April 19, 2012

#CFI is going to the Gnu Atheist dogs

So, John Shook of Center for Inquiry thinks humanists (and he doesn't even use the phrase "secular humanist") who are also atheists, metaphysically, need to self-identify with atheists to promote a "humanist agenda"? Really?

TOTALLY disagree with the main premise, expressed at the end. For those of us leery enough of Gnus to prefer the label “secular humanist,” we don’t WANT to advance an “atheist agenda.”

I know Shook talked about a "humanist agenda." But, given that he thinks humanists' best option for that is identifying with Gnus, I deliberately switched. I'm just taking his bait-and-switch plea to its logical conclusion.

Second, contra the larger tenor of his column, for Gnu Atheists, "atheist" is indeed becoming, or has become, a sociological word  first and a philosophical word second. That gets back to the "atheist agenda" issue. Shook himself adds to that by continually capitalizing "atheist" and "atheism" throughout the blog post.

Shook struck me as being halfway reasonable in the post-Paul Kurtz era at CFI. Maybe he still is, at least in light of what CFI in general is becoming.

With that thought, I'll say ... "I'm all Shook up."

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