RE: My Gnu Atheist T-shirt!
I think the logo looks nicer on your shirt!
I strongly support the gnu atheists in the aggressive campaign against religion and superstition, and have been following Coyne, Benson and Myers on and off, but I don't very much like the idea of branching the atheist movement off into new identities (which is what is going on here). I like to think of these as different strategies within Freethought. This is a subtle but important distinction.
This distinction doesn't mean much as far as actually confronting believers is concerned, because the different strategies will come into play either way, but it means something as far as maintaining communication between atheists with diverse strategies is concerned, since the tendency here is towards in-group allegiance. This lack of communication makes the entire movement less efficient as far as the common goals are concerned.
The idea of there being gnu atheists is awesome, but the idea that we are dividing ourselves like this is not. As I have written before (1
) I believe in pluralism in promoting freethought.
I do not disparage those atheists who strive to create the distinct identities within the atheist/freethought movement, but in light of the diversification of strategies, my role is to maintain communication and act as a conduit between the different groups. I choose to do this because very few atheists are advocating for such political pragmatism in the movement.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.