After reading a blog... No wait, scratch that, a manifesto by Richard Carrier, I can now safely say that this is not about atheism at all, but rather the dawn of a new religion. And I am not kidding when I say that.
I said it before, and I'll say it again, these people are no different than theists, and they are certainly not capable of any real reason or critical thinking. Take a look at some of what Carrier wrote about atheism plus and compare it to any religion.
There is a new atheism brewing, and it’s the rift we need, to cut free the dead weight so we can kick the C.H.U.D.’s back into the sewers and finally disown them, once and for all. I was already mulling a way to do this back in June when discussion in the comments on my post On Sexual Harassment generated an idea to start a blog series building a system of shared values that separates the light side of the force from the dark side within the atheism movement, so we could start marginalizing the evil in our midst, and grooming the next generation more consistently and clearly into a system of more enlightened humanist values.Look at the sentences I bolded. Doesn't that sound just like religion to you? Sure as hell does to me. And he goes on again later with the following:
but it paralleled my more private thinking about the evil among us.The 'evil' among us... Why doesn't this guy get his own pulpit already? I have a mental image of him pounding his fists into it as he preaches about the evil among us. REPENT!! (He actually says this further down... YIKES).
He speaks of 'battle lines', taking up 'the banner', and an 'Amen' for good measure. This is scary shit folks. This guy is actually trying to make this atheism plus a religion. I kid you not.
Let's continue on, if you have the stomach for this crap...
We humanists already know where we stand, and that it’s not with the atheists who denounce or reject these values.What are his values? Well, seems he has three main values, which I shall get to in a moment. But before I do I want to share this part that I rather quite enjoyed, as the irony seems to have been completely lost on him.
How communications manipulate people is so fundamental to our lives now, it is a scandal we aren’t fully equipping kids for how to approach and deal with it. That field would include logic (especially identifying fallacies and being able to diagram and analyze real-world claims and arguments), defensive rhetoric (how to identify methods of manipulation in communication), and a basic understanding of how advertising, filtering, framing, and statistics can be abused to mislead and misinform in all media.
I mention this last point, even though it is the least controversial thing about Atheism+, because it really does underlie how many atheists lack this understanding in themselves and instead even denigrate its importance to policing racism, sexism, and irrationality in the movement itself. The idea that we should not be criticizing each other when we say stupid or ignorant things is self-defeating and self-destructive, and the very first corrupt value we need to kick to the curb.Yes Richard, there is a lot of manipulation out there, and you are actually part of that 'scandal'. But of course that fact just flew right over your head didn't it? Perhaps you should have equipped yourself a bit better as a child so that the dough you call a brain would not be so easily manipulated, as you clearly lack that understanding in yourself.
So, to take you up on your advice, yes I am criticizing you because you are saying stupid and ignorant things. Funny how that little 'idea' of yours can backfire in your face isn't it?
Richard then goes on to lay down the foundation of atheism with the 3 values I spoke of before:
1. We believe in being reasonable. This means, first, that we believe in being logical and rational in forming beliefs and opinions. Which means anyone who makes a fallacious argument and, when shown that they have, does not admit it, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.So the old 'you are either with us or against us' card has been pulled again once again. He is talking about marginalizing and ostracizing people that do not conform to his/their beliefs. Gee, that's not like religion at all is it?
I do not think it is in our interests any longer to cooperate in silence with irrational people, when it is irrationality that is the fundamental root cause of all human evil. Anyone who disagrees with that is simply not someone we can work with. We need to make the requirement of rationality in all our dealings with anyone fundamental.So who decides what is irrational? If it is you, Richard, then we are all in serious trouble. I got away from religion because it made zero sense, and the same can be said about you Richard. Nothing you are saying is in any way rational in the least. In fact you contradict yourself so many times it's like watching a theist trying to defend the bible.
2. We believe in being compassionate. That means we believe it is important to have empathy for other people (men, women, white people, black people, rich people, poor people, and anyone suffering illness or misfortune or unfair treatment, and so on) and to act in the best interests of human happiness (rather than in the interests of our own vanity, greed, or self-righteousness, for example).So this is in direct conflict with your first value, since you have already stated that you want nothing to do with anyone who does not agree with you. How does this value work if it is in conflict with the first value? How can you, on one hand, talk of marginalizing and ostracizing people, and then, on the other hand, talk about being empathetic? Oh wait, now I see how you try to convince yourself that these two values actually can compliment one another:
This does not mean we can’t be angry or mean or harsh, when it is for the overall good (as when we mock or vilify the town neonazi); ridiculing the ridiculous is often in fact a moral obligation, and insults are appropriate when they are genuinely appropriate (because, in short, human happiness would be destroyed if we didn’t marginalize that which can destroy it). It also doesn’t mean that we won’t act against evil, ignorance, and all the sins of vanity, greed, or self-righteousness. To the contrary, it is our compassion that compels us to do so. Our compassion entails we will and must always be the enemies of the uncompassionate.
And this is where the biggest divide exists in our movement today. Everyone who attacks feminism, or promotes or defends racism or sexism, or denigrates or maliciously undermines any effort to look after the rights and welfare and happiness of others, is simply not one of us. They have rejected compassion as a fundamental value. Regardless of what they say, that is in actual fact what they have done.I see, so this isn't really compassion in the true sense of the word. It's actually like religious compassion, which we all know is not really compassion at all, but rather a selfish idea that is clouded in delusion so as to make the individual practicing think they are being compassionate so they feel better about themselves when they act like bigots. Makes perfect sense now.
Now, be warned, this next bit is so bogged down with irony, you may want to sit on your hands so as not to hurt yourself from an epic facepalm.
Indeed, as the Surly Amy story shows, there are clearly many of us who disregard the happiness of others just to hurt them, mocking or insulting (or even threatening) them merely to please one’s own vanity or self-righteousness, in complete disregard of the pointless misery it causes another human being. That is fucking evil. And if you are complicit in that, or don’t even see what’s wrong with it, or worse, plan to engage in Christian-style apologetics for it, defending it with the same bullshit fallacies and tactics the Christians use to defend their own immorality or that of their fictional god, then I don’t want anything to do with you. You are despicable. You are an awful person. You disgust me. You are not my people.
Even the most rudimentary application of The Golden Rule would have caused any of the people who treated Amy as they did, or Rebecca Watson, or any of the many women and men who have been targeted by this shit, to stop themselves well beforehand. “Wait. Would I want people to treat me this way?” No, you fucking wouldn’t. So alas, you are a hypocriteI told you this was epic irony. Don't blame me if you have a giant welt on your forehead now. I warned you.
And now we return to the pulpit for more of Richard's sermon:
So speak out wherever you see these two sides at loggerheads, and voice your affiliation, so it’s clear how many of us there are, against them. And this very much is an us vs. them situation. The compassionate vs. the vile. You can’t sit on the fence on this one. In a free society, apathy is an endorsement of villainy.
This also applies to the sexists and racists and other dirtbags who try to make themselves seem reasonable through the specious tactic of merely not using curse words or insults, as if that is all that it takes to be a reasonable person. No, when you see apologists for sexism and racism and other anti-humanistic views of the world, views that have at their core a fundamental lack of empathy for other human beings and a pathological disinterest in seeing how things look from perspectives not their own, views that place narcissistic self-interest above genuine concern for how other people are doing, even when they try to mimic what they think “sounding reasonable” looks like, you needn’t resort to invective or insults, but on the same even keel they are pretending at, simply declare that they are not one of you, but are one of them. The people we want nothing more to do with. Until and unless they realize their own sins and repent of them. Feel free to calmly explain why.Ah yes, the compassionate versus the vile. The morally superior versus those that they deem to be less than worthy, evil, narcissistic, and irredeemable. Those that are doomed to a life of immorality and who are blinded by their 'sins' (yes, he said sins).
Pound that pulpit father Richard. Pound it good and hard...
3. We believe in personal integrity. That means we believe in being honest and forthright, and consistent in our values. Hypocrisy to us is among the greatest sins, and we will denounce it everywhere, and purge it whenever we discover it in ourselves.
It must actually shame us when we are discovered to be hypocritical or dishonest in any significant way, and our integrity ought always drive us to correct ourselves when that happens. Our integrity ought to be important to us.
We must integrate this ideal of personal integrity into our very self-identity. Those who don’t, those who aren’t shamed by being exposed as liars or hypocrits [sic], those who persist in being dishonest or inconsistent even when their dishonesty or inconsistency has been soundly proven, is not one of us, and is to be marginalized and kicked out, as not part of our movement, and not anyone we any longer wish to deal with.Well, I guess father Richard has sinned. Better get him to a confessional to purge ASAP before he has to excommunicate himself for the sin of hypocrisy and dishonesty. He MUST be shamed for his sins, according to his own words, in order to remain in his religion. If not, we are to cast him out. Poor guy can't even adhere to his own values... Much like theists. But I am sure he has found a loophole somewhere, like most theists do too.
And in conclusion to his sermon:
In the meantime, I call everyone now to pick sides (not in comments here, but publicly, via Facebook or other social media): are you with us, or with them; are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or are you going to stick with Atheism Less?
Then at least we’ll know who to work with. And who to avoid.Yes, quick, pick now. Pick between a community of real rational, empathetic, compassionate, and moral people, or pick a new religion based on contradictory values, headed by a bunch of irrational feminists who want to dictate how you should or should not act, and what they deem as acceptable or not. Yes, please choose now. I want to see how many irrational twits there are out there who call themselves atheists, but who in reality are just as fucking dogmatic as any theist out there. Let's flesh out these imposters now, and get this all over with shall we?
By the way Richard, in case it is not clear, I am sticking with ATHEISM, HUMANISM, and RATIONALISM. You can have your atheist plus religion. I gave up being a child who needs my hand held and to be told what to do a long time ago.