Website FAQ

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Website FAQ

Postby hyperdeath » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:58 pm

Reality Enthusiast has graciously written an FAQ, which has now been published on the website at:

http://atheismplus.com/?page_id=127

Do people have comments?
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Re: Website FAQ

Postby Sparrowhawk » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:07 am

Oh, hallelujah (wait, what? can I say that here?? ;) )

Thank you for all the work that went into this! You all rawk!
Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?
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Re: Website FAQ

Postby Grimalkin » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:57 am

Two comments, in fact;

First, AWESOME.

Second, I think it does a good job of covering everything. The only thing I think it lacks is on the "Doesn't humanism cover this stuff" is a mention of how not all humanists are in favor of social justice, particularly feminism. Racist humanist, sexist humanists, etc.

But besides that, wonderful.
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he pronouns plz
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Re: Website FAQ

Postby Exi5tentialist » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:35 am

Reads well.

Atheism Plus does not attempt to conflate atheism with feminism or any other ideology. It does not call for the incorporation of liberal values into the definition of atheism. The “Plus” should be understood as meaning “in addition to” the dictionary definition of atheism. , which is still respected as being no more or less than a conclusion on the matter of the existence of gods.


I'd suggest keep the black, drop the red.

No need to narrow things down that much.
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Re: Website FAQ

Postby ericj » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:40 am

I'm not sure if this is too much work.

I would find it helpful if all FAQ references another website include a link to the page on that website that is being referenced.

(the one I'm talking about is: "However, to quote an article from the American Humanist Association website,")

Of course, that would result in a need for link caretaking over time. Still, I would find it helpful.

edit: Found it:
http://www.americanhumanist.org/hnn/arc ... &article=4
Narain, Vir. "Humanists and the Trap of Atheism" HumanistNetworkNews.org. Aug. 15, 2007
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Re: Website FAQ

Postby D Wilson » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:01 pm

Overall I think it is an excellent FAQ and thank Reality Enthusiast for the good work. I only have a few changes I would recommend, mostly about the purpose of A+. I have a minor quibble with some large consequences. For those interested, in this post I'll be repeating a fair amount of what I've already posted in the "Help me, help you," "The strawman of Atheism +," and "Atheism plus conservatism" threads. It's not necessary to read those posts to understand this one, though. My definition of A+ is below.

Atheism Plus is a movement dedicated to creating safe spaces to discuss social justice issues from an atheistic perspective.

I think it is important to make the distinction between this central tenet of A+ and the promotion of social justice, activism, and consensus on issues that will naturally come out of the discussions enabled by the safe spaces A+ creates. I think stating that distinction could help diffuse a lot of the criticism of A+ and encourage more atheists to join. Specifically I think it would help with the following criticisms.

1) The big one - "A+ tells its followers what to think about social justice issues and what should be promoted. Signing up is tantamount to giving up independent thought or signing up for group-think" I think this argument grows from definitions of A+ as promoting social justice, or activism, or positions on issues. This is often taken to mean that to call yourself a member of A+ you must agree to the type of activism, promotion, or positions taken by the movement. It should be clear from the definition I propose that this is not the case. As stated in the last item in the FAQ:
There are no membership requirements beyond a commitment to taking seriously the need to have and maintain spaces where social justice issues can be discussed by atheists without interference from those opposed to the whole endeavor.


I think promotion of social justice, activism, and consensus positions on issues will inevitably arise from the discussions enabled by A+, but they are its consequences not the definition. Membership in A+ doesn't require a stance on any of those things, only a desire for a safe place to discuss them.

There are two arguments related to argument 1):

2) "Who decides the positions of A+, or the official activism?" Also the emphasis on "Who are your leaders? Who makes the decisions?" If the purpose of A+ is the promotion of certain issues, or certain types of activism, or positions on issues, what are those issues? Who decides what positions are the official positions on the movement? Who can people ask to find out the official line? Who is the spokesperson? The common response I've seen to these questions is to say that no person, or specific group of people, decide any of this. It is all grassroots. There is then no spokesperson and there can be no official take on any of these things. The criticism is then that there is nothing to A+. I agree that it certainly would be strange to have a movement dedicated to promoting certain social justice positions if the movement not only doesn't have any official positions but cannot have official positions. I would offer a different response to the original criticism. No one has the authority to state official positions of A+ because A+ is not a movement designed to promote specific types of activism or push specific positions. A+ exists simply to create safe spaces where discussion of social issues can occur. The positions and activism of its members are solely their own. No one is required to agree with them to be a part of the movement. There is no ideological litmus test.

3) "By joining A+ you are saying that all other atheists don't care about social justice issues. This makes you seem arrogant, insulting, and creates divisiveness (I think the divisiveness argument is also related to a concern about having too narrow a focus)." A variant is the argument: "Other atheist organizations already promote social justice issues. A+ is redundant and therefore irrelevant." With the definition I proposed these criticisms are misplaced. It is certainly true that other atheist organizations promote social justice (though none I know of focus on it) and that atheists who are not members of A+ may care deeply about and be active in social justice issues. The distinction, the reason for the existence of A+, is that the atheist community in general and pre-existing organizations have failed to create places safe for all atheists to discuss social justice. Proponents of other organizations may point to work they've done promoting social justice, but many people don't feel these organizations offer a safe place for discussion. Regardless of whether these organizations feel that they offer such a space, the group of people who feel otherwise prove the need for a movement like A+. Joining A+, then, doesn't imply that non-members don't care about social justice, or even that they don't care about creating a safe place to discuss it. All that it means is that the person joining believes that no such place has yet been created, or at least that A+ has something to offer in the creation of such a place.

I would rewrite the section "What is Atheism+" as follows.

Atheism Plus is a movement dedicated to creating creating safe spaces to discuss social justice issues including misogyny, racism, homo/bi/transphobia, ableism and other such bigotry from an atheist perspective. It is the belief that social justice issues are important, that some people believe their atheism has implications for their views on these issues, that these people should have a safe place to discuss these issues, and that this movement is necessary to create this place. The idea for the name came from a comment on a blog entry by Jen McCreight wherein she discussed the need for a new wave of atheism. Jen introduced a number of logos for the project shortly thereafter. Although it was only recently given a name, Atheism Plus has been percolating for a while.


It's a little awkward, and I'd appreciate any comments on how to improve the wording. I'd keep the links from the existing FAQ too.

Please let me know what you think of the proposed definition. If people like it I can take a stab at creating entries for the arguments I listed above.
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Re: Website FAQ

Postby TomT64 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Should I include this in "[url=What Is Atheism+?]http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=140[/url]"

Also, many topics have appeared since I created it. Can anyone identify updates or additions that should be included?
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Re: Website FAQ

Postby Exi5tentialist » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:35 pm

Exi5tentialist wrote:Reads well.

Atheism Plus does not attempt to conflate atheism with feminism or any other ideology. It does not call for the incorporation of liberal values into the definition of atheism. The “Plus” should be understood as meaning “in addition to” the dictionary definition of atheism. , which is still respected as being no more or less than a conclusion on the matter of the existence of gods.


I'd suggest keep the black, drop the red.

No need to narrow things down that much.


For information, I have stated the reasons behind proposing this change in the thread on the dictionary definition of atheism - here's the link to my post.
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