Quickies

Quickies: #TwitterTheocracy, new atheism, and LGBT historic sites

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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  1. The definition of Atheism is a non belief in god. fightind for
    social justice is Humanism stop trying to hijack the meaning of atheist. Not all atheists belive in social justice for all and trying to tack social and feminist beliefs (which I do believe in) onto atheism holds back the spread of atheism. Use your humanist ideals to bring about social justice for all of humanity but do not claim it has anything to do with atheism.

    1. Hmm, what, then, to do with those of us for whom our atheism is tied directly to– and in fact stems from– our sense of social justice? Just keep ignoring us and telling us we can’t bring all of our concerns together to ride in the same boat, I suppose, because the end result of that is ineffectiveness.

      There is no bridge long enough to close the rift between me and those atheists who, as you put it, don’t believe in social justice for all. If their inability to see other human beings as people is holding back atheism then why don’t we eject *them* from the movement, hey, there’s a swell idea.

    2. Hmm, what, then, to do with those of us for whom our atheism is tied directly to– and in fact stems from– our sense of social justice? Just keep ignoring us and telling us we can’t bring all of our concerns together to ride in the same boat, I suppose, because the end result of that is ineffectiveness.

      There is no bridge long enough to close the rift between me and those atheists who, as you put it, don’t believe in social justice for all. If their inability to see other human beings as people is holding back atheism then why don’t we eject *them* from the movement, hey, there’s a swell idea.

  2. As I pointed out by its very definition Atheism is a non belief in god. All I’m asking is stop telling people they are not ateists because they do not have other beliefs that you hold. Your ateism may be connected to your sense of social justice but that is not the definition of the word. Your atheism is a disbelief in god your atheism is not your desire for social justice. It appears that you already try to eject ”them” from your ideas of what ateism should be.

    1. Who’s telling people they aren’t atheists? There’s a disagreement about where activism should be focused.
      There’s also nasty, bigoted people floating around movement atheism.
      I think it’s right and proper to want gropers and harassers disinvited from conventions and gatherings, and I think it’s reasonable to not want to hand bigots the microphone.
      I wouldn’t want those nasty fuckers speaking for me, either.

    2. You’re arguing against an assertion that has not been made anywhere I’ve seen, on this site or in the linked article. That’s called a strawman argument. I’m just going to throw that out there and not pursue it, though, because the point that you’re trying to make deserves to be unpacked regardless of what prompted it.

      Who wrote that definition of atheism that you’re using? We could look at the Greek origin of the word, but words don’t always mean what their etymology suggests, so that wouldn’t be very helpful. Before you assert that atheism means a certain thing, full stop, we should think about why that meaning was chosen for it, and not some other one that maybe includes or excludes certain concepts.

      What we call atheism today does incorporate a certain degree of social justice, contrary to your assertion here. To say, “I am an atheist,” does indeed mean that I am not a believer in God, but it also means that I believe that someone who has no belief in God should not be disadvantaged in the social, financial or political realms. Separation of church and state is, at its heart, a social justice construct, designed to decouple government from religion for the purpose of not placing one religious group over any other. Catholics should not be advantaged by the state over Protestants, and neither should be advantaged over Muslims.

      This is a basic social justice idea, and if you can’t see that, try swapping out “whites” for Catholics and “blacks” for Protestants. Once you do that, “separation of church and state” turns into “the civil rights movement.”

      So, who decided that atheism should incorporate this kind of social justice, but not those other kinds of social justice? That atheism is “just” non-belief in the supernatural, and therefore it has nothing to do with sexism or racism?

      Do you think it’s a giant coincidence that this definition was promoted by a bunch of well-off white men? You know, the sort of folks who don’t experience racism and don’t have to care about it, who don’t experience sexism and don’t have to care about it, who are on the benefit end of class differences and therefore don’t have to care about classism.

      Are you honestly going to say that it’s an accident that people who don’t have to care about racism defined “atheism” so that racial social justice isn’t included, but religious social justice, the kind about which these well-off white men do have to care, conveniently is?

      Why is it that Catholics have no problem rolling social justice for the poor into the zeitgeist of Catholicism, but you get your hackles up at the idea that somewhere an atheist is doing an equivalent thing?

      Before you trot out a dictionary definition of atheism, you need to ask yourself some things. Who wrote that definition? Is that really the sum of the meaning you have in mind when you use the word, or are there other concepts (like church/state separation) that are rolled inside it? Who is served by using a particular definition of a word, and who is not, and why is that the case?

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