The trend of discerning atheist issues from social justice issues is addressed as go where the ducks are. I suppose if one is duck hunting that’s where you go. While I am not sure I appreciate being compared to ducks who are so rapacious the males have dicks like corkscrews and the females have vaginas that twist and turn in an equal attempt to control their own reproduction I will go there. The ducks are everywhere, we all.
It’s not that we “just” risk losing marginalized people by not addressing social justice issues it is that atheism has inherent, entailed, and inferred connections to social justice. The argument could be made that courting conservatives/liberals/republicans/independents would attract those racist, misogynist, misnomered-anarchist assholes that make up a huge majority in the country right now. Are there really enough conservatives versus liberals to know to which side to make appeals? Do we really want to welcome asshole bigots or do we assume they will convert once they associate with the rest.
I prefer, as I think Amanda Marcotte and Greta Christina do, to do what’s right regardless. To go where the evidence leads. To do what’s right because it is right and not because it’s popular. But I understand why numbers count whether in votes or equality. I understand why they appeal to the better angels of justice in others even if others do get their sexism and xenophobia wrong.
What does being an atheist entail? If you do not trust in gods it means you don’t trust revelation. Further that you don’t trust evidence that results from revelation unless backed by evidence or really solid logic backed by evidence; it is revealed to you that global warming is a human risk and evidence shows that to be true as well. It’s the evidence that counts.
Without gods do you start your morality from scratch? No. Evidence and evolution do point a way in spite of the Black Swans that come along. The decisions aren’t always easy but they can be made.
- No god(s), no authority but humans or human abstractions. Either leaders or laws, so laws. Libertarians and modern anarchists would not care whether someone is religious or not since everyone is absolutely free to choose. Atheists definitely do not want gods so only secular libertarians are legitimate.
- When you must follow the evidence then you have to decide whether oppression is allowed? Not really. Since we do not wish for revelation we do not prioritize knowledge of the few where subjective choice trumps the many. No one has special access to knowledge other than some minimal advantages in talents and abilities. Everyone with the same money and work can repeat the research, gain the evidence. This means final appeal to authority is impossible. Even with division of labor there must be fluidity between the divisions or we are not countering the subjective aspect of revelation where only a few have access to the knowledge and power.
- Egalitarianism is the opposite of authority by revelation. This means the more people you(all) get behind you(all) the better decisions you(all) make. This isn’t simply crowd sourcing or herd mentality, a kind of mindless populism. It is the successful use of multiple minds in parallel processing. The more eyes you have the fewer things you miss. The more successful you are in avoiding individual and group biases.
- Since atheists don’t believe in revelation knowledge is gained by seeking more evidence. The greatest knowledge would be through the most evidence. This means the more education, the more research, the more observation, the more informed consensus the better the evidence. Certainly some seem to get more knowledge quickly but this is a distraction of poor statistics–how would you know unless there was a supporting evidential referent made by many?
- This means money-knowledge made would go to provide more opportunities for more people to gather better evidence. Concentration of wealth denies the evidential aspect of non revelation-based epistemology. A rich person living on unearned wealth loses their ability to gain wealth. A mumbling idiot on a cave in the mountains does nothing but mental masturbation. Einstein worked in an environment of tremendous communication. Time spent apart may give some time to focus but without peer conflict, dialog, it’s worthless. The quest for leaders goes nowhere other than catering to a father, mother, king, master, subjective revelation.
- If there is objective truth the greater evidence found the more likely there is to be access to it. Creating a non mobile class of experts stagnates the needed variety of experiments required to bring in evidence currently not found. Creativity is more necessary than repetition, mimicry. In stagnant societies there does some to be benefit to stasis of expertise but not really. Change always occurs and the best way to asses it is to be looking for new evidence early and not accept old evidence without ongoing reinforcement.
- Elitist leadership seems to have some merit but it will always collapse from the burden of its infrastructure. It’s situationalist merit gambles and is crippled by its myopia. It will collapse to egalitarianism. The best course of action is always to raise many to more than a few to most. It is better to elevate inopportune individuals than to maintain hierarchy under the so called value of merit. Expertise would always share the wealth to its own benefit over time.
- Minority rights ensure that more have access to creating evidence. It also aids in creating a more easy path for Black Swan discoveries to be incorporated by the rest.
- By the same need for evidence authority is shunned. Not because it is efficient which it may not be but because it is more successful over time and usually in the immediate as well. Whatever fast success is made is quickly overcome by the utility of the many. The loss of trust made by authoritarianism corrupts the abilities of egalitarianism until balance is made.
- If revelation were to be found to be true it could only be assessed by the concurrence of many rather than trusting a few.
- Justice becomes a matter of here and now, a mindfulness of immediacy. The revealed justice of later times has a soporific effect the stops the search for evidence. Justice, particularly restorative justice, virtue of Care, since it empowers more creates more evidence and appropriate consensus. Blind consensus is always due to revelation and faith in authority.
- Regulations then seek to empower more rather than allowing a few to excel further. A successful group travels as fast as its slowest member. The best of the movement both lead and follow switching roles often if the path is only so wide. It’s a false hope, a rope to oppressive power, to think the fastest will get there soonest with the most help.
While this is counter to what many libertarians and conservatives seek it is because they still are stuck in the antiquated morality and epistomology of revelation. Atheists may whistle to conservatives and libertarians but the goal is to make them see the benefits of egalitarianism and the entailed mutualism of evidence over revelation. If not then you are a revealed atheist uninterested in evidence where your disbelief in god(s) has nothing to do with reason or science; you place yourselves in the same epistemology as faithiests outside of everyone else.
If the Duck Dynasty dudes would look beyond their born-and-bred-faith they would see they find their better ducks by evidence and not faith. Anyone up for a trip to Louisiana? Oh wait, we’re after liberals too. Everyone is important and welcome. But ducks? Little cute rapists by nature. Wait they are we; fighting over reproductive rights. Just having fun Marcotte, great post!
Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com