Atheist Americans, race and alcoholism

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The atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers giving a presentation to a group that is likely largely made up of white males.[1][2][3] In June 2010, PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[4] (photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)

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

According to CBS News, in the United States, whites and Native Americans are more likely to be alcoholics than other ethnic groups.[5]

In 2015, BloombergView reported concerning the United States:

According to a much-discussed 2012 report from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, only 3 percent of U.S. atheists and agnostics are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian. Some 82 percent are white. (The relevant figures for the population at large at the time of the survey were 66 percent white, 11 percent black, 15 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian.)

...Craig Keener, in his huge review of claims of miracles in a wide variety of cultures, concludes that routine rejection of the possibility of the supernatural represents an impulse that is deeply Eurocentric.[6]

In the United States, blacks have the highest rates of religiosity.[7] Among Hispanics, religion has traditionally played a significant role in daily activity.[8]

See also: Western atheism and race

The atheist Sikivu Hutchinson declared “If mainstream freethought and humanism continue to reflect the narrow cultural interests of white elites who have disposable income to go to conferences then the secular movement is destined to remain marginal and insular.”[9]

The atheist community has not had significant outreach to racial minorities within the Western World whereas Christians have done this (particularly among the poor).[10] See also: Atheism and uncharitableness

An atheists' conference was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The conference, sponsored by the Council for Secular Humanism, drew members from all the major atheist organizationsin the United States. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older..."[11] According to the web traffic tracking company Quantcast, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to Richard Dawkins' and atheist Sam Harris' message.[12][13]

Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheists' websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women.[14][15][16] These findings suggest that the atheist movement in the Western world and the New Atheism movement are significantly more appealing to white males.

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

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.[17]

See also

References