Latest topics
» French court upholds Muslim veil ban
by mistermack Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:35 pm

» Ziggy's Introduction
by jimhabegger Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:16 pm

» What does social justice mean to you? What do you feel are the most important areas to work on?
by Ziggy Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:28 am

» Introducing Jim
by jimhabegger Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:52 pm

» Current Drug Laws, a failure. How to make them better?
by mistermack Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:23 pm

» Rape Culture in the west - I think it hyperbolic, let's discuss
by dandelionc Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:25 pm

» Is there anybody out there?
by tomokun Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:36 am

» mistermack says Hi
by tomokun Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:51 am

» Why I Joined This Forum...
by tomokun Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am

» Speculations about the feuding
by dandelionc Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:51 pm

Search
 
 

Display results as :
 


Rechercher Advanced Search


Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Go down

Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  jimhabegger on Fri May 24, 2013 1:01 pm

I've thought about appealing to some of the more responsible people I've seen criticizing A+ in their blogs, to look for the good in it, and post about that, along with their criticisms. I've decided to post here some things I might want to say, for later reference, and for comments if anyone has any.

First I want to write about my experience in the A+ forums.

I'm an old white man in other people's eyes, and I didn't encounter any hostility. I was treated with unfailing friendliness, kindness and patience.

I did see some hostility towards some people, and I won't say that it all looked fair and reasonable to me, but I will say that it didn't seem to me to have anything to do with who they were or with the ideas they were promoting. What it looked like to me was that they didn't realize that it's intended to be a safe space for a specific population, or they didn't care about that, or they didn't even know what a safe space is.

I see that as partly, but not entirely, a result of the name and description of the forums, and I don't see any hope for that to change. However that may be, it seems clear to me that the leaders of A+ plus want their forums to be a safe space for some people, above all else, and that it can't be a safe space, and an open forum for atheists to discuss social justice, at the same time.

I understand the objections to calling that "Atheism Plus," and billing it as a place "to apply skepticism and critical thinking to everything." In spite of that I think that what they're trying to do deserves to be respected.

Another question in my mind, and maybe in some other people's minds, might be whether the A+ forums are properly managed, even as a safe space for the people who are using them. I don't see that as my business, or anyone else's business, unless someone thinks it might be actually harming the people who are using them, or has ideas about how to improve what it does for them. Even then, it seems to me that it would be disrespectful and harmful to try to discuss that *in those forums*.

I've seen rumors that there is more to Atheism Plus than the A+ forums, off line at least, including efforts to make conferences less hostile to women. I think those initiatives deserve to be encouraged and supported, in principle at least, and I think also in practice, in spite of the mistakes that might happen along the way.

jimhabegger

Posts : 78
Join date : 2013-05-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  scott1328 on Sat May 25, 2013 2:53 am

I see you've gotten your first "lurk moar" instruction
lurk moar:

Eowyn Entwife wrote:
Jim, I'm going to be blunt about this.

This thread and a number of your other posts strongly reminds me of an ex-boyfriend who lived in a different country, had known me for less than two months, during which time we had met twice, and already he started to talk about rings and long-term commitment. Now I was in love, too, but my good sense told me that we could not possibly know how well compatible we were yet, i.e. he was rushing things due to over-optimism, over-enthusiasm or some other over-the-top feeling/reaction, and that felt both embarrassing and creepy to me. So I called it quits, and I'm glad that I did.

Your posting behavior also strongly reminds me of the character of Sir Cadogan in the Harry Potter books. Enthusiastic to the point of recklessness, convinced about his own importance in solving any and all problems, and grows quite quickly both tedious and embarrassing for those who interact with him.

Please don't be our Sir Cadogan. Please read more and post less, tone down the dramatic adjectives and in general listen much, much more to the people here than what has thus far been apparent from your posts. Avoid making posts that are only or mostly about you, outside of your introduction thread or any threads that you may start in Help & Support.

This place is not about you (or any other individual). It's no accident that "Leave your ego at the door" is one of our first rules, and not just a recommendation.

I am just going to offer this bit of warning, they don't want advice, they don't want to improve their image or their outreach, they don't want allies.

but, you will learn this quickly. That forum is *not* Atheism Plus it is a self-isolated echo chamber.

scott1328

Posts : 143
Join date : 2012-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  piginthecity on Sat May 25, 2013 9:17 pm

Jim - You sound like you've got a brain, but you've made a mistake in buying into this whole 'safe-space' idea.

The conflation of disagreement with physical danger, and the conflation of the uncomfortable feeling that comes from being disagreed with (which we all have) with 'psychological harm' are both utterly stupid, a dreadful start for any forum which purports to discuss serious matters, and not to be indulged by rational people. These ideas turn adults into children.

It's totally fine to have a heavily moderated forum - either for civility (enforced equitably) or for those of a particular view to discuss with each other without challenge (honesty, clarity and upfrontness about the purpose required). Atheism Plus, though is neither of those.

The kindest thing anybody can do for these misguided individuals is not to try to indulge their children's forum as if it matters by fiddling about with this or that wording of the rules, but just to be there to welcome them to proper discourse when they feel able to leave this illusory stifling cocoon. We can be sure that each will eventually do so, judging by the age demographic on the forum.

In the meantime - Lurk Less !

piginthecity

Posts : 101
Join date : 2012-10-25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  jimhabegger on Sun May 26, 2013 9:31 am

Scott, piginthecity, thank you for those friendly tips. I see some possible truth in what you're saying, but I haven't investigated enough to agree or disagree.

I disapprove of some of what I've seen done in the name of Atheism Plus, and some of what I've seen happening in the Atheism Plus forums. At the same time, I would like to see that space respected, and some of the goals and initiatives of Atheism Plus encouraged and supported. I'm hoping to persuade some of the atheist bloggers who criticize A+, to include that along with their criticisms.

jimhabegger

Posts : 78
Join date : 2013-05-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  nullnvoid on Mon May 27, 2013 3:00 am

Wow...piginthecity's back! Good to see you mate.

Jim, welcome. I don't know if you'll be successful in your objective or not, but I suspect not. Some of us thought that this forum could serve the purpose you've outlined when the site was created. That was pretty much knocked on the head by the actions of people at the other forum. To paraphrase Matt Dillahunty, I may consider returning to their site after we receive their apology for the way we were treated. This forum is pretty much dead now - we tried to revive it a few times - but I'll be damned if I go crawling back to the other one until some major change happens in the way they treat people.

What this forum became instead was a place for people who felt their treatment on the other forum was rude and disrespectful. They shared their experiences and perhaps vented some of the rage they felt. I'm okay with that purpose and see little likelihood that we can peacefully coexist with the other forum in any meaningful way. Certainly there are few people here who feel much affinity for the other forum, and there have been some pretty specific demands from senior members on the other forum to remove content here that they found offensive.

If you want to understand what's going on with that forum view the Atheism+ forum on the JREF. It's long, but they have collated some of the most egregious actions on their part.

nullnvoid

Posts : 239
Join date : 2012-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  jimhabegger on Mon May 27, 2013 7:44 am

Thank you, nullnvoid.

I've seen how unfairly and cruelly some people have been treated by some members of the A+ forums. I don't see how that prevents anyone from using these Secular Social Justice forums to discuss their initiatives for social justice.

jimhabegger

Posts : 78
Join date : 2013-05-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  scott1328 on Mon May 27, 2013 10:28 am

jimhabegger wrote:Thank you, nullnvoid.

I've seen how unfairly and cruelly some people have been treated by some members of the A+ forums. I don't see how that prevents anyone from using these Secular Social Justice forums to discuss their initiatives for social justice.

I think it just requires someone willing to take the initiative. A quality that I sorely lack, regrettably.

scott1328

Posts : 143
Join date : 2012-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  jimhabegger on Tue May 28, 2013 12:07 am

I miss mood2. My favorite posts here have been by mood2.

Something happened that I'm happy about, and I want to share it with someone, but I can't think of anyone to share it with. This is the only place I can think of where it *might* mean *something* to *someone*.

Yesterday I asked in the Atheism Plus forum for examples of how Atheism Plus is providing encouragement and support for some people's initiatives for social justice, and since then I've seen discussions about two examples of exactly what I was looking for.

I'm happy about that.

jimhabegger

Posts : 78
Join date : 2013-05-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  jimhabegger on Thu May 30, 2013 8:06 pm

This is a response to a post in the Atheism Plus forums, with a compilation of criticisms of Atheism Plus, that someone thinks need to be addressed. I don't agree that they all need to be addressed, and I won't try to address any of them explicitly, but I've decided to post some of my own views of Atheism Plus, after reviewing those criticisms.

I'll just describe what I've seen, and a hypothetical view of what I haven't seen, that seems consistent to me with what I have seen.

* What I've seen:

- Some atheists throwing stones at each other, in posts filled with fire and smoke.
- Some allegations of misogyny and harassment, and various other allegations commonly associated with feminism.
- Some denials of the allegations.
- Some more fire and smoke.
- Some efforts to put out the fires and clear away the smoke.
- Some more fire and smoke.
- Some efforts to find out if there's a real problem.
- Among those who see a real problem, some efforts to help resolve it.
- A proposal to start a new wave of atheism, with more attention to a wide range of social justice issues, and to call it "Atheism Plus."
- The appropriation of that label by a faction with a very narrow range of interests commonly associated with feminism.
- Some more fire and smoke.
- Objections to the actions of that faction
- Some more fire and smoke.
- A forum with that label, serving an even more narrow range of interests, with a misleading description, perpetually resulting in grief for some people, including some of the people it's serving.
- Some more fire and smoke.
- An anti-harassment policy for conferences.
- Some more fire and smoke.

* What I'm hypothesizing:

- Atheists have no immunity to the social illnesses that I see plaguing the rest of society.
- Harassment policies might do a little bit of good.
- Part of what is needed to make conferences more accessible and friendly to more people, is more people volunteering and being trained to help do that.
- Discussions about a new wave of atheism have led to some increasing interest among atheists in social justice initiatives, and some increase in people exchanging ideas and experiences in their social justice initiatives, possibly increasing their fruitfulness.
- The survival of the support function of those forums, in the face of the assaults I've seen against it, and in spite of the holes I've seen in its defenses, will help strengthen the movement for social justice among atheists.

* Some personal feelings about the Atheism Plus forums:

- I like very much what I've seen them doing for some people, including encouragement and support for the challenges they're facing, and for their social justice initiatives.
- I don't like the appropriation of the Atheism Plus label, and the misleading description of the forums.
- I don't like the way I've seen people treated sometimes, who took everything in the description seriously.
- I don't like the the disrespect and disregard that I've seen sometimes for the people those forums are serving.
- I have some doubts about the healthfulness of the environment there, for the people those forums are serving. I see them encouraging of a variety of attitudes and behaviors that look unhealthy to me. I see zero potential though, for anything I could say about that to be taken into consideration by the administrators.


Last edited by jimhabegger on Thu May 30, 2013 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to correct a typo)

jimhabegger

Posts : 78
Join date : 2013-05-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  jimhabegger on Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:09 am

I'm continuing a roleplay here that I started with Scott in another thread, because it would be off topic in that thread.

Scott said:

I am not particularly seeking to improve myself. My goal is to reduce injustice. I see injustice in the treatment of women, gays, transgender, atheists, and disabled.

I am not particularly aware of my blindspots. Athough because I am atheist, I am aware of the poor treatment of atheists by the christian majority.

I don't know what I can do to help, other than writing checks, and posting on internet forums.

I'll be roleplaying from the point of view of what I'm actually trying to do. What do you already know about what I'm trying to do? What interests you in what I'm trying to do? Have you already tried to help anyone else with those goals, and if so what have you done?

If you really want to help me, the first thing you'll need to do is start trying to improve yourself. Nothing you can do for me will do me any good, without that.

jimhabegger

Posts : 78
Join date : 2013-05-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  mood2 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:29 am

I'm with scott I'm afraid Jim.

A lot of people, usually the most desperate, aren't in a position to set provisos on the help they need, they just need help. And the requirement for self-improvement, like ideological prurity of the sort at A+, actually deters people from getting involved and ever actually achieving anything.

A chequebook is probably the biggest asset someone in the first world has when it comes to making a difference in other people's lives.

There's a TED talk by Peter Singer about Effective Altruism which talks about this if you're interested. And Singer and others are developing lists of the most effective organisations (in terms of criteria like 'lives saved per buck'), to contribute to. It's about taking a reason-based approach, something which could catch on in the atheist community if it got some traction.

Give Well recommends the Against Malaria Foundation http://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities

mood2

Posts : 151
Join date : 2012-10-25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  nullnvoid on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:32 pm

I think people need to put their effort into areas where they feel a passion.  This might just be saying that we should all be acting in the manner we already act, but bare with me.  

I run a small programmers club.  I was approached by some people from a neighbouring area asking for advice on setting up their own similar club.  One specific question they wanted answered was - "What topics should we choose for the presentations that we give?"  They were especially concerned that they should choose topics that would attract as many people as possible.  My response was just to ask them, whether they would be happy running a group that was large, but talked about topics that were not of interest to themselves.  I suggested that they choose topics they are passionate about and find people with a similar passion even if it was in smaller numbers.

If you are interested in doing something to help someone - help someone in an area where you have a passion.  Make change happen around you in your everyday life.  If you try to effect change in an area where you have no interest or experience, then you are likely to be making things worse rather than better.  

There are no doubt going to be areas where the people who have an interest are not capable of making changes.  This should be the domain where experts get involved - specifically government organisations.

nullnvoid

Posts : 239
Join date : 2012-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  mistermack on Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:00 am

I see the atheism plus movement, and the atheist movement as a whole, as an expression of our tribal nature.
Atheism is just a lack of belief in the invisible friend, that others believe in.

But that's not fulfilling the basic human need to belong to a tribe, and groups within tribes.
We like to have allies and enemies, it's how it's always been, and it got us where we are.
That's why we like to be part of a "movement".

It's not logic that drives all this stuff, it's our inherited emotions.

Religions provide plenty of tribal identity, and lots of groups within groups, which can attack and criticise other groups, and defend those within the group. Atheists are just following the same instinct.

It's our genes in action, driving our thoughts and emotions.

mistermack

Posts : 16
Join date : 2013-06-18

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Promoting support of A+ purposes and initiatives

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum