happenings that pertain to me, my family, and my friends.
Atheism +, just a way of rebranding atheism and pushing forward some new ideas. Expect Atheism ++ in a few years.
I don't agree with religion and I guess we have to be thankful there are other views out there. The thought of people like Dawkins - dour, uninspiring, angry, controlling and condescending, as some sort of atheist leader, the equivalent to a Church Priest, is disturbing thought. I think people like Dawkins even give atheism a bad name.
"The thought of people like Dawkins - dour, uninspiring, angry, controlling and condescending, as some sort of atheist leader, the equivalent to a Church Priest"
You say you don't agree with religion, but you've just repeated the same claptrap that religious people always come out with regarding Dawkins. "Angry"? Yeah, riiight!
The people who give atheism a bad name are PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, Stephanie Zvan, and Ophelia Benson, plus a few others at FreeThoughtBlogs. That's why they are given the cold shoulder at atheist/skeptic events, just like the recent TAM2012, where the reception of the 'Atheism+' brigade was very cool indeed.
But like any small cult - they think everybody else is wrong, and that they are right. After a year of bullying and threatening fellow atheists and skeptics, they still can't grasp why there has been a negative reaction towards them!
"The people who give atheism a bad name are PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, Stephanie Zvan, and Ophelia Benson, plus a few others at FreeThoughtBlogs."
Wouldn't it be easier to say "feminists"? That seems to be your problem.
"But like any small cult - they think everybody else is wrong, and that they are right. "
No. Like any activists, they think they are right. If you don't think you're right, you have no business being an activist.
"Wouldn't it be easier to say "feminists"? That seems to be your problem."
No, because they attack feminists just as much as anybody else, usually referring to them as "gender-traitors", "sister punishers" or "chill girls". Stop trying to pretend these people dictate what feminism is. I've lost count of the number of feminists and women the FTB (A+) brigade has attacked and bullied.
Did you read the article. Richard Dawkins has nothing to do with this.
Atheism + is just some smug nonsense dreamed up by the more egotistical and self-absorbed bloggers at the increasingly inappropriately-named Freethought Blogs network. However, what it most definitely is not is a "reaction against the 'New Atheism' of Richard Dawkins." Even one of the ringleaders - P.Z. Myers - has been quick to correct you there. You should remove that tag line.
It really is atheism+. Atheismus plus some random positions of the group's founder. Honestly, it's totaly ok to found a group for your positions, no problems with that. But honestly, the name implies that it is mainly atheism, which it isn't. Atheism doesn't has anything to say about equal rights. You could own slaves and still be an atheist. As someone else already mentioned: The only thing all atheists have in common is that they don't believe in any gods. Everything else is another matter. But the name Atheism+ implies, that somehow all the other statements are connected to the atheism part. They aren't. Perhaps I agree with them, perhaps not, but that still doesn't make them part of my atheism. Not believing in god makes me an atheist, nothing else.
This just forces other atheist to sort it out later: "No, statement x does not have anything to do with atheism, even if the writer is atheist and calls her group atheism+ and so you cannot use it as an argument against atheism, so can we get back to the topic 'Atheism', thank you?"
Quite. Nietzsche presented a thought-out and coherent system that a Godless human being could live by. Why prefer Atheism+ to that?
I have been reading Nietzsche, and frankly, while the vast majority of what he got wrong was heavily influenced by the culture of the time, even as he claimed to reject it, today he would be called a misogynist, and be right at the top of the Atheist+ list of people who where completely clueless, when dealing with women (who he thought where wasting his, and everyone else's time, as well as undermining their true purpose, by doing things like getting educated, for just one example).
His philosophy also rejected even the attempt at equality, social justice, etc., it fell well in line with the absurdity of modern Libertarians, that private charity could help those that really needed it, and everyone else just didn't have the right "will to power" to succeed, etc. He claimed that Christianity gave us Democracy, not the Greeks, and that it is indistinguishable from socialism, for bloody sake.
Here is the thing - New Atheism is the stance that its not enough to reject the idea that god exists, you have to have a damn clue what you are talking about too, therefor science has to be part of your atheism. Atheism+ says, "Its not enough to just apply science to the movement, you also have to recognize when your cultural stupidities are undermining your message, and future, and address those too." And, of course, every time someone has a dress, or breasts, there are 50 idiots that insist that the person that hit on her at some convention where not wrong, even when she did everything short of hitting them with a shovel, to make them go away, because, her mind isn't worth anything if you can't, after all, also get into her pants. Some of us think this actually *is* a problem, and that its one that needs to be addressed country, and even world, wide, and that it needs to start with **our** social clubs, not ignored in them, while pretending we care about when it happens every place else.
I know Nietzsche had misogynistic views, that was part of my point. (It is easy to understand his dislike of women from looking at his life. The two women he dealt with were his single sexual partner who gave him the STD that eventually killed him, and his sister who was a Nazi. She later exploited him and his work terribly in his later years when he was no longer capable of controlling his own life.) On every "issue", Nietzsche's stance would probably be opposed to that of Atheism+, but that doesn't mean his ideas didn't partially stem from Atheism.
I'm not sure whether you recognise the irony of saying that Nietzsche was held back by the "cultural stupidities" of his time? You do realise that the criticism you are making originates in his writing?
An atheist movement does not make sense. Atheism is a solopsistic "activity"
I agree with the spirit of your remark; although, I'm not sure that atheists are entirely self-focused. But there is unquestionably a lot of self-reinforcing thinking and circular logic. For example: if one believes that God does not exist, why would one spend any more time thinking about it? If one reads any Catholic website, those authors talk endlessly about the Magisterium and 2,000 years of rule-making. Pointless philosophy is just intellectual masturbation. Tell me what you believe in, and what you're doing to make it happen. Then I'll take you seriously.
" if one believes that God does not exist, why would one spend any more time thinking about it? If one reads any Catholic website, those authors talk endlessly about the Magisterium and 2,000 years of rule-making."
Because, people like those Catholics spend idiotic amounts of time trying to argue that god does, and a specific one at that, then trying to demand everyone follow their rules, because of it.
Atheists have, btw, a rather wide range of opinions on those rules. This was the whole point of the "New Atheist" movement - "If you plan to argue against someone else's rules, from the position that they are silly, because they derive from a non-existent god, then you had better have a better way to come up with rules yourself, than that you just really 'feel', they are good. Otherwise, who does that differ from their position?" Again, Atheist+ seems to be a statement, "These are rules that some of us have seen work, and problems with still badly need addressing, so lets draw a line here, and ask, 'Do you agree that these are a good idea, and if not, what are your rationalizations for claiming that no problems exist, they shouldn't be addressed at all, and/or what reasonable alternative do you have, which doesn't treat the people effected like they are second class, or merely stage props for you?'"
Are you trying to say that these atheistic communities don't exist? Or that they aren't really atheist?
Solipsism says that "no one exists or is important but me". Atheists are happy to accept that everyone is important and should support each other, but that God, who doesn't exist, is not important.
I agree with the first statement, but atheism is neither solipsistic nor is it an activity.
I'm gonna start A++, where I will teach un-women like Mccreight how to iron a shirt.
well Andy, if you are such an expert at the womanly skill of shirt ironing, this would make you.....?
Belief, disbelief and beyond belief