122 comments posted · 11 followers · following 0

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Are You a Secular Huma... · 0 replies · +1 points

I do not associate with humanism or anything of the sort and it's in part because of quizzes like this. Chances are that if a Christian asked me to take a quiz on the ten commandments, I'd answer enough of the questions a certain way for him to suggest that I might be happy as a Christian.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Creepy Atheist Men and... · 0 replies · +3 points

But if Atheism+ had it's way, you might as well call it a reeducation camp.

I'm of the opinion that part of what creates creepiness in the first place is constant shaming. Remove the shaming from a room full of people and you've got your social skills training seminar. The best way to learn these skills is to be allowed to fail and try again in a safe environment where people won't automatically hate you for not meeting their expectations. The very idea of needing a separate space for this in a group that is meeting because they face stigma from society at large seems to defeat the entire point. It's indicative of a problem somewhere else.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Schrödinger&rsquo... · 1 reply · +5 points

There's definitely a double standard at work here, when you consider that combat veterans with PTSD are often portrayed as a potential threat themselves, rather than people who should be treated with some amount of deference and care.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Schrödinger&rsquo... · 2 replies · +6 points

I understand Schrodinger's Rapist from within the context of psychosis.

I also understand it from within the context of postmodernism and counter-enlightenment thinking. In this particular context, it's part of a broader set of arguments that have the very unfortunate connotation of "women's ways of knowing." It's an old speech, but still just as insightful as the day that Richard Dawkins gave it:

I'm not going to argue about how it's got anything to do with anti-male views and shaming tactics, although I do think that it has a very chilling effect on men's own comfort levels within certain spaces. What I will argue is that this concept presents us with a very frail, helpless, and irrational picture of femininity. A very Victorian view. I don't think it helps women. I think it does far more to reinforce the very negative perceptions of women as the weaker sex, driven by their emotions, and lacking the competence that they would need to compete with men in STEM fields and leadership positions.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Atheism Plus: Ignore I... · 0 replies · +4 points

I think maybe the idea of denouncing them is a way of doing both things. Every time they do something embarrassing, just reiterate that you're not associated with that movement and remind readers what it really means to be an atheist. And don't bother to engage with them directly on issues of their choosing, because they really do thrive on attention. I think that given the sort of shaming and silencing tactics that their group has used, along with the personal attacks and censorship on their own forums, the most important way to actually respond to them is to let people know that there are, in fact, alternatives that are grounded in a different set of principles.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Trigger Warning · 1 reply · +1 points

Here's some examples of what is deemed appropriate. Includes spiders and "slimy things."

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Trigger Warning · 5 replies · +8 points

It looks like an Orwellian tactic to me. People seem to use it when they want to warn others that they are not allowed to disagree with the author or any of the readers who feel that they have been victimized by the things that the author is condemning. It's not what you would want in an open, honest debate.

My reasoning is that it tends to have the opposite effect of what is actually claimed. You would think that if you put a trigger warning on it, then the people who would be "triggered" would stay away and everyone else can have an open, honest conversation. Instead, the trigger warnings serve more to announce a sort of protected speech and are an invitation for people who feel that they have been victimized to make comments that dramatize the author's argument while attacking people who actually want to explore both sides of the issue. In short, it creates an echo chamber.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Unitarians Seeking Tho... · 0 replies · +1 points

I completely agree with ignoring them as the very best possible strategy.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Feeling Disillusioned ... · 0 replies · +3 points

So, I used to comment on this blog some time back but I actually become disillusioned with atheism as a "community" about two years ago and largely abandoned the overall effort. I saw the online community going the way of a Trekkie convention rather than the vision that I've always had for atheism. I think that what I've witnessed are some of the worst, most unappealing strategies for social organization that I can think of. Rather than offering a supportive community that centers itself on atheism, people began to appropriate atheism for various other pet causes. To a large extent, I blame this sea change on external social movements who have moved their way into atheism, with tactics that had long been present in other social movements but which are not endemic to atheism as I've known it. Gone are the analogies to herding cats, replaced with dogmatic litmus tests for things that have nothing to do with atheism. That pretty much culminates in what has become known as Atheism+. Somewhere along the way, a lot of people simple stopped respecting the value of strong, independent thinking, of influencing one another through open debate, and the need for a clarity of focus as to what atheism is and is not. These people seek to intimidate others, they seem to believe that might makes right. It's become an ideological land grab. Luckily, if the formation of Atheism+ is any indication, these people are finding that their own views are incompatible with traditional atheism and they're starting to head off on their own merry way.

In a way, atheism simply wasn't prepared to become a social justice movement. It turns out that there's a lot more dogma out there than just religion and quack science. I think that what has happened over the past couple of years has opened up a lot of people's eyes and atheists are in fact more concerned with social justice issues than they were before. It's just that it doesn't always look the way traditional social-justice types would like to have it look like. And that's a good thing.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Churches Perform Vital... · 1 reply · +1 points

I see religious charity work as a form of blackmail. It's not just that they use tax-exempt resources to force their faith on the needy. It's also that they use the exclusivity of those social services to make a case for their existence - no church, no charity. But churches are dead set against secular social services, specifically those provided by the government. Religious leaders protested against the Melinda Gates Foundation, they protested against universal health care, they protest against just about anything that "competes" with their services and the overwhelming majority of them push their congregations to espouse regressive, socially conservative values.