Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Agnostics, Atheists, New Atheists, Gnu Atheists, Secular Humanists, Apatheists, Secularists, Secular Humanists, Anti Theists, Freethinkers.

There are a lot of labels given to people who don't believe in god(s). A lot of it comes down to semantics - by some people's definition, I'd be an agnostic (as would Richard Dawkins). I'm just going to use atheist from here on in though...

To me though atheism's not that important - I became an atheist by myself, the more I though about religion, the more atheism made sense. I only started proactively speaking out about it after reading books like the God Delusion which successfully argued (to me) that religion is, on balance, a bad thing for society. People are free to believe what they like - so long as it's not going to be detrimental to others.

It wasn't just me that became more vocal about atheism though - more books, blogs and media airtime was given to the subject. Groups of atheists got together online and IRL, and unsurprisingly, shared interests in skepticism, science and such.

Turns out though, that when you have a bunch of people who have strong views; prize independence of thought; and like to be vocal about it, you end up with a wide range of interests and views on what needs to be done. Hence the plethora of labels for atheists - people come to it for different reasons, have different goals, and different values about what's important. Who knew?

Well, there's a new name tag in town: Atheism+

"We are…
 Atheists plus we care about social justice,
 Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
 Atheists plus we protest racism,
 Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
 Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism."

I like it - as I said before, atheism wasn't important. It was only when I realised that religion is on the whole a bad thing that I started to speak out and do stuff about my atheism. To quote a famous vigilante "It's not who I am underneath. It's what I do that defines me".

It's a shame though that this new wave of atheist action has grown out of the flaming misogyny from too many in the wider atheist community. I've barely touched on the issue myself, mostly because I've not had time to deal with the vindictiveness that comes from when you do. I wish I did have the time - one can only stop things like this by speaking out. So I doubt I'll have the time to be actively involved in Atheism+, much as I'd like to. But I wish them luck.

Some may say Atheism+ is just the same as Secular Humanism - may be it is? But who cares - it's what they do that will define them.


  1. As a (very small) coincidence, about 2 weeks ago, a friend of mine and I coined our "atheism+" as "You don't believe in a god but, if you did, you know he'd be a gigantic, fucking shit-head." So, that's fairly unrelated...

  2. I'm going to create a name for non-golfers as well. "Agolfist+" I not only do not golf, but I also protest against racism while not playing golf. It's kind of pointless don't you think?

    If you care about social justice, support women’s rights, protest racism, fight homophobia and trans-phobia, and use critical thinking and skepticism you are not a "Atheist+"... you are a decent human being.

    1. Whether or not you play golf doesn't influence the way you view the world in the way that atheism does. Atheist+ folk feel that their stance against oppression is necessarily predicated on their lack of faith.

  3. I agree with anon, the atheist+ thing is nonsensical, the issues are completely unrelated. ust like atheism isnt connected with any socio political view or agenda, rather being a specific view about a specific subject, so are peoples rights, injustice, etc. their own specific problems.

    They should not be mixed or connected. Especially since the whole point of atheism is that the existence or belief in god is completely unrelated to a persons values, morals or actions.


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