Evangelical atheism

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Evangelical atheism is terms used to describe the atheism of those who are assertively outspoken about their atheism.

Although evangelical atheists do not advocate the violent/murderous methods that the militant atheists of communism have employed, they generally favor using the power of state to indoctrinate children into believing various aspects of atheist ideology (see: Atheist indoctrination). The new atheists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss claim that children need state protection from religion/religion of children's parents.[1][2]

Contents

New Atheism and evangelical atheists

New Atheism is known for its evangelical atheism.

The new atheists who are or were known for their evangelical atheism are: Richard Dawkins (who actually flip-flops in terms of referring to himself as an agnostic or atheist. See: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism)., Daniel Dennett, the late Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris.

New atheism has fallen out of public favor and at least one of the new atheist lost their outspokeness (see: Decline of New Atheism and Decline of militant atheism in the West).[3] [4]

In 2015, the atheist author Joshua Kelly wrote:

...since the death of Hitchens: angry atheism lost its most charismatic champion. Call it what you like: New Atheism, fire-brand atheism, etc., had a surge with the Four Horsemen in the middle of the last decade and in the last four years has generally peetered out to a kind that is more docile, politically correct, and even apologetic.[5]

YouTube's atheist Thunderfoot said about the atheist movement after Reason Rally 2016 had a very low turnout:

I'm not sure there is anything in this movement worth saving. Hitchens is dead. Dawkins simply doesn't have the energy for this sort of thing anymore. Harris went his own way. And Dennett just kind of blended into the background. So what do you think when the largest gathering of the nonreligious in history pulls in... I don't know. Maybe 2,000 people. Is there anything worth saving?[6]

Other evangelical atheists

Other evangelical atheists include:

Historical figures:

Atheists are far less to proselytize than religious individuals

See also: Atheism and apathy and Atheist movement

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.[7] See: Global atheism

Atheists are far less likely to evangelize than most religious people (see: Atheism and apathy).

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."[8] 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.[9]

Views on atheists an impediment to evangelical atheism

See also: Views on atheists

One of the factors that limits the amount of proselytizing by atheists is the widespread distrust of atheists (see: Views on atheists).

Dr. Sam Harris is one of the founders of the New Atheism movement. Sam Harris is quite aware of the stigma surrounding atheism and has even advocated that atheists no longer call themselves atheists.[10] In fact, Dr. Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[10][11] See also: Views on atheists and Atheism and social outcasts

Americans and Canadians distrust atheists as much as rapists

See also: Distrust of atheists and Atheism and rape and Atheism and social outcasts

Studies and web traffic data appear to indicate that women in the Western World tend to be more religious than men.[12] See: Atheism and women

On December 10, 2011, USA Today reported in a story entitled Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists:

The study, conducted among 350 Americans adults and 420 Canadian college students, asked participants to decide if a fictional driver damaged a parked car and left the scene, then found a wallet and took the money, was the driver more likely to be a teacher, an atheist teacher, or a rapist teacher?

The participants, who were from religious and nonreligious backgrounds, most often chose the atheist teacher.

The study is part of an attempt to understand what needs religion fulfills in people. Among the conclusions is a sense of trust in others.

"People find atheists very suspect," Shariff said. "They don't fear God so we should distrust them; they do not have the same moral obligations of others. This is a common refrain against atheists. People fear them as a group."[13]

See also:

UK study finds atheists widely distrusted - even among themselves

See also: Distrust of atheists and Atheist factions and Atheism and morality

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."[14]

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.[15]

Theodore Beale says about atheists not trusting other atheists: "The reason most atheists trust fellow atheists less than anyone else is because they recognize their own lack of integrity and morality."[16]

Evangelical atheism vs. global desecularization

See also: Desecularization and Atheists and the endurance of religion

In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[17]

Desecularization is the process by which religion reasserts its societal influence though religious values, institutions, sectors of society and symbols in reaction to previous and/or co-occurring secularization processes.[18] Desecularization can also occur through providential acts of God and in reaction to God granting Christian's prayers.[19]

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."[20]

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. [21]

At a conference Kaufmann said of religious demographic projections concerning the 21st century:

Part of the reason I think demography is very important, at least if we are going to speak about the future, is that it is the most predictable of the social sciences.

...if you look at a population and its age structure now. You can tell a lot about the future. ...So by looking at the relative age structure of different populations you can already say a lot about the future...

...Religious fundamentalism is going to be on the increase in the future and not just out there in the developing world..., but in the developed world as well.[22]

In April 2010, Kaufmann declared "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."[23] In April 2012, French scholars reported that evangelical Christianity was likely the fastest growing religion in France.[24]

Evangelical atheists lack a focus on growing atheism in the developing world and among the poor

Evangelical atheists in the Western World has not made a significant effort to evangelize the people in developing world nor have the made significant outreaches to the poor in the developed world. In June 2014, Sikivu Hutchinson wrote in the Washington Post that atheist organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.[25] Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do offer significant help to poor African-Americans.[25]

Evangelical atheism vs. desecularization and Europe

See also: European desecularization in the 21st century and Decline of secular Europe

European atheism vs. religious populations resistant to secularization

In the Europe of tomorrow, immigration and religious fertility will increase the proportion of committed Christians in Europe, many from the developing world.[26]

The Observer declared in 2017:

Studies show that younger Muslim generations in Europe are actually more jihadist-oriented—some would say more pious—than their elders. There is, however, another factor that runs contrary to conventional wisdom.[27]

An excerpt from the academic paper The End of Secularization in Europe?: A Socio-Demographic Perspective by Kaufmann, Goujon and Skirbekk:

In Europe, there has been less attention paid to fertility differences between denominations. However, several studies have discovered that immigrants to Europe tend to be more religious than the host population and — especially if Muslim—tend to retain their religiosity (Van Tubergen 2006). Though some indicators point to modest religious decline toward the host society mean, other trends suggest that immigrants become more, rather than less, religious the longer they reside in the host society (Van Tubergen 2007). All of which indicates that religious decline may fail at the aggregate level even if it is occurring at the individual level (Kaufmann 2006, 2010). This article thereby investigates the hypothesis that a combination of higher religious fertility, immigration, and slowing rates of religious apostasy will eventually produce a reversal in the decline of the religious population of Western Europe.[28]

Eric Kaufmann is a professor of politics at Birkbeck, University of London and author. His academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics.

In April 2010, Kaufmann, who is an agnostic, declared "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."[29] Kaufmann also declared that secularism "appears exhausted and lacking in confidence".[30]

Desecularization and France

In April 2012, French scholars reported that evangelical Christianity was likely the fastest growing religion in France.[31]

In addition, France has Europe's second largest Muslim population.[32]

Desecularization and Germany

On March 17, 2014, the news website Deutsche Well reported that evangelical Christianity has doubled in Germany in the last 10 years.[33]

Germany also has Europe's largest Muslim population.[34]

Desecularization and Britain

European desecularization and Islam

See also: Atheism vs. Islam

According to Pew Research:

In recent decades, the Muslim share of the population throughout Europe grew about 1 percentage point a decade, from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010. This pattern is expected to continue through 2030, when Muslims are projected to make up 8% of Europe’s population.[35]

European desecularization and illegal immigration

The American Interest website declares:

Securing Europe’s vast land and sea borders—a task greater than that faced by the United States along its border with Mexico—is proving exceptionally challenging for the European Union (EU)....

Traffickers use small boats to reduce the chances of being picked up by patrol boats’ radars; migrants are often dropped off on stretches of inaccessible coastline, or left to drift ashore. In the case of illegal land crossings, small trucks are used to penetrate the most porous parts of eastern or southern Europe’s borders. Penalties for this are low or non-existent all around Europe, and traffickers are rarely caught anyway. Smuggling people across Europe has become easier and more profitable than any other criminal activity, including drug smuggling.[36]

Evangelical atheism and desecularization in China

See also: Growth of Christianity in China and Asian atheism

One of the steepest declines of atheism that is expected to occur is in China which currently has the largest atheist population in the world. China is experiencing a rapid growth of theologically conservative Christianity which will have a significant effect on the global atheist population.[37]

Although there are Western Christian organization focusing on evangelizing China, Western evangelical atheists have not made a significant effort to stem the tide of atheists leaving atheism in China.

Competition from the major religions of Christianity and Islam

In addition to having a sub-replacement level birthrate (see: Atheism and fertility rates), a shrinking global market share and the immigration of religious immigrants, atheist activists are expected face stiff competition from the major religions of Christianity and Islam in the 21st century - especially the more conservative/fundamentalist strains of these religions. See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity

See:

Evangelical atheism and low retention rate among atheists issues

See also: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household in the United States remain atheists as adults.[38]

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that in the United States only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[39] According to Dr. Mark Gray, "of those raised as atheists, 30% are now affiliated with a Protestant denomination, 10% are Catholic, 2% are Jewish, 1% are Mormon, and 1% are Pagan."[40] See also: Atheism and poor relationships with parents

Communist countries and citizenry abandoning atheism

Shortage of successful secular institutions to cause higher retention

See also: Atheism and loneliness

Evangelical atheists have not developed strong institutions to raise the low retention rate of people raised in atheist households.

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.[41]

Sunday Assembly atheist church movement

See also: Atheism is a religion and American atheists and church attendance

The Sunday Assembly atheist church movement was founded in 2013 by the secular humanists and comedians Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones.[42] 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.[42]

Evangelical atheists, failed predictions and exaggerated claims

See also: Secularization thesis

Failed predictions of evangelical atheists and secular thesis

See also: Failed predictions of the demise of religion and Secularization thesis

Dr. Rodney Stark's in his book The Triumph of Faith wrote:

People want to know why the universe exists, not that it exists for no reason, and they don't want their lives to be pointless. Only religion provides credible and satisfactory answers to the great existential questions. The most ardent wishes of the secularization faithful will never change that.

"Secularists have been predicting the imminent demise of religion for centuries. They have always been wrong—and their claims today are no different. It is their unshakable faith in secularization that may be the most "irrational" of all beliefs." (p. 212).[43]

Evangelical atheists and exaggerated claims

The atheist Georgetown professor Jacques Berlinerblau likens the strength of the American atheist movement to a "gimpy little zebra".[44]

The atheist Georgetown professor Jacques Berlinerblau declared:

American atheist movements, though fancying themselves a lion, are more like the gimpy little zebra crossing the river full of crocs. In terms of both political gains and popular appeal, nonbelievers in the United States have little to show. They are encircled by cunning, swarming [religious] Revivalist adversaries who know how to play the atheist card. The gimpy zebra remark was a little goofing on this over-the-top chest-thumping that emerges from Movement Atheists. They wildly overestimate their numbers. They tend to overestimate the efficacy of their activism. They underestimate how disciplined and organized their adversaries in the religious right are, too. They fail to recognize that mocking religious people in public is entirely inimical to the goals they wish to achieve."[45]

David Silverman exaggerating the number of atheists in the United States

See also: Atheist movement

David Silverman took feminist Rebecca Watson off the speakers list for the Reason Rally after Richard Dawkins objected to her speaking at the event.[46] See: Elevatorgate

In 2012, the organization PolitiFact Rhode Island accused American Atheists president 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.[47][48]

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."[49]

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.[50] 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).

See also: David Silverman intentionally exaggerating the number of atheists in the USA

Evangelical atheism vs. militant atheism practiced by communists

See also: Militant atheism and Atheism and violence

Historically, atheism has generally been an integral part of communist ideology (see: Atheism and communism).

The militant atheism practiced by communists goes beyond mere assertiveness and employs violence/murder to achieve its aims (see also: Atheism and mass murder).

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[51]

Prominent communist leaders

See also

Essay:

References

  1. Richard Dawkins: The state needs to ‘protect’ children from religion…and their parents, LifeSite News
  2. “Children need to be protected” from religious parents, Salon
  3. Uproar Against Dawkins Is Sign of New Atheism Retrogression by Joshua Kelly
  4. Even atheists bash 'Reason Rally'
  5. Uproar Against Dawkins Is Sign of New Atheism Retrogression by Joshua Kelly
  6. Even atheists bash 'Reason Rally'
  7. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  8. Herding Cats: Why atheism will lose by Francois Tremblay
  9. 7 facts about atheists, Pew Forum
  10. 10.0 10.1 Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
  11. NEWSWEEK Poll: 90% Believe in God, Newsweek 2007
  12. Multiple references:
  13. Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists
  14. Atheists Widely Distrusted, Even Among Themselves, UK Study Finds, Christian Post, 2015
  15. Anti-atheist distrust ‘deeply and culturally ingrained’, study finds, The Independent, 2015
  16. Fun with atheists by Theodore Beale
  17. Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  18. Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival and Revival by Christopher Marsh, 2011, page 11 (Christopher Marsh cites the definitions of desecularization given by Peter L. Berger and Vyacheslav Karpov)
  19. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  20. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  21. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  22. [http://questionevolution.blogspot.com/2013/03/british-academic-eric-kaufmann-says.html British academic Eric Kaufmann says "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France".
  23. France and evangelicalism - Christian Post
  24. 25.0 25.1 Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  25. Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  26. Islam Is Taking Over Europe—’Without Swords, Without Guns, Without Conquest’
  27. Religious immigrants will alter the religious landscape of Europe
  28. British academic Eric Kaufmann says "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France". Also, Kaufmann writes that secularism "appears exhausted and lacking in confidence"
  29. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  30. France and evangelicalism - Christian Post
  31. 5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe
  32. Ghanaian pastor seeks to 're-Christianize' Germany
  33. 5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe
  34. 5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe
  35. Europe’s Immigration Crisis
  36. 10 reasons why biblical Christianity will flood the UK in the 21st century
  37. Nazworth, Nap (July 11, 2012). "Study: atheists have lowest 'retention rate' compared to religious groups". christianpost.com.
  38. Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups
  39. Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups
  40. Secularists on Thought for the Day will expose the loneliness of atheism, Guy Stagg, The Telegraph, Last updated: April 3rd, 2012
  41. 42.0 42.1 Atheist Church Split: Sunday Assembly And Godless Revival's 'Denominational Chasm', Huffington Post, 2014
  42. Despite What You've Heard, World Is More Religious Than Ever, Christian Post
  43. Professor Jacques Berlinerblau tells atheists: Stop whining!, Christian Century, Sep 14, 2012 by Kimberly Winston
  44. Professor Jacques Berlinerblau tells atheists: Stop whining!, Christian Century, Sep 14, 2012 by Kimberly Winston
  45. My Time With Richard Dawkins (Or, Why You Should Never Meet Your Idols) by Sarah at Skepchick, September 5, 2013
  46. 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.
  47. Meet the 'Nones:' Spiritual but not religious
  48. 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.
  49. Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, [1], March 2009, American Religious Identification Survey [ARIS 2008], Trinity College
  50. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”