I came across an article in the British on-line version of The Guardian, describing a new group called "Atheism+". And, not a very flattering article at that. The Guardian describes the group, in the sub-title to the article, as "A new movement, Atheism+, has prompted non-believers to spit venom at one another rather than at true believers."
I was curious, so I dug a little further. It's reported that the members describe themselves as the Third Wave of atheism, rejecting the New Atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens) as a group. Purportedly based upon humanist ideas, PZ Meyers, in promoting Atheism+, clearly stated that if you don't agree with the groups goals,
...then you’re an asshole. I suggest you form your own label, “Asshole Atheists” and own it, proudly. I promise not to resent it or cry about joining it.
I just had a thought: maybe the anti-atheist+ people are sad because they don’t have a cool logo. So I made one for the asshole atheists.
Part of the rejection of the New Atheists comes from a founder, one Jennifer McCreight, who stated her critique of the atheist movement is because it includes groups of old, white, men.
Noted atheist Thunderf00t did an article that eviscerates Atheism+, entitled A+ (atheism plus), For A Third Glorious Age of Total Agreement
As to myself, I can't say that I really know that much about it. Maybe what I've read so far is nothing more than unfavorable bias. And, am just wondering if anyone else has heard of this, or knows anything about it.
This is the link to go to Atheism+.
To clarify, I did not say or intend to say that this thread was WWIII, I was referring to the reaction of various blog commentators to proposals from atheists and skeptical groups to institute anti-harassment policies at their respective conferences. Many of those were indeed way out of all proportion to the intended actions.
Took the words right out of my mouth.
I'm glad there is a large and diverse skeptic community where we could have this discussion without a massive A+ derail. Almost every poster was able to stay on topic and engage Pat's actual point. That's rare in progressive spaces these days.
Matthew, I agree about those who have expressed their opinions in a dignified way one here. When I first came across the idea of Atheism+, I honestly had no idea what it was all about. And, after reading the links I initially put up, my opinion was somewhat less than favorable. And, less than favorable in this respect. I actually agree with the principles of Atheism+ that I're read about. Anti-racism, anti-misogyny, anti-homophobia, etc. In fact, I support equal rights and equal treatment for all. I guess what rubbed me the wrong way was, as Jonathan Chang elucidated, that which appears to me a dogmatic approach tolerating no dissent. As I stated earlier, I'm not a fan of dogma. And, while I tend to agree with principles espoused by Atheism+, I've yet to see how those principles, and atheism, are inextricably linked. I know liberal, libertarian, and conservative atheists, and atheists who have adopted various positions of all three. In many cases, the only commonality is a rejection of the supernatural. Like the quote attributed to Madelyn Murray O'Hair, "Organizing atheists is like herding cats."
After reading a clarification by PZ and doing some reading on their forums I think that it is not as problematic as I first believed. I am still not an adherent but I am less concerned now.