Atheism and apathy

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Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020.[1]

Atheist Francois Tremblay wrote: "One last problem that undermines any propagation of atheism is inspiration. Let's be honest here, 'there is no god!' is not a very motivating call for most people."[2] See also: Atheism and inspiration

According Pew Research:

In the 2014 Religious Landscape Study, self-identified atheists were asked how often they share their views on God and religion with religious people. Only about one-in-ten atheists (9%) say they do at least weekly, while roughly two-thirds (65%) say they seldom or never discuss their views on religion with religious people. By comparison, 26% of those who have a religious affiliation share their views at least once a week with those who have other beliefs; 43% say they seldom or never do.[3]

Although American atheists may experience some social ostracism for telling other about atheism, hate crimes against atheists are extremely low in number (see; Atheism and social outcasts and Persecution of atheists).

See also: Atheism vs. Christian revivals

Contents

Ex-atheist Alister McGrath on atheism

See also: Atheism and inspiration

The ex-atheist Alister McGrath has repeatedly pointed out the uninspiring nature of atheism.[4] According to McGrath, atheism is "stale", "dull" and difficult to believe.[5] Throughout mankind's history, most people have found atheism to be uninspiring (See also: Atheism and inspiration and Atheism and sloth).

Lethargic response to new arguments for existence of God

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as "the man atheists fear most" due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate.[6][7]

See also: Stagnation of atheist apologetics

Michael Martin (1932 - 2015) was an atheistic philosopher and Professor Emeritus at Boston University. Martin obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1962.[8]

In 1990, Martin indicated there was a general absence of an atheistic response to contemporary work in the philosophy of religion and in jest he indicated that it was his "cross to bear" to respond to theistic arguments.[9] Yet, in 1994, Michael Martin was criticized for his eleventh hour cancellation of his debate with Greg Bahnsen (see: Greg Bahnsen and debate and Bahnson-Martin debate press release).[10][11]

In recent years, atheist intellectuals have been lethargic in terms of responding to arguments for the existence of God (See: Stagnation of atheist apologetics).

Events that have lowered the morale of the atheist movement

See also: Atheists and the endurance of religion and Atheist movement

In the latter portion of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st century, due to various historical events/trends, the atheist movement has had lower confidence/morale (see: Atheists and the endurance of religion and Atheist pessimism about the atheist movement).

Other causes of apathy among atheists

Atheism is often the result of:

1. Apathy. A subgroup of atheists/agnostics refers to themselves as apatheists.

Jesus Christ said that greatest commandment in the Old Testament is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind (Mark 12:30-31). In addition, the Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8).

Opposites of love are hate, anger and apathy. See also: Atheism and love

On January 1, 2011, CNN reported:

People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image - that is, what they imagined God might be like - said lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University psychologist.

In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers.[12]

Various studies found that traumatic events in people's lives has a positive correlation with "emotional atheism".[13] See also: Atheism and the problem of evil

No doubt many atheists mask/supress their anger towards God by feigning indifference and/or telling themselves that they are indifferent concerning His existence (See also: Atheism and hatred of God).

2. Mankind's sinful nature. See also: Moral failures of the atheist population

3. Intellectual laziness and the uncritical adoption of atheist indoctrination in public schooling and/or state atheism in communist countries. See also: Rebuttals to atheist arguments and Evidence for Christianity

For example, after the French Revolution, France has predominantly been a secular nation with a very secular educational system.[14] However, in European public schools immigrant children of religious families are often highly resistant to atheistic indoctrination in public schools and religious parents often send their children to private religious schools.[15][16]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly communist China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[17] See also: Western atheism and race

Jewish columnist Dennis Prager has stated that a causal factor of atheism is the "secular indoctrination of a generation."[18]

Prager declares:

From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular – is presented. The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages."[19]

In 2013, an study found that academia was less likely to hire evangelical Christians due to discriminatory attitudes.[20] See also: Atheism and intolerance

4. Other addition causes (see Causes of atheism).

Atheists and a lack of evangelism in third world countries

See also: Unattractiveness of atheism and Views on atheists

The apostle Paul was a confident Christian who zealously spread Christianity.

Christianity has a long history of being evangelistic. Christianity continues to experience a rapid growth in its number of adherents. See: Global Christianity

Doing overseas evangelism/outreaches, often requires significant hardships/persecution. Western World atheists have been unwilling to endure such hardships in order to spread atheistic ideology. On the other hand, historically, Christians have made great evangelism efforts to reach every people group across the earth. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[21] See also: Atheism and hedonism

Atheism is experiencing a decline of global influence

See also: Global atheism and Desecularization and Decline of the secular left

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass."[22]

In 2011, the American Spectator declared:

The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding."[23]

For more information, see: Decline of global atheism

Skepticism often does not generate enthusiasm/unity and wavering of disbelief

See also: Schools of atheist thought and Atheist movement and Atheism and loneliness and Atheists doubting the validity of atheism

The author John Updike wrote:

Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic un-interestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity...of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?"[24]
In his essay Herding Cats: Why atheism will lose, the atheist Francois Tremblay compared unifying atheists to herding cats.[25]

The atheist Francois Tremblay wrote in his essay Herding Cats: Why atheism will lose:

Atheism, as commonly defined by atheists, expresses a lack of belief, or disbelief, in deities. It is not a positive belief in anything, but a negative concept. That is why atheists, inasmuch as they are atheists, are nothing like a coherent or concerted group. Organizations like American Atheists serve a role of broadcasting information more than anything else, because there cannot be concerted action when nobody agrees on what to do (except of course on direct concerns like the rights of atheists or separation of church and state). Most atheists disagree strongly on whenever atheism should be propagated, or promoted, and on the matter of doing so.

Another problem of atheism qua atheism is that it does not contain its own basis. What I mean by this is that atheism is a punctual, ontological belief, which is itself the implicit or explicit result of metaphysical and epistemological deductions. Any reply to an attack on this basis cannot come directly from atheism. Concentrating oneself only on being an atheist is like trying to build a house from the second floor up. It may look less costly on paper, and for people who only build houses in their imagination this may be a good way of seeing it, but it's not good enough for a serious endeavour. And most importantly, it's too fragile. I see too many religionists attacking atheism from the bottom and atheists being unable to adequately reply to the arguments. If the atheist cannot answer to his most fundamental beliefs on the nature of reality and cognition, then his atheism is worthless in terms of validation. It is nothing more than a big paper tiger, made from the finest cardboard.

One last problem that undermines any propagation of atheism is inspiration. Let's be honest here, "there is no god!" is not a very motivating call for most people.[26]

Paul Kurtz was the founder of the Center for Inquiry.

The Atheist Community of Buffalo, and Western New York has on their about page of their website:

Wondering why it was that we had talked about doing a Podcast for years, but just never quite got around to it. Wondering why having the Center For Inquiry in our backyard never got our asses up, and out on a Friday night to hear lectures given by people that we admire, and have been reading, and reading about, for years. We wondered if we would sit in our air-conditioned offices for years, wondering why we never decided to act.

And so, returning home without any answers...we decided to dive head first into the Atheist Community of our hometown. We decided to find out who was doing what, throw ourselves in the thick of it. And, after doing our research, here is what we found:

Whoever said organizing Atheists is like herding cats was not wrong.[27]

YouTube video maker Shockofgod says it was the lack of evidence for atheism and the compelling nature of the evidence for Christianity which caused him to become an ex-atheist.[28][29]

Contention within the atheist population

David Silverman took feminist Rebecca Watson off the speakers list for the Reason Rally after Richard Dawkins objected to her speaking at the event.[30] See: Elevatorgate

See also: Atheist factions

Jacques Rousseau wrote in the Daily Maverick: "Elevatorgate..has resulted in three weeks of infighting in the secular community. Some might observe that we indulge in these squabbles fairly frequently."[31] An ex-atheist wrote: "As an Atheist for 40 years, I noticed that there is not just a wide variety of Atheist positions, but there exists an actual battle between certain Atheist factions."[32] See also: Schools of atheist thought and Atheist movement

Blair Scott served on the American Atheists board of directors. Mr. Scott formerly served as a State Director for the American Atheists organization in the state of Alabama. On December 1, 2012 he quit his post as a director of outreach for the American Atheist due to infighting within the American atheist movement.[33]

Mr. Blair wrote:

I have spent the last week mulling over what I want to do at this point in the movement. I’m tired of the in-fighting: at every level. I am especially tired of allowing myself to get sucked into it and engaging in the very behavior that is irritating..me.[34]

Wavering of disbelief and doubts that atheists exists

See also: Atheists doubting the validity of atheism and Denials that atheists exist

One of the most popular arguments for God's existence is the teleological argument. Derived from the Greek word telos, which refers to purpose or end, this argument hinges on the idea that the world gives evidence of being designed, and concludes that a divine designer must be posited to account for the orderly world we encounter.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states about the evolutionist Charles Darwin:

In 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death:

In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilization of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature — I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, “Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,” and he shook his head vaguely, adding, “it seems to go away. ”(Argyll 1885, 244)[35]

Research and historical data indicate that a significant portion of atheists/agnostics often see the their lives and the world as being the product of purposeful design (see: Atheism and purpose).[36]

In addition, notable professing atheists have had the characteristic of variability and instability when it came to maintaining thoughts in accordance with atheism. For example, Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading proponents of atheism of the 20th Century.

Yet Jean-Paul Sartre made this candid confession:

As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for wont of being able to think otherwise.[37]

For more information, please see: Atheists doubting the validity of atheism

Doubts that atheists exist

It has been asserted by various theists that atheists do not exist. Sir Francis Bacon wrote in his essay Of Atheism:

The Scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it....It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man.[38]
Relevant quotes from science journals and science magazines

See also: Atheism Quotes

" “A slew of cognitive traits predisposes us to faith.” - Pascal Boyer, in the British science journal Nature [39]

“Atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think. … They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.” - Graham Lawton in the New Scientist science magazine [40]

Atheism and its retention rate in individuals

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[41]

See also: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals and Desecularization and Atheism and inspiration

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[41] See also: Atheism and poor relationships with parents

A 2012 study by the General Social Survey of the social science research organization NORC at the University of Chicago found that belief in God rises with age, even in atheistic nations[42] See also: Atheism and immaturity.

Rapid growth of Christianity in communist China

In recent times, interest in atheism has waned and Christianity is experiencing rapid growth (see: Growth of Christianity in China).

On November 1, 2014, an article in The Economist entitled Cracks in the atheist edifice declared:

Officials are untroubled by the clash between the city’s famously freewheeling capitalism and the Communist Party’s ideology, yet still see religion and its symbols as affronts to the party’s atheism...

Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China’s Christian population the largest in the world. Mr. Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire.[43]

Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union

See also: Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union

A Soviet propaganda poster disseminated in the Bezbozhnik (Atheist) magazine depicting Jesus being dumped from a wheelbarrow by an industrial worker as well as a smashed church bell; the text advocates Industrialisation Day as an alternative replacement to the Christian Transfiguration Day. see: Militant atheism

On July 3, 2005, the New York Times reported concerning many countries in the former Soviet Union: "A return to religion in Romania and the region's other formerly Communist countries has in many places outrun the speed at which the church can screen and train clergy..."[44]

In 2003, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard published a paper by Assaf Moghadam entitled A Global Resurgence of Religion? which declared:

As the indications leave little doubt, Russia is showing clear signs of a religious resurgence. In fact, all seven criteria by which change in religious behavior and values are measured here confirmed that Russia is experiencing what could be called a religious revival. Since 1970, the nonreligious/atheist population has been on steady decline, from 52% in 1970 to 33% in 2000. Further, the percentage of this population is projected to decrease even further, possibly reaching the 20% mark in 2025. Between 1990 and 1997, belief in God has risen from 35% to a whopping 60%, while belief in the importance of God has climbed to 43% in 1997, up from 25% in 1990. More people have been raised religious in Russia in 1997 (20%) than at the beginning of the decade (18%), and 8.39% more Russians believed religion to be important toward the end of the 1990s, when compared to 1990. “Comfort in Religion” has also sharply increased within this time period, from less than 27% to over 46%. Finally, more and more Russians attend church services more regularly in 1997 than they did in 1990.

In the three Eastern European countries that were included in the WVS survey on belief in God, a drastic rise could be witnessed of respondents who answered this question in the affirmative. In Hungary, the percentage of believers in God jumped from 44% to 58% from 1981 to 1990, even prior to the collapse of the former Soviet Union. In Belarus, the number of people who believe in God nearly doubled over the course of the 1990s, from 36% to 68%, while in Latvia this figure almost quadrupled, from 18% to 67% in the same time period. Similar trends held true when it came to the importance of God, where there was a sharp rise in all three countries.[45]

Atheist population is lacking in confidence

See also: Atheism and cowardice and Rebuttals to atheist arguments

Eric Kaufmann, professor at Birbeck College, University of London, wrote:

Worldwide, the march of religion can probably only be reversed by a renewed, self-aware secularism. Today, it appears exhausted and lacking in confidence... Secularism's greatest triumphs owe less to science than to popular social movements like nationalism, socialism and 1960s anarchist-liberalism. Ironically, secularism's demographic deficit means that it will probably only succeed in the twenty-first century if it can create a secular form of 'religious' enthusiasm."[46]

In addition, prominent atheists and evolutionists have established a reputation of dodging debates (see: Atheism and debate).

Hopelessness of atheism and apathy

See also: Hopelessness of atheism

On March 8, 2013, Damon Linker wrote in The Week:

If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we're alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.[47]

Although Bertrand Russell was an agnostic, he had favorable views of atheism.[48] Bertrand Russell wrote in 1903 about entropy and the universe:

That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.

"Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding dispair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built." [49]

In a letter to Lowes Dickinson, Bertrand Russell wrote:

We stand on the shores of an ocean, crying to the night and the emptiness; sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness. But it is a voice of one drowning; and in a moment the silence returns” (Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, p. 287 as quoted by Leroy Koopman, “Famous Atheists Give Their Testimonies,” Moody Monthly, Nov. 1975, p. 124.) [50]

Atheism and suicide

See also: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and depression

Atheists have a higher suicide rate than theists.[51][52] See: Atheism and suicide

In 2004, the American Journal of Psychiatry reported:

Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder. No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found.[53][54]

Atheism, arrogance, complacency and apathy

See also: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and mockery

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: "But now God is dead. You superior men, this God was your greatest danger. Only since he is in the grave, have you risen again. Only now comes the great noontide; only now the superior man will be – Lord!"

The picture of Nietzsche above was taken in 1899. Nietzsche died in 1900.

Complacency often precedes apathy.

An excellent example of the complacency and unpreparedness of atheists is the debate between atheist Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig. The two debated at Biola University in 2009 in a videotaped debate.[55]

The atheist Luke Muehlhauser wrote concerning the Hitchens-Craig debate: "The debate went exactly as I expected. Craig was flawless and unstoppable. Hitchens was rambling and incoherent, with the occasional rhetorical jab. Frankly, Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child."[56]

As far as atheism debates, although atheists commonly claim there are reasonable arguments for atheism, the quality of atheist debate has been quite poor from the proponents of atheism. See: Rebuttals to atheist arguments

Bluster and mockery is often a substitute for competence and is a result of arrogance and complacency.[57]

Atheists have a reputation for mockery (See: Atheism and mockery).

Kenneth Weinstein wrote in The American Interest:

Charlie Hebdo has suddenly become the best-known example of a venerable French tradition: vituperative and unrelenting anti-religious satire, a provocative yet regular phenomenon of French public life. And now—not, alas, for the first time in that nation’s history—it has occasioned actual bloodshed.

Lampooning of the Bible, Christian doctrine, and clergy dates back almost 400 years to the “strong thinkers,” French learned skeptics in the 16th century. The primary target of anti-religious satire was France’s official religion, Catholicism, the Church’s ties to the state, and its control over education. And the ridiculing wit long directed against these targets would eventually play a central and crucial role in reducing the status and influence of religion in the French Republic...

The method of the forerunners of Charlie Hebdo—unrelenting and vicious satire of religion and clergy — proved so effective that France became a fully secular state, to such an extent that certain of its practices, laicité, would be regarded as unsettlingly alien and intolerant by most Americans.[58]

One of the common and well-founded charges against atheists is their arrogance and presumptuousness.[59] See also: Atheism and arrogance

Sparsity and disatisfaction with atheist gatherings and a lack of atheist revivals

See also: Atheism vs. Christian revival and Christian apologetics and Reason Rally

Atheist meetings and conferences

See also: Atheist conferences

The atheist PZ Myers giving a talk at George Mason University. In June of 2010, PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[60]

(photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)

In June of 2010, the atheist PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[60] In October of 2012, the atheist Susan Jacoby wrote in The Humanist concerning atheist meetings: "When I speak before non-college audiences — that is, audiences in which no one is required to be there to get credit for a college course — 75 percent of the people in the seats are men."[61]

In October of 2010, an atheists' meeting was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older...". [62]

In 2013, PZ Myers indicated:

If we're going to expand our base and we're going to draw in more people to recognize the virtues of living in a secular world, we need to appeal to more than just that geek and nerd subset of the population. We need to have a wider base. ...I seriously believe that we're on the cusp of a crisis. We're not there yet but it's looming in front of us. Will we adapt and thrive and change the world? Or will we remain an avocation for a prosperous and largely irrelevant subset of the population? Will we become something more than a scattered society of internet nerds? That's what we have to do.[63]

In response, David Klinghoffer at Evolution News and Views wrote:

A crisis looms, in Myers's view, because he looks around himself and sees a not very promising basis for a mass movement. He's right. There is indeed a quality of geeky isolation from reality, common sense, and the fullness of life that I see as a motif in atheist and Darwin activism alike.[64]

YouTube atheist Dusty Smith says atheist nerds are driving away women from considering the possibility of becoming atheists and this is a very upsetting situation.[65] Dusty Smith also stated that the atheist community needs to be more "cool".[66]

See also: Atheism and social skills and Atheist nerds

In 2011, Beliefnetnews reported concerning the race and gender of American atheist:

From the smallest local meetings to the largest conferences, the vast majority of speakers and attendees are almost always white men. Leading figures of the atheist movement - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett -- are all white men.

But making atheism more diverse is proving to be no easy task.

Surveys suggest most atheists are white men. A recent survey of 4,000 members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation found that 95 percent were white, and men comprised a majority.[67]

Atheist women and dissatisfaction with atheist meetings

The article Internet atheism: The thrill is gone! points out that internet atheism has been in a significant slump since 2008.

See also: Atheist factions and Internet atheism

In comparison to Christendom, which has many meetings in numerous places in a given day or week which are convenient to attend, atheist meetings are sparse. See also: American atheists and church attendance

In an essay entitled How the Atheist Movement Failed Me, an atheist woman noted that participation in the atheist community is often expensive due to the cost of attending atheist conferences and even local atheist meetings in restaurants and bars challenged her modest budget.[68]

As a result of the challenges that atheists commonly have in terms of socializing in person, many atheists turn to the internet in terms of communicating with other atheists.[69] Often internet communication between atheists turns acrimonious and contentious (see: Atheist factions).

Furthermore, post Elevatorgate (a controversy which involved an Irish atheist conference), there were many complaints by atheist women about atheist misogny occurring at atheist conferences (see also: Atheism and women). As a result, subsequent to Elevatorgate, atheist conferences frequently have anti-sexual harassment policies.[70]

Reason Rally

The Reason Rally was billed as the largest secular event in world history.[71][72] It was held in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2012.

According to the Religion News Service 8,000-10,000 people showed up for the rally. [73] The Atlantic reported 20,000 individuals were in attendance.[74] The documentary The Unbelievers purports that over 30,000 people attended the rally.[75]

The Reason Rally was not the largest secular event in world history

Although the Reason Rally was billed as the largest secular event in world history, strictly speaking that is not accurate. Communist countries have embraced state atheism. And Marxist-Leninism along with Maoism explicitly adhered to the atheist worldview and communist countries have engaged in militant atheism and religious persecution (see: Atheism and communism).[76] China still engages in religious persecution. Communist countries had large/massive rallies. For example, at Tiananmen Square during the Cultural Revolution, the atheist Mao Zedong greeted 1,500 Red Guards and waved to 800,000 Red Guards and spectators below. [77]

The Sunday Assembly atheist church movement

The Sunday Assembly "atheist church" movement was founded in 2013 by the secular humanists and comedians Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones.[78]

In 2014, the Sunday Assembly movement had established 28 atheist churches.[79]

In 2014, it was reported that there was a schism in the movement as far as whether or not they should use the word "atheist" in their movement and/or whether they should just cater to atheists..[80]

Atheism, Christianity and revivals

Reverend Dwight Longenecker wrote: "In the late eighteenth century atheism, rationalism and Freemasonry seemed to have taken over Europe. By the mid to late nineteenth century religious revival had swept through Europe and Christianity was surging forward."[81]

In the United States, there were a series of Christian revivals/awakenings between 1730 and the 1970s (see: First Great Awakening and Second Great Awakening and Third Great Awakening and Fourth Great Awakening and Jesus Movement).

The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905 caused a dramatic drop in crime (see: Religion and crime reduction).

As far as the history of atheism, there have been no atheist revivals.

Many find evolutionary indoctrination to be boring and uninspiring

evolution darwin theory
Late in Charles Darwin's life, Darwin told the Duke of Argyll that he frequently had overwhelming thoughts that the natural world was the result of design.[82] See also: 15 questions for evolutionists

See also: Evolution and Evolution and Cases of Fraud, Hoaxes and Speculation and Evolution as a secular origins myth and Evolution and just so stories

The evolutionary paradigm is unscientific and unsound (see: Evolution). In January of 2012, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching published a study indicating that evolutionary belief is significantly based on gut feelings.[83][84] A January 20, 2012 article entitled Belief in Evolution Boils Down to a Gut Feeling published by the website Live Science wrote of the research: "They found that intuition had a significant impact on what the students accepted, no matter how much they knew and regardless of their religious beliefs."[85]

In addition, the public is losing interest in evolutionary indoctrination. For example, according to Google trends, worldwide interest in the query "evolution" has significantly fallen from what it was 10 years ago.[86]

Among the general public and atheists, interest in the evolutionists Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers has fallen (see: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence and Rebuke of PZ Myers by the atheist Michael Nugent relative to the area of social justice).[87]

An October 27, 2009 article entitled The More They Know Darwin, The Less They Want Darwin-Only Indoctrination declared:

According to an international poll released by the British Council, the majority of Americans -- 60% -- support teaching alternatives to evolution in the science classroom. The percentage is the same for Britons, despite the fact that both countries have been inundated with pro-Darwin media coverage in this super-mega Darwin Year.

Of course, the British media reporting this are chagrined. Britain is the birthplace of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, and the official-sounding British Council, the UK group behind the "Darwin Now" campaign that commissioned the Ipsos MORI poll, have spent precious resources educating the world about Darwin. Now some believe the poll shows that efforts by Darwinist organizations aren't working.[88]

Johns Hopkins University Press reported in 2014: "Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames."[89] See also: Evolutionary indoctrination

Atheism and apathy to develop relationships with others

Secular societies commonly have significant levels of loneliness. See: Atheism and loneliness

See also: Atheism and loneliness and Atheism and health

Loneliness has been linked to many physical and mental health problems.[90]

Compared to religious cultures where an extended family and a sense of community prevails, secular countries are often lonelier societies. In addition, numerous studies and other data indicate that atheists often have lower emotional intelligence and lower social skills (see: Atheiam and emotional intelligence and Atheism and social skills).

For more information, please see:

Atheism and marriage

See also: Atheism and marriage and Atheist marriages and Atheism and women

Christian apologist Michael Caputo wrote:

Recently the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published its mammoth study on Religion in America based on 35,000 interviews... According to the Pew Forum a whopping 37% of atheists never marry as opposed to 19% of the American population, 17% of Protestants and 17% of Catholics.[91]

Theodore Beale declared that according to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) "more than half of all atheists and agnostics don’t get married."[92]

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote "Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century."[93] Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: "What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level."[94] See also: Atheism and sexuality

Shortage of successful secular institutions and loneliness

The atheist Guy Stagg wrote in The Telegraph:

It shows that, although secularists have realised that they cannot simply be defined by opposition to religion, nevertheless they have little to offer in its place. Crucially the secular tradition has no successful institutions to preserve and spread its principles.

This is something that few secularists admit: atheism is quite lonely. Not just existentially, but socially as well. Secularism does not offer the sense of fellowship you find in religion. Watching old Christopher Hitchens debates on YouTube with a like-minded sceptic is entertaining, but I doubt it's as nourishing as Sunday Mass.[95]

Atheism, self-centeredness and apathy to do charitable works

See also: Atheism and uncharitableness

A beggar in Cambodia. In Cambodia, the vast majority of the population adheres to a nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism.

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[96]

Concerning the issue of atheism and charity, charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[97]

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[98][99] The study revealed that forty percent of worship service attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly as opposed to 15% of Americans who never attend services.[100][101] Moreover, religious individuals are more likely than non-religious individuals to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%).[102][103]

Atheists and apathy to dealing with bad health habits

See also: Atheism and health

The prestigious Mayo Clinic found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better physical health and mental health outcomes.[104]

In the journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications, psychologists McCullough and Willoughby theorize that many of the positive links of religiousness with health and social behavior may be caused by religion's beneficial influences on self-control/self-regulation.[105] Furthermore, a 2012 Queen's University study published in Psychological Science found that religion replenishes self-control.[106] Also, numerous studies indicate that those who engage in regular spiritual practices have lower mortality rates.[107]

The Iona Institute reported:

A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[108]

Atheism and alcoholism

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[109]

See also: Atheism and alcoholism

Atheists and atheistic cultures often have significant problems with excess alcohol usage (For more information please see: Atheism and alcoholism).

Secular Europe and alcoholism

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[109]

Atheism and obesity

See also: Atheism and obesity

Secular Europe and obesity

See also: Secular Europe and obesity

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported:

Based on the latest estimates in European Union countries, overweight affects 30-70% and obesity affects 10-30% of adults.

Estimates of the number of overweight infants and children in the WHO European Region rose steadily from 1990 to 2008. Over 60% of children who are overweight before puberty will be overweight in early adulthood.[110]

Atheistic China and obesity

See also: China and obesity

In 2014, it was reported that China's obesity rate has skyrocketed in the last 30 years and the Chinese now have the second highest obesity rate in the world.[111][112] The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014 that China had approximately 300 million overweight people.[113] In 2014, the British medical journal Lancet analyzed weight trends in 188 countries and reported that more than 28% of Chinese adult men and 27% of the country’s adult women are now overweight or obese.[114]

According to a 2012 report by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of obese children in China has reached 120 million.[115] A recent study published in the Obesity Reviews journal, found that Chinese teenagers' rate of diabetes was four times that of their American peers.[116] Due to their past one-child policy, which had exceptions, China now has a lot of over-pampered and over-fed children.[117]

Irreligion/religion, recent generations in the United States and obesity

See also: Irreligion/religion, recent generations in the United States and obesity

According to the Gallup Inc., "Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious."[118]

In the United States at the present time, the greater the degree of irreligiosity in a generation, the higher their obesity rate is. For more information, please see the three articles directly below.

Irreligion, various generations in the United States and obesity rates

Atheism and apathy towards societal economic well-being

Overall, atheistic societies have tended to have higher rates of sloth and as a result have eventually experienced economic problems (see: Atheism and sloth).

American Yeomen farmers hated laziness, ignorance and sloth

In the former Soviet Union, a popular joke was that the workers pretended to work and the Soviet Union pretended to pay them.[119] A study performed in the former Soviet Union found that over 50% of the work force admitted to drinking alcohol while on the job (See also: Atheism and alcoholism).[120] In China, the growth in religion has accompanied China’s fast economic growth over the last twenty years.[121]

Western Europeans work less hours than Americans and workers in many other countries.[122][123][124] Commenting on this matter, the atheist and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson wrote a 2004 article published in The Telegraph entitled, "The atheist sloth ethic, or why Europeans don't believe in work".[125]

Niall Ferguson also noted in his article:

There are, for example, many more Europeans out of work than Americans; over the past decade, US unemployment has averaged 4.6 per cent, compared with 9.2 per cent for the EU. Another difference is in labour participation. Between 1973 and 1998, the percentage of the American population in employment rose from 41 to 49 per cent. But in Germany and France, the equivalent percentage fell to, respectively, 44 and 39 per cent.[126]
In 2014, Sweden's new Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Loefven said, "Sweden is in a serious situation -- unemployment has become entrenched at high levels, school results have collapsed and the welfare system has major shortcomings".[127]

Aging populations in secular Europe/Japan and sub-replacement fertility rates is leading to economic stagnation in those regions (see: Atheistic societies, low fertility rates and the work associated with raising children).[128] Reuters reported in 2015, "Japan plans to include steps to raise the birth rate, such as easier access to childcare and tax incentives, in a package of reforms due this month to tackle the biggest bottleneck to economic growth."[129]

The regions of secular Europe which are performing better than the rest of Europe often have a cultural legacy of the Protestant work ethic. For example, a 2011 Telegraph article noted: "Either way, not a single Protestant or Germanic EU country has so far needed a bailout."[130] The Protestant Reformation started in Germany and Germany has one of the strongest economies of Europe.

Due to lower economic productivity, atheistic communism/socialism can lead to a country to eventual financial ruin or significant economic problems which is what occurred to the Soviet Union and is currently happening in secular Europe via the Eurozone financial crisis (see: Sloth in atheistic communist countries and Sloth and Secular Europe's economic crisis).

Origin of the word apatheism

The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance writes:

The term "Apatheism" is a portmanteau -- a combination of two words. They may be considered a fusing of:
  • "Apathy" and "Theism" or
  • "Apathy and "Atheism."...

The origin of "Apatheisms" is unclear.

According to the Wikipedia article on Apatheism, the website titled "The Church of Apatheism" went online in the year 2000. The latter is believed to be a satiric web site, although it is often difficult to determine which religious web sites are satiric and which are serious.

According to the Global Oneness Commitment Foundation, the term was used on message boards as early as 2000-JUL.

Johnathan Rauch wrote an article on Apatheism in the 2003-MAY edition of The Atlantic magazine.

According to the Urban Dictionary, it was coined in 2004 by Grayson Scantelbury in Vancouver, BC, Canada.[131]

See also

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