We have re-opened posting on the Atheism United wiki, it was closed due to uncontrollable spam. Over the years many people have asked me to put a link to their website on this site or one of the other sites I manage. My solution was to help all atheist sites by making the longest list of atheist sites ever created. I can always use your help, even if just to be a watchful eye attacking spammers. Please link to the list on your own blogs and sites. Why?
When someone searches for information on atheism, many of the sites that come up are full of nonsense from a theistic perspective. This page will increase the relevance of all atheist sites in those searches. This way some of the good stuff will be a little higher in the search results. The more people that link to the atheist link list, the more it increases the rank of every site. This list doesn’t play favorites, we list ’em all. If you own an atheist themed site, I want to help it grab more readers!
Also, if you are reading this but are unable to post on Rational Responders due to a recent rendering error for some users, try another browser. I am only able to post with Firefox right now. Find me on twitter, g+, or facebook.
I have written a little post up about the theory of inherent dishonesty in theism for purposes of clarity. Should you choose to use it, please link to the page at Rational Responders.
The theory of inherent dishonesty in theism can be seen whenever a theist defends belief in god. The theory explains that while defending belief in god a theist must act ignorant dishonest or both.
There has never been an honest and intelligent defense of theism. This theory has been observed in every atheist/theist debate since the theory was originally coined around the year 2000. This page will be updated if an argument arises on behalf of theism that is both honest and based on factual data.
SOPA has been shelved (probably so they can try to pass something like SOPA in some other bill when nobody is looking). Wikipedia has decided to participate in the blackout. We will also take part in the blackout. Now we must speak up against PIPA. Spread the word, post about it everywhere, talk about it, get informed.
More information on PIPA
- For an in-depth analysis of PIPA, read this blog post by PK Deputy Legal Director Sherwin Siy.
- Read about why prominent Internet engineers are against PIPA.
- Read this letter from 13 public interest organizations in opposition to PIPA.
- Read about why the New York Times and LA Times came out against PIPA as written.
- Read this letter from 100+ law professors opposing PIPA.
- Read this letter from 50 venture capitalists expressing concern with PIPA.
- Read the letter from NetCoalition concerning the Private Right of Action in PIPA.
- Read the text of PIPA yourself.
A blog was written today on the implosion of CFI Canada. As long as we keep having these accomodationist vs confrontationalist arguments we will continue to have implosions. Frankly, it disgusts me that we have done this. I felt the wrath of the accomodationists when I was known for being a confrontationalist. I probably will still have the perception of being one. Even though I am creating a feel good project that supports all atheists. I think I am a blend of both. I hope you are too.
Being able to adjust your method depending on who you interact with is a strong suit. And if someone sees you are confrontational, why must they label you as always confrontational? It is also highly hypocritical to be an accomodationalist but be confrontational on the issue of confrontationalists. It’s time for us to elevate our game. This division has gone on long enough. We must think critically and with reason.
I have always supported the efforts of those who are excessively passive, and think they should support mine. We must embrace each other even when we don’t completely agree. Part of the reason I started Atheism United was to show people how there can be a united front. I look forward to universally supporting both camps. It’s sad how I know the only way to make it work is to not rely on these groups to actually unite. I will support them whether they support me or not. And would you believe that there will actually be people who will kick this gift horse in the mouth? For what? Because I told someone Jesus was fake on twitter?
Please people, ponder it… we must work together, share a planet together. We can’t make such a big deal over tact and approach. Vocalize your disagreement so that your position is known, but you can’t let it get to the point where you are shooting yourself in the foot.
And if we’re really going to make these labels “accomodationist” and “confrontationalist” can we at least admit there are more groups than that? If we do, we must include a class of people who are still so downtrodden by religion and brainwashed by it’s followers that they refuse to speak up and would argue vehemently against someone who does.
Accomodationists aren’t a problem… people who are scared to speak up are. Those people need to sit back and allow everyone else to help humanity move forward, they need to go work on something else. Maybe environmental clean up, helping the homeless, or relaxing at the pool would be a better activity for people who are so beat by religion that they argue everyone should be quiet. I used to call that group “Chicken Shit Atheists” but you can come up with a politically correct 15 letter name if you’d like.
Reposted from: Accomodationist vs Confrontationalist
Wow Darrel Ray is brilliant. He nails it on “First generation leadership.” Because of my type-a personality and my inability to trust easily I was unable to spot future dedicated activists when they aligned with me early in their activist “careers.” Ashley Paramore and Shelley Mountjoy were by my side at the beginning. If I could have known to expand their leadership role early enough, they might have never needed to go become superstars elsewhere.
Check this article out if you would like to learn more about how atheist groups function, and how we can improve them.
Two Types of Leadership in the Secular Movement
Leadership among secular groups tends to come in two general flavors, those that are led by one or a few charismatic leaders (often the founders) and those that are led by a less centralized executive group. There is plenty of room for both types of groups in the movement, but it is important to be conscious and intentional in understanding and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of both. For purposes of discussion, we will call these groups “first generation” and “second generation,” respectively, although they may not always fit that classification.
First-generation groups are often led by charismatic leaders. These are lean and activist groups. The founders have a sharp vision for what they want to accomplish and move fast to get the job done. They are often the leading edge of the movement and have influence out of proportion to their numbers both within the movement and in the larger society. Their strengths are invaluable because they are pacesetters, influencing the overall direction of the movement.
Despite their major strengths, it is also important to understand the weaknesses of first generation leaders. They are often an insular group and less democratic. Since first-generation leaders are generally autocratic, they tend to attract members who respond to strong, direct leadership. This limits membership, since only a fraction of the target population responds to this type of leadership.
Challenges to their leadership or vision are not welcome. It may be easy to join one of these groups but hard, if not impossible, to gain a position of influence. For this reason, the leaders have difficulty grooming the next generation. Upcoming, promising new leaders often see no opportunity to take part in the core functions of the organization and, therefore, don’t stick around long. Further, the boards of first-generation groups are generally a reflection of the leader and, therefore, typically very insular as well. The age range within this type of board is often similar to the age of the founder. This makes for a leadership structure that has a limited view and tends to be resistant to change.
Further, he talks about how groups led by charismatic leaders suffer when the external environment changes. The decision to start atheismunited.com was born from that change in environment. The atheist world is much different today than 6 years ago. RRS is still needed, but atheism united will be more current and relevant. The project was born from the idea that we didn’t care what banner we impacted the world under, we just wanted to have the biggest impact possible. We decided it was necessary to create something different. How justified Darrel Ray makes us feel.
“As long as the external environment remains consistent with the conditions in which the organization was founded, it will continue to function. But when the external environment changes, it can present difficult challenges. To the degree that an organization influences the surrounding culture, the target of its efforts must change. Culture is a moving target, and organizations that don’t adjust their influence strategy run the risk of using yesterday’s successful methods on today’s culture.
A good example is the civil rights movement, where many of the first-generation leaders continued following a vision that was rendered obsolete with changes in legislation and social norms.”
Reposted from: two types of atheist groups
I was born an atheist, at 5 I was sure God existed because I was told by the person I trusted the most that God existed. As I learned about the bible and started to understand the world I became a little more agnostic on the idea and was an agnostic catholic at 8. At 13 my mother decided the Catholic Church wasn’t exciting enough and we joined a born again Christian Church, I was 13. I said the special password prayer you need to say to let Jesus know you want in to heaven. Literally, this was the argument and justification, say this prayer and you won’t burn in hell, you’ll go to heaven. What 13 year old that still trusts his mother wouldn’t do that? I did it… I was an agnostic Born-again Christian. I talked to Jesus at night before bed, and I tried to get my father on the proper path as well. I was tortured over the thought of him going to hell.
As I learned about science I leaned towards being an agnostic deist. This process lasted several years and I happily with any type of theistic belief. I was living with a non-practicing Jewish father who I thought of as very “Jewish” and now know him as someone who believes in Spinoza’s God or Einstein’s deistic leanings. When I was about 20 I looked up atheism for the first time on the internet, I found Jake who helped me think myself out of my deism. I was able to call myself an agnostic atheist less than a week later. For the first time I was able to call myself an atheist without thinking I was evil because of the word that my mother brainwashed me about, that was 14 years ago. It was at that point I decided to spend my life correcting the wrongs of religion.
Mom, if you’re reading this… keep in mind, your completely ridiculous religion helped cause our family breakup. Religion kills families. My efforts come in large part because of how religion was forced on me as a child, but also because of all the other people who have told me about their upbringings, some of whom can use the word “Cult” to describe how they were brought up. I was about 14 when you started praying for me to want you in my life, it’s been 20 years, where is that getting you?