Atheist factions

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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."[1] 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."[2] See also: Atheism and anger and Schools of atheist thought

Contents

Testimony of Blair Scott about atheist infighting

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.[3]

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.[4]

One of the causes of atheist infighting

One of the reasons for the disharmony within the atheist community is the inability of most atheists to keep together for a uniform belief. While there are differences within other religions, such as Christianity, other religions' adherents all share a common belief. In the case of Christianity, some of the basic beliefs Christians share is the deity of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the trinity. However, atheists are unable to even create a coherent definition of their beliefs [5].

Dissension related to feminism withing atheist population

Elevatorgate

Elevatorgate is a term commonly used to describe a scandal involving atheist Richard Dawkins' inappropriate comments made to fellow atheist Rebecca Watson. In July of 2011, Richard Dawkins was widely criticized within the atheist community and in various press outlets for his insensitive comments made to atheist Rebecca Watson about an incident which occurred in an elevator (see: Richard Dawkins' Elevatorgate comments).[6]

According to Watson atheist women are often punished for being outspoken - particularly when they speak about feminism.[7] In August of 2013, Watson said the harassment she received from male atheists skyrocketed after Elevatorgate. [8] Furthermore, she said she still receives harassment from male fans of Richard Dawkins.[9]

Rebecca Watson declares she gets regular rape threats post Elevatorgate

See also: Atheism and rape

Rebecca Watson claimed:

Hundreds of atheists have informed me that either they wanted to rape me, someone should rape me so that I will loosen up or that no one would ever rape me because I am so ugly".[10]

In addition, Watson declared: "It get regular rape threats. I get regular rape and murder threats".[11]

For more information please see: Atheism and rape

Greg Laden and Thunderf00t's removal from freethoughtblogs.com

The atheist Thunderf00t is the most popular evolutionist at YouTube.

On July 1, 2012, atheist Ed Brayton wrote about Thunderf00t's banning from Freethoughtblogs:

As many of you are no doubt aware, there’s been a lot of strife in this community lately. Some of it has been in public, some of it was in private and some of it may well go from being private to public as a result of all of this. So let me give you the news and clear the air:

We are parting company with two of our bloggers: Thunderf00t and Greg Laden. We wish them both the best but, unfortunately, their behavior towards other members of the community has made it impossible to keep them as part of our network. This is not a matter of a disagreement or difference of opinion, but of behavior that we cannot condone or support.

None of this is a reflection on the worth of the many contributions that both of these people have made to the atheist cause. I hope and am confident that they will both continue to offer a lot of good things to this community.[12]

The matter which appeared to spark the contention was how to properly deal with the significant amount of misogny within the atheist community (see: Atheism and women and Atheism and rape and Elevatorgate and Women's views of Richard Dawkins and Atheist leaders and immoral relationships).[13][14][15][16]

Vox Day wrote that Thunderf00t's removal from Freethoughtblogs exemplified PZ Myers's unwillingness to intellectually engage his opponents and his lack of integrity.[17]

Rebecca Watson response to Thunderf00t and his fans

See also: Atheism and women and Rebecca Watson and Thunderf00t factions of atheism

On July 1, 2012 Rebecca Watson wrote post Elevatorgate controversy:

Skepchick has been exposed for what it is: a totalitarian Nazi clique who created an anti-harassment policy specifically so that men could harass women in bars and Muslim could force us to wear burqas. I know it’s true because noted atheist intellectuals Paula Kirby and Thunderf00t said so!

I debated whether or not to write about this because the recent insults about Skepchick have been so self-evidently ignorant and wrong that I felt it would look like we were picking on tiny, angry babies. And no one likes to see that. I’m relenting only because the sheer amount and absurdity of the insults have reached a level that cannot be ignored, like a large mob of angry babies brandishing pacifiers and blankies as weapons.[18]

Matt Dillahunty on the events surrounding Thunderf00t's removal from FreeThoughtblogs

According to the atheist Matt Dillahunty Thunderf00t acted dishonestly and inappropriately subsequent to his removal from Freethoughtblogs and he had "gone off the deep end".[19]

Infighting within the Secular Humanism faction of atheism

Paul Kurtz is an atheist philosopher who formerly taught at the State University of NY at Buffalo. Dr. Paul Kurtz founded the modern secular humanism movement which is a form of philosophical skepticism. In addition, he also founded the organization the Center for Inquiry which focuses on promoting secular humanism. In 2009, Dr. Kurtz experienced the humiliation of being stripped of his leadership position at the Center for Inquiry.[20]

Currently, there is an ideological struggle within the secular humanism faction of atheism concerning how militant the movement should be which primarily arose post New Atheism movement which is a more militant form of atheism. (see also: Militant atheism. Paul Kurtz is against the secular humanism movement becoming more militant but some newer followers of secular humanism disagree with Kurtz.[20]

Kurtz's ouster from the Center of Inquiry leadership position

On October 10, 2010, a contentious exchange between members of the Secular Humanism faction of atheism founded by Paul Kurtz and the atheist Ron Lindsay was caught on tape.Video - Part oneVideo - Part 2 During the exchange Ron Lindsay said that infighting has been occurring within the Secular Humanism faction of atheism for years.[21] A Paul Kurtz supporter said that Kurtz was censored by Ron Lindsay and his supporters and Kurtz was driven out of the organization that he founded (Center for Inquiry).[22] Lindsay claimed, however, that Kurtz voluntarily resigned from the organization he founded and Kurtz was never censored. Furthermore, Lindsay said that Kurtz's idea of a "planetary federation" was impractical. [23] Kurtz countered that he was never allowed to publish why he resigned from the organization and that he was censored by the organization that he founded.[24]

Dr. Kurtz described the events surrounding the loss of his leadership position as a "shattering blow".[20]

Atheists infighting is making the atheist community unappealing to many

The significant amount of unpleasant personalities within the atheist population and the resulting amount of atheist infighting has made atheist community unattractive to many people who are looking for a sense of community and/or a common cause (see: Views on atheists and Atheism and morality).[25][26]

For more information please see: Unattractiveness of atheism and Hopelessness of atheism

Atheists as a population filled with many quarrelsome, socially challenged individuals

See: Atheism and social outcasts

Atheist cults

See: Atheist cults

Lack of sound atheist leadership

See also: Atheism and leadership

The leadership status of prominent atheists/agnostics in the secular community at this present juncture is increasingly transient due to atheist infighting, the significant amount of unpleasant personalities within the atheist population, the New Atheism failing, the decline of liberal media market share, a loss of confidence within the atheist community, the decline of global atheism and the secularization rate being zero in former areas of influence such as Protestant Europe and France. (see: Decline of atheism).[27] A recent example of this is Richard Dawkins' loss of influence in the atheist community post subsequent to the Elevatorgate controversy (see: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence). Another example of this is Paul Kurtz, the father of secular humanism, who left no legacy. [28]

The British academic and agnostic Eric Kaufmann recently 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."[29]

Using academic studies, survey data and other information, supporters of the Question evolution! campaign maintain that there is a lack of sound leadership within the agnostic/atheist and evolutionist communities in dealing with the global decline of atheism and agnosticism.

See:

Global decline of atheism and the explosive growth of global Christianity

Hong Kong Christians at Gateway Camp. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[30] See: Global Christianity

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

See also: Decline of atheism and Global Christianity and Atheist population

In 2011, the American Spectator declared concerning research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research:

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."[31]

In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) reported that globally every day there are 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day and 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day.[32][33]

In 2011, the American Spectator declared concerning research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research:

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."[34]

In 2009, the book A sceptics guide to atheism indicated: "A worldwide poll taken in 1991 put the global figure for atheists at just 4.4% of the population. By 2006 it was estimated that only 2% of the world population were atheists."[35]

See also


Christianity related:


Essays:

Comedy and satire:

Links

Notes

  1. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can rip my soul
  2. Atheism Analyzed
  3. An Open Letter from Blair Scott
  4. An Open Letter from Blair Scott
  5. http://atheism.about.com/od/definitionofatheism/Definition_of_Atheism_Dictionaries_Atheists_Others_Define_Atheism.htm
  6. Calling All Female Atheists - Huffington Post - video
  7. Calling All Female Atheists - Huffington Post - video
  8. Calling All Female Atheists - Huffington Post - video
  9. PZ Myers and the Art of Shameless Dishonesty
  10. FreeThoughtBlogs and PZ Myers
  11. Major changes at freethoughtblogs - Ed Brayton
  12. Thunderf00t, check your email - PZ Myers
  13. Thunderf00t on how to handle misogny in the atheist community
  14. SkepchickCON and the Harassment LOL-icy
  15. Is it ‘Freethoughtblogs’ or ‘Group-think-blogs’?
  16. [http://voxday.blogspot.com/2012/07/free-fascistthoughtblogs.html Vox Fay on Freethoughtblogs
  17. Hot Gossip: We’re All Burqa-wearing Nazis
  18. Regarding Thunderf00t, FTB, harassment and privacy
  19. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Redirecting a Long Life of Godlessness
  20. Kurtz and Ron Lindsay Argument Audio Part Two
  21. Kurtz and Ron Lindsay Argument Audio Part Two
  22. Kurtz and Ron Lindsay Argument Audio Part Two
  23. Kurtz and Ron Lindsay Argument Audio Part Two
  24. Brendan O'Neill, The Telegraph, How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet, August 14th, 2013
  25. Atheism cannot replace religion
  26. Brendan O'Neill, The Telegraph, How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet, August 14th, 2013
  27. Paul Kurtz: Another atheist failure who left no legacy
  28. [http://www.sneps.net/RD/uploads/JQR%20Demography.pdf Shall the religious inherit the earth
  29. Is Christianity taking over the planet?
  30. Thriving Christianity
  31. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  32. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Status of Global Missions
  33. Thriving Christianity
  34. A sceptics guide to atheism, page 4
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