I haven’t blogged about the proto-movement known as Atheism Plus yet. Althought the ideas of Atheism Plus look good on paper, in reality it is made up of a small bunch of people who spend their time on the Atheism Plus forum, squawking “check your privilege”, accusing each other of being sexists and constantly crying about how they are “under attack” from “harassers”. I find Atheism Plus to be completely pointless when we already have secular humanism.
One common criticism of Atheism Plus is that it is divisive, unnecessarily fragmenting atheism. Althought advocates of Atheism Plus (I like to call them Plussers) have always denied this, a new petition from Adam Lee has appeared whose divisiveness is hard to deny.
The petition, like Atheism Plus itself, looks very agreeable at first. It calls for leaders of atheists/skeptics to “Support Feminism and Diversity in the Secular Community”, which sounds fine, but a small degree of close inspection of the very first paragraph of the petition reveals the it to be a glorified personal attack on the YouTube sensation Thunderf00t. It also includes a call for the dreaded “harassment policies” which have been called for by the same people for skeptic/atheist conferences.
So where is the evidence that this petition is divisive? Once again, it comes from Twitter. Adam has been tweeting about the petition, and one particular tweet is very telling:
In case you don’t know what “shibboleth” means allow me to explain: in the Bible (book of Judges), the people of Gilead went to war with the people of Ephraim and defeated them in battle. In order to identify any fleeing Ephraimites, the people of Gilead asked them to say the word “shibboleth”. The way they pronouced the word gave away where they were from. A modern day equivalent might be to get an American and a Canadian to pronounce the word “about”! :)
So, Adam is happy for his petition to be used as a shibboleth. In other words, if you sign it you are on the side of Atheism Plus, and if you don’t you are against Atheism Plus and therefore you are a sexist misogynist. This can only serve to cement the “us versus them” mentality, and could not be any more divisive if it tried!