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Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

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Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  jimhabegger on Wed May 29, 2013 2:53 am

In my understanding, there were actually at least two Atheism Plus movements. One was a reaction to alleged mistreatment of women, and another was a movement to create a third wave of atheism with more attention to more social issues. So far the only obvious results of either of those movements that I've been able to uncover are:
- new waves of Internet feuding.
- some anti-harassment policies for conferences.
- a peer-support forum for some traumatized atheists.

On the face of it, apart from those results, the movements seem to have died, but they could still be alive and thriving, without the label, in the sense of atheists progressively paying more attention to more social issues.

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  piginthecity on Wed May 29, 2013 6:17 am

Jim, just how many goshdarn fucking threads do you need to start to talk about the same fucking bally topic ?

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  jimhabegger on Wed May 29, 2013 10:22 am

piginthecity, if you want me to read any more of your posts to me, you'll need to stop filling them with so much fire and smoke.

I've browsed through your other posts, and they seem to be more substantive, so apart from your posts to me, I'll continue reading them.


Last edited by jimhabegger on Wed May 29, 2013 11:51 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : to remove a remark that might encourage irresponsible behavior)

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  nullnvoid on Wed May 29, 2013 12:03 pm

To carry his point - it does make it reasonably difficult to follow your train of thought. Conversations happen best within a thread. That said - there's no rules against doing what you want here...so have at it!

Edit: I wouldn't describe it as more than one movement they certainly have more goals than you've identified above. You can have more than one goal per movt. I think the forum was simply incorrectly identified as a rallying point - and that was a mistake made by certain people identifying as part of the movt. The early "new wave" comments was a similar mistake - it is a hope identified by many within the movt. They would like the movement to be that successful, but promoting the forum in this way gave a false impression of the place thus a series mistakes led to internet battles.

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  jimhabegger on Wed May 29, 2013 6:25 pm

Null, I'll try to explain what I mean by two movements. What I remember from Jen McCreight's original Atheism Plus post would include both movements, as one movement, but it looks to me like what actually happened was two separate movements, one an organized movement revolving around the demands of an allegedly feminist faction, and the other an informal movement revolving around the idea of atheists progressively paying more attention to more social issues. I see virtually no interaction between those two movements. In fact, in the beginning one of the promoters of the allegedly feminist faction formally excommunicated everyone outside of it. The FAQ on the A+ Web site takes a more moderate position, but all I see that faction doing is providing a peer support forum for some traumatized atheists, in complete isolation from atheists who want to rally around a wider range of social issues. That's why I see atheists rallying around a wider range of social issues as a separate movement, although at this point I'm not sure if such a movement even exists, or ever did.

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  nullnvoid on Wed May 29, 2013 6:46 pm

If you replace "allegedly feminist faction" with "sociologists" you've got it.

The fact that many of the people involved are feminist has clouded the issue that the position they are taking is based upon the broader study of sociology rather than the study of feminism.

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  jimhabegger on Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:30 am

This might look like beating a dead horse, but I want to check again to see if I've missed anything.

From the home page of Atheism Plus:
Atheism+ is a safe space for people to discuss how religion affects everyone and to apply skepticism and critical thinking to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, GLBT issues, politics, poverty, and crime.
From the FAQ:
Atheism Plus is a term used to designate spaces, persons, and groups dedicated to promoting social justice and countering misogyny, racism, homo/bi/transphobia, ableism and other such bigotry inside and outside of the atheist community.
The “us” in this case are the individuals and groups who are interested in seeing what an association of atheists working against bigotry, hatred, and discrimination can accomplish when given their own spaces in which to develop ideas.
to promote justice, equality, fairness, empathy, compassion, and understanding in the here-and-now.
By creating a designation for a subset of atheists dedicated to taking action against bigotry it is hoped that more atheists will take such a stand themselves. One of the main problems is that people often don’t understand how they might be unconsciously acting in a manner that is hostile or inconsiderate to others such as women, people of color, the disabled, LGBT individuals, the poor, and so on. By clearing spaces for communication, it is hoped that discussions about privilege will help bring to light such hidden attitudes.
There are no membership requirements beyond a commitment to taking seriously the need to have and maintain spaces where social justice issues can be discussed by atheists without interference from those opposed to the whole endeavor.
I've been searching for two or three weeks, and I have not found this anywhere on the Internet. Has anyone seen this anywhere?

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  jimhabegger on Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:47 am

On a completely different topic, I just reviewed Jen McCreight's first two posts about a third wave of atheism, and what I see being called A+ now, seems to me to have little or nothing to do with her vision. For one thing, she explicitly did not want it to be a separate faction:
Feel free to use this post to discuss how you feel about A+. I don’t think it needs to be an official name – I want to improve the atheist movement, not create a splinter faction or something.
(Atheism+)
For another, her vision went far beyond cultural environment issues:
It’s time for a wave that cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime.

I'm guessing that her discussion of it facilitated a shift in that direction that had already started, and that atheism will continue to move in that direction, exactly as she was hoping. I'm not sure it's moving as fast as she hoped, but I'm not sure it isn't.

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  mood2 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:38 am

You're talking about a young grass roots movement with no leaders or manifestos, it's messy. Maybe in time we'll get a clearer picture of how this all develops and have people trying to retrospectively discern waves of atheist activism or somesuch like feminism, but for now it's... messy Smile

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Re: Fate of the original Atheism Plus movement(s)

Post  nullnvoid on Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:29 pm

For a while this whole thing reminded me of the period in the 60s when the NAACP got rid of non coloured people from it's ranks. In the 50s the organisation had enlisted the support of civil rights activists regardless of race. Many of the people who suffered at the hands of police in civil rights protests in the South were white.

I don't think this was necessarily the wrong move for the organisation, but ultimately it involved severing ties with a lot of allies and caused some white civil rights activists to feel a sense of betrayal.

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