David Silverman

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David Silverman took feminist Rebecca Watson off the speakers list for the Reason Rally after Richard Dawkins objected to her speaking at the event.[1] See: Elevatorgate Wikimedia photo, see license agreement)

David Silverman, nicknamed Sinful Silverman,[2] serves as the President of the American Atheists organization.[3] Silverman served as the New Jersey State Director of American Atheists and after four years of service he become National Spokesperson for the American Atheists Organization. [4] David Silverman holds degrees in Marketing and Computer Science.[5]

Personal life

See also: Prominent atheists whose wives believe in the existence of God

According to Silverman, he became an atheist at the age of six.[6] According to the MasterMedia Speakers Bureau website, Silverman is married to a religious Jewish woman and he has a daughter".[7]

Reason Rally related incident

See also: Feminist quotes about Richard Dawkins

An article by Sarah posted at Skepchick about a conversation between Richard Dawkins and David Silverman which took place during the planning phase of the Reason Rally:

Richard was standing behind the podium, and he asked Dave something along the lines of, “What exactly is the Reason Rally?” Dave started explaining it, and as he did, someone who was waiting in the line outside opened the door to peek inside and we could all hear a lot of noise. I rushed up the aisle and made frantic “shut the door” gestures at the people peeking inside, and they did. As I walked the ten feet back, I couldn’t hear everything Dave was saying, but I heard the name “Rebecca Watson.” Richard suddenly had a very angry look on his face and I heard him almost shout, “No, absolutely not! If she’s going to be there, I won’t be there. I don’t want her speaking.” and then Dave immediately replied, “You’re absolutely right, we’ll take her off the roster. It’s done.” Richard huffed for a moment, Dave continued to placate him, and then he made the video.

I was crushed.[8]

For more information, please see: Elevatorgate

Silverman's inaccurate reporting on the effectiveness of firebrand atheism

See also: Decline of militant atheism in the West and Atheism and public relations

In 2015, in an article entitled The Case Against In-Your-Face Atheism, the Daily Beast reported about David Silverman:

Like any good marketer, Silverman says he has sales figures proving his approach is working. In a talk he gave about firebrand atheism, he claimed that his data, based on an analysis of Google searches for the word “atheist” performed over the past several years, shows that his in-your-face approach is working.[9]

However, according to Google trends data for the USA/world, searches for the word "atheist" have been plunging since April of 2012 and continue to plunge downwards (See also: Google trends - Atheism and agnosticism terms). [10][11] Silverman still does not recognize that New Atheism was merely a fad and now a more docile atheism has taken its place (see: Decline of militant atheism in the West).[12][13][14]

In addition, since its 2012 high point due the 2012 Reason Rally, the number of Google searches in the United States for the term "David Silverman" has gone significantly down (The 2016 Reason Rally was a failure in terms of it attendance).[15] In July of 2016, worldwide Google searches for the term "David Silverman" is nearly as low as it was in June of 2006 which was its lowest point in recent history.[16] See also; Decline of global atheism

Silverman intentionally exaggerating the number of atheists in the USA

David Silverman

In 2012, the organization PolitiFact Rhode Island accused David Silverman of wildly exaggerating the number of atheists in America by attempting to included the Unaffiliated (also called Nones) who made up about 15% of the United States population at the time (despite the fact that only 15 percent of "nones" identify as atheists) and by also attempting to lump agnostics with the atheist population.[17][18]

According to PolitiFact Rhode Island:

When the American Religious survey asked people what they thought of the existence of God, 2.3 percent said 'There is no such thing.'...When Pew asked a broader question -- "Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?" -- 5 percent said "No."[19]

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) found that only 0.7% of U.S. adults identified as atheist, but at the same time 2.3% said there is no such thing as a god.[20] The reluctance of Americans to self-identify as atheists is likely due to the American public's low opinion of atheists (See: Americans have a low opinion of atheists).

David Silverman is purposefully being deceptive, and he broke his promise to be accurate

The atheist Vlad Chituc wrote at the University of Southern California's Religious Dispatches:

This leads Silverman to make some wildly inaccurate claims. He argues that more than half of Jews and three-quarters of the rapidly growing religiously unaffiliated are atheists. But according to Pew, only 17% of Jews and 33% of the “nones” say they don’t believe in God. If you want to count the “don’t knows” or “others,” that gets to about 20% and 40%, respectively, at best.

These are not small discrepancies, and based on these falsely inflated statistics, Silverman makes startlingly inaccurate claims, like that there are 80 million atheists in the U.S., a full 26% of the country....To make things frustratingly worse, other atheists have been calling Silverman out for falsely inflating the number of atheists for more than four years. And last year, I specifically asked Silverman if he would stop reporting the stats on “nones” as being representative of atheism, and he told me he would. Yet here we are.[21]

Despite the many shortcomings of the book, David Silverman said of his book Fighting God: "...I am very proud of it as you can tell." (See: Atheism and arrogance).[22][23]

For more information, please see: American atheism

Controversial Billboard

The American Atheists organization sponsored an aggressive and controversial billboard and an interview with Fox News occurred as a result of the billboard VIDEO. As noted above, Silverman has a degree in marketing, but despite his degree in marketing, according to fellow atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers, Silverman was stuck defending a "badly designed, ugly" sign.[24]

See also

Humor:

Essay: Atheist David Silverman failed!

External links

Notes

  1. My Time With Richard Dawkins (Or, Why You Should Never Meet Your Idols) by Sarah at Skepchick, September 5, 2013
  2. David Silverman. The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “David 'Sinful' Silverman, the leader of a terrorist organization aimed at intimidating religious believers has... http://t.co/AhcT5HiRMt”
  3. http://www.atheists.org/about/Board_of_Directors
  4. http://www.mastermediaspeakers.com/davidsilverman/index.html
  5. http://www.mastermediaspeakers.com/davidsilverman/index.html
  6. http://www.mastermediaspeakers.com/davidsilverman/index.html
  7. http://www.mastermediaspeakers.com/davidsilverman/index.html
  8. My Time With Richard Dawkins (Or, Why You Should Never Meet Your Idols) by Sarah at Skepchick, September 5, 2013
  9. The Case Against In-Your-Face Atheism
  10. Google trends - Atheist - USA
  11. Google trends - Atheist - Global searches
  12. The poverty of the new atheism by Scott Stephens
  13. Uproar Against Dawkins Is Sign of New Atheism Retrogression by Joshua Kelly
  14. Believe It or Not by David Bentley Hart
  15. Google trends - David Silverman - Google USA
  16. Google trends - David Silverman - Global searches
  17. American Atheists President David Silverman says there are twice as many atheists in U.S. as Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists combined By C. Eugene Emery Jr. on Sunday, February 26th, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.
  18. Meet the 'Nones:' Spiritual but not religious
  19. American Atheists President David Silverman says there are twice as many atheists in U.S. as Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists combined By C. Eugene Emery Jr. on Sunday, February 26th, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.
  20. Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, [1], March 2009, American Religious Identification Survey [ARIS 2008], Trinity College
  21. How Not To Defend Atheism by Vlad Chituc, University of Southern California's Religious Dispatches, 2015
  22. David Silverman : Fighting God
  23. How Not To Defend Atheism by Vlad Chituc, University of Southern California's Religious Dispatches, 2015
  24. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/that_controversial_oreilly_int.php