First, there was a list of the 5 most awful atheists, which led to a lot of back and forth on whether they're great people with flaws, or flawed people who did some great things.
Later, Pharyngula attacked the skepticism label:
Ultimately, it just reaffirmed my regret that “skepticism” has become a label for the timid almost-skeptical, who like to reassure each other that they’re all truly the very best critical thinkers, now let the believers among us close their eyes and pray.Then Massimo Pigliucci wrote a self-assessment of the community of reason.
The problem is that my experience (anecdotal, yes, but ample and varied) has been that there is quite a bit of un-reason within the CoR. This takes the form of more or less widespread belief in scientific, philosophical and political notions that don’t make much more sense than the sort of notions we — within the community — are happy to harshly criticize in others.And then Natalie Reed says she is giving up on the atheist and skeptical movements (though not on atheism or skepticism).
At first how I assumed this went was people generally thinking “secularism is one of many important issues presently going on, and one that I happen to feel especially passionate about, so that’s where I’m going to be put a significant chunk of my energy and attention”.And now, on Blag Hag, people are discussing Atheism+.
But lately it seems to me that a much more significant percentage than I’d assumed are people thinking “atheism is the most important issue, so that’s the one I’m going to focus on”.
We are…That's cool, but I'm pessimistic that it will devolve into incoherence before long. Let's wait and see.
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.
In future posts, I'd like to discuss a few ideas. This is an outline I may or may not follow.
1. Is claiming "skepticism" just boasting about your critical thinking prowess?
2. What does it mean to prioritize the cause of atheism or skepticism?
3. How do we deal with skeptics who are wrong about things?
4. Why doesn't humanism serve the purpose of Atheism+?
5. Where does skepticism go from here?