Atheism plus was a type of atheism which held to a progressive political agenda. It encouraged progressive atheists to also focus on issues beyond atheism - including the issues of social justice, feminism, anti-racism, LGBTQ issues and skepticism. In August 2012, Jennifer McCreight, the founder of the Atheism plus movement, wrote that the movement "applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime." The Atheism plus website was active from 2012 to 2016.
Atheist plus shared the progressive political ideology of Freethought blogs and was partly a response to the New Atheism and to the Elevatorgate controversy.
News 24 indicates about the Atheism plus movement:
|“||The movement started back in 2012 when a woman named Jennifer McCreight participated in a protest known as "boobquake" which was raised in reply to Kazem Seddiqi's claim that women dressing in revealing clothing causes earthquakes. Jennifer rose to online fame during this protest, an already avowed atheist, she soon begun promoting her atheism and feminism online. The comments she received however from the rest of the atheist community were mostly sexist remarks and invitations to sex, bringing to media attention the long known fact that most of those that are part of the new atheist movement are mostly men and misogynistic sexist men at that, it should be no surprise also that many of atheism's public famous speakers and promoters are also sexist and have made sexist remarks about women in the past, prime examples being atheists Sam Harris, Penn Jillette, Christopher Hitchens (now deceased) and Richard Dawkins.||”|
In 2012, Joe Humphreys wrote in the Irish Times about the Atheism plus movement:
|“|| Last August, a new online forum, Atheism Plus, or A+, was launched by Jen McCreight, a Seattle-based blogger and secularist. Backed by a number of prominent women atheists, it seeks “a new wave of atheism” aimed at “promoting social justice” and “working against bigotry, hatred and discrimination”.
Her biggest concern is what she sees as deep-rooted misogyny in the atheist community. Whenever she speaks in a light-hearted way about sexual issues, she says she receives obscene propositions, while posts about feminism are usually met with abuse.
Richard Carrier at the launch of the Atheism plus movement wrote: "I am fully on board. I will provide any intellectual artillery they need to expand this cause and make it successful." Thunderf00t commented on how Richard Carrier "the intellectual artillery" of the movement, quit promoting the movement within a month. See also: Atheism, social justice and hypocrisy
In October 2014, the popular YouTube atheist Thunderf00t commented on how Jen McCreight, the founder of the atheist feminist movement Atheism plus abandoned her movement within two weeks. In addition, he commented on how Richard Carrier "the intellectual artillery" of the movement, quit promoting the movement within a month.
Damion Reinhardt wrote about Carrier and Atheism plus movement: "About the only thing he did spectacularly wrong (from an atheist movement perspective) was turning Atheism Plus into an “us vs. them” festival of denunciation and excommunication, but that was arguably bound to happen. Possibly he should be credited with speeding up the inevitable collapse."
Richard Carrier on people who he believes understand Atheism plus
See also: Atheism and polyamory
Richard Carrier wrote in a blog post entitled Our Mythical Campaign against Sex:
|“|| Polyamory and swinging and even the attending of orgies requires more ethical behavior and more careful attention to boundaries and consent than traditional sexual relationships do. And people who are ethical enough to be accepted in those communities are the very people who get Atheism+ and why it is needed.
The bottom line is, we are already enthusiastically in favor of people pursuing all kinds of sexual activities, even at atheist events. Many of our most avid supports are wholeheartedly doing this. The only thing we are concerned about is that people do this ethically, that people don’t use their sex drives as an excuse to harass, harm, or cross boundaries.
See also: Atheist factions and Atheists and antisocial behavior
The Guardian wrote about Atheism plus and the reaction of many atheists on the internet:
|“|| In the passionate world of American atheism, the venom usually directed at believers has now been turned against the wrong kind of atheists...
It took 700 years from Constantine renaming Byzantium in his own honour to papal legates circulating letters of anathema that split the Roman and Orthodox churches. Atheism, in its public, online life, has started exchanging internet anathemas – perhaps we should call them inathemas – in little more than a decade...
When one commentator suggests "atheism does not have the luxury of kicking people out of its movement", Carrier gives him a rare old quilting in most splendid prose:
Post Elevatorgate and Atheism plus, the conflict between atheist feminism and anti-feminism atheists continues. Two of the most anti-feminism atheists are YouTube atheists Thunderf00t and TheAmazingAtheist (See also: YouTube atheism).
Feminist and lesbian Greta Christina wrote about Atheism plus:
|“|| But if you don’t want to get involved with Atheism Plus — and you don’t want anyone else to, either? If you’re vociferously objecting to Atheism Plus and are actively trying to talk people out of it, because it’s “divisive,” because it will “weaken” the community and “splinter” us?
Face it. This community is already divided. And it is divided in a way that is making many, many women feel cut out. For a solid year, far too many women in this community — and especially feminist women — have been relentlessly subjected to a torrent of hatred, harassment, and abuse…and to a torrent of people ignoring this behavior, rationalizing it, trivializing it, or getting angry at us for even talking about it.
Canadian Journal of Sociology on Atheism plus
See also: Canada and irreligion
The abstract of 2017 journal article entitled Atheism Plus What? Social Justice And Lifestyle Politics Among Edmonton Atheists published in the Canadian Journal of Sociology states:
|“||This article addresses Edmonton secularists’ responses to the emergence of a social justice faction known as Atheism Plus (A+) within the broader secularist movement. I show that some atheist activists express a libertarian rationalism consistent with Enlightenment values to maintain a lifestyle free from collectivist ideologies that promote social justice. The data for this article comes from interviews and participant observation, focusing on three atheist organizations in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I draw from literature focused on everyday lifestyle choices as a form of protest to argue that for some atheist activists, their individual intellectual development takes priority over building a strong collective identity. Given that some scholars claim that atheism perpetuates gender inequality (Amarasingam and Brewster 2016; Miller 2013; Schnabel 2015), this work additionally contributes to our understanding of how atheists conceptualize their activism as sub- and micro-political activities free from community constraints.||”|
The entire article can be found at: Atheism Plus What? Social Justice And Lifestyle Politics Among Edmonton Atheists by Jonathan Scott Simmons
Atheism plus and the desire for something more than mere atheism
See also: Atheism and purpose and Atheism and meaninglessness and Atheism and incoherency and Emptiness of atheism
The Atheist Revolution website indicated about the inability of atheism to answer life's most important questions:
|“||There is a certain emptiness in atheism in the sense that it provides no answers to many of life's most important questions. For example, atheism tells us nothing about how one should live one's life. On this point, I can find agreement with some of the Atheism+ supporters in that I can see why people would say, "Great, we're atheists. Now what?" I certainly understand the appeal of wanting to go "beyond atheism."||”|
- Atheist feminism
- Atheism and women's rights
- Atheism and social justice
- Social justice atheists
- Atheism+: the new New Atheists, New Statesman, 2012
- Freethoughtblogs - Blag Hag: Atheism+
- How the Right and the Left Nuked Atheism Plus by Richard Carrier, 2018
- Some Observations About Atheism Plus by Ronald A. Lindsay, Center for Inquiry
- Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism by Greta Christina, 2012
- Myths and Truths About Atheism+ by Adam Lee
- Atheism Plus What? by Daniel Fincke
- Being with or against Atheism+ by Richard Carrier
- The New Atheism + by Richard Carrier
- Reddit - Atheism plus
Pro Atheism plus:
- Atheism+? by PZ Myers, Jen McCreight, Rebecca Watson, Ian Brown and Louis
- Greta Christina, Atheism+, and AgentOfDoubt's question
Criticisms of the Atheism plus movement by atheists:
Christian commentary on the Atheism plus movement:
- Atheism+ : The Matt Dillahunty Experience by Jason Burns
- ↑ The New Atheism + by Richard Carrier
- ↑ Jen. Blag Hag.
- ↑ Atheism plus website - Archived/copied from the original website, Archive date April 22, 2016
- ↑ Atheism Plus and the intellectual suicide of the atheist community, website: https://www.news24.com
- ↑ Is there a new face of atheism? by Joe Humphreys, Iris Times, Oct 26, 2012
- ↑ The New Atheism + by Richard Carrier
- ↑ Atheism+ Stream: How SJWs pushed their way into Atheism
- ↑ Atheism+ Stream: How SJWs pushed their way into Atheism
- ↑ ANALYSIS OF THE RICHARD CARRIER LAWSUIT by Damion Reinhardt
- ↑ Our Mythical Campaign against Sex, Richard Carrier,
- ↑ This Firebrand Atheist Was Just Fired After Allegations Of Financial Conflicts And Sexual Assault
- ↑ Is American atheism heading for a schism? by Peter McGrath, The Guardian
- ↑ [Atheism Plus, and Some Thoughts on Divisiveness] by Greta Christina
- ↑ Atheism Plus What? Social Justice And Lifestyle Politics Among Edmonton Atheists by Jonathan Scott Simmons, Vol 42, No 4 (2017
- ↑ The Emptiness of Atheism, Atheist Revolution website