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Episode 13 – Atheism Plus

This week is an all atheism episode!  We explore the difference in terminology between “atheist, non-believer,” and “skeptic.”  We talk about how we self identify our own beliefs about god and then we start talking about the atheism plus movement.  We get into very serious conversations about social justice and feminism as part of the atheist movement. We also give a shout out to Kammy from episode 2 for the fantastic burgers we had at her house.  Then Molly’s cousin answers our five questions and we talk about his responses. We get totally sidetracked talking about evolutionary adaptations of Chihuahuas.

Remember you can send us answers to our five questions.  E-mail Tim, Nick or Molly@geekswithoutgod!

Show notes below the fold:

Want to know some more about Atheism+?  Here’s a blog by Jen McReight answering some questions.

Also, here’s Jen’s original post that served as an inspiration for the movement.

There’s a shit ton of stuff on the web about Atheism+ – both positive and negative. Do a google search and you’ll fill an afternoon easy.

Here’s a link to an episode of Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop.

For you folks going to Austin, here’s information about Thundercloud Subs.

Molly’s cousin Hack also said he likes Everett Kaser logic puzzles, which you can find here.

We talk about Penny Arcade’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.

Here’s a helpful image that explains the whole gnostic atheist, agnostic atheist labeling.

8 Responses to Episode 13 – Atheism Plus

  1. Pingback: New Geeks Without God Episode is Live! « Grail Diary

  2. John Maddening says:

    I’ve heard an atheist argument against gay marriage (or rather, homosexuality in general), I’ll tell Molly about it today.

  3. We had a listener who had difficulty leaving a comment, so she sent in an e-mail. She gave me permission to add it here for her, so that we can discuss and respond.

    Here is the e-mail from prairienymph:

    Hello, this is the first podcast of yours that I listened to and I liked it very much. A few points:

    - I think it very interesting that Molly and Nick or Tim? do not identify as feminists. As for why ? does not, yes, humanism is a more accurate term but the term feminist exists because we still live in a society that segregates and places different values on gender. It is an acknowledgement that a focus on feminist issues is needed in order to obtain humanist goals. I also identify as anti-racist and don’t believe the term humanist addresses the blind spot we have to racism like the former term does.
    Molly, I think it very sad that you encountered self-identified feminists who labeled traditional women’s work as ‘not working’. This is not a feminist concept- it is a ‘patriarchal’ one. Yes, feminists can be misogynists and you happened to meet some. I grew up in a Christian cult and although I had some feminist/humanist tendencies, I still have a lot of misogynist thought patterns. I identify as feminist and as anti-racist while acknowledging that I live in a racist, sexist society and it is inevitable that I am influenced by that. Am I not a good enough feminist to call myself that? No one is. I could insert skeptic here just as easily and yet I still identify as one. I hope people call me on any behaviour or thoughts that are superstitious, sexist, homophobic, racist, ableist, etc. instead of not identifying with any social justice movement I am a part of.
    I think the term you are looking for is Kyriarchy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyriarchy). It encompasses all the different ways that our society tries to divide people: socioeconomic, race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and more without trying to say which of the ways count more. Arguing which form of discrimination is worse seems not only pointless but it only serves to further divide us.

    - In the comments about atheism not working with homophobia and sexism, I think you have overstated the correlation between religion and strict father morality (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strict_father_model) . This is completely understandable, since as you point out, the religions we mostly talk about, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, espouse strict father morality in most of their forms. However, one can still believe in authoritarianism without god which does have homophobia and sexism inherent to its worldview (see http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/) . One can have a god concept that is not strict father, but instead nurturing parent. Thus, a religious person can be horrified that an atheist is homophobic without any contradiction in their religious views.

    - Last point! I do not find separate bathrooms necessarily safer. Trans and genderqueer people find gender segregated bathrooms fraught with danger or at the very least, discomfort. We aren’t only 2 genders. Personally, as a small-framed woman, I feel safest in open bathrooms with no gender segregation.

  4. Just as a point of clarification, I do self identify as a feminist.

  5. I think that sexism in our society may not be entirely driven by religion but if you remove the Abrahamic religions from the mix, I feel there is no justifiable reason one should think the sexes should be anything but equal.

    Society, of course, is structured to give men considerable benefit. These structures were certainly aided by the pervasive nature of Abrahamic religion but they now exist outside that influence. If we were somehow able to rid our society of religious influence, women would not suddenly be paid the same amount of money to do the same job.

    And men would not be suddenly viewed as “less manly” if they stayed home to raise their children.

    I do believe if you identify as an atheist and a skeptic, sexism makes no sense. Judging someone as inferior based on race/gender/sexuality simply doesn’t mesh with a skeptical/atheist perspective. At least I don’t believe it should.

    • Thanks Tim for your clarification.
      I do agree that the Abrahamic religions provide the bulk of justification for sexism in our society. I do not think there are justifiable reasons for sexism in our society but maybe that is because we aren’t based on war and dictatorship. If we were, I could see that a hierarchical society which privileged certain segments of the population at the expense of others would be beneficial to maintaining its structure. I think it depends on your values. Does skepticism lead to valuing community, empathy, fairness and responsibility (which are in direct contradiction to sexism) ? I hope it does.

  6. Pingback: Geeks Without God | Episode 17 – The Contender