Tag Archives: humanism

I am an Atheist and No, I Don’t Think You’re Stupid


It seems to be a common assumption that atheists are a bunch of arrogant pricks who think that all theists are necessarily stupid. It is true that there are a number of atheists who do think this, and many of them considered leaders within the atheist community. But to say that all atheists think theists are stupid is as wrong as saying that all Christians are homophobic. A number of Christians are homophobic, and many of them hold leadership positions within their given communities, but does that mean that all, or even most, Christians are homophobic? From my personal experience, I would be willing to argue that only a small percentage of Christians are homophobic. It is probably similar to the percentage of atheists who believe all theists are stupid.
I believe that one of the biggest causes of this assumption, other than the fact that people equate the loudest group with the biggest group, is the fact that atheists and theists often talk past each other. We try and prevent such interactions here, but at times it seems as though atheists and theists, even within the same country, do not speak the same language. This is endlessly frustrating, but I have no idea how to change it. I came to this realization when it was brought to my attention that the “I find God as convincing as I find Santa Clause” argument comes across as calling theists stupid. But this is not what that argument is saying. In fact, that argument has nothing to do with the theist and everything to do with the atheist. To say “I find God as convincing as Santa Clause” is not to say “I find theists who believe in Santa Clause as dim-witted as adults who believe in Santa Clause,” it is to say “I see as little evidence for the existence of God as I see for the existence of Santa Clause.” I can understand how one might view the argument as meaning the first version, and I’m sure some atheists have implied that theists are basically adults who believe in Santa Clause, but that is not what is generally intended by that phrase.
To be perfectly honest, while I have never met an adult who still believed in Santa Clause, I can’t say that I would find that person dumb for holding that belief. After all, intelligence is a complicated matter, and there are many types of intelligence. I, for example, am good at writing. I’m good at researching and arguing (in the philosophical sense) too. Were I to be judged solely on my ability to do those things, I’d likely be judged to be very intelligent. However, I am not that great at math. Were I to be judged solely on my ability to do math, I’d likely be judged to be far less intelligent. An adult who believes in Santa Clause may be smarter than me where math is concerned but be less intelligent where critical thinking is concerned. As such, I would not feel comfortable judging them as dumb until I know more about them than simply that one belief. I’m not as willing to say that a theist may be less intelligent than I am where critical thinking is concerned, because theism is a lot more common than adults who believe in Santa Clause are. However, it is likely that most theists are smarter than me in certain regards and not as smart in others. This is simply because very few people are highly intelligent in all areas, but most people are intelligent in some areas.
But even if I didn’t understand that, I doubt I could truly think theists are dumb. I know too many intelligent theists that I respect. We may disagree on the existence of god(s), but we agree on a lot. Those things that we agree on tend to be what have formed our relationships and what keep us friends, but they are also what we discuss on a given day and why we respect each other. Those are why we view each other as intelligent. We don’t focus on the one thing we disagree on, and we don’t let it affect our relationship. Instead, we respect each others beliefs and each other.


Why I Call Myself a Feminist and Not a Womanist


feminism-is-for-everyone

It has become a trend for people to call themselves something other than “feminist” despite their identifying as a feminist. One of these other titles is “womanist.” Womanism is also known as Intersectional Feminism. This is because it focuses on the intersections of all the problems that lead to the oppression of women. I find myself drawn more to Intersectional Feminism than I am to any of the other subcategories. However, I don’t like to call myself a womanist. I prefer to call myself a feminist.

Of all the subcategories within Feminism, Intersectional Feminism acknowledges that not all Feminists are cis women, and trans* feminists are oppressed in part because they are trans*. However, to call oneself a womanist in part ignores that oppression. Both Feminism and Womanism can work towards the same end, but Feminism as a title is more inclusive. A lot of people complain that Feminism is an exclusive title because it ignores anyone who isn’t biologically female, but Feminism deals with the feminine, not the female. This means that it can be inclusive to the feminine in everybody. It can be inclusive to those who identify as cis-gender women, but it also includes trans women who are oppressed because of their femininity, it includes all trans* people whether they were born biologically male of female because we are all judged by our femaleness and lack of femininity of our maleness and femininity, it includes cis-gender males who are not straight because their sexuality causes them to be seem as feminine, whether that is true or not, and it includes cis-gender straight men who are forced to hide a part of themselves lest they be seen as feminine. In other words, Feminism fights to make the feminine equal to the masculine in society. This is one reason why Feminism is so divided: some feminists focus on biological sex divisions because having babies and caring for them is the ultimate form of femininity, some focus on gender because women are expected to be nurturing homemakers, which is considered feminine, some focus on getting women involved in politics, because masculine traits are what are valued in politics, etc. In all cases, it is the feminine that is being oppressed, and women/females are oppressed because women/females are supposed to be feminine. But not all women/females are feminine, and not all feminine people are women/female.

Womanism, however, is not as inclusive. Everybody has some femininity in them, but only one type of person is a woman: a person whose gender is woman. This means that only cis and trans women are included in Womanism. I don’t identify as a woman, so I am not included within Womanism, but I’m female, so I’m included in Feminism. As such, I can’t call myself a womanist. I’m all for ending oppression, but I’d prefer to do so in the most inclusive manner possible. And I certainly don’t want to see myself get left behind in the process.

Of course, inclusivity has it’s price too. The movement has to be inclusive without being too inclusive, otherwise it becomes useless. That is why I consider myself a feminist while also calling myself a humanist and an egalitarian. Feminism works towards a specific goal, which is a different goal from humanism and egalitarianism. They are all necessary groups, but they do the most good when they are kept separate.


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