To clear up a mistaken assumption I heard this week. I do not act on behalf of any group or other individuals. I act on behalf of myself. I belong to many many forums and have contact with many groups. None of my actions/words/opinions are officially shared by anyone else unless I specifically state as much or they choose to publicly say so themselves. This also works the other direction. Others do not speak for me unless I say so.
Definition of LEADER: a person who has commanding authority or influence
PZ Myers says..
"There was so much projection going on I was wondering how such low-wattage bulbs could be pretentious enough to think they could cast light on anything.But let me show you a few examples to illustrate what I mean. These are all quotes from people who were yammering at me; pseudonyms have been removed to protect the stupid."
a : making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing) b : expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature- For example- PZ Myers referred to those who disagreed with him as yammering, stupid people, which came off as a bit pretentious.
"They cannot comprehend an organization without a dictator, therefore atheism+ has a secret dictator somewhere. They cannot understand how an idea could be advanced without being treated as dogma, therefore atheism+ is dogma."
" I have a surprise for them: I’m not a member of the Atheism+ forum. I am not a leader of this movement; I have no position in it at all. I like the idea and I’m happy to encourage people to explore it, and I’ve long been pushing ideas similar to what has coalesced as the atheism+ movement, but I’m not even remotely “in charge”. And that’s the way I like it."
Couple of problems here...PZ is a smart fella you want to tell me he can't figure out why people would consider him a leader of the A+ kateers? Even IF he wasn't a leader (he is) there must be enough common sense left in his head to figure out why people would assume he is.
PZ doesn't realize that people read his blog I guess. He doesn't realize that the reason groups ask him to speak isn't because they want to hear from someone no one listens to. I watched a video of a (boring) talk PZ gave at the Ascent of Atheism convention titled "The Soul of the New Atheism"
I'm not going to question the time put into figuring out a good title. I think that putting the words soul and atheism in the title is going to put people off from the start, but what do I know? I'm no biologist. I must be one of those yammering stupid people PZ is talking about...hmm.
PZ stands at a podium and talks about A+ for about 45 minutes minus some video footage that people could have watched on you tube instead of in the company of PZ and been perfectly happy. PZ mentions Dawkins several times and tries to convince us that science is the same as social issues. Um.....yea you can not treat social issues the same as you can evolutionary science.There are very few constants.
Now we have a new scientist telling us about a new, new wave of atheism. PZ Myers, who has almost nothing to do with A+ except he leads google hangouts talking about the subject. He has blogged about it numerous times. He has defended it even as it cost him the respect of many he had earned while talking about things he actually had knowledge of. PZ been unfairly labeling people, publicly attacking people, belittling, and even lying about those who are not in agreement with him. He has been very vocal in his support of A+kateer...he is no leader of it though.
At the end of the talk PZ takes questions from the crowd. It seems that PZ either has the answers or he knows where to get them. More leadership qualities....
PZ quit insulting our intelligence, you are to A+ what Tom Cruise is to Scientology, it's most well known member/supporter. That makes you a leader unless you want to shut up about it and let the people you call leaders run the damn show. Just because you aren't part of the A+ forum doesn't disconnect you from every other aspect, you are connected. If you are going to be going around giving talks about A+ at conventions shouldn't you become a member of the A+ forums so you can provide correct and current information to those people who usually paid to listen to you speak?
"I am deeply amused by the idiot who thought he could point out the hypocrisy of a movement that values diversity by announcing that two privileged old white men are in charge. We’re not. He could only make that claim by ignoring the fact that the person who triggered the whole process and has put in a lot of organizational effort was a privileged young white woman, Jen McCreight, and the person who has been promoting it most wonderfully is a privileged middle-aged white bisexual woman, Greta Christina.
So because someone calls attention to the two loudest voices involved with A+ he is an idiot? PZ I don't know when you became so dense but it isn't difficult to see how someone would equate Richard Carrier's manifesto and you dressed in a suit with a huge A+ on he front as indications you two were some sort of A+ leaders. From what I have heard and seen , Jen McCreight has been staying away from the internet because she isn't comfortable with some of the feedback about A+. She even spent time banned from the internet by her boyfriend. You were running (leading) the google hangout where Jen talked about staying away from the internet you know how she was feeling about it. As for Greta Christina, "promoting it most wonderfully" isn't how I would describe some of her behavior. For the record I had a great deal of respect for Greta, had her as a guest on my podcast, she was interesting and enjoyable to talk to. It bothers me a great deal to see how she has been acting towards her readers/commenters and the way she has been allowing certain commenters to run amok. PZ, go read the comments on the A+scribe blog.
The comment section eventually moves toward something more civil but the damage has been done. The people who caused the damage should have known better. It's not as if any of the players are new to the rodeo.
Is that how A+ works? Is that an example of Greta correctly promoting it? There is a serious problem if that is the case.
As I’ve explained, I’m not a member of atheism+ and am not engaged as a leader in any way. Similarly, Rebecca Watson has expressed interest and sympathy with its goals, but is not on the bandwagon. But apparently, we are two great villains, so the people who hate atheism+ imagine that it must be a reflection of our desires. How pathetic.
At this point I am thinking that I do not need to make a case showing PZ has no social skills, he is doing that himself. Several times now he has mocked other people as idiots when it is he himself who can't connect the damn dots. PZ Myers needs to take a step back, quit screaming "IDIOT" at anyone who doesn't see things the way he does, and realize he isn't a master at social interaction. I'm not saying he has ever claimed to be but he is in way over his head trying to carry this A+ flag. He can't even begin to consider that there may be valid reasons for the way people feel or the way they see the A+ movement. In case you didn't know it PZ your popularity has dropped so has the number of people who respect you. I know this is going to be hard for you to believe but the reason for this isn't because a bunch of woman haters are pissed you won't let them abuse women. It's because you have lost touch with the middle of the road and you are treating atheists just like you would creationists. The two are not comparable. Creationists have beliefs based on false data and denial of facts. Atheists who disagree with PZ Myers about social issues, disagree with PZ Myers about social issues, that's it. They aren't stupid just because of that. Everyone has their own line as to what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to social behaviors. There are very few black/white issues when it comes to what are acceptable social behaviors.You seem to be unaware of that fact.
Another theme that emerged is that, when I said there isn’t a person in charge of atheism+ telling you what to think, well then, it can’t work. Without an authority defining every last nuance, it’s going to fall into endless schism.
I’m pointing out that a label is meaningless if people have multiple interpretations of what it is.
How do you not understand that nobody deciding what Atheism+ is makes it meaningless?
If there’s no leadership/hierarchy, who decides what Atheism+ stands for?Like, umm, the word “atheist”? There is a straightforward dictionary definition of that word, of course, but one thing you quickly discover if you actually interact with a lot of atheists is that the meaning in practice varies a lot. I have met atheists who believe in reincarnation; atheists who think Chopra is on to something with his ‘universal consciousness’ claims; atheists who are activists and atheists who just want to be left alone; angry anti-religion atheists and atheists who want to build a church of atheism; stupid atheists and smart atheists; philosophical atheists and pragmatic atheists. We’ve got Atheist Alliance and American Atheists and CFI and the American Humanist Association, all promoting atheism with subtle differences in emphasis.
Does that make atheism meaningless? Of course not. I’ve been telling people for years that there is a diverse world of atheism out there, with different causes and different consequences. And I’ve been against this contrary and irrational effort to pretend they’re all the same.
Okay..uuummm.....Who was ever saying all atheists are the same? I don't know a single person who would say that and I have never heard anyone claim that to be true.
The disconnect you have here PZ is that there is ONE thing these people have in common, they don't believe in a god(s) And the word atheism has a definition. I looked up the definition of the plus sign.
1. Mathematics The symbol (+), as in 2 + 2 = 4, that is used to indicate addition or a positive quantity.
2. Chemistry The same symbol, used to indicate dextrorotatory rotation of polarized light.
The definition says it all. It is not specific. Most people want to know what term, names, and labels mean.There is nothing specific about a + sign, it is vague. You can say it represents important social values that are good for society....Who says what is important and what isn't? Says who? That's why it seems that A+ needs a leader, at least one who admits they are instead of telling us to ignore the man behind the curtain holding a bunch of yellow bricks.
What social justice issues? I have heard it is against people who are douchebags. That isn't a good description, it is open to interpretation to say the least. A social action is only as good as the way it accurately defines itself and acts true to that definition.
Also, I am getting kinda confused. If PZ isn't a leader in the movement in any way. PZ isn't even a member of the A+ forum how does he know anything about what it is? How does he know the A+ movement hasn't changed into something completely different as people began to discuss it in a forum safe from anyone who doesn't agree? So if we were to be honest PZ is calling people stupid and putting them in their place for not knowing exactly what A+ is when he may be talking out of his ass for his entire post (wouldn't be the first time)
Atheism+ is a safe space for people to discuss how religion affects everyone and to apply skepticism and critical thinking to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, GLBT issues, politics, poverty, and crime.
So suddenly we all came to an agreement on how to deal with all these social issues and we named it A+? No we didn't?
Okay so we all want to discuss these issues and do it without anyone disagreeing and being a dick about it? That would be nice except we come back to one of my previous points. Everyone has their own line where reasonable becomes being a dick. Some people are more sensitive than others. Compassionate people are often mistaken as being angry by other because text doesn't provide the emotions a person is feeling. This is a very common problem and results in misunderstandings constantly especially among people who are unaware of how emotion and mannerisms can effect the way a persons words are interpreted.
It is impossible to discuss complex social issues and not have disagreement and sometimes very emotional disagreement. There is a reason we must deal with social issues and it isn't because of religion alone. We also need to realize that logical and skeptical thinking isn't going to solve all those issues.
And the assholes creep out of the woodwork to find excuses to tell these people, indirectly, that applying critical thinking to social issues is bad. Oh, they can’t come right out and say that, of course, because that would make their stupidity obvious; so they invent bizarre excuses that it doesn’t have a pope, therefore it can’t work, or that it’s hypocritical because it made an old white man a cardinal, or that its a movement that is “divisive” — a favorite word in that crowd — as if their raging sexism and unconcern for broader social issues weren’t already divisive.
I'm sick of PZ Myers accusing people of things like "raging sexism" when they disagree with him. Who has no concern for broader social issues? Is there an "Atheists Against Minorities" group I'm unaware of? No because that type of group would be dealt with if it should arise. Applying critical thinking isn't bad when you apply it to social issues as long as part of that critical thinking includes realizing critical thinking won't solve all the issues. Then what do you do? A+ doesn't seem to have an answer for that. There is little if any room for disagreement in the A+kateers club. It doesn't encourage debate or even discussion, at least not that I have seen yet. It includes accusing the person in disagreement of some broad hate even if they only disagree on some small point, then banning them and talking shit after they are gone. PZ has been a leader on this tactic also.
So, all you anti-atheist+ people, I challenge you: tell me what will happen to you if you don’t join atheism+? (Oh, and keep in mind that I haven’t ‘joined’ anything either; I’m more sympathetic than you are, but you won’t find my name on the atheism+ forum, yet.)
Here are the only answers that they came up with.
You don’t see it that way? The whole “Come to Atheism+ or we’ll leave you?” Carrier’s “Join us or we’ll never be friends?” Etc.?Those evil atheist+ fanatics might unfriend you on facebook if you don’t join! Rarely has a tyranny had such awesome instruments of coercion. That’s really all we’ve got; we can decide you’re an asshole because you don’t share our values, and we can stop associating with you. Everyone does that. It’s not a special power, it is not the application of force.
I have watched on thread after thread as people are banned for no good reason, accused of being what they are not, and linked to deeds they never were a part of. All of this is not good for anyone. It builds resentment and it makes comment sections hostile towards anyone with a differing point of view. It hurts our ability to work together towards a common goal. It does this by indicating atheists who don't have a + don't back the things A+ claims to support.
I was publicly accused of trolling the A+scribe website simply because I signed into the site. Then I had a conflict with the person running the twitter account. Because I was pissed at being accused of something I hadn't done. I was described as "a man who has been politely rejected by a woman and then starts to yell at her" I didn't have any idea if it was a man or a woman I was dealing with and "politely rejected" suddenly describes when a person falsely accuses you of something? I was told that my criticism of A+ made me evil.
It isn't going to cause me to cry myself to sleep but I don't like being accused of being what I am not. Nobody has the right to lie about me or what I am. I am not the only person to go through this type of shit. I am unfairly judged and labeled as something I am not because of A+. If anyone is stupid in this whole thing one of those people would be PZ Myers. He is too stupid to realize what is going on because he is too busy being unquestionably correct about everything. If he wasn't stupid then he would have wrote about Richard Carrier and how that loon fits into the A+ equation or if he does at all.How he thinks halting interaction with people you don't agree with is productive and make you deserving of a + sign is beyond my understanding. Obviously PZ must have an idea of how many different people are defining A+ why are people stupid when they don't know who is right? After all there is no spokesperson, no central figure. And if A+ can be defined by each person as they choose why aren't more people involved up in arms about good old Dick's version?
PZ himself has been guilty over and over again of calling people stupid and portraying them as foolish and silly just because they have a differing opinion from his. PZ Myers doesn't seem to be able to understand just because someone disagrees with you it doesn't automatically make them stupid or wrong. Whether PZ likes it or not A+ gives the impression that it considers itself a better version of atheism, the attitude of the people who are wonderfully promoting it proves that to be the case. It can not make such a claim because it has not proven anything yet. Time will tell us if the + really makes a positive difference. So far it has caused more problems than it has solved.
You get the idea. I spent an hour arguing with really stupid people. But then, I’ve spent even more time arguing with creationists, so I’m used to it.
And I have spent too much time addressing people who are behaving like children on the playground.Calling other kids names because they are different. Don't get me wrong I will call somebody an idiot when they deserve it but they don't deserve it because they are ignorant or just think different. Everyone is ignorant about something, even PZ Myers but I don't know if he would ever admit it. Some people who take every message they get as an immediate and direct threat have started a special club because they couldn't stand up and fight when something they believed in was being hijacked. Instead they ran away to hide where it was safe from people who don't make things as easy as possible and don't say nice things in a nice way.
PZ you are a leader because people pay attention to your words. There was a time when I could understand why people did so. Now, not so much. You spend too much time acting as if the people who speak out against you are also acting against everyone else in the same manner. That isn't true. You are going to be one of the contacts people go to when they disagree with A+ because you act like you are a leader of some type. Why are you treating people like idiots by expecting them to believe you aren't? For you to expect anyone to believe you have nothing to do with A+ except you mention in passing because you like the idea, even calling anyone who suggests it names, makes you look like a lop.You are promoting this A+ thing and have made it part of your conference talks. Now you own part of it at least, accept it ....it is what Tom Cruise would do.
Here's the link to PZ's full blog post
I don't think anything was taken out of context but you may check for yourself