Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grade Card

People are making a fuss
about the new "atheists plus".
There's loads to untangle.
Whatever your angle,
we still have a lot to discuss.

The Atheism+ thing has been going around the atheist blog-o-sphere for a few days now, and I am sure that both of my readers have been waiting patiently for my take on it.

The wife and I had a discussion about this a while ago. I have identified as an atheist for a while now. As we were talking, she mentioned that the "atheist" label seemed empty. Atheism is not a positive belief. Atheism simply means one does not believe in any gods. Standing for no gods, or against every god (as I tend to do), is all well and good, but that doesn't describe what I actually believe.

If I had to put down what I had to believe, I would say that my feelings for the most part overlap the ideals of secular humanism. The current kerfluffle, however, says that humanism doesn't go quit far enough in being an accurate descriptor of some people's beliefs.

In comes Atheism+.

Jen McCreight describes it as "Atheism + Humanism + Skepticism", which seems to be about the best definition I could find online. This seems to me to be a grand idea. No gods, plus focusing on our fellow humans, plus having a questioning attitude about our universe seems to be a very positive statement.

I'm not ready to start calling myself an "Atheist+" yet, but I believe that this basic start can be a jumping-off point, something with which we can start a much broader conversation.

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