Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm Sorry That I Don't Care About Atheism+

I'm Sorry.  I really am.

I read.  Day and night, I absorb as much information as I can withstand.  I have a job and a family and I actually like both of them most of the time.  If I lived alone in a cave (with wi-fi) I would read around the clock and would further my personal education in matters of science, philosophy, ethics & literature.  I would read that copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray that Steve got me for my birthday in 2004.  I would take a really solid crack at Kant's Metaphysics.  I would read the Bible, the Qur’an, the Tao Te Ching.  I would surely double the Internet intake of essays and blog posts about all things Atheistic.

I would probably read all of the posts buzzing about the revolutionary concept of A+ and how it adds (or takes away) from the existing brand of atheism.  With all of these other things competing for my attention I simply do not have the time or inclination.  I have trouble getting past the first few paragraphs of almost everything I read on the subject.  I have read a few interesting takes on it but it all boils down to who is allowed to sit with the cool kids at the lunch table.

I am fully aware of the controversy that sparked this manufactured movement and I can identify with the frustration of anyone who feels that they are being treated unfairly.  Obviously, I find rape/death threats and misogyny toward any woman abhorrent.  I am further disgusted that it happens in any form inside a community that I am a part of.  None of these things have anything to do with atheism.

There seems to be this belief that atheism existed in some alternate form pre-2001 then suddenly burst into public consciousness when people actually started asking non-believers what they thought about 9/11.  Back then; many atheists were disenchanted from religion for Humanist reasons (slavery, sexism, bigotry etc).  When technology allowed for us to reach each other and the web-log gave everyone a voice and a potential audience, the subsequent burst of ideas was labeled “New Atheism”.  We have spent more than enough time discussing that topic on this blog.  I don’t accept this “wave of atheism” theory.  I think it’s closer to a “wave of atheism awareness”.

Now, eleven years later it seems like people who pride themselves on freethought are upset when their “movement” doesn’t mirror all of their ideas.  Again, I’m not opposed to any of the ideas of the Atheist+ label.  In fact it is damn close to my personal ideology. That’s why I’m so bored with it.

I am an atheist and a secular humanist and a progressive and a feminist.  I’m a rationalist and a naturalist and a skeptic.  I’m a bit of a materialist, a Darwinist and a Neil DeGrasse Tysonist (the last one doesn't exist but it should).

I am all of these things, but I'm also none of them. The problem isn't that I haven't found the correct label for myself the problem is a tendency to try to find a label at all. I will not fall into the vortex of a parallel universe where cats are herd animals. I can't make myself care about a new title that will be just as inadequate at describing my beliefs as all the others.  And I feel little bad about it.  I do.  But I have so many other things to read.


Martin S Pribble said...

Thanks Steve, I hear where you are coming from loud and clear. While the initial blind enthusiasm for A+ seems to be conforming into some sort of reason, I still worry that comments like those made by Carrier can only cause more harm than good. I had some thoughts on the sunject, plus a cool takeaway video

Steve Barry said...

Thanks Martin, but this is Adam's post.

Adam is smarter than I in that he doesn't give a damn about it. I've posted twice about i earlier this weekt, stated my opinion, and now I'm done (unless something insanely stupid occurs).

Martin S Pribble said...

AH yes, my apologies to Adam. Thanks Adam!

Adam said...

No worries Martin! Thanks for the link.

Alessia Lane said...

I tweeted (twatted?) the other day about the fact that I was once again out-of-the-loop with the regards to the newest atheist infighting. I'm a mom,feminist, atheist, a blogger, a PTA junkie, star wars geek, whovian, and new member of the Neil DeGrasse Tysonists. I don't have the energy, time, or the mental fortitude to deal with drama.

Great post, Adam. :)