Western atheism and race

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The atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers giving a presentation to a group that is likely largely made up of white males.[1][2][3] In June of 2010, PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[4]

(photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)

The atheist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson declared “If mainstream freethought and humanism continue to reflect the narrow cultural interests of white elites who have disposable income to go to conferences then the secular movement is destined to remain marginal and insular.”[5]

The atheist community has not had significant outreach to racial minorities within the Western World whereas Christians have done this (particularly among the poor).[6] See also: Atheism and uncharitableness

An atheists' conference was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The conference, sponsored by the Council for Secular Humanism, drew members from all the major atheist organizationsin the United States. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older..."[7] According to the web traffic tracking company Quantcast, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to Richard Dawkins' and atheist Sam Harris' message.[8][9]

Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheists' websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women.[10][11][12] These findings suggest that the atheist movement in the Western world and the New Atheism movement are significantly more appealing to white males.

In 2011, Beliefnetnews reported concerning the race and gender of American atheists:

From the smallest local meetings to the largest conferences, the vast majority of speakers and attendees are almost always white men. Leading figures of the atheist movement — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett — are all white men.

But making atheism more diverse is proving to be no easy task.

Surveys suggest most atheists are white men. A recent survey of 4,000 members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation found that 95 percent were white, and men comprised a majority.[13]

Contents

Expected racial demographic changes in the Western World

See also: Growth of evangelical Protestantism in Europe and British atheism

In the United Kingdom, by the year 2050, 30 percent of the population is expected to be non-white.[14] In the United States, the Hispanic population is expected to triple by the year 2050 and become 30% of the United States population.[15] Yale Daily News reported in an article entitled White Europeans: An endangered species? that "Without a major shift in the current fertility trends, industrialized Europe will see its native population decline by about three-fourths over the 21st century."[16]

Atheist organizations focusing on church/state/creationism issues - poor largely ignored

Per capita atheists and agnostics in America give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists. See: Atheism and uncharitableness

See also: Atheism and uncharitableness

In June of 2014, the African- American atheist woman Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson wrote in the Washington Post that white atheists organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not the concerns the less affluent African American population faces.[17] Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do focus on helping poor African Americans.[18] S

Also, according to a video posted at Freethoughtblogs storefront churches provide assistance to local residents including women, and this partly explains the dearth of Hispanic and African-American women atheists in America (Atheists give less to charity than Christians. See: Atheism and uncharitableness).[19]

European drop in world's population percentage and rise of religious African population

See: Global atheism and British atheism

In 2014, the Pew Research Forum indicated that Europe will go from 11% of the world's population to 7% of the world's population by 2050 and that Africa will go from 15% of the world's population to 25% of the world's population.[20]

Cultural diversity of the atheist population

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics (see also: Causes of evolutionary belief).[21] Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life has been translated into 35 languages. [22]

In terms of its geographic distribution, Christianity is a much more a global religion than most, if not all, religions (See also: Global Christianity).[23][24] The Bible has been translated into 518 languages and 2,798 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.[25]

Collectively speaking, the Christian community has a much greater degree of linguistic and cultural diversity than the atheist community.

See also:

Lack of significant global outreach by Western World atheists

African Christians clapping at an open air meeting. In recent years, Christianity has seen a rapid growth in Africa.[26]

In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[27]

Western World atheists have not engaged in a significant amount of global outreach.

See also: Global atheism and Global Christianity and Christian evangelism

The former Soviet Union had a worldwide expansionist policy as far as spreading atheistic communism.[28] The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to a spike in religious affiliation, both in Russia and in Eastern Europe.[29]

The atheist community in the Western World has not had significant outreaches to spread atheism outside the Western World. Historically, Christians have made great evangelism efforts to reach every people group across the earth. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[30] Doing overseas evangelism/outreaches, often requires significant hardships/persecution and Western atheists have been unwilling to endure such hardships in order to spread atheistic ideology (see: Atheism and hedonism).

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia among whites.[31] See: Global atheism

In the United States, atheists are in the minority (See: Atheist Population). And in the United States and Canada, the general population looks very unfavorably on atheists (see: Views on atheists). In the United States/Canada, atheists are generally white.

Token efforts to extend racial minorities leadership positions in atheist organizations

On October 9, 2014, that atheist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson declared:

Despite frequent tokenistic calls for “diversity” within the “movement,” there are virtually no people of color in executive management positions in any of the major secular, atheist, or Humanist organizations —notable exceptions being Debbie Goddard of Center for Inquiry and Maggie Ardiente of American Humanist Association. People of color are constantly bombarded with claims of separatism, reverse discrimination, and “self-segregation” when they point to the absence of social justice, anti-racist community organizing, coalition-building, and visibility among secular organizations. After the Washington Post article, the vitriol and denialism among the “We are All Africans” white atheists was off the chain. This illustrates yet again that sticking a few of us on conference panels or secular boards is nothing but cheap appeasement.[32]

Evolutionary racism

See also: Atheism and evolutionary racism and Social effects of the theory of evolution

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[33] The errant and ill-founded writings of atheist Charles Darwin (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) [34], which became very influential in the late 19th century, provided a pretext for racism. Evolutionary racism refers to a racist philosophy based on Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory. It assumes that men have continually evolved, and thus some races are more evolved than others. It replaces Christian morality with the atheistic "survival of the fittest" ideology of Social Darwinism.

Charles Darwin wrote in his work The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex:

At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.[35][36]

The atheist Ernst Haeckel was a virulent evolutionary racist. The agnostic and staunch evolutionist Stephen Gould admitted the following:

Haeckel was the chief apostle of evolution in Germany.... His evolutionary racism; his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a "just" state; his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others; the irrational mysticism that had always stood in strange communion with his brave words about objective science—all contributed to the rise of Nazism.—Stephen J. Gould, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1977, pp.77-78).[37]

When asked in an interview, "If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?", Richard Dawkins replied, "What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question, but whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath."[38]

The interviewer wrote in response, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."[38]

Evolutionary racism still exist today. For example, evolutionary racism was recently directed at Michelle Obama.[39] The historic taint of white evolutionary racism within the white atheist community no doubt has been a factor which has hindered the adoption of atheism in the Western World among racial minorities. Leading creation science organizations such as Creation Ministries International, Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research commonly point out the evolutionary racism that has existed within the evolutionary community.[40][41][42][43]

Thomas Sowell wrote:

While slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in its history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all…. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principle impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called ‘the religious right.’…this story is not ‘politically correct’ in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.”[44]

The Christian abolitionist William Wilberforce was the father of Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford who took part in the famous creation vs. evolution with evolutionist T. H. Huxley in 1860. In the United States, the black church has been a major force in advancing the cause of racial equality.

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa comments about black women and the black race

Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics. Dr. Kanazawa publishes a blog on the Psychology Today website called The Scientific Fundamentalist.

In 2011, Dr. Kanazawa published the following inappropriate comment which was later pulled by the Psychology Today website:

It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.[45]

Kanazawa has a "Savanna principle" hypothesis which speculates that societal problems are due to the human brain supposedly evolving in Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago in a very different environment from modern society.[46]

Creativity Movement

See also: Creativity Movement

The Creativity Movement, formerly known as the World Church Of The Creator, is an atheistic white supremacist organization.[47][48][49] The movement has denounced Christianity,[48] as it purports to promote love for all of mankind.[50] It denounces religion for bringing horror into the world by dividing the white race.[48]

Richard Dawkins' family fortune and the slave trade

See also: Richard Dawkins' family fortune and the slave trade and Racial demographics of the Richard Dawkins' audience

On February 20, 2012, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade".[51]

On February 20, 2012, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Richard Dawkins' "family fortune came from the slave trade".[52] On February 19, 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported that Dawkins is being called to make reparations for his family's past.[53]

The Daily Mail reported:

Ancestors of secularist campaigner Richard Dawkins made their fortune from the slave trade, it has been revealed.

The outspoken atheist, who once branded the Catholic Church 'evil', is the direct descendent of Henry Dawkins who owned 1,013 slaves in Jamaica until he died in 1744.

His 400-acre family estate, Over Norton Park near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, is believed to have been bought with money made through slave ownership hundreds of years ago...

Richard's son, Henry, married into another of Jamaica's powerful slave trading families and left 1,013 slaves worth £40,736 when he died 1744.

The links with slavery continue down the family tree and in 1796 another ancestor, James Dawkins, voted against William Wilberforce's plans to abolish the slave trade[54]

(William Wilberforce was a devout Christian, philanthropist,abolitionist, and the leader of the campaign against the Slave Trade)

Thomas Sowell wrote:

While slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in its history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all…. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principle impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called ‘the religious right.’…this story is not ‘politically correct’ in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.”[55]

See also

External links

References

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/us/16beliefs.html?_r=1
  2. http://www.conservapedia.com/Racial_demographics_of_the_Richard_Dawkins%27_audience
  3. http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_appears_to_be_significantly_less_appealing_to_women
  4. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/the_woman_problem.php
  5. Atheism’s white male problem: A movement needs a moral cause beyond glamorizing disbelief by CJ Werleman, Salon, October 4, 2014
  6. Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  7. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/us/16beliefs.html
  8. http://www.quantcast.com/richarddawkins.net#demographics
  9. http://www.quantcast.com/samharris.org
  10. http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/NONES_08.pdf
  11. http://www.livescience.com/culture/090227-religion-men-women.html
  12. http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_appears_to_be_significantly_less_appealing_to_women
  13. http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/01/atheists-diversity-woes-have-n.php
  14. Non-white people almost 30 per cent of population by 2050, By James Kirkup, Political Editor, The Telegraph, May 5, 2014
  15. [U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050 U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050], USA Today, By Haya El Nasser, 2/12/2008
  16. White Europeans: An endangered species? By Trevor Wagener, Yale Daily News, February 27, 2008
  17. Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  18. Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  19. Sikivu, Ophelia, and Rebecca — who says atheism lacks women stars?
  20. 10 projections for the global population in 2050 By Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research Forum, February 3, 2014
  21. Darwin in translation
  22. Many religions heavily concentrated in one or two countries
  23. Christianity in its global context
  24. Bible translations
  25. The African apostles: How Christianity exploded in 20th-century Africa
  26. Is Christianity taking over the planet?
  27. America Coming to Terms: The Vietnam Legacy By Nguyen Anh Tuan, page 82
  28. [Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020] by Michael W. Chapman, CNS News, July 24, 2013 - 2:18 PM
  29. Is Christianity taking over the planet?
  30. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  31. Atheism and social justice: Sikivu Hutchinson on the first People of Color Beyond Faith conference, Chris Stedman, Religious Service News, Oct 9, 2014
  32. http://www.aim.org/wls/90/
  33. The Descent of Man, chapter VI
  34. http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/social.html
  35. 38.0 38.1 http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the-world/richard-dawkins-the-atheist-evangelist
  36. http://creation.com/obama-racism-row
  37. http://creation.com/racism-questions-and-answers
  38. http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/racism
  39. http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-modern-racism/
  40. http://www.icr.org/article/ascent-racism/
  41. Sowell, Thomas (2005) The real history of slavery. In Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books
  42. http://www.scribd.com/doc/55558908/Why-Are-Black-Women-Rated-Less-Physically-Attractive-Than-Other-Women-But-Black-Men-Are-Rated-Better-Looking-Than-Other-Men
  43. http://www.psychologytoday.com/node/38933
  44. Contemporary voices of white nationalism in America. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “World Church of the Creator, an organization that espouses an atheistic and white supremacist religious philosophy known as Creativity.”
  45. 48.0 48.1 48.2 The new white nationalism in America: its challenge to integration. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “For instance, Ben Klassen, founder of the atheistic World Church of the Creator and the author of The White Man's Bible, discusses Christianity extensively in his writings and denounces religion that has brought untold horror into the world and divided the white race.”
  46. The World's Religions: Continuities and Transformations. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “A competing atheistic or panthestic white racist movement also appeared, which included the Church of the Creator/ Creativity (Gardell 2003: 129–134).”
  47. Ludwig Feuerbach. The Essence of Christianity. John Chapman. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “Christ loved men: he wished to bless and unite them all without distinction of sex, age, rank or nationality. Christ is the love of mankind to itself embodied in an image–in accordance with the nature of religion as we have developed it–or contemplated as a person, but a person who (we mean, of course, as a religious object) has only the significance of an image, who is only ideal. For this reason love is pronounced to be the characteristic mark of the disciples.”
  48. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  49. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  50. Slaves at the root of the fortune that created Richard Dawkins' family estate, The Daily Telegragh, February 19, 2012
  51. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  52. Sowell, Thomas (2005) The real history of slavery. In Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books
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