a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
No. Atheism as we know it must be much more, according to Myers. How dare people not recognize atheism as a movement built around, not just unbelief, but social justice! Atheism must be about social justice and gender equality and the support condom use in Africa and every other social cause that well-meaning human beings can support.
Here is Myers:
I still think atheism is the best path to comprehending our world and making it better — better in all ways, not just scientific and technological, but also socially. The atheist movement is not in the hands of dictionary atheists, and it’s not growing by recruiting more narrow-minded deniers; it’s growing by helping people realize that it’s something more and something beautiful.
He is, of course, conflating atheism with science, social psychology and any number of other fields. Something beautiful atheism is; a path to “comprehending our world and making it better” it is not. Atheism is the disbelief in god or gods. Period. If we want to append other causes to atheism, we need to look to humanism and then adopt secular humanism or else redefine atheism. And good luck with that. Why is this so hard to comprehend?
In this post Myers downplays the deconversion experience:
You lack belief in the existence of gods? That’s nice, you’ve taken your first tiny baby step. Now what does that mean for human affairs? What will you do next? When will you stride forward and do something that matters with your new freedom?
First, to reference a person’s deconversion from religion in such a callous way is not helpful. In many cases like my own, deconversion is a weighty business and far from a “tiny baby step.” Indeed, in some cultures, to come out as a nonbeliever could be life threatening. A “baby step?” I think not. The people who break themselves from the trappings of religion should be commended, not trivialized in this way.