20 15

There was a time when "free-thinker" was a common synonym for "atheist". But that´s no longer the case, at least not in the US, where the American Humanist Association stripped Richard Dawkins of 'Top Humanist Award' for daring to bring up for discussion the transgender ideology that is not only accepted in 'progressive' circles, but which seems to be a sort of Sacred Cow, a dogma that must not be discussed. Should someone question this dogma, he will be excommunicated from the Church of Humanism.

In my opinion, the question is not whether Dawkins is right or not, but why the same people who used to be so proud of the fact that with them, unlike with the religious believers, there are no dogmas, that one can talk about everything (!) as long as it is done using rational arguments - so why these people suddenly have their own sacred cows after all ? How did humanism become a kind of quasi-religion ? Maybe the first step on this slippery slope leading from free-thinking to dogmas was when atheists chose to call themselves "humanists" (maybe because this word sounds nice and is more acceptable to the wider public?). The problem is that the two have little or even nothing in common: you can be an atheist without subscribing to Humanism (as I do), and you can be a theist and a humanist at the same time (like all Humanists in the early modern period).

I guess the misunderstanding about Dawkins was: He has never been a humanist in the quasi-religious way, believing in Humanity as something special. He is - and has always been - an atheist, a naturalist, and a free-thinker in the old tradition. In the U.S. where all public intellectuals have to be a card-carrying member of one of the two meta-tribes, this kind of liberal free-thinking is nowadays viewed with suspicion. If you are unable to pronounce "Shibboleth" correctly, you´re out, you must be an ennemy.

Matias 8 Oct 24

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


Made an OP about this not too long ago where progressives have become dogmatic in their views that by merely questioning them get you branded as a heretic. Just look at JK Rowling, a fellow progressive

If I'm not mistaken, that post of yours attracted multiple progressive screechers, lol. You are correct by the way regarding modern day progressives.

@SpikeTalon yes it did. I am proud of my work. It made a lot of progressives crawl out from under their bubbles and reeee into the ether at me.


A problem that some humanists have with Richard Dawkins goes back some years, and appears to be connected with Dawkins’ association with Maajid Nawaz, Bill Maher and Sam Harris, to name a few strident critics of Islam who have come under fire by humanists and members of the LGBTQ community. Labeling Dawkins and his ilk “Islamophobes,” many reactionary humanists—what Nawaz has referred to as the ‘regressive left’—have rallied in support of “disadvantaged Muslims” on many campuses, deplatforming, attacking and otherwise ‘canceling’ not only Dawkins, but former Muslims Ayan Hirsi Ali and Maryam Namazie. While there is no clear intersection between Islam and the LGBTQ community, one was created when members of the latter chose to publicly criticize atheists who dare attack the Islamic religion.

My impression is that all these confusing mouvements and its strange alliances (you mention Islam and the LGBTQ community, which are enemies in Muslim countries!) can be traced back to the ideology of intersectionality, where everyone who is not white, heterosexual, male and cis is in some sort of way oppressed, and they are all allies in their common struggle to overcome the white, heteronormative, cis-dominated patriarchy. Once this system will be toppled, they will be at daggers drawn because of their ideological incompatibilities

@Matias .....matias for president !!


Unfortunately in a lot of groups the psychopaths raise to the top and want to be the king pin.

who are you refering to, dear lady?

@holdenc98 Just look at the Republican Party for instance.

@Jolanta ok, fine and agreed ........i was worried you were refering to me..... if you were,.my psychiatrist would disagree with you, if i could afford one and if they werent all quacks anyway


I dropped my AHA membership because of this asinine episode. I support Trans human rights. However, I do not support Tran's rights over women's rights. Trans supporters even have a pejorative term for women who object to trans over-reach, TERF. That's tribalism for you. Trans billionaire (obscenely wealthy) Jennifer Pritzker or someone similar is suspected of coercing key people with bribes to enact their frustrations. So it becomes an ultra-left litmus test. And a ridiculous distraction from real issues.

Very well put! It is ridiculous that second-wave feminists are now vilified as TERFs just because they insist on women´s rights. Everyone is talking about "safe spaces" nowadays, but trans activists demand that women give up their safe spaces they have fought for for decades


Bravo! this is the stuff that toy schisms are made of. so lets have one! put all those progressive presently dominant alphas here in a penalty box. Several of them have commented right here...GET EM ! Then, lets "let a thousand new flowers bloom, let a thousand schools of thought prevail", yet again, till the new glue hardens, stances of the socially powerful are re-adjusted or re- aligned, and lo and behold the same old dominant alpha professionally camouflaged crypto- assholes are on top again,. The same old taboos fall back into their place, pre determined by the immutable and ever more perfected rules of human social power and constraint. These are immutable rules of personality interaction and dominance, NOT rules of thinking, logic, or reason. The same old taboo thoughts are still taboo. These modern rules don't change, sadly not ever again. Revolutions come and go, the fatal flaws of the social uber-governance of human " intelligence "' endure. And now alway will, perpetually gutting unorthodox thought till the day all thought is gone. . That 's why the species is in a death spiral that it can't think its way out of.

Yes, humanism is totally corrupted, but its corruption is not allowed to be spoken of here. So since were here at the "end of days", i'll do it as un obliquely as i dare,, and in so doing formally kick off the new revolution. Here is is: ............ " Humanism, and its wagging tail, sold it's soul when it's putative old leadership got displaced by Feminist and BLM hacks generated on that death star, the NPR/ PBS progressive media consortium (and of course the dark veiled forces behind it). That was the death of free thought here " .......

OK, old leadership, emerging just in time from your emergency pupae stage, take it from here.
Meanwhile the ice caps take no notice of our endless posed machinations and unconscious chicanery. They continue to melt.


Was not aware of the Dawkins - transgender issue and looked it up. Yes, it seems to be misconstrued and it seems the humanist group is acting like the college students that get upset over certain discussions. To some, political correctness has risen to a new height.

I too was a member of the humanist group for years. However, more and more I became disillusioned with them. One writer in particular, Greta Christina, was a real pain and many wrote to say so (soon thereafter her writings no longer appeared from the magazine). I have written them many letters, some kudos for their articles but more for their overemphasizing humanism over all else. Overpopulation was something they consistently refused to discuss. So I dropped them but I did become a member of a sub-group, "Free Inquiry." I have written several letters and my last one, about overpopulation, appeared in the issue along with another, similar letter + a comment by the editor (who has just died). This editor, Tom Flynn's final editorial I will attach. Luckily, chapters of the parent group do not have to conform to the main group.


Sexuality is to Humanity as Tenet is to Equity.

i love all sex talk, thought i knew of every kink in the toy box. but what the hell is "tenet and equity? are they things that get stuck into other things?


@waitingforgodo They get so touchy when you have to explain to them what the posts really mean!

@waitingforgodo You did. And thank you. It's important. If not to the recipient, then to the observers.


“[T]he honour hadn’t meant enough to me to be worth recording in my CV”.
Richard Dawkins


Atheist = Without god(s)

That is IT, finito, end of story, goodnight!

Whatever else you believe or do not believe, accept or do not accept, has fuck all relevance to your or anyone else's atheism.

I am Soooooo certain a man as successful and admirable as Professor Dawkins is heart broken and has had his whole career ruined by a hissy fit thrown by a bunch of virtue signaling attention seekers in the AHA who 90% of the world have never even heard of.


I hear ya clearly and I do not understand these things. A similar work over has went through The Atheist Experience in Austin, Texas. I still watch the program weekly but anything transgender has left, it seems. This includes some of the hosts who were open to transgender thought and ideas. Some will say I am wrong here but the powers that be have changed direction and the missing and much liked hosts want nothing to do with it. My take on it all is that you cannot hide your head in the sand and make something go away. Ignoring things does not make for a reality of any kind. The program creators and directors took too harsh of a step.

They did the human thingy and went overboard. Yes. This amuses me because it's Dawkins. I believe it was he who many thought the successor to Gore Vidal. When asked about it Vidal laughed. I think he felt Dawkins wit to be lacking, not his mental prowess, but he thought that of everyone.
I believe it should be lawful for a person to do whatever they want to with their body (mind is not ours so I do not include that) so long as no other body is harmed (affected isn't enough as we are affected by Asian butterfly's flapping wings). I don't understand transgender but I also don't get Veganism. It is the "I" which has no place here.


To the best of my knowledge, this must have happened a long time ago. I went over everything the AHA agenda, and it current accept s trans and lgbqt+ individuals. The local chapter, which I lead definitely supports lgbqt individuals. If the AHA currently supports this unfair agenda, please link resources and I will be happy to inform the AHA of our group's resignation from the society unless corrective action is taken.

Women were not granted the right to vote in this country until 1917. Yet, the mistakes were corrected, and I am still an American citizen.

mistake? not judging from the historical record.

@holdenc98 links please

@UrsiMajor I have no "link" to the folly that is american history since women got to vote (and admittedly before also). The only clear cut difference female voting has made is phohibition (a catastrophe) and the craven fawning all politicians render to every aspect of feminism (a far worse catastrophe). Were in the midst of 200 years of serial catastrophes punctuated by a few notes of material progress to disguise these, the end days for the human race. As the physical pl;anet degrades, so the metaphorical soul of our species also degrades. We are hollow shells now. A prime cause of that degradation is the sacrifice of primate human motherhood so that feminism can transform women into little men in the service of a paper and tinsel "equality". Its bogus, open your eyes, take your head out of your movement's a - - , and see it. Only women of "power" . like you, can save us now, or at least make the hopeless effort, by waking up and turning around. Dont say no one ever told you straight out.

' can save us now.

@holdenc98 What the hell are you babbling about? I was asking for a link to prove the AHA had discriminatory problems against minorities. Now you are saying feminism is a problem?

SO you are saying that I am nothing, not even a human being unless I reproduce?

I have a message for you:

I do not need to reproduce in order to be validated as human by people like you. Thank you.

@UrsiMajor thats a not very deep or well thought out message you sent there. its true, your comment and my reply are in only tangentially related frameworks. but you sound like youre about 25 I.Q. points short of being able to bridge the gap.

your personal reproductive situation was not on the table, and if your childless, obviously that makes you a special exempt case. but dopes shouldnt reproduce anyway, so just like trump and his foot bone spurs, youre already exempt on a medical deferrment? im just guessing.... i havent read your case file.

now, yet again, neither being dopey nor childless is any excuse for wasting your live and precious time away on holding bureaucratic status within the organizational structure of some fashionable npr certified cause. by doing so you miss the flower if life. there are other flowers of life besides motherhood that would serve to aesthetically justify a life, although none as metaphorically sacred. do you remember your mothers love? thats the heart of what im babbling about.

your pal, "people like me"

@holdenc98 []. Here's a link to the Dawkins comment for others like myself just hearing about this mess. Yes, I agree that the quote is taken out of context especially after clarification. Nobody can say much of anything anymore without a huge scandal. I still stand by my assessment of the situation that you have misogynistic tendencies Why would you say something about women having the right to vote making things worse and transforming us into men ? No, I don't have mother's love. I killed a plant . Had a dog. He died. Welcome to the Dawkins effect. You earned it. I'd actually report that comment, but admin left the building and never cared anyway.

@UrsiMajor "Report" all you like. What exactly is my offense ? Something about Dawkins and mothers love? Tattle-taling is always the first refuge of the npr dope. But, not only am I innocent. If you recall, "elvis had already left the building", before this latest semi incoherent inarticulation arrived . But before i left, hoping it was "forver", i was looking to find the best in you and activate it. Yes, straight talk can be scocking to those living in the feminist cocoon. It was aimed at saving you. You are seriously lost and hurt. There are millions of you out there with these self inflicted wounds. Your daughter too, but she's much more vulnerable to profound damage. Hillary Clintons village won't help her. Its lkikely "fem thought" like hers that is the true root of the destruction. . And (as always, ignored by types like you) your poor, sad, victomized, life-ruined ex husband , trying to make something out of some grotesque weekend crumbs youve left him.

Again...did you do that to him? If so, repair it. If not, if he's at fault, repair it anyway if it can be done. That should be your path. And stop kidding yourself about UU. Look at the people on this webcite and what they write to you and each other. You don't need to go to UU. , Your already here. Its Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD, and i bet its cram packed with refugees from the modern divorce. Is this really what you want life to be?

Or, if you prefer going in your present groove, you could always try ringing up PBS and tattling directly to Judy Woodruff. This would be exactly the kind of bushwa that is her bread and butter. Maybe she'll do a feature story on my nefarious male perfidy.

And now, again, I say my hopefully final goodbye. Unless you write back for more advice. The advice would be excellent, and id be ethically forced to give it to you.

@holdenc98 "Your daughter too, but she's much more vulnerable to profound damage. "

I don't have kids. Never wanted them. How do I get through to you on that one? Nobody is listening. Before "our final goodbye" please process that much about me.

Also, I don't think I need to invoke an ouija session with Freud to establish you might have a mother issue or two yourself.

@UrsiMajor .your right. i lost sight of you, confabulated/confused you with another woman, a potential UU, in mid paragraph. the dementia has reached my 2nd vertebrae and is rising. but that paragraph about you tattling to judy woofruff was a pip, don't you think?.. now i slink off, in momentary discrace, to my fortress of solitude. there to contemplate, regenerate, and then soon to return, although inevitably somewhat diminished, as we all are here. as p. roth once said, old age is a series of progressively more ludicrous pseudo elite webcites, and then you die.... oh well, at least im not one of those pro feminist eunicks.

and my flawed and sainted, purely loving mother was beside the point of anything said here, youre all wet there too. ........... as for no one listening, yet again you are wrong. you misunderstand this webcite, as well as life in general. just as there is dark matter and dark energy throughout existence (it actually composes well over 90 persent of everything based on calculated gravitational mass), so there are dark readers on agnostic, of an entirely different personality style than those who post and comment here. don't worry, someone is listening. and your listening.

but now, finally, and at last, i must paraphrase the seinfeld episode where gerry creates a pez dispenser incident, causing elaine to start laughing during a piano recital, and then the angered high strung pianist breaks up with george. on the way out thedoor, she says to george (but read me as the one saying her line, and george is confabulated in my mind with yourself), ........... " NOW I, .... AM BREAKING UP, ....WITH YOU.


It seems to me that in all of this the core point is how we use language in a variety of contexts. Belief(s) are not merely confined to religious viewpoints and find expression in a variety of forms.

"In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eaten of be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined. By changing the description or name of an act, object or person, we may make the same more socially acceptable or repulsive." Thomas Szasz


Some people have an agenda, don't they.

Why don't you just cut to your chase about gender and drop the humanist/dawkins stalking horse facade.

having an adgenda is a much better alternative than the cowardly, mutual back slapping, cliche and homily spouting, windmill tilting blather that more and more passes for conversation here. in my mind you are one of the smart ones. so as homer simpson used to say to his tv set, " be more smart". in fact, i invite you to join with my adgenda, which is the honest one. pure anti feminism and anti the new perverted black lives matter"civil rights" i know youre too smart not to recognize all the deadly aspects of their hide bound phoney tryanical dominance. so get off the fense, stop the back slapping, start paddling (no matter how many backs you slap youre never going to get laid here). welcome to the bridge..........jean luc picard.


Never join any club that would have you as a member.

Exactly Groucho!

@Marionville Somewhere around the time I retired at 47 years of age, I realized that I had run out of fucks to give about petty shit. 13 years on I have to dig down deep in order to care about the important shit like climate change, AI and habitat destruction.
How people want to fuck is their business and since humans seem to do an excellent job of fucking each other, the economy and the environment, I imagine that they don't need my commentary on the process. 😉

@SnowyOwl Being able to drop out has been a major influence over what interests me. Issues are mere mental masturbation for me, now, with little attention for how it ends. I have a preference but that's all it is.


Let's make this specific, you're defending people who believe and speak about transwomen (it's almost always transwomen) should be excluded from cis women's spaces. It's one thing to speak in the abstract about free speech but lets make certain we understand.


Yes, but I'm not sure this is commentary about atheism or atheists but rather the woke cancel political correctness contagion that has infected the progressive movement generally, some of whom are atheists whose adherence to self-righteous wokeness has corrupted their atheist free thinking. On top of which Dawkins is an easy target because he refuses to play by the new woke censorship. Ultimately I think that this is really what a lot of this is about: censorship. I'm not sure about your point on humanism. This word is so bandied about now it means everything and nothing. Religious people call themselves humanists now.

Good point. I would like to think that I am a free thinker . Not sure about humanism if is it tries to elevate homo sapiens above all the other animals. I watched Hilary Clinton speaking with Tom Daley the Olympic diver on the BBC One show last night and she asked him about his husband and son. At my age I still find this weird but good luck to them.

Matias likes to rally.

@waitingforgodo .the original humanism el;evated man above the non existent god.


I concur, and have much respect for Dawkins. I'm certainly atheist, but not humanist, more like philanthropist. Humanity isn't special, human beings are simply more evolved life forms compared to others on this planet is all(at least I think so, maybe not). While my own political views do lean slightly more to the right, I also consider myself liberal (socially liberal) as well, just not the progressive brand of politics. Nothing truly liberal about such an approach from those who criticized and attempted to cancel Dawkins.


I think you have a good point. But there is a small qualification which needs to be made, which is that you are making an assumption that modern atheists and free thinkers are the "same people" as you phrase it, as the atheists and free thinkers of the past. But that of course is probably not the case, since as a movement becomes more respectable, popular and even mainstream, more people join it, and the new people will not need or always have the same intellectual rigour, strength or bravery that the early members had or needed, when the movement was new and in need of strong thinking and rigourous defense.

Indeed many of the latter joiners may well join it, not because they are interested in the arguments, but because they see it as a safer place than other institutions. They will therefore be more interested in defending and maintaining existing, or even just perceived, status quo, within the group, which is what they joined for, than in supporting the intellectual advances if any.

surely you're familiar with Matias' form.

@waitingforgodo Of course, but each post is a new game.

That´s why I started the post with "There was a time when..." -I do not think that this time is too far away in the past, and I can still remember discussions among atheists (say, 10 or 15 years ago) where you could mention and question any topic, as long as you were able to present it in a rational way, even "hot topics" could be discussed in public. Today this field is full of trip-wires, some of them in plain sight, some hidden, and you have to be very careful not be blown to pieces by some ideological landmine.

@Matias You're equating genuine discussion with flaunting your exclusionist agenda. But yes, the days are gone where you can disenfranchise others with hate, at least without a backlash. It's a new day where everyone gets to participate. Will you be able to adapt to progress?

@LovinLarge Yeah... there´s lot of hate, everywhere. Hate, hate, hate...
Whoever does not agree with you one hundred percent, whoever does not worship your sacred cows, must hate you and your "progress".
I prefer reason to the false idol of progress.

@Matias Hate fuels the exclusive agenda not the inclusive one so no, hate is not universal.

Reason and progress are not mutually exclusive, but opposition to progress is regressive by definition.

Truly reasonable people will never support an exclusive, regressive agenda.

@Matias Can't go wrong with logic and reasoning.


I agree with most of what you say, and I think it boils down to an extreme polarisation in our society of all things political and religious. It appears we are now living in a new age of illiberalism where there seems to be no middle ground, you’re either all in or all out. I believe we are in danger of falling into the trap of wanting to put labels on everyone in order to identify them as being in one camp or another. The age of the individual freethinker seems to be dying out, when we could hold views on a diverse range of subjects without being either seen as a reactionary right-winger or a loony leftist. This applies equally to religious belief, and social and human-rights, as it does to politics. Atheists are not necessarily Humanists with a capital H, and actually atheists are not necessarily Atheists with a capital A either. I’m not a joiner and don’t belong to any official organisations which claim to represent those with humanist or atheist views, and do not wish to do so precisely because I want to remain an individual and not to ape and conform to the stereotype or dogma of a quasi-religious or political organisation.

I find it the ultimate irony that Dawkins, the very person who, for many who decided to eschew religion on the strength of reading “The God Delusion” and who was the veritable poster boy of the movement against religion, should be excommunicated from American Humanists!

Ask yourself what Matias has said here before about gender.

@waitingforgodo I don’t need to…his personal views are not relevant to this post…unless you decide that they are, but that’s actually irrelevant too! Surely we can discuss something purely objectively without feeling the need to prejudge the motives behind the posting.

@Marionville yes I went the pavlova after you had your turn at bake, responding. How the reaction was "immediate in the way he expects" is remarkably pied piperish of you, lol.

@waitingforgodo…yours is such a Pavlovian response, he posts something and you immediately react in the way he expects. What is he…the Pied Piper, and you the 5 year old who dances away to his tune?

@waitingforgodo Ding-a-ling! 🛎

@waitingforgodo - -
Be careful! I might do it again, gender being one of my pet topics.
Make sure to block me a.s.a.p. so that you won´t be traumatized by my blasphemies. This is serious. Do not complain afterwards.

@Marionville - Thank you for your thoughtful comments. That´s exactly how I feel about these issues. This extreme polarisation you mention is driving me crazy too

@Matias We have a great British expression….don’t let the buggers get you down!

@Marionville I'm fond of the term "wankers" myself, but buggers sounds just fine to me as well.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:629926
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.