PZ Myers and social justice

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PZ Myers (photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

The Irish atheist Michael Nugent wrote to PZ Myers in September 2014:

Some of the content of your blog is hurtful and unjust in itself, it also undermines the effectiveness of attempts to promote compassion and empathy and social justice, and it is additionally harmful because of your prominence as a perceived spokesperson for organised atheism...

PZ, is this really how you want to be remembered? Having defended you against unjust attacks from others, I am now asking you to take a long hard look at what you are doing, consider apologising to people who you have unjustly hurt and defamed, and start focusing on actually promoting compassion and empathy and social justice if those ideas are important to you.[1]

On April 2015, Atheist Ireland announced, "Atheist Ireland is publicly dissociating itself from the hurtful and dehumanising, hateful and violent, unjust and defamatory rhetoric of the atheist blogger PZ Myers."[2] The atheist biologist Massimo Pigliucci said of Myers, "one cannot conclude this parade without mentioning P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet...".[3]

Due to its notability requirements, the website Wikipedia (which was founded by an atheist and agnostic), does not make mention of any specific accomplishments PZ Myers may have achieved in the area of social justice. Wikipedia does mention the social justice accomplishments of Christians such as William Wilberforce, Harriet Beecher Stowe and others.

PZ Myers, authoritarian behavior and hypocrisy

PZ Myers, (photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

See also: Atheism and intolerance

Atheist Michael Luciano wrote about Myers:

Finally, Myers decries “authoritarianism,” but at this point it’s only appropriate to quote his comments policy, which reads in part:
The Absolute Law
I AM THE BOSS, and don’t you forget it. I have sole and absolute power here; I can ban you, I can destroy your comments, I can shut down whole threads. I am a being of caprice; I don’t have to justify anything I do. So when I tell you to stop doing something, stop. Don’t argue with me. You don’t like that I banned your friend? Tough. Don’t complain to me. I will do as I will to make this place the kind of party I want to attend, and that’s all that matters.
This law supercedes all other rules.

Ironically, Myers’ site is hosted by Freethought Blogs.[4]

Thunderf00t's October 2014 commentary on Freethought Blogs

In October 2014, the popular YouTube atheist Thunderf00t indicated that the bloggers at Freethought Blogs accidentally put him on their email list and that they spend a considerable amount of time emailing each other engaging in petty matters. In fact, he indicated that they spent more time emailing each other than engaged in actual blogging. He also questioned the impact of the bloggers of Freethought Blogs on social justice.[5] Furthermore, he indicated that their attempt to make him a pariah within the atheist community had virtually no impact.[6]

Rejoicing about the death of a priest and then fantasizing about personally killing priests

The American Humanist Association defines humanism thusly: "Humanism is a progressive lifestance that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity."[7] The American Humanist Association's slogan is "Good without God".[8]

In 2011, the atheist PZ Myers won the International Humanist Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union.[9] Prior to that in 2009, Myers won the Humanist of the Year award from the American Humanist Association.[10]

In 2008, Myers rejoiced at the death of a Brazilian Roman Catholic priest who died a premature accidental death and then Myers fantasized about personally killing other priests.[11][12]

Atheism and social justice

See also: Atheism and social justice

Historically, the secular left has been dominant within the atheist community (see: Atheism and politics). Myers is a secular leftist.

According to leading progressive/leftists websites, progressive values include: freedom; opportunity; responsibility; cooperation/community; caring and responsibility, carried out with strength; protection/fairness; honesty and open communication.[13][14] These practices are often seen as being conducive to social justice.

The atheists population has not lived up to these standards (see: Atheism and social justice).

See also

Notes