Hemant Mehta

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Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta (born 1983) is an author, blogger, and atheist activist. He has also served on the board of directors for the organizations Secular Student Alliance and Foundation Beyond Belief.

He initially gained fame as the guy who "sold his soul on eBay" when he offered to go to the church of the highest bidder's choosing in early 2006.[1]

Since the eBay auction, Mehta has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, and Seattle Times, as well as being featured on Fox News Channel.[2] His popular atheist blog is called "The Friendly Atheist".[3] His book I Sold My Soul on eBay came out in 2007.[4]

Hermant Mehta and the Brights Movement

See also: Brights Movement and Atheism and arrogance

Hemant Mehta

On the Brights Movement website, Mehta is listed as an "Enthusiastic Bright".[5] The Brights Movement has been widely criticized as being pretentious and arrogant (see: Atheism and arrogance). Given the Brights Movement's reputation for smugness, 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" (his blog is called The Friendly Atheist) and "smug" being incompatible opposites (see: Atheist hypocrisy).

Unlike the skeptic Michael Shermer who had second thoughts after endorsing the Brights Movement, Hemant Mehta has never publicly denounced the Bright Movement for its smugness and remains listed on on its website as an "Enthusiastic Bright".[6][7]

The ABC News.com commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the “brights” campaign, “I don’t think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant.”[8] According to a 2003 Skeptical Enquirer article by Christ Mooney, "From the start, the “brights” label label reinforced a longstanding stereotype. Atheists already have a terrible rap for being coldhearted rationalists who attend Mensa gatherings and dismiss religious believers as simple-minded fools."[9]

See also: Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and intelligence and Atheism and the theory of multiple intelligences

Comments about fellow atheist Chris Stedman

See also: Atheism and arrogance

Hemant Mehta said of fellow atheist Chris Stedman:

If you read the blog posts and Twitter comments about Chris, though, you’d think he was a religious man in atheist clothing. Or that he’s delegitimizing our work. Or that he’s undermining our goals. He’s not. He’s as much of an atheist activist as the rest of us. He just practices it by focusing on cooperation and conversation with people of faith instead of beating his chest with both fists and proclaiming his superiority.[10][11]

See also: Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and intelligence and Atheism and the theory of multiple intelligences

External links

Notes