Saturday, 8 September 2012

The story of Atheism+ - Part 2

Following on from yesterday's Part 1, this is a continuation of some of the views opposing Atheism+.
Here, 'Hayesenberg' gives a shorter, less thorough, but very poignant attack on Richard Carrier's diatribe.

He rightly points out the lack of individualism in Atheism+ policies.

Then 'theskepticalheretic'

talks about Thunderfoot's (non-)involvement and brings clarity to the definition of atheism, and its lack of status as a 'group'.  The whole business of "you're with us or against us" comes under the spotlight.

Noelplum99 has a good go at Atheism+ at this link, and CardinalVirtues here

For what initially appears to be an opposing viewpoint, here's Matt Dillahunty in a video that some people claim to be in support of A+.  That would be worrying, but watch it and decide for yourself.

What have you decided?  He speaks well about the ideas but seems not to have completely realised the utterly radical views expressed by Richard Carrier.

Matt says that he has been A+ for years. Although he says that he agrees, he sensibly says that no member of his atheist organisation is actually required to agree.

So you have to choose between Carrier's and Dillahunty's approach. Dillahunty is sensible but on that basis it seems unlikely that he will be included by Carrier. Unlike Carrier, he is happy that other people can hold opinions that are not identical to his own.

It is obvious that I agree with Dillahunty. His skepticism is more important than his atheism, and indeed is the cause of his atheism. Without atheism he would still be a secular humanist.

And if I said that that was all there is to it ... then I would be wrong.


LadyAtheist said...

Thanks for both posts. I too agree with Matt Dillahaunty.

Atheism is defined as a non-belief, so it seems rather silly to expect all of to agree on anything else. If a group wants to declare itself a faction with a broader definition, then happy sailing! Not being a part of their clique doesn't bother me one little bit. Even if I agree with them (which I do on most things) I don't agree that there's any value in creating a new label, especially when there are so many requirements to "belong."

The animal rescue analogy in one of the videos resonated with me because the staff of the animal shelter I used to volunteer with has been treating me rather coldly. I'm trying not to take it personally but I do wonder if they have found out that I'm an atheist. *shrug* Leaves me time to start a face-to-face support group for atheists here in town, with no other qualifications for membership (but a few requirements for behavior).

LadyAtheist said...

grrr I tried to post a reply and it disappeared.

I hope it works this time:

Matt D's response is the one I agree with too. Atheists only agree on a non-thing so adding more things seems pointless. If we are "rationalists" or "humanists" that still leaves room for disagreement.

It seems the issue is really treating people with respect, which is a behavior not a philosophy. As a movement or any organization, we can insist on respectful interactions but if someone is a homophobe or racist or sexist, if they keep it to themselves it's not really a "problem."

Plasma Engineer said...

Sorry Lady Atheist - blogger kindly put both your comments in the spam folder. I've rescued them, as I will try to do for any that you ever leave. I wish there was a way to tell Blogger that you are a regular reader and commenter.

monesy said...

I don't think that Carrier ever said that one could not hold differing views than he. He just said that if you do, you don't get to be in his A+ club.

People sure are touchy about their contrived boxes. Stupid fucking monkeys, we.

Plasma Engineer said...

If you follow the link in Part 1 to Richard Carrier's blog, I think you will find him saying "if you are not with us then you are against us" or similar. But if you read the comments following the post you will see exactly how outrageously rude he is to anyone who appears not to be 110% in favour of his point of view. Go on - I dare you to read it.

monesy said...

Yes, I agree. Carrier's being a dick. Now it's a circus...and why? Illusory categories. Contrived classes. Pretend clubs. What a hoot!