My Personal Take on Atheism-Plus

It seems that there is a lot of fuss being made in the atheist community regarding an apparent sub-culture known as "Atheism-Plus."  I've noted a few pieces here and there on Atheist Nexus regarding it, though I don't know as any particular consensus has emerged out of A|N on the topic.  I DO know how I feel about it, and a few weeks ago, I shared my point of view on Reason Being's blog, to wit:

My personal evolution to atheism was a long and slow one, probably starting with the first time I read Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land back in the late 60's though 9/11 and finally being emboldened by seeing atheists speak out on a discussion board I participate in. Somewhere in all of that I came to the conclusion that I was an atheist and began to strengthen myself in that position and become more vocal myself.

Long before then, I recognized that the GLBT community was getting the short end of the stick, that the environment was getting mucked up by indiscriminate pollution, that a woman's right to choose should remain solely HERS and not be at the whim of either government or religion. These and a lot of other issues were on my mind and I had arrived at what I think of as positive positions on them decades before my attitude toward atheism resolved itself. ALL of those positions were the result of my observations on how things were happening in the world and my own rational processing and analysis of them.

For what I understand, atheism-plus wants these issues and others to be bound together into a supposedly necessary superset of atheism. To me, this is an artificial and manipulated association of issues. I base that assertion on the fact that those positions came together within me ON THEIR OWN, not because of some supposed relationship between them but because they were all part of my own personal bent and attitude. Indeed, my position on these issues is more a product of my approach to them - rational, thoughtful, and informed - than it has been a product of any one of them, atheism included.

I am an atheist. I am also a supporter of my friends who are gay or Lesbian or bisexual or transgendered.  I support women's rights and am very conscious of environmental and other issues I care about. To me, each of these issues has one thing in common - ME. Otherwise, they have as much in common with each other as a fish does with a bicycle.

I don't associate them with each other ... and I Will NOT Be TOLD that I have to.

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  • Earther

    I support a more rational world as in psychology for people.  Peer pressure is so strong that give in to that which is not true.  I don't blame those who do give in though because all too often in our history of human life competition is met with threats of death. 

  • Asa Watcher

    An essential issue Loren, as I have observed people making statements of belief based upon the perspective of their atheism.  This is the same mistake that others make about their beliefs that are based on the  perspective of their theism.

    Atheists should not make the same mistake that theists make,  and that is arriving at beliefs based upon the status of their faith in god(s).  It is disturbing to see here on A/N arguments being made that some of our fellow atheists are convinced that various conclusions, political, social, or otherwise, are based upon them being atheists.

    Until one can make the statement: “There is nothing I believe that is based upon my lack of faith in the existence of a god”,  is one truly an atheist.

  • Glen Rosenberg

    Asa Watching, what are you watching? Has anyone here made a statement of belief based upon atheism? Not that I recall, not that I forgot at all. Atheism is no god, no gods-simple. Beliefs do not follow from the negation.

    Theism is god, gods and attendant beliefs. Said beliefs are ipso facto invalid.

    Rationalism and reason lead to atheism. Rationalism and reason also lead ineluctably, I argue, to certain beliefs. Not political beliefs. No sir. Reason and rationalism lead to belief in equality and opposition to discrimination. In a free market place of ideas divorced from our history of superstition equality and opposition to discrimination will win out at least as an ideal.

    I know zero about atheism plus. But the title does not suggest it is beliefs springing magically from atheism. And if an atheist group wants to push its agenda, so what. Why the hell shouldn't they. If a conservative bunch of atheists want to push their's who cares.