Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:59 PM
rug (60,731 posts)
Some Call for 'Cease Fire' in Atheist Infighting
February 5, 2013
Posted by vjack at 5:09 AM
There has been some talk lately about whether the demise of the infighting related to Freethought Blogs/Skepchick/Atheism+ can be hastened in some manner or if it is here to stay. After Lee More (A-News) called for a "cease fire" in what has become "a No-holds-barred online war" in the atheist community, Justin Vacula (Justin Vacula's Blog) suggested that stepping back from the in-fighting would be a good thing. Staks Rosch (Dangerous Talk) agreed that an end to the conflict would be nice but expressed some pessimism about it actually happening. I share his pessimism. Some people seem to have more to gain by the conflict continuing than they do by getting along with others. Until that changes, I expect the infighting will continue.
Are those who align themselves with Freethought Blogs/Skepchick/Atheism+ interested in seeing an end to the conflict? Adam Lee (Daylight Atheism) responded to Justin via TwitLonger by listing his demands for a "cease fire" (at least, it reads sort of like a list of demands). Not surprisingly, there have been quite a few responses, including these by uberfeminist, Atheist Morality, Background Probability (part 2 is here), and Justin Vacula himself.
Can the online atheist community become much more polarized than it is now? I'm not sure, but I find myself wondering how many valuable voices we've lost through all the infighting. Increasing numbers of atheists who are active online seem to be checking out after deciding that they want nothing to do with such squabbles. If we are lucky, they will turn their attention elsewhere and focus on promoting atheism, defending the separation of church and state, and the like. But I fear that some are giving up on a community that may not seem worth the effort at times.
Two questions strike me as relevant here:
1. How can we end (or at least reduce) the infighting before it does additional damage?
2. Do we really want to end (or at least reduce) the infighting?
11 replies, 1042 views
Some Call for 'Cease Fire' in Atheist Infighting (Original post)
|Dark n Stormy Knight||Feb 2013||#2|
|Dark n Stormy Knight||Feb 2013||#5|
|Dark n Stormy Knight||Feb 2013||#9|
|Phillip McCleod||Feb 2013||#11|
Response to rug (Reply #7)
Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:40 PM
Dark n Stormy Knight (2,537 posts)
9. Ha, yes I figured out that I replied to a post in this forum. I just always read the latest or
greatest threads lists and never notice where a post originated. I only have bad things to say about religion, so I doubt I'll be posting much in this group!
Response to rug (Original post)
Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:19 PM
longship (24,082 posts)
6. Tough call, rug.
Some in the community are acting very, very poorly. I do not mean Michael Shermer, PZ Myers, Steve Novella, or Rebecca Watson (although their writings seem to have brought much of it to the forefront).
And yes, PZ has a very noisy blog, full of his rabble-rousing rhetoric. But love him or hate him, he is always entertaining. But those who know him personally still call him Minnesota nice. He just likes having fun and delights in skewering those who take on ridiculous positions.
This last week both Rebecca and PZ have taken head-on the mean spirited and overtly threatening misogynistic responses to Rebecca's (and Skepchik's) position that males at skeptical conferences should act like -- for lack of a better word -- gentlemen.
I think overt threats and other ridiculousness in this so-called dialog goes beyond the pale and deserves to be reviled and exposed publically. Rebecca, PZ and many others of us are repulsed by what is happening.
I do not know how else to solve the issue other than for Rebecca and company to keep up their activism and defend the right of women to not be objectified.
If people do not like that, that's their problem.
I stand firmly with the SkepChiks, PZ, and any others who would stand next to us. It's time society licked this.
But it is going to a tough one.
Response to longship (Reply #6)
Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:38 PM
Phillip McCleod (1,837 posts)
11. i'm delighted by this response and with you 100%
i really liked adam lee's 'demands' for respect for women and recognition of the lack of diversity in activist atheism. boiled down to 'stop acting like sexist pigs and we'll stop calling you sexist pigs'. simple as that. so in response to question #2 in the o.p. i would say no. we don't. there's going to be sexist and racist atheists for some time to come and women and ethnic minority atheists have zero reason to work with them.