> What you’re saying is that the people who have traditionally been running organized atheism, the people who have been setting the agenda of organized atheism for decades, are the people who should continue to set the agenda. What you’re saying is that the old guard should get to keep running the show. <
I have a pretty established record of critically engaging both the New Atheists and American Atheists, including David Silverman himself. And of course I’ve had bones to pick with Greta Christina too (after which I invited her to promote her new book on my podcast with Julia Galef). That’s what constructive debate within a movement looks like. We are supposed to engage each other, not to shut the opponent down by accusing him of wanting to keep his alleged and factually entirely non-existent privilege. Christina wants to steer atheism toward new directions? More power to her. But I do have a right to point out that in my opinion she is largely reinventing the wheel of secular humanism. We can have a lively discussion (as we did on the RS podcast) and then we can go have a beer together for some more back and forth. The ability to enter into vigorous yet thoughtful debate (and to drink beer) is what truly separates us from the religious fundamentalists. Let’s try to keep it that way.
Postscript to the postscript: apparently, "friendly atheist" Hemant Mehta is also in trouble now, according to a statement released by Secular Woman. It is interesting that the statement makes the same confusion that Christina incurred in, mixing up the idea that there are secular arguments showing that some abortions are morally problematic with the idea that women's rights to control their bodies should be curbed. Once more: they are not the same thing!
According to SW: "Entertaining anti-choice arguments delegitimizes women’s humanity and bodily autonomy," which essentially amounts to an exceedingly anti-freethought stand, seems to me. And here is more hyperbolic rhetoric from SW: "What seems to be lost on Silverman, Mehta and others is that debating women’s humanity is not an academic exercise." Debating women's humanity? Seriously? I'm appalled.