More fun

by atheismplusone

Just read this.  It’s fairly typical of the A+ brigade.  I’ll hit the high notes in my response.

it’s a useful (if disconcerting) glance into the mindsets of those who see the rise of the Atheism+ (sub)movement as the latest great threat to the godless community’s patriarchal pride.

Right off the bat, he labels the A+ opponents as supporting the patriarchy.  This is insulting your opponent rather than discussing rationally with them.  It’s an indication that his position is so weak, that he needs to resort to invective and insults.

the entire point of feminism is to decry gender inequality and to fight for the equal treatment of both men and women under the law and in general society.

Quite possibly.  That’s not what Erin Pizzey found out.  Her experience was that one large subset of feminism was about promoting women at the expense of everyone else.  Her attempts to discuss womens behavior based on facts and evidence resulted in death threats and bomb threats.

If feminism was just that, most people wouldn’t have a problem with it.

Opposing this logically entails opposing the struggle for women’s rights. I find it hard to believe that there might be other reasons for doing so …

If you don’t believe that feminism is about equality, then opposing feminism can mean you’re for equality.  The argument from ignorance is a logical fallacy.    It doesn’t belong here.

(After all, misogyny isn’t only the overt hatred of women; it’s the totality of sexist attitudes, both apparent and abstract.)

That’s redefining the traditional meaning of the word “misogyny”.  It’s nice to be able to “win” arguments by redefining the terms under discussion.

… people are turning away from the modern feminist movement (and possibly women’s rights in general) as a result of issues with its public image.

In a word: yes.  I know many women (professional, trans, lesbian, straight) who don’t like the public image of feminism.  That is largely because the public image is bad.

But this somewhat misses the mark; feminism has never been a particularly popular movement in the public eye – how can it, given that it’s devoted to calling out abuses of privilege and power?

Let me try this: “no one can be prejudiced against black people, because the president is black, and he’s rich and powerful.”

Logical fallacies aren’t useful.  Feminism manifestly does have a public image, no matter how popular or unpopular it is.  You can’t just ignore a negative public image because you label it as “not popular”.  I would also defy anyone to deny that feminist ideas currently have power.  Public policy is strongly influenced by feminist ideas.  Counter-balancing facts are ignored.

if anything, the public perception of feminism has only improved over the years,

In a word: no.

now that fewer people consider it heresy to allow women to vote and all.

That’s a false dichotomy.  Women have had the vote in the US for a long time.  The now he’s referring to is from one hundred years ago.

It’s unfair (and, frankly, just lazy) to judge an entire movement and all that it stands for based on disagreements with the actions of some of its supporters.

Atheists regularly judge religious people based on the actions of a minority.  Why?  Because the majority fail to distance themselves from the extreme positions in their religion.  Their silence in the face of child abuse, bombings, and genocide speaks volumes.

If you believe in the merits and goals of feminism and women’s rights in general, then you should fight for it and try to reclaim it from those who you think tarnish its name.

By the same token, why doesn’t he fight to reclaim the “Atheist” label from the sexist pigs who tarnished it’s name? Maybe it’s because fighting an entrenched and powerful group of people is hard.  Maybe because starting a new group means you’re likely to end up as one of the entrenched and powerful.

I think we’re getting into real motivations here.

Why are they so unable to conceive of a moment that might exist and grow without some sort of “representative” leadership or centralized headquarters? … What the movement does have is people, some more popular (and thus influential) than others, who speak their minds about Atheism Plus, either for or against it.

Except that there are clear leaders in the A+ movement.  There are movers and shakers who help define what it is.  Who have strong influence.  Who ban people for disagreeing, or for asking questions.

He’s promoting a utopian ideal of happy-go-lucky anarchy.  That doesn’t work, and it isn’t how A+ forums work today.

From what I’ve heard, Matt Dillahunty was banned from the Atheism+ Forum after repeatedly violating their rules. Whether or not he was treated unfairly by the moderators before being booted is both unknown to me and utterly irrelevant here; he’s not a victim of censorship.

In a word: No.  I’ve looked into it, by watching Matt’s video blogs, his comments on FtB, and the A+ forums.  He was clearly treated unfairly by the moderators, who admitted so.  That behavior is relevant to the A+ movement, as it is one of the reasons why it’s detractors (such as me) don’t like it.

Atheism+ isn’t a “new definition” of the greater atheist movement, … The rest of the godless community is perfectly free to continue about their business without paying Atheism+ any mind.

Except that’s not true.  The A+ proponents have made it clear anyone who is not with them is against them.  I’m perfectly free to continue my atheistic  business, but the price of that is the A+ proponents calling me sexist, MRA pig, etc.

That’s rude.

All this just illustrates the main problem with these malcontents and haters (discounting the outright trolls), which is that most of them are goddamned morons. … like a snotty child throwing dirt at the walls of a treehouse he wasn’t invited into …

Yes, of course.  The real reason people don’t like A+ is that they are stupid.  It’s not for the reasons they claim.

Dehumanizing your opponent is not a logical argument.

(some people) … just want to avoid the whole mess altogether. And frankly, the more of those poisonous dingleberries I encounter, the less I can blame them.

Pot.  Kettle.  Black.


I’m opposing A+ because I think it’s divisive, dogmatic and anti-intellectual.  Feel free to call me a “moronic poisonous dingleberry