Ineffectiveness of atheist internet outreach

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Stephen Prothero wrote an article in 2008 concerning the ineffectiveness of the New Atheism which also applies to atheism internet evangelism (see: Internet atheism).

In a March 10, 2008 USA Today article Stephen Prothero stated the following regarding the impact of the "New Atheism":

Numbers lie, but they also tell tales untrustworthy and otherwise. So the key question stirring around the much discussed U.S Religious Landscape Survey released in late February by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life is what tale does it state about the state of the union.

For some, the story of this survey, based on interviews in multiple languages with more than 35,000 adults, is the strength of American Religion.

Not too long ago, I wrote that American atheism was going the way of the freak show. As books by Christopher Hitchens and other "new atheists" climbed the best seller lists, I caught a lot of flak for that prophecy. But atheist make up only 1.6% of respondents to this survey....[1]

A prime reason for the ineffectiveness of the New Atheism and internet atheism is the shallowness of its material. For example, even atheist philosopher Michael Ruse stated that Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion made him "embarrassed to be an atheist".[2]

Atheism losing adherents in terms of the global population

See also: Atheist Population and Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

The internet is a global medium which growing rapidly in usage throughout the world.[3] In 2011, the American Spectator citing research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research reported that atheism is on the decline as a whole in terms of adherents.[4]

The American Spectator declared:

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."[5]

Atheism internet evangelism contrasted with Christian internet evangelism

See also: Christian internet evangelism and Evidence for Christianity

Global Media Outreach is the internet evangelism arm of Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI). Recently, Global Media Outreach has seen a dramatic increase in the results of their internet evangelism efforts. [6] In addition, in August of 2010, Global Media Outreach announced it is combining forces with Joni and Friends International Disability Center to recruit Christians with disabilities who would like to spread the gospel and minister to others via the internet. By combining forces with Joni and Friends, Global Media Outreach benefits by having access to some 650 million people with disabilities worldwide.[7]

In 2006, Alan Beeber of CCCI predicted that internet evangelism will result in more conversion that all other forms of evangelism for CCCI combined.[8]

Unlike Christianity, which is supported by a large body of sound evidence (see: Christian apologetics), atheism has no proof and evidence supporting its ideology. Also, there have been notable atheists conceding there is compelling evidence for the existence of God and becoming ex-atheist. As a result, atheism often relies on asserting fragile assumptions that are contrary to the existing evidence.[9] In addition, atheists/skeptics do have a tradition of making assumptions that later have proved errant.[10]

Internet atheism and quarrelsome atheists

See also: Atheist factions and Internet atheism

In 2010, the Christian apologetics website True Free Thinker wrote:

Scienceblogger Chad Orzel described the commentators on PZ Myers ' site Pharyngula, and other commentators, as "screechy monkeys."[11]

Richard Dawkins' battle with online fans

See also: Richard Dawkins' battle with online fans

In February of 2010, the news organization The Telegraph reported Richard Dawkins was "embroiled in a bitter online battle over plans to rid his popular internet forum for atheists of foul language, insults and 'frivolous gossip'."[12] Given that Wired Magazine and Vox Day declared for various reasons that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, it is not surprising the online dispute was bitter. In addition, Richard Dawkins has a reputation for being abrasive.

Prominent general atheist websites appear to receive significantly less traffic from women

The website Freethoughtblogs has significantly less women visiting their website than men according to the web traffic tracking company Quantcast.[13]

Survey data, website tracking data of prominent atheists' websites and other data indicate that in the Western World, atheism is significantly less appealing to women (See also: Gender and racial demographics of Sam Harris' audience).[14]

Internet atheism and obesity

See: Internet atheism and obesity

See also

General articles and resources:

Specific topics:

Satire and comedy: