Thursday, September 18, 2014

sit down, you're rocking the boat

Quick follow-up as that last one was threatening to get a bit long: what we REALLY DON'T WANT to get into with the rationalist/atheist movement is this idea that the big (white, male) figureheads of the movement are somehow either infallible or immune from criticism, and we should therefore shut up, stop rocking the boat, and think instead of the greater good. That seems to be pretty much what Michael Nugent (otherwise admirable in many ways, just as Dawkins and Harris are) seems to be saying here.

One of the reasons that's an absolutely terrible idea is that it's exactly what the Catholic Church has been up to for the past several hundred years, and we're plenty critical, and rightly so, of them for that. More generally it's an unthinking deference to authority of exactly the sort that we're trying to argue for doing away with.

So when stuff like the following, involving major figures in the sceptical/rationalist/atheist community happens:
- it behooves people who care about the movement's supposed goals to speak up about it and make it clear that this won't do and we're not having it done in our name.

This Buzzfeed article by Mark Oppenheimer gives a good potted history of all the atheism vs. feminism issues that's probably more comprehensive than mine.

No comments: