Secular humanists not feminist enough for you? Atheism not social justice-y enough for you?
Okay, on a science site you are stopping me right there and saying, "Isn't atheism just about believing on one less God than 90% of the world? And what's with all this social engineering business?"
It's an intentional fracture in skepticism and atheism and humanism, it seems. As Per Smith puts it at irritually.org, it is ironically downright sectarian. And apparently quite exclusive. Not exclusive in the sense that an American Express Centurion is exclusive (you have to be dumb enough to pay $2,500 a year or whatever it costs now) but in the sense that they want to show everyone how much more awesome they are than cultural barbarians (outsiders), namely by ridiculing and stereotyping everyone who is not the right kind of feminist. Don't think a guy asking you for a coffee is rape? Maybe you are the wrong kind of feminist, Richard Dawkins.
The downside to trying to create an umbrella for lots and lots of people with some aggressive beliefs, as skepticism has tried to do, is that eventually the militants will turn on you too.
For an outsider like me, watching the dynamic unfold is interesting even if I don't get the need for the drama. They seem to agonize over leadership - because it looks too much like a church, which clearly has a leader - and that means they are reacting to what they think people will think people will think before they think it. Not very rational. All religion has to do to kill any formal atheism that becomes powerful enough to get any cultural attention is call the person the most dangerous 'the leader' and the rest will turn on them. As he replies in a comment, how can they even decide who is in the Atheism + group if no one is going to set a standard and everyone will agree on something so simultaneously inclusive and exclusive and therefore fuzzy it is arbitrary, along the lines of 'this person is a friend of mine, can we let her in?'
I'm no expert in this, plenty of people inside will tell me my perceptions are all wrong, I just linked to it because Smith wrote an interesting piece on a subject I know little (and care less) about - it takes some skill to make an irrelevant topic (in science, anyway) like who is hating who in skepticism, atheism or all of the other -isms people create while they insist they are not anything like religion, interesting to outsiders. They do share one -ism; fundamentalism.
And fundamentalism is important if you are going to create ideological purity in your movement. That word 'purity' is an important one. But since I am not fawning over the bloggers who want to remake the world in their image, I have to worry I will get burned in their holy fire.
Read the article by Per Smith but you should probably comment there rather than here. He, and his audience, are in touch with the interpersonal complexities of all this and no one on Science 2.0 is.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice
- Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk By Sleeping With Lots Of Women - But Not Men
- Homo Floresiensis: Hobbit Species Continues To Provoke Questions About Human Evolution
- Supersonic Laser-Propelled Aircraft Get A Step Closer
- Okay With Disgusting Images? You Vote This Way 95 Percent Of The Time
- Everyone Hates Daylight Savings Time - But It Might Improve Public Health
- This Mid-Term Election Can Have Evolutionary Consequences
- "You're quote mining. When it comes to environmental risk, energy emissions from CO2 are back at..."
- "Of course they aren't. These are scientific terms Hank Campbell and you can't just interpret them..."
- "The wealthiest are only formally most educated and, from both my personal expriences and reading..."
- "You think the marker assisted selection suddenly being endorsed by Greenpeace is not genetic modification..."
- "food and energy are not major issues Are you for real???! As for the rest - well, population control..."
- Genetically modified clean energy from bacteria
- Designer babies: You can screen for cystic fibrosis but intelligence is a way off
- Science as profane: What superstition of 1752 and 2014 share in common
- What’s so “natural” about “natural crop breeding”?
- Worried you have cancer? Take a Google pill!
- Mars bars for brain health? Not so fast