My thoughts on a bunch of stuff…
I am going to be out of town again for the next few days (until Tuesday again). This is the last trip for a while. After this trip life/work will get back to normal. I have spent a good deal of time either in a car on a plane these past few months. One of the nice things about this is that it has really given me the opportunity to think about what I am doing. This post is going be a conglomeration of various thoughts I have regarding this atheism plus, debating theists, and this blog in general.
The first topic that I want to address is atheism plus. This idea has been written about in great detail in many places. In fact, most atheist bloggers have addressed it in some way. My only foray into these waters was my criticism of Richard Carrier’s post a while back. Here is the second and probably the last time I will discuss A+. In short:
- I find that I agree strongly with the social justice issues they have laid out.
- I disagree with much of the initial rhetoric that surrounded this idea (Carrier and others). Though, that seems to have calmed down, I found it curious that none of the “big name” supporters publicly rebuked Carrier.
- I think that many people were labeled assholes, douchebags, and misogynists who probably are none of those things. This concerns me because there really are assholes, douchebags, and misogynists out there. Some of the people falsely labeled could really have been a large help to the A+ movement, but instead are marginalized.
- I am not sure I buy the arguments that A+ is not divisive. It would appear to me that it has been very divisive, but time will tell all on that score.
- Whether or not it should be divisive is a separate topic to me. For what it is worth, I do not feel “divided” in any way due to A+.
- I realize that not all atheists are into advocacy or social justice. I also realize that some atheists are interested in such things, but have different ideas/ends than what A+ promotes.
- I have never been to an atheist or skeptic or any other non-believer type conference so I have no direct knowledge of what happens there. That said, I have yet to see any evidence that they are any more exclusionary or offensive than any other large gathering of people. That is not to say a problem does not or did not exist. I do feel that we had a very large reaction in our “atheist community” over something that could probably have been dealt with much more civilly and effectively. That being noted, I have zero tolerance for the blatantly insulting language was used by some against females. Rape threats and telling a woman you are going to “kick her in the cunt” are never acceptable to me. I have no problem telling those people off and no longer associating with them.
I support the ideas that atheism plus stands for, but will choose to remain a good old fashioned atheist. I was an advocate for many of these social justice issues before I was an atheist and will continue to be one in the future. I support equal rights and opportunity for all people regardless of race, sex, sexual preference, religion, etc. I also understand the concept that one’s atheism can lead to progressive social justice ideas. It makes sense to me. Does that make me atheism plus by default? Maybe, but labels are not important to me. I really don’t like to label myself. (I also understand that one’s atheism does not need to lead to progressive social justice ideas—atheists come in every possible stripe you can think of).
Instead, I like to let my actions define who I am. If people decide to label me A+ or not…that is up to them. There will be many times when I will write a piece, volunteer my time, or donate money to causes that A+ supports. In that we are allies. But for me, it ends there. I am just a guy going about doing what I believe is right. I don’t need a label and I don’t see any need to rebuke those who want to label themselves.
To the “atheism plussers” out there, I wish you luck in your endeavors. You will find an ally in me many times. If you are not a regular reader of mine, I welcome you to my site. You will find many posts that share your views on a wide range of topics. If you are a regular reader, nothing will be changing here.
To those of you out there who disagree with atheism plus, you also have a home here. If you are a new reader to my blog I often write about the impact of religion on politics and social justice issues. I welcome debate and good conversation. If you are a reader of mine already, there is no reason to abandon ship, nothing is going to change. I will still be blogging about the same old stuff (sadly because it does not seem to be changing).
Those are my thoughts on A+.
The next topic that I have had a great deal of time to think about is debating theists. For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@logicalbeing—if you are not following me, I would love to have you join me) you will notice that I spend a few nights each week debating theists. I do this while watching TV or reading. I also do this in my daily life offline as well, though not as often. I have been asked “Why do you bother doing that, you never seem to get anywhere?” My answer to that is simple. I believe that I can “get somewhere”. Let me explain.
When debating religion on Twitter (for example) I have no illusions that I will ever change my opponent’s mind. There are a few reasons for this. First, it is next to impossible to have a complete discussion in sentences of 140 or less characters. Second, any theist who is willing to engage with me is often trying to convert me. Not much is going to really come from that. Third, most of the discussions are never finished. So, what do I hope to accomplish? I hope to urge people to think about religion. Every time I debate a theist all of my followers and all of their followers have the potential to witness our conversation. Many of my followers are theists. They follow me because they like my political views or whatever. Those are the people that I am trying to reach. The same goes for my opponent’s followers. If I can get any one of them to stop and think for a minute or to see how easy it is poke holes in theology/religion, then it is worth my time.
My regular readers will know that this is important to me. I find religion to be nothing more than a limiter to our society. It holds us back from achieving our greatest potential(s) as a species. The more people that shed the chains of religion, the better, in my opinion. Will my Twitter arguments be the cause of that? Probably not, but hopefully it can start some people down that path.
The last topic I wanted to address is this blog. As many of you know, I started this whole thing back in January. I am having a blast doing it. If nothing else, it gives me an outlet to share my thoughts and frustrations about what I see happening around me. Going forward, I plan to continue posting almost daily, as I did in the past (starting next Tuesday). The topics will vary from politics and social issues and the various interactions that they have with religion to things like the bible and theology. It has been a while since I have done a bible post. The same goes for dissecting and analyzing theological positions. I am looking forward to writing some more on those subjects.
What will my purpose be for continuing this blog? At the risk of sounding selfish the answers are: my own enjoyment, a place to vent, a place to have some great discussions, a place to “meet” new people, a place to share ideas, and a place where all are welcome. It is my hope that by speaking out against religion and the various negative consequences of religion that other people will be encouraged to do to the same. That perhaps a theist who is on the fence about their religion will decide to embark on the path to atheism. It is my hope that perhaps my words will motivate some people to take up the same social justice, political and anti-religion causes that I feel are important. I also hope to continue learning much from all of you. Your comments have been great to read. In closing, I am enjoying this ride and I hope that you are as well. I look forward to more discussions in the future.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments.
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