Over at Nugent's David Leech gets into a back-and-forth with John Morales and argues for dictionary atheism:
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/31 ... ent-210590
The conflict come about because dictionary atheists like me don’t want atheism = politics and with good reason. We are forever explaining to the theists that atheism is not equal to communism, how high is their body count again? Then a bunch of atheists start claiming that atheism does indeed include a very left wing type of politics. Can’t you see how problematic this is? How the theists will use this and say ‘here we go again.’ A person can be both atheist and political but atheism needs to be apolitical and inclusive.
I don't understand why assholes want to change the definition anyway. I don't arrive to any of my views on politics, people, human rights, etc. directly because of atheism, and I sincerely doubt anyone else does either. No one decides/realizes they're an atheist and suddenly takes on a certain specific set of views (watching the FC(n) crowd will show you that these certain views are not innate to being an atheist).
I do, however, completely recognize that I'm able to hold these views because I'm atheist. This is clearly an indirect relationship; because I'm an atheist, I do not have a holy text or what have you that I will follow to give me these ideas. I have to think on these issues myself and reach my own conclusions. Not everyone comes to the same conclusions; if we did, these "deep rifts" would probably not be a thing.
More than that, not every atheist wants it to mean more. My wife is an atheist and that is the complete extent of it; no belief in any sort of god(s), and the day goes on. Her desire to be an activist in the atheist community is so dim that she doesn't even want to hear me talk about most of the things that catch my eye. She's the sort that takes on an issue solely because she sees a wrong, not because simply because it applies to atheism, feminism, or any other -ism.
The truth is that many atheists fit the name exactly and only that far, and we do them a disservice by trying to make the word mean more than it does. How big of a dick move is it to put them in a the position of having to explain to people, "No, I don't believe in god, but I also can't call myself an atheist because that implies that I'm also x
and I am in fact y
."? Next thing that comes is for those atheists to find a term that fits them. Then, of course, atheists that, instead of holding y
instead of x
position, take a more b
stance on another issue, and they have to have a new label. And so it goes. The last thing we need are 20 different flavors of atheism, as has happened to feminism or, beautiful irony, Christianity and it's dozens upon dozens of different branches and denominations.
But, you know, by all means PZ/Morales/assholes, let's totally not learn from the mistakes of others.