Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Moving on and leaving Atheism Plus behind

I started this blog and took on the handle "Schrödinger's Therapist" in response to the rise of Atheism Plus, and in particular its pushing of the ugly and bigoted "Schrödinger's Rapist" meme.

I was disgusted by the fanaticism and hypocrisy of the A+ leaders - in particular their reckless witch-hunting and immature "gotcha" games against allies and leaders who have contributed far more to freethought and skepticism than they could ever dream of. Also their anti-intellectualism and toxic cult of personality, in particular, worshiping a talentless self-serving hack who dismisses whole scientific fields out of hand despite having no scientific credentials whatsoever (and precious few discernible educational attainments of any kind) and not even understanding basic statistics.

I could also mention a prominent plusser who makes threats of violence, and tries to destroy the careers of critics. And in general I'm dismayed that so many prominent atheist bloggers are spreading hysteria and divisiveness, whipping up a false narrative, and manufacturing controversy for the sake of blog hits and to monpolize the conference speaker circuit - at a time when theocrats are redoubling their efforts to shove their religion down our throats using our tax dollars, and roll back the rights of women, gay people and non-believers.

And yet, disturbing and disappointing as all of this has been, at the same time there's something morbidly fascinating about it. It's like watching a slow motion train wreck. At least that's how I've felt, though I suspect I'm not the only one.

But you can only listen to a broken record for so long. (Does anyone remember vinyl records? I'm really dating myself with that analogy - but then, no-one else would date me.) As time goes on, A+ gets increasingly irrelevant. Look at their solid record of achievement in the field of social justice - forcing Justin Vacula to resign from SCA, forcing Ron Lindsay to apologize for his welcoming remarks at WISCFI (though he stays on as CEO of CFI) - and... um... that's about it. And notice how they boycotted TAM, and everyone I know who went there remarked on how enjoyable and drama-free it was. Their fifteen minutes are well and truly over, and the final butt-hurt implosion of Myers, Benson, Watson and company can't be far away.

That is why from now on I am changing the focus of this blog. I don't guarantee that I'll never write about A+ again, but I want to write about topics that are of long-term interest to me, and hopefully other people.

I'm not a philosopher, but I happen to think philosophy is too important to be left to the philosophers! I want to steer clear of obfuscated technical discussions and instead focus on the big questions like: where does morality come from? Does it exist objectively? How do theories of morality apply to specific issues, e.g. the use of drones by the US? Does the existence or non-existence of a god make a difference to the previous questions? Is "god" even a coherent concept? What basis do we have for knowing what we know, or think we know?

I've changed this blog's masthead to reflect my ongoing focus, and I plan to write posts related to the above topics in the coming weeks. I hope you (if anyone is reading) enjoy them!

2 comments:

  1. I too had to quit the drama, it can really consume you. Looking forward to the new direction, keep writing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I appreciate it.

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