The Dictionary as a ‘Magic Book’ for Atheists

I’ve been a bit behind in documenting some of the stupid that comes from the keyboards of The Usual Suspects.

This post is from a couple of weeks ago, but I think it deserves a few words of comment.

The writer apparently believes that being a dictionary atheist, i.e., that all atheism means is a non-belief in god(s) is not enough. He says that “…atheism is not about atheists treating each other decently and respectfully. As an atheist, you’re allowed to say that you don’t believe in gods, and that’s it.”

Here we go again. No, as an atheist, you are allowed to say and believe pretty much anything you want. I know atheists that are not skeptics, believers in Ancient Aliens, some like Bill Maher, are anti-vaxxers and also promote pseudo-scientific “medical” remedies.

I would propose that all these non-skeptics are decent people. They probably don’t beat their significant other or their pets. What I believe this author is attempting to say is that atheists aren’t allowed to have fundamental disagreements. Of course, you can just look at some of the Twitter timelines of a few of The Usual Suspects and see how decently and respectfully they treat others.

But then, it’s not they that have a problem with decency and respect, it’s us.

The ridiculous part of this post is referring to a dictionary as a magic book. That just made me shake my head but then what else can anyone do when there are people trying to redefine common terms to mean something completely different (misogyny is no longer just the hatred of women, it’s disagreement with women).

Just look at the title of the post. That should tell you a lot about the mindset. Yes, I know it really doesn’t surprise anyone anymore.

9 thoughts on “The Dictionary as a ‘Magic Book’ for Atheists

  1. The author acts as if his fellow FTBers never challenged “either you’re for us or against us”, never vowed to purge atheist activism of all those who refused to adopt their agenda.

    The underlying first principle of Atheism Plus was that atheism somehow innately entailed crusading for certain socio-political positions which just happened to be their prog positions. Before he flounced, John Loftus made some very asinine attempts to prove this logically.

    The second principle of A+ is: to attract women, minorities & assorted unprivileged intersectionalities, all atheists needed to engage in activism for causes dear to those demographics. Thus, all atheists must (in the US) fight for abortion rights, support affirmative action, amnesty for illegal immigrants, etc. Any atheists who for whatever reasons opposed those agendas (or merely disagreed with the Plussers’ assessment of the several problems), were ‘unworthy’ and would be excommunicated.

    If the author is truly that ignorant of the Atheism Plus manifesto, it’s no wonder he’s befuddled by our opposition to it.

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  2. “…misogyny is no longer just the hatred of women, it’s disagreement with women)”

    I told you this once before, but here we go again. Hatred of women is NOT the only definition of the word misogyny. You are correct that it does not mean simple disagreement. But then this is not the way the so-called Usual Suspects are using the word. Misogyny also means a dislike or distrust of women. This is, I believe, the meaning when the so-called Usual Suspects use the word. But regardless of which meaning they have in mind, you need to be honest and stop perpetuating the deceit that misogyny means only hatred of women.

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  3. Wrong on both counts Matt. Atheism+ did not claim that all atheists had to be progressives or promote social justice issues to be atheists. It was and is an effort that joins together those atheists who share some common beliefs and objectives. No one demanded that you be a part of it. No one is demanding now that you be a part of it. Frankly, I am quite pleased you are not.

    You are the one ignorant of the Atheism+ manifesto. You are reading things into it that aren’t there. Please reprint the part of the Atheism+ Manifesto that says you can’t be an atheist if you aren’t willing to also promote social justice.

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  4. “What I believe this author is attempting to say is that atheists aren’t allowed to have fundamental disagreements.”

    I think you’ve got this wrong. What the author is doing is criticizing those such as yourself who keep insisting that atheism is limited to only the dictionary definition and therefore atheists like the author should wrong to blend their atheism with their social justice/political beliefs. I think both sides should stop this stupidity. Both sides should stop telling the other that they are doing it wrong. You should stop treating the dictionary as though it is the final word about the meaning of an idea. The dictionary is the starting place for exploring meaning, not the final destination. For some their atheism does mean more to them than simply a disbelief in gods. And there is nothing irrational or unskeptical about that. There is also nothing irrational or unskeptical about you choosing not to extend your atheism beyond simply a disbelief in God. But it is irrational and unskeptical when people on both sides of this issue keep telling the other “you are doing it wrong” and “no, you can’t do that.”

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  5. Here’s Jen McCreight kicking off Atheism Plus:

    “I don’t want good causes like secularism and skepticism to die because they’re infested with people who see issues of equality as mission drift. I want Deep Rifts…. I want the misogynists, racists, homophobes, transphobes, and downright trolls out of the movement for the same reason I wouldn’t invite them over for dinner or to play Mario Kart: because they’re not good people.
    “Now it’s time for a third wave [of atheism] – a wave that isn’t just a bunch of ‘middle-class, white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men’….
    “Though these people claim to love reason, no amount of reason will ever get them to admit that they’re wrong. So to them, all I have to say is have fun as you circle jerk into oblivion.”

    Greta Christina has expressly stated on more than one occasion that all atheist activism must include SJ activism — she specifically mentions the “school-to-prison pipeline” for young black males in the US, and “racist police and drug policies”, neither of which exist in reality.

    PZ Myers regularly indicates his unwillingness to cooperate with any atheists who are Republicans or libertarians — or, for that matter, liberals like myself who don’t buy into SJW propaganda. Myers, too insists that atheism must “stand for something more than just making fun of god…. We can either make atheism mean something … or we can fade out and die away….”

    Fortunately, dogdogma, you and your fellow Plussers are the ones fading away. You’ve become laughing stocks & pariahs, leaving the rest of us able to get back to the atheism part of atheism.

    (See also: http://skeptischism.com/atheismneat/2014/07/29/lets-keep-things-neat/ )

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    • I’m confused by the use of “Manifesto”. Did someone actually write one? All I ever saw was Jen McCreight’s list of what A+ is supposed to be. Hardly a manifesto.

      It’s all been “Play by my rules or I’ll take my ball and go home”, kiddie tactics. My response was “buh-bye!”.

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  6. Semantics. Whether ‘hatred’, ‘dislike’ or ‘distrust’, the term “misogyny” still implies animosity toward all women as a class. The SJW cries of “misogyny!” are uniformly in response to animosity, criticism, or mere disagreement directed at individuals who happen to be women. It is also used to describe doubts raised about the existence of misogyny itself, which is circular reasoning.

    Why don’t you cut the sprachspiel crap and give us some concrete examples of what you perceive to be misogyny perpetrated by opponents of Atheism Plus.

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  7. I use it in the broad sense of ‘public declaration of views’. I think these views are fully evident in the inaugural announcement by McCreight, as well as seconding & follow-ons by Carrier, Myers, Christina, and others.

    I challenge dogdogma or any Plusser apologist to produce examples of Plussers collaborating, or even indicating a willingness to collaborate, on ‘neat’ atheist initiatives without dragging in their SJ agenda items. Indeed, their internet slackivism and focus are almost wholly devoted to the ‘Plus’ aspects, with little or no attention paid to the ‘Atheism’.

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