Atheism+ refers to a sub-set of the gender feminist movement masquerading as a social justice movement masquerading as an atheist movement, started by Jen McCreight (rhymes with 'wrong') of Blag Hag

It may also refer to the idea of "safe space" forum where people can discuss social justice issues free from disagreement (also known as a Large Moron Collider).

They're known for being exclusionary, assuming that non-members are assholes until proven otherwise - even if they agree with the causes in question but are skeptical about the group itself ; this has led to accusations of divisiveness.

The Beginnings Of Atheism+[edit | edit source]

Blag Hag[edit | edit source]

On 2012-08-18 Jen McCreight of the Blog "Blag Hag" on Freethoughtblogs published an article titled "How I Unwittingly Infiltrated the Boy's Club & Why It's Time for a New Wave of Atheism " in which she argued that the atheism and skeptical movements had proved themselves intolerant of feminism and that now was the time to "apply skepticism to social justice issues".
The second post in the comment thread by a poster under the psuedonym Pterxx was the idea that the movement should use A+ as it's logo, an idea which the comment thread quickly embraced. A long discussion, totalling 950 comments followed with common themes being the design of the logo, who will make the website and host it and what other causes might fall under the remit of the new A+ movement.
The next day McCreight posted another article titled "Atheism+ " in which she expressed amazement at the positive response the previous days article had gotten from the FTB community. She posted 3 logo ideas that were posted in the previous thread and underneath a brief mission statement for the movement.
On 2012-08-20 McCreight posted a thread titled "Atheism+ it's time to walk the walk " in which she fleshed out the mission statement for A+ by adding numerous other causes to a list. She declared an open thread for posters to give opinions on what the movement should be. Saying that "AtheismPlus needs to be more than a name and a logo, we need to get shit done".
Since then McCreight has posted numerous articles referring to A+ usually in defence of the idea. "Responding to common misconceptions about atheism+ - an attempt to answer some of the questions and backlash provoked from outside the FTB network, "Go check out the Atheism+ website and forum ", and "Is AtheismPlus Divisive - an endorsment of Greta Christina's post on the same subject.
On 2012-09-04, 17 days the original post Jen McCreight announced her intention to stop blogging for the forseeable future.
Notable quotes
===== Jen McCreight / BlagHag - How I unwittingly infiltrated the boy's club.. - 2012-08-18=====
"Changing a movement seems like a mighty task (especially when you lack a witty name - the Newer Atheists doesn't have a great ring to it). But the reason I'm not throwing my hands up in the air and screaming "I quit" is because we're already winning."

===== Jen McCreight / BlagHag - GoodBye For Now- 2012-09-04=====
"I'm done with blogging for an indefinate period of time"

Richard Carrier[edit | edit source]

Following the announcement of Atheism Plus, fellow freethought blogger Dr. Richard Carrier posted an article titled "New Atheism+ " in which he expressed support for the idea and came forth with the view that anyone not immediately supporting (despite it still being quite unclear as to what it was) it were engaging in "douchery ".
Notable quotes
"Your irrational obsession with labels has been pointed out as moot in this thread numerous times. Yet you are still hung up on it for some weird reason"
 Richard Carrier Blogs - New Atheism+ - 2012-08-20

PZ Myers / Pharyngula[edit | edit source]

PZ Myers has so far promoted atheism+ in a number of articles and comments but claims to also hold the stance of not being part of the movement. A claim that he justifies by his not joining in with the official atheism+ forums.


On 2012-08-20 PZ Myers hosted a google hangout for the express purpose of discussing the issue. The next day he posted the article "Following Up On Last Nights Atheist+ Discussion ", in which he expressed full support and claimed that anyone not supporting should be seen as "asshole atheists".

Since that time Myers has posted several articles attempting to rebutt the claims of others that A+ could be seen as divisive

Pharyngula commenters have generally expressed a positive view of atheism plus, though they are mostly concerned with defending it against detractors. It is unknown what positive contributions they have made to the atheismplus forums, or to the idea itself.

Myers has placed the A+ logo prominently on his Pharyngula blog and linked it to the Richard Dawkins "Out" Campaign.

Notable Quotes

"Nope. Lots of people can give you their opinions, but it is only starting to coalesce. There are no leaders, no organization behind it, no money, no coercive power at all. It's entirely spontaneous. Currently it's little more than a label."

PZ Myers / Pharanygula - Following Up... - 2012-08-27

The A+ Official Website and Forum[edit | edit source]

The A+ website is the official and currently only website dedicated to atheismplus. It consists of a wordpress template at its front end, an faq and a phpbb forum.

The forum is split into three main categories.

Main Forum: "The place for on-topic discussion about atheism, humanism, skepticism, social justice and atheism plus."
Education Forum: "Where introductory questions will receive civil responses."
Organizational Forum: "Taking atheism plus into the wider world."

It also includes a general discussion forum, an introductions forum and a forum for technical help and support.

Although the main and education forum are seperate, they are virtually indistinguishable from one another in both the type of threads they contain and the manner of discussion that takes place. It has been noted that members in the main forum will commonly tell posters who disagree or who argue against a minor point or issue that they should "go to the education forum" rather than answer or engage in discussion.

The organizational forum is a place for people to post ideas for real world activism and for atheism plus members to reply that they cannot make it for a variety of reasons usually travel related.

The Atheism Plus forums serve generally as a gathering place for people who believe the world owes them a favour.

[edit | edit source]

The Original Logo

The genesis of Atheism+ was soley a logo.

Nothing more than that:- policies were to be added later on an ad-hoc basis.

But even such a simple task proved to be embarrassing, as it could easily be read as "A plus Theism".

After this was pointed out in the Slymepit, the Atheism+ logo was altered to make it slightly less embarrassing.

Matt Dillahunty and Atheism+[edit | edit source]

Matt Dillahunty was a public advocate of Atheism+, although mostly not involved with the group itself. In an attempt to prove critics of Atheism+ wrong, he posted some criticisms of the group under an anonymous account (called 'curious') in order to show that they would take an argument solely on its merits, and not based on who posted it.

However, he actually proved them right: his topic was deleted (ostensibly for being off-topic). When he asked what happened, he was treated very dismissively by the Atheism+ moderators until they learned it was him, at which point they began to treat him more respectfully. His anonymous account was banned for going against the 'no sockpuppets' rule, but he was allowed to carry on the discussion under his normal account.

Upon learning of this incident, Jason Thibeault (Lousy Canuck) made a blog post suggesting that he owed them an apology. Matt refused, which caused him to be shunned by most of the members, although he remained supportive of the movement in spite of this.

This video by noelplum99 summarizes what happened:

Criticism From Within FreeThoughtBlogs[edit | edit source]

Edwin Kagin (National Legal Director for American Atheists) made a few blog posts critical of the idea, and a lot of FreethoughtBlogs commenters didn't like it; this is a prime example of the offence his mild criticism caused. In order of most recent to least:

There Is No Such Thing As “New Atheism” Either

Could Nudist Atheists be an Atheist+ Group?

Should Atheism Take Stands On Social Issues?

Public Reactions and Responses[edit | edit source]

Outside of the Freethought Blogs internet community the response to Atheism Plus has been largely negative or ambivalent. So far no prominent member of the atheist community who does not blog on FTB has endorsed the movement.

The twitter hashtag was and continues to be dominated be people ridiculing AtheismPlus. Atheist communites at JREF , RatSkep and Rationalia have been disussing it in a somewhat negative light. Youtubers such as NoelPlum99 , StanMarsh1 , BionicDance ,IntegralMath and many more have made critical videos on the subject. With youtube commenters deriding the concept and its proponents.

On 2/9/2012 the UK broadsheet newspaper The Guardian published an article on its website titled "is american atheism heading for a schism" which referenced atheismplus.[edit | edit source][edit | edit source]


Atheism Plus, The Movement That Wasn't

#atheismplus on twitter

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

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