Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence

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The atheist Rebecca Watson was a central figure in the Elevatorgate scandal. (photo obtained from Wikimedia commons, see: license agreement)

According to an international study done by William Bainbridge, atheism is frequent among people whose interpersonal social obligations are weak and is also linked to lower fertility rates in advanced industrial nations (See also: Atheism and fertility rates).[1]

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."[2]

See also: Atheist factions and Atheism and intolerance

Howard Gardner at Harvard University has identified various distinct intelligences: interpersonal, intrapersonal, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, musical–rhythmic, bodily–kinesthetic, and naturalistic.[3] Gardner later suggested that moral intelligence may merit being included in his multiple intelligence model.[4] See also: Theory of multiple intelligences and Atheism and the theory of multiple intelligences


Western atheist population and quarrelsomeness

Former American Atheists board of director on atheist infighting

See also: Atheist factions and Atheism and arrogance

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.[5]

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[6]

Atheist Neil Carter on biting and critical nature of atheists

See also: Atheism and forgiveness

The atheist Neil Carter wrote:

Friends of mine have noted lately how biting and critical the atheist community can be, not only toward outsiders, but even toward its own members. Has there ever been a subculture more prone to eating its own than this one? I really don’t know.[7]

Atheist Eddie Tabash on atheist cantankerousness

See also: Atheism and emotional intelligence

The American, atheist activist Eddie Tabash said in a speech to the Michigan Atheists State Convention, "Since we are a bit of a cantankerous, opinionated lot...".[8]

Atheist David Smalley on the atheist movement

The atheist David Smalley said about the atheist movement: "We're eating our own... We’re disintegrating."[9]

Galen Broaddus on opting out of atheist movement due to its toxicity

The atheist columnist Galen Broaddus wrote about opting out of the atheist movement due to its toxicity:

...I am practically beside myself with rage at how many atheists in the movement have conducted themselves in particular over the past few weeks. These are largely people who openly castigate religious people for their credulity, for their lack of compassion, for their groupthink and wagon-circling — only to perfectly and completely obliviously act out those same behaviors.¹...

At the end of last year, I stepped away from the group I’d been a part of for nearly four years and led for almost two of those... it was a deeply frustrating experience for me....

If I need community, I can find a less toxic one.[10]

Atheist activist Lee Moore on atheists and self-centeredness and being egocentrical

The atheist activist Lee Moore said about the future of the atheist movement and its significant issues with in-fighting, "We're all kind of like self-centered and egocentrical atheists."[11] See also: Atheist factions

UK study finds atheists widely distrusted - even among themselves

See also: Views on atheists and Atheism and culture

In 2015, the Christian Post reported in a story entitled Atheists Widely Distrusted, Even Among Themselves, UK Study Finds:

Distrust of atheists is "deeply and culturally ingrained" among people, and even many atheists are not able to trust each other, according to a new study carried out by the psychology department at Nottingham Trent University in England.

Published in the International Journal for The Psychology of Religion, the study, "The Robustness of Anti-Atheist Prejudice as Measured by Way of Cognitive Errors," was conducted with 100 participants from the U.K. ....

The study shows that "anti-atheist prejudice is not confined either to dominantly religious countries or to religious individuals, but rather appears to be a robust judgment about atheists."[12]

The Independent reports about the participants of the study:

Professor Leah Giddings and Thomas Dunn led the study with 100 online participants from the United Kingdom, 70 of whom were women and whose average age was 21.

A total of 43 per cent of the contributors were atheist, 33 per cent were Christian and the remainder belonged to other faiths.[13]

Religiosity, agreeableness, fertility rate of non-religious vs. religious

See also: Atheism and fertility rates

Reporting on a study about the lower fertility rate of the non-religious, the Daily Mail indicated:

It was also found that Christians living in the US had 3.11 children and Catholics had 3.42.

...The team explained that there is evidence that genetically influenced personality traits, particularly agreeableness, lead to greater religious involvement, larger family size and greater communal investment in general.

'A recent meta-analysis of a large sample studies found that adults who score high on agreeableness tend to invest heavily in both religious and family life,' reads the study.[14]

For more information, please see: Ellis, Hoskin, Dutton and Nyborg journal article on fertility and secularism in the United States and in developed countries

As a group, atheists have a sub-replacement level of births (see: Atheism and fertility rates).

Atheism and loneliness

Denmark has the highest proportion of single-dwellers, at 24%.[15]

See also: Atheism and loneliness

Loneliness has been linked to numerous physical and mental health problems.[16][17] See: Atheism and health

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 have lower emotional intelligence (see: Atheiam and emotional intelligence).

For more information, please see:

Indian anthropologist's commentary on lonelineness in atheistic Denmark

The Indian anthropologist Prakash Reddy found Denmark to be a neat and tidy, cozy little society, stiff, rigid and seemingly full of practical, down-to-earth but lonely people, isolated from each other and lacking much sense of religion. Compared to the teeming villages of India, a Danish hamlet seemed deserted and closed. To an Indian, accustomed to constant close contact in an extended family and community, Danish life was cold if not nonexistent.[18]

In 1993, Reuters reported:

Indian anthropologist Prakash Reddy has turned the tables on Western colleagues who put Third World cultures under the microscope.

Reddy, of Sri Venkateswara University at Tirupati in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, spent four months in the village of Hvilsager--population 104--on Denmark's Jutland peninsula.

His study, published in book form in English under the title "Danes are like that!" expresses dismay at the loneliness he found and the hope that India would not have to pay the same price for prosperity.

"The most fundamental question that should bother every social scientist in the East is: Is there no way of achieving development without sacrificing the human values and the way of life cherished by homo sapiens?" he asked....

Reddy said he found a neat and tidy, cozy little society, stiff, rigid and seemingly full of practical, down-to-earth but lonely people, isolated from each other and lacking much sense of religion.

Compared to the teeming villages of India, the Danish hamlet seemed deserted and closed. To an Indian, accustomed to constant close contact in an extended family and community, Danish life was cold if not nonexistent, Reddy said.

"Coming from an Indian village, I was used to seeing people in the streets . . . but here in Denmark not a single soul was sighted and, except for the sound of a passing automobile, absolute silence prevailed," Reddy wrote.[19]

Asian atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence

Political boundaries of Asia

See also: Asian atheism

Razib Khan points out in Discover Magazine, "most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian."[20]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia among whites.[21] See: Western atheism and race

China has the world's largest atheist population.[22][23]

Although Asian atheism does have regimes which practice state atheism, which is of a militant atheist variety (see: Atheism and mass murder), Asian cultures generally do stress harmony in social relations.[24]

Rapid growth of Christianity in East Asia

See also: Growth of Christianity in China and East Asia and global desecularization

China is currently seeing an explosive growth of Christianity and East Asia is seeking a significant growth of Christianity (see: Growth of Christianity in China and East Asia and global desecularization).

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.[25]

Chinese/American culture and social cooperation: Rice vs. wheat theory of culture

China has the largest atheist population in the world.[26] Christianity is seeing explosive growth in China (see: Growth of Christianity in China).

China is more rice oriented in its practices and the United States is more wheat based.

Shanghai Daily declares:

RICE or wheat? The choice may be more than a matter of taste: It could even determine personality.

That’s according to Thomas Talhelm, an American psychology PhD candidate at the University of Virginia, who recently received wide media notice for sharing his “Rice Theory of Culture.”

According to his research, people from rice-farming areas are more interdependent, can be shy around strangers and are focused on avoiding conflict; people from wheat-producing areas are less concerned about preserving social harmony, are more independent and more outgoing and straightforward.

The theory fits not only in China, but also in other rice-cultivating countries, such as Japan and South Korea. Singapore is another “rice personality country” because a big part of the population there are descendants of Chinese immigrants from the rice-farming areas, Talhelm says.

For the past few years, the 28-year-old American has traveled around China to work on his rice theory, and now he is expected to expand it to India and other Asian countries.

“Rice is very special farming,” says Talhelm who recently came to Shanghai for a psychology workshop, “because before modern technology was developed, farming rice needed more cooperation than farming wheat.”

“Rice needs much more labor, and people need to cooperate,” he says. “Flooding, draining, harvesting, fertilizing and others all need cooperation, and if you mess things up, your neighbors may be pissed.”[27]

Atheism and anger

An angry atheist speaking to a woman with a Bible in her hand. The Christian philosopher James S. Spiegel says the path from Christianity to atheism among several of his friends involved moral slippage such as resentment or unforgiveness.[28] See: Atheism and unforgiveness

See also: Atheism and anger and Atheism and unforgiveness

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.[29]

Various studies found that traumatic events in people's lives has a positive correlation with "emotional atheism".[30]

The atheist and lesbian Greta Christina told the journalist Chris Mooney on the Point of Inquiry podcast, "there isn't one emotion" that affects atheists "but anger is one of the emotions that many of us have ...[it] drives others to participate in the movement".[31]

Vox Day declared:

...the age at which most people become atheists indicates that it is almost never an intellectual decision, but an emotional one.[32]

The Christian apologist Ken Ammi concurs in his essay The Argument for Atheism from Immaturity and writes:

It is widely known that some atheists rejected God in their childhood, based on child like reasons, have not matured beyond these childish notions and thus, maintain childish-emotional reactions toward the idea of God.[33]

Although anti-theists, militant atheists and New Atheists give the general public the perception that atheists are exceedingly angry individuals, research indicates that the atheist population as a whole is not angrier than the general population (see: Various types of atheists/non-believers and anger). Social science research indicates that anti-theists score the highest among atheists when it comes to personality traits such as narcissism, dogmatism, and anger.[34][35] Furthermore, they scored lowest when it comes to agreeableness and positive relations with others.[36]

Militant atheism, anger and irrationality

See also: Militant atheism and Atheism and irrationality and Atheism and intelligence

Research indicates that anger takes resources away from the executive decision making of the prefrontal cortex part of the brain.[37] The foolish nature of atheists and their irrational anger and bouts of rage towards God and/or Christians often causes militant atheists to behave irrationally (See: Atheism and hatred of God).[38]

The militant Soviet atheists who aggressively attempted their atheistic communist ideology around the world had their empire collapse due to their corrupt atheist leaders implementing many foolish policies. Furthermore, the historical data indicates that large sectors of the Soviet Union's populace failed to adopt atheism in significant numbers despite great efforts to try to make this occur.[39]

New Atheism, a recent form of militant atheism, has a reputation for shallow arguments. For example, atheist philosopher Dr. Michael Ruse declared concerning Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion: "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist."[40]

Dr. William Lane Craig is one of Christianity's leading defenders and many individuals over the years have attempted to arrange a debate between Dr. Craig and Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins has offered various ruses on why he will not debate William Lane Craig, which Dr. Craig supporters have shown were inconsistent and merely a dodge to avoid debating one of Christianity's strongest advocates.[41][42] On May 14, 2011, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published a news story entitled Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God.[43] In The Daily Telegraph article Dr. Daniel Came, a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University was quoted as writing to fellow atheist Richard Dawkins concerning his refusal to debate Dr. William Lane Craig, "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[44] In October 2011, Dr. Craig went to England and the Daily Telegraph declared that Dawkins is either a fool or a coward for his refusal to debate William Lane Craig plus declared that Dawkins is a "proud man" and a "coward" who puts on an "illiterate, angry schtick" for the public.[45]

New Atheism: Additional information

In terms of interpersonal intelligence, atheists (especially militant atheists and New Atheists) have developed a negative reputation in much of the world. For example, on August 14, 2013, the atheist Brendan O'Neill in The Telegraph published an article entitled How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet in which he declared, "These days, barely a week passes without the emergence of yet more evidence that atheists are the most irritating people on Earth."[46]

The prominent atheist Dr. Sam Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[47] For more information please see: Views on atheists

Atheism and mass murder

Furthermore, atheists have historically been the biggest mass murders (see: Atheism and mass murder and Militant atheism).

Atheism and nerds/geeks

PZ Myers declared, "...I don’t object to bestiality in a very limited set of specific conditions..."[48][49] See: Atheism and bestiality (photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

In 2013, the atheist PZ Myers declared:

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.[50]

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.[51]

PZ Myers wrote about himself:

I’m a nerd. A colossal, boring, asocial nerd, and a homely one at that, and I always have been. You might also be surprised to learn that I totally lack all confidence in myself and my appearance, and it only takes a little bit to impress me.[52]
See also: Atheist nerds

Atheism and marriage

Atheists also have lower marriage rates than theists (see: Atheism and marriage)

Participation in the atheist community is often difficult

See also: Internet atheism

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.[53] 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.[54] Often internet communication between atheists turns acrimonious and contentious (see: Atheist factions).

See also: Atheism and loneliness

Irreligion and domestic abuse

Research suggests that irreligiousity is a causal factor for domestic violence.[55]

See also: Irreligion and domestic violence and Atheism and violence

The abstract for the 2007 article in the journal Violence Against Women entitled Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence indicated:

The authors explored the relationship between religious involvement and intimate partner violence by analyzing data from the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. They found that: (a) religious involvement is correlated with reduced levels of domestic violence; (b) levels of domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; (c) the effects of religious involvement on domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; and (d) religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence, and this protective effect is stronger for African American men and women and for Hispanic men, groups that, for a variety of reasons, experience elevated risk for this type of violence.[56]

A higher rate of domestic violence exists among cohabiting couples as compared with married couples[57] Atheists have lower marriage rates than theists (see: Atheism and marriage).

A September 9, 2012 article at Atlantic Wire wrote about the noted atheist John Lennon:

But people have mostly forgotten that Lennon was also physically abusive towards women. "I used to be cruel to my woman," he said, citing the lyrics to "Getting Better" in a Playboy interview near the end of his life. "Physically—any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women." In his biography The Lives of John Lennon, Albert Goldman also maintains that Lennon was guilty of spousal abuse.[58]

For more information, please see:

Secular Europe and domestic violence

See also: Secular Europe and domestic violence

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[59] In Sweden, 81 percent of women said they had been harassed at some point after the age of 15 - compared to the EU average of 55 percent.[60]

In March 2014, the Swedish news website The Local published an article entitled Sweden stands out in domestic violence study which declared:

A new EU review of violence against women has revealed that one in three European women has been assaulted, and one in twenty has been raped, with the Scandinavian countries at the top of the league tables.

In the Scandinavian countries, in contrast, around half of the women reported physical or sexual violence, which researchers at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights said could have several explanations...

In Sweden, 81 percent of women said they had been harassed at some point after the age of 15 - compared to the EU average of 55 percent. After Sweden, which had the highest rate, Denmark, France, the Netherland and Finland all saw rates above 70 percent. The EU member state with the lowest rate - 24 percent - was Bulgaria.[61]

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and the website reported that in 2005 46 - 85% of Swedes were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[62] Sweden also has the 3rd highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[63]

See also:

Denmark has the highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[64] In addition, in 2005 Denmark was ranked the third most atheistic country in the world and the website reported that in 2005 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[65]

Finland was ranked the 7th most atheistic country in the world in 2005.[66] Finland has the 17th highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[67]

France was ranked the 8th most atheistic country in the world in 2005.[68] France has the 4th highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[69]

In 2005, the Netherlands was ranked the 13th most atheistic country in the world and the website reports that in 2005 39 - 44%% of the Dutch were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[70] The Netherlands also has the 11th highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[71]

Irreligion, alcoholism and domestic abuse

See also: Atheist Americans, gender and alcoholism

According to the World Health Organization, "Evidence suggests that alcohol use increases the occurrence and severity of domestic violence".[72]

A 2010 Scientific American column article indicates concerning domestic violence that "Women suffer close to two thirds of the injuries... In addition, women and men differ in the severity of their actions; women are more likely to scratch or slap their partners, men more commonly punch or choke their partners."[73]

Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[74] Between 1940 and 1980, this atheist state had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[75]

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

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Men are more likely than women to drink excessively. Excessive drinking is associated with significant increases in short-term risks to health and safety, and the risk increases as the amount of drinking increases. Men are also more likely than women to take other risks (e.g., drive fast or without a safety belt), when combined with excessive drinking, further increasing their risk of injury or death.

Approximately 63% of adult men reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days. Men (24%) were two times more likely to binge drink than women during the same time period.

Men average about 12.5 binge drinking episodes per person per year, while women average about 2.7 binge drinking episodes per year.

Most people who binge drink are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.

It is estimated that about 17% of men and about 8% of women will meet criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.[76]

Atheist marriages

Atheist marriages often demonstrate a lesser commitment to two people loving each other when compared to Bible believing Christian marriages.[77] For more information, please see: Atheist marriages

Barna Group study on American atheists and relationships

In 2015, the Barna Group released an announcement concerning a study on American atheists/agnostics which indicated:

One of the unexpected results we uncovered is the limited influence of personal relationships on skeptics. They are considerably less relational and less engaged in social activities than the average American. Christians for whom ‘ministry is about relationships’ may be disappointed when they find that many skeptics are not as enamored of relational bonds as are those who are already a part of church life.[78]

2018 Global Atheist Convention controversy about women speakers

See also:' 2018 Global Atheist Convention and Atheism and women

After the actress and feminist author/commentator Clementine Ford was picked as a speaker as part of creating gender parity in atheist speakers to the 2018 Global Atheist Convention, it was reported that a substantial number of rape and death threats occurred on a Facebook page promoting the convention.[79]

Andrew Street wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald about the 2018 Global Atheist Convention:

Thus in recent times there has been a concerted, deliberate effort to overcome the not-inaccurate perception that atheism is exclusively a boys' club. And there has been predictable pushback from members of said community who are deeply concerned that this progressive attitude may yet expose them to dangerous levels of girl germs.

The latest example came on Tuesday when the upcoming Atheist Global Convention in Melbourne announced that feminist author and commentator Clementine Ford would be one of the speakers.

Predictably, this made a few people unhappy - but the venom levelled at Ford and the conference generally for daring to have a line up of speakers which approached gender parity was a shock.

And that's despite the moderators on the Facebook page making clear that "we have been deleting specific rape and death threats as they occur… there have been substantial numbers", just in case there was any doubt about the calibre of awesome dudes weighing in with their important opinions about the line up.[80]

The atheist Adam Lee wrote about Clementine Ford and the online hostility about her being a speaker at the 2018 Global Atheist Convention:

Even so, the sheer number of comments that had to be deleted for extreme rudeness, slurs, misogyny or outright threats of violence is a depressing commentary on how unenlightened the atheist community is.[81]

Prominent atheists admitting that fellow prominent atheists are arrogant

See also: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and leadership

John W. Loftus, one of the more prominent atheists in the atheist community, cites John Draper (a Canadian atheist blogger), saying about prominent atheist PZ Myers: "According to PZ you either agree with him or you are the scum of the earth. If anyone is giving atheists a bad reputation it's PZ - he shows no tolerance or respect for anyone other than himself."[82]

PZ Myers wrote: "But see, this is why the atheist movement can’t have leaders. The ones we’ve got, informally, all seem to think they’re like gods and popes, infallible and unquestionable, and that normal, healthy, productive criticism within the movement is all a conspiracy to dethrone them."[83]

Abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins

See also: Abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins

The new atheist Richard Dawkins has a reputation for being an aggressive and angry man (see: Richard Dawkins and anger).

Atheist author and sociology professor Phil Zuckerman said of Richard Dawkins: "He is smug, condescending and emits an unpleasant disdainfulness. He doesn’t ever seem to acknowledge the good aspects of religion, only the bad. In that sense, I think he doesn’t help atheism in the PR department."[84] See also: Elevatorgate

Gary Demar commenting on the abrasiveness and incivility of atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins quotes Dawkins declaring:

It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).[85]

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. has echoed Mr. Demar's estimation of Richard Dawkins:

His aggressiveness and abrasiveness have now prompted some of his fellow defenders of evolution to wonder if he is doing their cause more harm than good.

The September 2005 issue of Discover magazine features an article that raises this very question. In "Darwin's Rottweiler," author Stephen S. Hall suggests that Dawkins is simply "far too fierce."....

Dawkins admits that he just may be "a bit of a loose canon." In reality, that is a significant understatement.[86]

Atheism and public speaking

See also: Atheism and public speaking

The news website Vox reported about Reason Rally 2016:

It is clear, too, that almost nobody who takes the stage at Reason Rally was ever trained as a preacher. The whole thing is languid, urgent words in measured tones. The goal is an "end to bigotry," in the pitch of a polite request, to "reject" a supernatural worldview with all the force of tepid applause. Jamie Raskin says the job of politicians is to "listen to scientists" and closes with "Put your thinking caps on America!" Penn Jillette struggles to get a video playing, chokes up over Hitchens, then plays a Bob Dylan knockoff about his love for all people. The Amazing Randi devotes half an hour to a muted jeremiad against the obscure "facilitated communication" hoax. Peter says he does not know what "FC" is, but he'll look into it.[87]

The atheist Jerry Coyne said about atheist conferences which he attended:

But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks.

...a few things bothered me, most notably the air of self-congratulation (which I excused on the grounds of enthusiastic people finding like-minded folks for the first time), the “fanboyness” directed at some of the famous atheists (they hardly let poor Richard alone, and I’m not sure he liked that!), and the lameness of quite a few of the talks. Again, how much new can you say about atheism?[88]

Hermant Mehta and his endorsement of the Brights Movement

The atheist Hemant Mehta is an author, popular atheist blogger, and atheist activist. He also served as a chair on the Secular Student Alliance board of directors. His blog is called The Friendly Atheist. Given the Brights Movement's reputation for smugness (see: Atheism and arrogance), his endorsement of the Brights Movement and his current listing as an "Enthusiastic Bright" on the Brights Movement website, could be seen as a matter of hypocrisy due to the attributes of "friendly" and "smug" being incompatible opposites (see also: Atheist hypocrisy).[89]

PZ Myers turns off the social aspect of his blog

See also: Pharyngula blog

Michael Nugent reported in 2015 concerning fellow atheist PZ Myers:

PZ Myers has now closed down the social interaction aspect of his blog, after blaming his commenters for attacking an insider in the way that he has always encouraged them to attack outsiders. He also complains that FreeThought Blogs itself is ‘less a unified group than a disparate collection of loosely affiliated blogs that have found a convenient hosting service.’

PZ’s new view on community-building is that ‘we are all objects in space, drifting, occasionally bouncing off each other or tugging gently at each other’s masses. And that’s about it.’ PZ now says that he ‘will be a cold dark ember of a star, following my own whims, drifting alone, not trying to create a hospitable atmosphere.’

This shows that PZ Myers has learned nothing useful from the Little Shop of Hatred that he created and nourished until he lost control of it. Yesterday I wrote that, while I welcomed PZ’s diminishing influence in the international atheist movement, I would also welcome a genuine conversion by him to civility and empathy and fairness and justice. This has not happened. So be it.[90]

Studies on the correlation between atheism and high-functioning autism

Autism affects the amygdala, cerebellum, and multiple other parts of the brain.

See also: Atheism and autism and Atheism and brain function

In 2011, the University of Boston published a study on the correlation between atheism and high-functioning/mild autism.[91][92]

On September 19, 2011, the Discover Magazine website had an article indicating that there were empirical results showing a positive correlation between atheism and high functioning autism and the article declared:

This is why the empirical results on the correlation between atheism and high functioning autism are important...

...some people were angry that I seemed to suggest that atheists were antisocial weirdos. Well, there is some data to back that up.[93]

On May 30, 2012, Matthew Hutson wrote at Psychology Today website that the findings of the study at Boston University entitled Religious Belief Systems of Persons with High Functioning Autism have been replicated by other studies.[94]

The notion that autism causes atheism has not been proved and criticisms of press insensitivity towards the issue have been leveled in Turkey.[95]

Vox Day has written about atheists being "socially autistic".[96][97][98] Day also wrote: "It's by no means a scientific test, but it is interesting to note the coincidence that 59 of the virulent atheists over at Dr. PZ Myers place report an average score on the Asperger's Quotient test of 27.8. And this does not include the two individuals who actually have Asperger's but did not report any test results."[99]

Atheism, nihilism and anti-social behavior

Atheism may be also linked to unattractiveness because of its innate association with nihilism and reductionism. The typical view of an atheist is that life is just an accident caused by chemical reactions in a pool of primordial slime; and that the existence of badness in the world or in their own lives proves the non-existence of God. Some psychology shows that people tend to model their lives and behavior to coincide with their worldviews; therefore if the worldview of said atheists is inherently anti-social, it makes sense that their lifestyle and social behavior will match their inner thoughts and beliefs.

Atheism and Australian politics

See also: Atheism and politics

In 2017, Andrew P. Street wrote in The Sydney Herald: "atheists have failed to make a strong organisational case to become a meaningful lobby group because we have a tendency to… well, act like a bunch of jerks."[100]

2018 atheist conference in New York City plans on having an "argument room"

The atheist activist Lee Moore indicated that a 2018 atheist conference in New York City is going to have an "argument room" for atheists to argue with each other.[101]

Atheism vs. theism and wars/violence

See also

External links


  1. Bainbridge, William (2005). "Atheism" (PDF). Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 1 (Article 2): 1–26.
  2. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can rip my soul
  3. Multiple Ingelligence
  4. Howard Gardner, multiple intelligences and education
  5. An Open Letter from Blair Scott
  6. An Open Letter from Blair Scott
  7. It’s Past Time for Atheism to Grow Up by Neil Carter
  8. Atheists Speak Up - Eddie Tabash - Part 2 of 4
  9. Reasonably Controversial: How the Regressive Left Is Killing the Atheist Movement by David Smalley
  10. I’m Opting Out of the Movement by Galen Broaddus
  11. Lee Moore and Steve Shives Talk About the Future of the Atheist Movement, quote comes 29 minute and 24 seconds into the video
  12. Atheists Widely Distrusted, Even Among Themselves, UK Study Finds, Christian Post, 2015
  13. Anti-atheist distrust ‘deeply and culturally ingrained’, study finds, The Independent, 2015
  14. [Is atheism dying out? Study finds religious people reproduce MORE due to their lack of belief in contraception] by STACY LIBERATORE, Daily Mail, 15 March 2017
  15. Is Modern life making us more lonely, BBC, 8 April 2013
  16. Why Loneliness Can Be Deadly by Katherine Harmon, Live Science Contributor, March 02, 2012 02:24pm ET
  17. [Number of severely lonely men over 50 set to rise to 1m in 15 years], The Guardian, Robert Booth,Sunday 12 October 2014 19.01 EDT
  18. India Anthropologist Finds Denmark Wanting : Research: He laments the loneliness and lack of human values in remote village and asks if prosperity can be achieved without such sacrifices, LA Times archives, June 20, 1993, CHRISTOPHER FOLLETT, REUTERS
  19. India Anthropologist Finds Denmark Wanting : Research: He laments the loneliness and lack of human values in remote village and asks if prosperity can be achieved without such sacrifices, LA Times archives, June 20, 1993|CHRISTOPHER FOLLETT | REUTERS
  20. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine
  21. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  22. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  23. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  24. Cultural Values of Asian Patients and Families
  25. Cracks in the atheist edifice, The Economist, November 1, 2014
  26. You are what you grow? Rice theory of culture holds intrigue By Lu Feiran
  27. Christian Philosopher Explores Causes of Atheism
  28. Anger at God common, even among atheists
  29. When atheists are angry at God by Joe Carter at website
  30. Greta Christina - Why Are You Atheists So Angry?
  31. Answering an atheist's question
  32. [1]
  33. Science Shows New Atheists to be Mean and Closed-Minded
  34. Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind by JONATHAN HAIDT, February 3, 2014 8:36 pm
  35. Science Shows New Atheists to be Mean and Closed-Minded
  36. Where did my IQ points go?
  37. Irrational Atheists
  38. Forced Secularization in Soviet Russia: Why an Atheistic Monopoly Failed
  41. William Lane Craig is avoided by Richard Dawkins
  43. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  44. Richard Dawkins is either a fool or a coward for refusing to debate William Lane Craig - October 21, 2011 - The Daily Telegraph
  45. Brendan O'Neill, The Telegraph, How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet, August 14th, 2013
  46. Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
  47. Atheist Achilles Heels: Objective Morality and Sacred Life
  48. The “objective morality” gotcha
  49. in Seattle, PZ Myers Reflects Candidly on His Constituency
  50. in Seattle, PZ Myers Reflects Candidly on His Constituency
  51. 1-800-FLOWERS, for when you absolutely don’t care about getting a terrific experience by PZ Myers
  52. Amanda (August 10, 2012). "How the atheist movement failed me–part 1: cost". Friendly Atheist blog. Retrieved on September 9, 2014.
  53. Norris, Chuck (May 21, 2007). "How to outlaw Christianity (steps 2 & 3)". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved on September 9, 2014. See Chuck Norris.
  54. doi: 10.1177/1077801207308259 ]Violence Against Women, Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence,] November 2007 vol. 13 no. 11 1094-1112
  55. doi: 10.1177/1077801207308259 Violence Against Women, Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence, November 2007 vol. 13 no. 11 1094-1112
  56. Demography. 2006 Feb;43(1):127-40. Why are cohabiting relationships more violent than marriages?. Kenney CT1, McLanahan SS.
  57. John Lennon and Chris Brown Have Something in Common
  58. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  59. Sweden stands out in domestic violence study Published: 05 Mar 2014 08:3
  60. Sweden stands out in domestic violence study Published: 05 Mar 2014 08:3
  61. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  62. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  63. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  64. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  65. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  66. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  67. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  68. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  69. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  70. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  71. World Health Organization Intimate Partner Violence and Alcohol Fact Sheet
  72. Are Men the More Belligerent Sex? Men are more dangerous, but women can be just as aggressive, Scientific American, Apr 1, 2010 |By Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld
  74. Alcoholism in the Soviet Union
  75. Fact Sheets - Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men's Health
  76. 2015 State of Atheism in America, Barna Group
  77. Why do public atheists have to behave like such jerks by Andrew Street, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 21, 2017
  78. [Why do public atheists have to behave like such jerks] by Andrew Street, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 21, 2017
  79. The Online Atheist Community: Still Terrible by Adam Lee, Daylight Atheism
  80. Can PZ Myers Change His Ways? Should He? By John W. Loftus at 7/30/2012
  81. The delicate ego of Mr Michael Shermer by PZ Myers, 16 January 2013
  82. Richard Dawkins: Atheism’s asset or liability? By KIMBERLY WINSTON, Religion News Service
  85. American atheists are on the rise. They have radically different visions of the future, Vox
  86. Are there too many atheist meetings? by Jerry Coyne
  87. "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website
  88. PZ Myers and the Little Shop of Hatred by Michael Nugent, 2015
  89. Religious Belief Systems of Persons with High Functioning Autism, Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Caitlin Fox Murphy and Tessa Velazquez at the Department of Psychology - Boston University); Patrick McNamara (Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine)
  90. Is atheism linked to autism? Controversial study points to relationship between the two, Daily Mail, 20 September 2011
  91. What atheism and autism may have in common By Razib Khan, September 19, 2011]
  92. Does Autism Lead to Atheism?, Psychology Today, May 30, 2012 by Matthew Hutson]
  93. Likening of autistic kids to atheists causes fury, ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News, April/22/2013
  94. The socially autistic atheist by Vox Day, August 02, 2007
  95. A lesson in atheist social autism by Vox Day, August 13, 2014
  96. Atheists and Daddy issues by Vox Day, August 23, 2012
  97. The socially autistic atheist by Vox Day, August 02, 2007
  98. Why do public atheists have to behave like such jerks by Andrew Street, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 21, 2017
  99. Lee Moore and Steve Shives Talk About the Future of the Atheist Movement, the "argument room" is mentioned at the 1 hour, 4 minute and 20 seconds portion of the video