Richard Carrier gave a talk at the American Atheist convention on A+.
When I first heard Richard had given a talk on A+ I wasn’t surprised. I felt a little bad for him cause I knew he had done himself, or his dignity, at least a little bit of harm. As of this posting the video has 9,682 views with 464 upvotes and 1,373 downvotes. Of course you can’t just by default say that proves much except when you read the comments you can see where the problem is with A+. It’s not so much the idea itself as it is the behaviors of the people who support it that killed it.
Richard says in his blog
Video of my talk at the 2013 American Atheists Convention (their 50th anniversary!) is now online. It is getting downvotes from the haters (even at one point more downs than ups). Please go watch that video (Atheism…Plus What?) and see if you can find anything in it that honestly deserves a downvote. Seriously. And if you don’t, please upvote it. Show the haters they don’t own the movement.
Others reading the comments (I can’t stomach such a task myself) tell me that the downvotes appear to be coming from people who didn’t even watch the video (or didn’t watch it all through). It appears, in fact, that these downvotes are there in an attempt to discourage people from watching the video, rather than representing disagreement with its actual content or quality or value.
Actually there is very little comment coming from people who seem uninformed on the subject. I think maybe the people who are describing the comments to Richard are trying to spare his feelings. That’s nice of them but not helpful. Richard needs a little reality check IMO. Maybe if Richard would actually take 5-7 minutes of his precious time to read the comment section he would get a better idea of why people don’t like his idea. The fact of the matter is there is plenty of information and public opinion available to figure out what the majority of people think about A+ and Richard Carrier’s version of it.
To say Richard Carrier is out of touch would be an understatement . Richard Carrier is more likely to reach out and touch the moon than he is to understand what A+ has done and what it has become. It has become a non-issue. The A+ forum was a joke. Between the call to run out all them bad atheists and the demands everyone conform to a certain set of behaviors it never stood a chance. Look at the shit we had to go through just to make it so blacks could go to the same schools as whites, or what we are going through now just to allow people who love each other to make a life long commitment to that relationship. Those are issues that should be very simple to figure out yet we have had to fight to get them accepted and there are still people today who don’t get it , those battles are not won. Some of the things that the A+ forum expected were never going to fly and they didn’t even get off the ground. It became a bunch of victims trying to make victims of others because they thought boys and girls were two different genders.
There are still some things we need to work on of course. Feminism defined as women having the same rights and privileges as men needs to succeed and I am convinced it will because it makes sense and it benefits everyone. There will always be some differences in what roles are preferred by each gender in society. As long as no one is being kept out or forced into then we should leave well enough alone. Just because there are more men than women or women than men active in something does not mean we need to take immediate actions and force a 50-50 split on it.
Richard is a busy guy. he has made that point over and over again on his blog. I would suggest that if Richard can not keep up with the facts about the subjects he chooses to speak about in public as if he was an authority on it, then he should leave it to people who have some knowledge of the subject. It is clear Richard does not have a good grasp A+ and the effect it has had on atheists/skeptics.
Richard tries to provide a defense/explanation of his position by suggesting people listen to an interview he did with Tony Sobrado. You can find the post here.
I left the following comment on that interview-
My opinion after listening to the 15 of available audio is that Mr Carrier is in over his head. As much as he has contributed in other ways to atheism, dealing with social issues is not one of his strengths. Judging from the way he answers comments to his blogs Richard has an ego problem and needs to get over himself. Assuming you already know all the answers is a flawed position to start from and Richard Carrier should be well aware of that fact. If it was all as simple as he makes it out to be then the problem would have been solved way before Richard and the rest of the A+ crowd came along. Suggesting it is productive to avoid interacting with those who do not share your point of view also shows an ignorance of how progress has been made on social issues up to now. When you have something in common with other people you should build from that, not ignore that commonality and instead focus on finding what it is you can use to chastise those people about.
There has been a considerable amount of pushback against people like PZ Myers, Adam Lee, Stephanie Zvan, and Ophelia Benson (and others) and it’s not always because they are wrong on their original points. It is because of the way they present those points and the way they automatically condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with them and then when those people try to defend themselves against unfair judgements they are even more evil. Not only do they disagree with the original point, they are actively fighting against it now. How could those people be so evil and feel so much hate for women and minorities??! There isn’t any hate accept for the bias being demonstrated against them by people who claim to be all inclusive. They aren’t being reasonable, and they arent being fair. If you don’t believe me then take a look at the response from commenters to my apology to Stephanie Zvan on her blog.
There was no way I could win. If I didn’t apologize , I was a sexist jerk. When I did apologize it wasn’t worded correctly, or it wasn’t in enough places, or it wasn’t quick enough or my favorite- I just didn’t mean it. When you try to do the right thing and get a load of bullshit back in response to it what do you think is going to happen in the future? I did what I thought needed to be done. I directed my apology to Stephanie because that is who I was talking to. Anyone who has anything to say about it can suck it. It’s really none of their business. I don’t even know if Stephanie has accepted my apology since I can feel my IQ drop as I read through the comments on her blog. She may have addressed it, I don’t expect she would post about it like she did when I wronged her it seldom works like that. Although if I were to hear Adam Lee or PZ Myers even suggest they were maybe a bit unfair about some of the claims they made about myself, or anyone else, I would acknowledge their attempt to correct an injustice. I don’t think you’ll be reading about that anytime soon.