Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by mathman, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    No, that's what I mean by passive sexism.

    It's sexist that you don't yet have a female president, but it's not coded into the constitution that the president can't be female.
    People discriminate, but the law doesn't.
    wegs likes this.
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Good point, mister. Remember though, not all organized religions have those sexist rules. But, religion as a whole is a problem. Believing in God, isn't a problem, but unfortunately, everyone wants to put God in their tidy little boxes.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  7. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    True, but it does get complicated. For instance, John McCain was just a vile, thieving prick (see the Keating Five, for instance)--ohhhh, but he was a "war hero," so all is forgiven. Hilary Clinton wouldn't have gotten to be a "war hero," so no forgiveness for... using email, I guess.
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  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Yes. I was going to point out that it's not really a big sample, and there are qualifying factors - but that's not the point here. The point here is that people have chosen male presidents; the organization has not codified maleness as a requirement.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    One way to look at it is this: a significant number of Catholic priests are being exposed as pedophiles, which is a problem for the Vatican. That doesn't mean all Catholic priests are pedophiles, obviously.

    Similarly, there have been a significant number of atheists who are active in the "atheist community" who have been exposed as sexist or misogynist, or as harassers of women. That would seem, on the face of it, to be a problem for the "atheist movement". But, again, this does not mean that all atheist men are misogynists.

    You might want at this point to try to deny the existence of an "atheist movement". If you think such a community does not exist, then I suggest you've had your head under a rock since 2006.
    wegs and exchemist like this.
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Agree with the statement: there certainly has been a movement in recent years, led by a number of people in the public eye, such as Dawkins, Krauss, etc. But I'm interested in why you mention 2006. What happened in the course that year to make it significant, in your view?
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I was actually thinking of the "Four horsemen" conversation that Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens had, which is one often-cited marker in the rise of "new atheism". I got the year wrong, as it happens. It was 2007, not 2006. Harris published The End of Faith in 2004. Between 2004 and 2007, Hitchens published God is not Great, Dawkins published The God Delusion and Dennett published Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. These four works are all considered to be exemplars of "new atheist" thought.

    Anyway, if you want to put a date on the start of "new atheism", it should probably fall somewhere between 2004 and 2008.
  12. mathman Valued Senior Member

    "new atheism" sounds more like a concept not necessarily a movement.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    It may as well be.

    The practice and custom has been geared towards maleness as a requirement.

    People choose male candidates because that is all they have ever known throughout your country's history.

    Hillary was an exception, but then look at how she was portrayed. Weak and apparently incapable of fulfilling the job - remember the repeated comments about her coughing, and how obsessed everyone was with her health and whether she was strong enough to cope with it all? Meanwhile the obese man who won, had little to no attention drawn towards his health and his physical ability to do the job..
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Of course. I was simply contrasting it with certain religious laws that explicitly forbid women.

    Whoa there sista...

    We did have a female leader. Kim Campbell.

    He was lambasted for his own shortcomings, just she was. He just won is all.

    You have to be careful about double-dipping on the sexism thing. She was slagged because she was a threat - as any other threat would have been.
    Here in The Great White North, the opposition once made fun of Rene Levesque's Palsy as part of their campaign for election. That was crappy, but it wasn't sexist, any more than the attack in Hillary was.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    This is a weird trope among evangelical atheists. I mean, somewhere in the last handful of years there is a discussion in which an atheist tried to deliver the line that there is no atheist movement at a time when news articles circulated regarding atheistic congregations coming together, and even discussing fundraising and fellowship; also, someone made a neat logo that looked kind of Star Trekkish. And, you know, I get it: Dude, here, isn't part of that; still, he can't tell me it doesn't exist.

    Seriously, Ron Reagan was on msnbc, today, talking to Chris Matthews about politics; I'm not going to knock his FFRF adspot, Dave, but apparently you would.

    I think more practically, evangelical atheists should be more careful, then, about using plural or collective terminology; if one attempts to speak for more than oneself, others might eventually start perceiving what one says according to the prospect of some collective repeatedly referred to.

    And then there is this; I honestly don't get it. The number of people who don't seem to know about their own identity-politic community is curious; to the other, I'm not up on every last queer turn, either. But it's true, it's difficult to imagine evangelical atheists being so unaware of the term used to describe Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennett, originally, and later a larger collection of activists including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dan Barker, James Randi, and Stephen Fry, among others. Bill Maher's name is included in Nathan J. Robinson's↱ 2017 scorch of New Atheism:

    As a brand, "New Atheism" has become toxic. For the past few years, article after article has bashed New Atheists for their arrogance and ignorance. The strange aspect of the critiques, however, has been that so many of them come from people who seem to be roughly aligned with the secular left. It's not Christianity Today or The Zoroastrian Journal going after New Atheism, it's Salon, Jacobin, The Guardian, and The Baffler. The very people who most vocally hate the movement are the very people one would expect to be most sympathetic to its core philosophy of rationality and skepticism: after all, how many Young Earth Creationists are there on the staff of these magazines? How many Salafists?

    Scott Alexander, in wondering why New Atheism has become such a widely-detested failure, suggests that it was because New Atheists were telling cosmopolitan liberal types what they already believed, and doing so very annoyingly. But as Alexander admits, this can't be a complete explanation: The Nation, too, spends much of its time telling cosmopolitan liberal types what they already believe, often annoyingly, and it hasn't been met with the same kind of revulsion. Why, alone among the values of Blue America, has atheism seen a backlash?

    It's not as much of a puzzle as Alexander thinks, though. The progressive critiques of New Atheism are mainly founded in the New Atheists' violations of other left-wing values. New Atheism is attacked not solely for being arrogant, but for putting this arrogance in the service of right-wing tendencies like sexism, hawkishness, and bigotry against Muslims. And because leftists believe that holding prejudiced beliefs about women and religious minorities is fundamentally irrational, this makes New Atheists not just obnoxious, and not just right-wing, but also hypocritical: they state that they are committed to reason, logic, and evidence, yet they pervert the meaning of these terms by using them to describe ideas that are not reasonable, logical, or evidence-based.

    One need not like Robinson's critique; that's not my point. It's just that it's always really strange, to me, when a vocal advocate does not seem to know what goes on in the relevant advocacy community. Earlier this year, Jacob Hamburger↱, reflected:

    Part of the explanation for this shift has to do with internal divisions within the atheist community itself. In the early 2010s, New Atheism was less in the headlines than it had been during its heyday. But at the conferences where the surviving New Atheists spoke and on the online forums where their books were debated, shouting matches regularly broke out over accusations that they were Islamophobic apologists for American empire. In addition, the 2010s also saw an increasing number of polemics concerning sexism within the atheist community, starting with a 2011 episode known as "Elevatorgate," in which the feminist vlogger Rebecca Watson complained of being propositioned in an elevator late at night during an atheist convention, only to be scolded online by Dawkins that women have it far worse under Sharia law.

    These kinds of incidents produced a schism among prominent atheists. On one side were proponents of an atheism explicitly tied to progressive values, such as the biologist PZ Myers, the "atheism plus" movement, and media figures like The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur and Kyle Kulinski. On the other were most of the prominent New Atheist celebrities—including Harris, Dawkins, Michael Shermer and Dave Rubin, a former employee of The Young Turks—who felt that the emphasis on feminism, diversity and anti-imperialism distracted from the fight against religious extremism.

    During this same time, some fans of New Atheism began to flirt with aspects of the growing online far right, posting in forums such as r/atheism on Reddit. Though the alt-right includes a spectrum of views—from white nationalists and neo-Nazis to extreme anti-feminists and right-wing internet trolls—the rejection of liberal sensitivity and "political correctness" is a thread that runs through most of them. Many New Atheists would deny sympathy with the most extreme versions of those views, but there has nonetheless been voluminous commentary on the overlap between the fans of Harris and Dawkins and those of the "alt-light," made up of self-proclaimed "provocateurs" who delight in riling up their liberal adversaries. In 2017, the repentant liberal atheist Phil Torres went so far as to conclude that New Atheism had undergone a "merger" with the alt-right.

    Again, you don't have to agree with New Atheism, the label, the historical critique, or anything else; however, the idea that you never heard of New Atheism, however, rings ... strangely.

    There really isn't much mystery that "atheism" is often presented as an enlightened identity politic in online circles, and between any given failure of that enlightenment to show itself, to the one, and the frequency of coincidence with unenlightened prejudice, including misogyny, there is this: When a single man tells a woman he meets and is chatting along nicely with that he is an atheist, there are many women who will start paying close attention to what that means. And while it feels hazardous to even attempt to describe the absurdity of irony, here, there comes a point at which complaint about those alarms she hears ring hollow if your personal conclusion for your own personal reasons is that what other atheists say or do has nothing to do with you.

    I can't guard against every queer goofball. Or every leftist nutjob. There's no magick I can perform that will exorcise supremacism from every last person who claims politics and aesthetics overlapping my own. To the other, it would seem problematic to pretend those aspects did not exist. Or, perhaps, what constitutes reasonable accommodation for atheism?

    Then again, sure, I can tell you atheism has nothing to do with misogyny in and of those two ideas, themselves; however, the ideas do not, in living practice, remain so isolated. Because, y'know, whether it's just getting together for a bite out, or catching a show, or hooking up later, or maybe even seeking a life partner, if her prior history is marked with a strong correlation between atheism as an identity priority and the presence of misogyny, then yes, the statement that he is an atheist can easily set off alarms. It's been going on for a long time; Mark Oppenheimer↱, in 2014, recalled episodes over the course of decades. And the day before him, Phil Plait↱ noted:

    Sexism and misogyny had been brewing in the atheist and skeptical movements for some time but exploded when Rebecca Watson brought attention to them, and people were further polarized after Richard Dawkins made his "Muslima" comments in response. That was years ago, and things are no better … as we've also seen in so many other online communities as well.


    Hamburger, Jacob. "What Was New Atheism?" The Point #18. 2019. ThePointMag.com. 17 May 2019. http://bit.ly/2Weq27K

    Oppenheimer, Mark. "Will Misogyny Bring Down The Atheist Movement?". BuzzFeed. 11 September 2014. BuzzFeed.com. 17 May 2019. https://bzfd.it/2Q9uv6h

    Plait, Phil. "Harassment as Art". Slate. 10 September 2014. Slate.com. 17 May 2019. http://bit.ly/2VMuueI

    Robinson, Nathan J. "Getting Beyond 'New Atheism'". Current Affairs. 28 October 2017. CurrentAffairs.org. 17 May 2019. http://bit.ly/2WSnJV0
  16. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Got to find him first

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  17. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    just like gender & sexual orientation
    the brain washed psychosis that must define someone as being male or female as a 1st step to identify the human entity.
    it is so sad to see soo many people brain washed
    forced to smash the round pegs into the square holes & then pretend they were just testing to see what it is labelled.

    ... because how else would they know how to act toward it(see how easily the psychopathy becomes normalised.) it becomes an "it" when they are unable to define it by gender.

    smash the thing with the gender hammer until it surrenders(normal right wing & conservative psychopathy) smash what you cant understand and preach that to children and make it compulsory in schools
  18. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    What's stopping women from creating their own? Why is it always dependent on men to change a woman's world? Girls, you are free to be your own women. There's no need to wait on men to give the power. You are already free.
  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    You don't come across that way in the abortion thread.
  20. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Not wanting to bleed that thread into another, I'll hold my comments on that issue. Please feel free to address your concerns there.

    So, are women free to create their own world, or do they need men to do that for them?
  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    We are free to create our own world (and do) but it still feels at times, like patriarchy lurks in the background.

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  22. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    How so? I don't know that you can change traditional roles in longstanding religious organizations, or that you have a right to try, but certainly you can create your own.
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Part of the rationale for segregation back in the 60s was "Look, we don't object to them living their lives as they please. In fact, we think that's great. So they can do that it their neighborhoods, all we ask is that we can do our thing, here, on this side of the concrete barrier."

    The problem is that's still racism.

    Likewise, women starting their own club is still segregationist. It's basically institutionalizing sexism. It will encourage attitudes like "Hey! This is a Man's office. Here, we hang pinups and tell dirty jokes and pinch bottoms. You don't like it, you're free to just go back to your Drum Circle."

    See the problem?

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