Meh. It's fun.
Either way, the problem I have with atheism as a whole boils down to this: the gatekeepers of the movement are, by and large, immature brats. Atheism as a movement is not even remotely ready for prime time and that's because the people who speak for it with the loudest and most influential voices are far more interested in making sure everyone knows how clever and interesting and intellectual they are.
It's a collection of internet slacktivists who are going to turn on each other at the drop of a hat because that's what people do on the internet. They don't seem to realize that sometimes you have to ally yourself with people who hold some divergent, distastful views to solve a bigger problem that can't be handled alone. They don't seem to realize that public mockery of the very first response they see to something they don't like isn't the way to solve most problems.
They don't seem to understand that you can't solve problems overnight and you can't solve them with ridicule. They don't seem to understand that if you throw a temper tantrum, shake your fists, and screech, "FIX THIS NOW OR I'M LEAVING!" most people will respond with, "Good riddance!"
If you want to rid a movement of distasteful attitudes you can do one of three things: you can try to kick out the riff-raff, you can leave and create your own, or you can try to have a conversation. Quite frankly, atheism never seems to try that third option. It seems to be a collection of people who see themselves as rugged individualists who are all, to a person, the smartest one in the room. So, obviously, anyone who disagrees with them must be a dipshit and anyone who adopts a similar position to the person who disagrees with them must be engaged in some sort of collectivist hivemind and also guilty by association of the greatest ills espoused by the original idiot.
On that subject, here's a link to Pharyngula...
It's sad that Atheism+ is the thing that brings me to this point. I fundamentally agree with the aims of Atheism+, after all. I simply was never invested in atheism as a movement, so I never had to worry too much about assholes turning something I loved into a playground for misogynistic assholes.
But this is the problem: I'm as impartial an outside observer as you're probably going to find. I keep up with the general trends in the atheism movement because it interests me. I'm not really impartial, though, as I also have a long-standing rooting interest on the side of egalitarianism and feminism and I'm against racism and anti-gay bigotry in all its forms. Hell, Pharyngula was one of the first atheism blogs I ever read and I've been a loyal lurker over there for the past several years.
I've gotten the impression at several points that PZ is little more than a petulant child when forced to deal with disagreement. It's usually, I'll admit, amusing to watch him go off and I consider the fact that he's generally acting on the side of the better angels a reason to give him a free pass or at least another chance.
But just as a screaming toddler gets old after a while, PZ's shtick has gotten tiresome. So I suppose the point of my two posts on why I wouldn't be joining Atheism+ can more accurately be described as two posts on why I'm done reading Pharyngula. This doesn't mean that I'm going to join the Atheist+ camp, though. It actually means that I'm probably severing what little connection I have to atheism as a movement, since Dispatches from the Culture Wars will be the only Freethought Blog still in my reader and the only other explicitly atheist blogs I read are Unreasonable Faith and The Way Forward, neither of which seem to worry overmuch about atheism as a movement. Also, too, I REALLY need to update my links sidebar one of these days...
So now that I find I actually have time to write again, I'm going to go back to writing about things that matter to me. That means that I won't be writing much of anything about atheism as a movement, Atheism+ as a thing, or PZ Myers anymore.