The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Pappa » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:48 pm

Coito ergo sum wrote:
The founders of Atheism+ say clearly that "divisiveness" is not their aim, but looking through the blogs and voluminous comments in the two weeks since A+ was mooted, trenches have been dug, beliefs stated, positions staked out and abuse thrown. A dissenting tweeter is "full of shit", while, according to one supporter, daring to disagree with Atheism+'s definition of progressive issues and not picking their side makes you an "asshole and a douchebag".

It took 700 years from Constantine renaming Byzantium in his own honour to papal legates circulating letters of anathema that split the Roman and Orthodox churches. Atheism, in its public, online life, has started exchanging internet anathemas – perhaps we should call them inathemas – in little more than a decade.

People are being told to wipe the spittle off their chins, take their heads out of their asses. The Life of Brian's lines about the various fronts for the liberation of Judea are being oft-recycled. 140 character brickbats are being thrown on Twitter under #atheismplus.

PZ Myers, soft-spoken in person but trenchant in print, said of A+ critics:

"It really isn't a movement about exclusion, but about recognising the impact of the real nature of the universe on human affairs. And if you don't agree with any of that – and this is the only 'divisive' part – then you're an asshole. I suggest you form your own label, 'Asshole Atheists", and own it, proudly. I promise not to resent it or cry about joining it. I just had a thought: maybe the anti-Atheist+ people are sad because they don't have a cool logo. So I made one for the Asshole Atheists:
A*
"

Fellow Freethought blogger Richard Carrier goes further. When one commentator suggests "atheism does not have the luxury of kicking people out of its movement", Carrier gives him a rare old quilting in most splendid prose:

"Yes, it does. Atheism+ is our movement. We will not consider you a part of it, we will not work with you, we will not befriend you. We will heretofore denounce you as the irrational or immoral scum you are (if such you are). If you reject these values, then you are no longer one of us. And we will now say so, publicly and repeatedly. You are hereby disowned."

How like Pope Leo's letter to the patriarch of Constaninople in 1053 accusing him of "many and intolerable presumptions, in which if – as heaven forbid – he persist, he will in no way retain our peaceful regard". Even at this most serious moment for the future of Christianity, the pope managed to resist the urge to call the patriarch immoral scum, an asshole and a douchebag.

One of the joys of atheism's outlets on the internet was that they were clever, deft, funny, tolerant and irreverent. It was certainly robust and not for the faint-hearted.

Those of us who do not wish to extend our atheism into someone else's definition of progressive politics may take rather unkindly to being described as immoral scum, useful but unsavoury body parts, and outdated contraceptive devices. In the week when American atheism made its appearance in the Economist's editorial pages, it seems to have been sowing the seeds of that most religious of events – a schism.

St Paul would be laughing his head off, had a Roman soldier not already deprived him of it. "See," he might now write after reading those modern epistles, the blogs, comments and tweets around the birth of Atheism+, "how these atheists love one another."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... spit-venom
That underlines the worst thing about A+.

Now, as an atheist, I am suddenly and unwillingly part of a public schism, a schism caused by some people who don't represent the voice of most atheists.

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Coito ergo sum » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:55 pm

What if someone is offended by the cards?

Do their personal boundaries not need to be respected?

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Rum » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:56 pm

Pappa wrote:
Coito ergo sum wrote:
The founders of Atheism+ say clearly that "divisiveness" is not their aim, but looking through the blogs and voluminous comments in the two weeks since A+ was mooted, trenches have been dug, beliefs stated, positions staked out and abuse thrown. A dissenting tweeter is "full of shit", while, according to one supporter, daring to disagree with Atheism+'s definition of progressive issues and not picking their side makes you an "asshole and a douchebag".

It took 700 years from Constantine renaming Byzantium in his own honour to papal legates circulating letters of anathema that split the Roman and Orthodox churches. Atheism, in its public, online life, has started exchanging internet anathemas – perhaps we should call them inathemas – in little more than a decade.

People are being told to wipe the spittle off their chins, take their heads out of their asses. The Life of Brian's lines about the various fronts for the liberation of Judea are being oft-recycled. 140 character brickbats are being thrown on Twitter under #atheismplus.

PZ Myers, soft-spoken in person but trenchant in print, said of A+ critics:

"It really isn't a movement about exclusion, but about recognising the impact of the real nature of the universe on human affairs. And if you don't agree with any of that – and this is the only 'divisive' part – then you're an asshole. I suggest you form your own label, 'Asshole Atheists", and own it, proudly. I promise not to resent it or cry about joining it. I just had a thought: maybe the anti-Atheist+ people are sad because they don't have a cool logo. So I made one for the Asshole Atheists:
A*
"

Fellow Freethought blogger Richard Carrier goes further. When one commentator suggests "atheism does not have the luxury of kicking people out of its movement", Carrier gives him a rare old quilting in most splendid prose:

"Yes, it does. Atheism+ is our movement. We will not consider you a part of it, we will not work with you, we will not befriend you. We will heretofore denounce you as the irrational or immoral scum you are (if such you are). If you reject these values, then you are no longer one of us. And we will now say so, publicly and repeatedly. You are hereby disowned."

How like Pope Leo's letter to the patriarch of Constaninople in 1053 accusing him of "many and intolerable presumptions, in which if – as heaven forbid – he persist, he will in no way retain our peaceful regard". Even at this most serious moment for the future of Christianity, the pope managed to resist the urge to call the patriarch immoral scum, an asshole and a douchebag.

One of the joys of atheism's outlets on the internet was that they were clever, deft, funny, tolerant and irreverent. It was certainly robust and not for the faint-hearted.

Those of us who do not wish to extend our atheism into someone else's definition of progressive politics may take rather unkindly to being described as immoral scum, useful but unsavoury body parts, and outdated contraceptive devices. In the week when American atheism made its appearance in the Economist's editorial pages, it seems to have been sowing the seeds of that most religious of events – a schism.

St Paul would be laughing his head off, had a Roman soldier not already deprived him of it. "See," he might now write after reading those modern epistles, the blogs, comments and tweets around the birth of Atheism+, "how these atheists love one another."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... spit-venom
That underlines the worst thing about A+.

Now, as an atheist, I am suddenly and unwillingly part of a public schism, a schism caused by some people who don't represent the voice of most atheists.
Nah Pappa. One of the saddest and most pathetic aspects of this Atheist+ thing is they think they are influential and important. It's a small out of the way corner of the Internet inhabited by a bunch of misguided left wing atheist feminists who think that blogs are real life and what they think is important. All they are doing is alientating themselves even further.

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by orpheus » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:00 pm

Coito ergo sum wrote:What if someone is offended by the cards?

Do their personal boundaries not need to be respected?
Right!

And I seem to remember reading something about someone being given a card at a convention. Made her very angry, if I recall correctly.

:ask:
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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by JacksSmirkingRevenge » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:07 pm

Wonder what would happen if someone just refused to accept a card offered to them?


On the positive side, I bet they make great roach material.
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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by DaveD » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:12 pm

Coito ergo sum wrote:What if someone is offended by the cards?

Do their personal boundaries not need to be respected?
What if someone is colour blind?

A+ are ablists. Thoughtless twats.
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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Bella Fortuna » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:25 pm

orpheus wrote:
Coito ergo sum wrote:What if someone is offended by the cards?

Do their personal boundaries not need to be respected?
Right!

And I seem to remember reading something about someone being given a card at a convention. Made her very angry, if I recall correctly.

:ask:
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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Thinking Aloud » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:26 pm

Clinton Huxley wrote:I see they are working on a system of red and green cards to use at meetings now, and also badges that the socially inept can wear, so they don't get red-carded by mistake. It's a fascinating new world.
Here's a pic of the cards that (I believe) were created for DefCon, a (not A+) hackers' conference where harassment was apparently a problem. The wording on the green "you're OK" one beggars belief.

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"Wow, you weren't a creep - and be grateful I thought so!"

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Bella Fortuna » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:27 pm

Can the people who receive these hand out cards in return that say "You're Unbelievably Arrogant!" ?
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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Coito ergo sum » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:30 pm

JacksSmirkingRevenge wrote:Wonder what would happen if someone just refused to accept a card offered to them?


On the positive side, I bet they make great roach material.
Maybe it's like service of process in a court case. You just have to make the card touch the person and their served.

For the faint of heart, folks can attend conventions and charge $20 or something to serve the card on the offender. Then an affidavit of service can be filled out to attest that the "creep" got his card....

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Coito ergo sum » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:30 pm

DaveD wrote:
Coito ergo sum wrote:What if someone is offended by the cards?

Do their personal boundaries not need to be respected?
What if someone is colour blind?

A+ are ablists. Thoughtless twats.
I am sure they would have braille on the cards, wouldn't they?

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by JacksSmirkingRevenge » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:35 pm

People should make their own to hand back.

Red - You're an insufferably arrogant cunt. I certainly don't want to fuck you.
Yellow - You're tolerable and I'd shag you on condition you wear a gag.
Green - Nice tits. Fancy a coffee up in my room?
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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Coito ergo sum » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:36 pm

Thinking Aloud wrote:
Clinton Huxley wrote:I see they are working on a system of red and green cards to use at meetings now, and also badges that the socially inept can wear, so they don't get red-carded by mistake. It's a fascinating new world.
Here's a pic of the cards that (I believe) were created for DefCon, a (not A+) hackers' conference where harassment was apparently a problem. The wording on the green "you're OK" one beggars belief.

Image

"Wow, you weren't a creep - and be grateful I thought so!"
What if the "creep" doesn't know what it is they did that was so creepy? Are they left to puzzle it out?

I don't get this. If someone has the guts to hand one of these cards to someone else, don't they have the guts to say to the person, "Dude -- did you really just say that? That is really rude and inappropriate." Incidents of inappropriate or rude behavior are generally constructively addressed and nipped in the bud if faced head-on, immediately, swiftly, and unequivocally.

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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Clinton Huxley » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:36 pm

The self-regard of some of the people "over there" beggars belief.
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Asking again derails the conversation. If you're unhappy with previous responses given, respond to them, but don't ask us to answer something that (so far as we're concerned) has already been answered. Doing so is not helpful: You will, at best, derail productive conversation and irritate the heck out of people. At worst, you'll enter into Just Asking Questions(tm) territory.

If you want a more basic level discussion of why that is the way it is, you can always pose the question to the Education forum, which is meant for explaining the basics that those here already grasp. As well, people in the education forum expect others to not get things that are common knowledge in the Main forum, so you will be less likely to irritate people into blowing up at you over .
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Re: The Atheism Plus "movement" -- good, bad, ugly?

Post by Clinton Huxley » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:45 pm

It's a bit like Dungeons and Dragons
You can be 'main forum' level in some areas and 'education forum' level in others.
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