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Atheism Plus: Oh Boy

July 2, 2014

Atheism Plus: Oh Boy

I am becoming rather bemused at the way the modern Atheist movement implodes in a predictable manner.  There was a blip of attention just a few years ago as the bitterly angry people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens published books and travelled the world trying to collect converts.  They raged, they ranted, they sneered, they baited until they became darlings of the secular media.For a short time some tried to call themselves ‘Brights’ (as in they are so much brighter than religious people). Then came the Rise of Atheism conferences, that for some reason failed to raise the interest of anyone other than the already convert atheists.  Like all good hate groups, their days were numbered.  The celebrity status for people like Richard Dawkins was as fragile and fickle as the celebrity status any number of edgy social movements.  Punk Rock, Death Metal and Gangster Rap fads showed that the pattern of shock media icons.  After some time the general public gets bored and wants to move on to something more entertaining and less in-your-face hateful.

 

The New Atheist movement is now looking like the New Age movement of some years ago.  The true fans and believers are still hanging in there but the media circus ceased to be interested.  This is not some unsubstantiated claim.  You need only compare the number of hits for the names of Dawkins or Hitchens from a few years ago to today.  Today Dawkins barely raises a blip as for Hitchens, his religious brother Peter now gets more hits than the secular sainted Richard (now there is an irony for you).

 

With such hopes of ridding the world of the ‘poison of religion’ as Christopher Hitchens saw it or trying to disprove God as Dawkins had hoped. What could possibly go wrong?  The answer is simple.  Mental empires, no matter how grand they are in someone’s mind, are still figments of the imagination.  In other words, the Angry New Atheists were so beguiled by their own sense of self-importance that they did not realise that they were nothing more than a fad.  As a fad, anger is very tiresome.  Tiresome to read, tiresome to listen to and tiresome to maintain.  Tiresome and after a while it becomes boring.   The fickle media attention has moved on to other things like GFC (Global Financial Collapses), Asylum seekers, BDS and same sex marriage.  There are so many fads waiting in the wings for their own 15 minutes of fame.  The message should be loud and clear.  Sugary sweet vacuous fads are the natural rebound to angry edgy vacuous fads.

 

Now as the fad of angry atheism dries up, there is a split amongst their number as some try to recast themselves as something sugary and sweet: Atheism Plus.

 

According to their own website Atheism Plus is a social justice platform for atheists.

What is Atheism Plus?
Atheism Plus is a term used to designate spaces, persons, and groups dedicated to promoting social justice and countering misogyny, racism, homo/bi/transphobia, ableism and other such bigotry inside and outside of the atheist community…

 

So it begins.  New Atheism is devolving into the area of political ideology due to the inability of pure atheism to identify itself.  Like the atheists of the late 19th century the current crop of New Atheists has hit the same mental conflicts.  This conflict comes from being unable to define itself beyond its first statement of fact: Atheism is the non-belief in the supernatural.

 

Once any atheist attaches ‘positive qualities’ to their definition they become rationalists.  Like all rationalists, they will attach themselves to ideologies in the same way that their 19th century predecessors did.

 

After this split from the main body of New Atheism we can expect many more to come: Empiricism, idealism, emotionalism, cynicism, irrationalism, naturalism, nihilism and every other ‘ism’ out there.  Historically this is what happen in the 19th century.  History may just repeat itself.

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