Difference between revisions of "Atheism"

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17. '''Negative experiences with [[theism|theists]]'''
 
17. '''Negative experiences with [[theism|theists]]'''
  
18.  '''[[Scientism]]:''' ''Science has in many ways become a new god''.<ref>[http://creation.com/the-religion-of-scientism-m-shallis The religion of scientism]</ref><ref>[http://www.religiontoday.com/news/exposing-the-religion-of-scientism-11598780.html Exposing the religion of scientism]</ref>
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18.  '''[[Scientism]]:''' ''Science has in many ways become a new god''.<ref>[http://creation.com/the-religion-of-scientism-m-shallis The religion of scientism]</ref><ref>[http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/dawkins-dilbert-and-the-illogical-scientists/ Dawkins, Dilbert and the Illogical Scientists]</ref><ref>[http://www.religiontoday.com/news/exposing-the-religion-of-scientism-11598780.html Exposing the religion of scientism]</ref>
  
 
==Atheism and the existence of evil==
 
==Atheism and the existence of evil==

Revision as of 18:18, 12 June 2013

atheism
Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach (1723 - 1789) was an early advocate of atheism in Europe.

Atheism, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and other philosophy reference works, is the denial of the existence of God.[1][2][3]

The atheistic worldview has a variety of effects on individuals and society at large, and 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."[4] Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg, a Soviet physicist, wrote that the "Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists."[5] However, prior to this, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution established an atheist state, with the official ideology being the Cult of Reason; during this time thousands of believers were suppressed and executed by the guillotine.[6][7][8]

Furthermore, atheism is indirectly proportional to education; a scholarly study published in an academic journal titled the Review of Religious Research demonstrated that increased education is correlated with belief in God and that "education positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life."[9][10][11][12]

Concerning individuals adopting an atheistic worldview, atheism has a number of causal factors that influence its origination in individuals which will be addressed. In addition, critiques of atheism will be offered and some of the historical events relating to atheism will also be covered. For example, since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[13]

Contents

Types of atheism

There are different types of atheism, based on different answers to the following questions:

  • What God or gods does the atheist deny?
  • Why does the atheist deny?
  • How does the atheist's denial manifest itself?

Atheism and Which God or gods?

The Greek philosopher Socrates

Since atheism is denial of the existence of God or gods, it is important first to identify in which God and/or gods the atheist denies. In ancient times, for example, Christians were accused of being atheists because of their denial of the pagan gods, even though they believed in the Christian God.[14] Socrates was also accused of atheism, although references to God run throughout his recorded statements.[15] Also, Albert Einstein and Baruch Spinoza professed belief in "God," but they defined "God" as the cosmos as a whole, and without personality.

Atheism and why do atheists state they disbelieve?

Atheists claim there are two main reasons for their denial of the existence of God and/or disbelief in God: the conviction that there is positive evidence or argument that God does not exist (Strong atheism which is also sometimes called positive atheism), and their claim that theists bear the burden of proof to show that God exists, that they have failed to do so, and that belief is therefore unwarranted (Weak atheism).

Manifestations of atheism

Below are three common ways that atheism manifests itself:

  • Militant atheism which continues to suppress and oppress religious believers today (see also: Atheism and communism).
  • Philosophical atheism - Atheist philosophers assert that God does not exist.
  • Practical atheism: atheism of the life - that is, living as though God does not exist.[16]

Attempts to dilute the definition of atheism

See also: Attempts to dilute the definition of atheism and Definition of atheism and Definitions of Atheist and Agnostic

Charles Bradlaugh, in 1876, proposed that atheism does not assert "there is no God," and by doing so he diluted the traditional definition of atheism. Since 1979, many atheists have followed Bradlaugh's thinking further and stated that atheism is merely a lack of belief in any god.[17] [18] The motive for such a shift in meaning appears to be to an attempt to shift the burden of proof regarding the existence of God to the theism side.[19]

In the article, Is Atheism Presumptuous?, atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels which owns and operates the Secular Web (the Secular Web is a website focused on promoting atheism, agnosticism and skepticism on the internet), states that "I agree (with Copan) that anyone who claims, "God does not exist," must shoulder a burden of proof just as much as anyone who claims, "God exists."[20] In short, the attempt to redefine atheism is merely an attempt to make no assertions so no facts need be offered.[21] The attempt to redefine atheism, however, is not in accordance with the standard definitions of atheism that encyclopedias of philosophy employ which is that atheism is a denial of the existence of God or gods.[22][2][23]

Atheism often relies on asserting fragile assumptions that are contrary to the existing evidence (see also: Evidence for Christianity ).[24] In addition, atheists/skeptics do have a tradition of making assumptions that later have proved errant.[25] Also, prominent atheists, such as Charles Darwin (see: religious views of Charles Darwin ), have experienced doubts concerning the validity of atheism.

Atheism is a religion

Many of the leaders of the atheist movement, such as the evolutionist and weak atheist/agnostic Richard Dawkins, argue for agnosticism/atheism with a religious fervor.

Roderick Ninian Smart, a Scottish writer and professor, defined a seven-part scheme of understanding both religious and secular worldviews[26]. These can be understood as narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material.

English Pastor Daniel Smartt defines atheism as a religion, using Ninian Smart's seven dimensions of worldview as a list of criteria. It is not necessary in Smartt's model for every one of these to be present in order for something to be a religion.[27]. However, it can be argued that all seven are present in the case of atheism.[28][29]

Please see: Atheism: A religionand Atheism and Atheism is a religion.

Atheism is a religion and its legal implications relative to the teaching of evolution

Atheism is a religion and naturalistic notions of origins are religious which has legal implications relative to evolution being taught in public schools.[30][31][32]

John Calvert, a lawyer and intelligent design proponent declared:

The Seventh Judicial Circuit of the Court of Appeals of the United States held that atheism is a religion. Therefore, it cannot be promoted by a public school. Currently, public schools are often unwittingly promoting atheism through a dogmatic and uncritical teaching of materialistic theories of origins.[33]

The atheist philosopher of science Michael Ruse admitted: "Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today."[34] In the their Question evolution! campaign, Creation Ministries International asks as a part of their 15 questions for evolutionists: "Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes?...If “you can’t teach religion in science classes”, why is evolution taught?[35]

A proponent of the Question evolution! campaign declared that "Evolution is the air supply of atheism. ..to truly prevail against atheism, cutting off the air supply of atheism is crucial."[36]

Biblical Christianity vs. evangelical atheism

A proponent of the anti-evolution Question evolution! campaign by Creation Ministries International wrote:

Atheism is a religion. And atheists, time and time again, take away the religious liberty of Christians in order to promote their false religion. Evolution is the air supply of atheism. Directly confronting atheism can be useful. But, the best way for Christianity to prevail against secularism is through preventative medicine. Reaching young people with the gospel and discipling them is a first step. Yet to truly prevail against atheism, cutting off the air supply of atheism is crucial.

The grassroots Question evolution! campaign can reach countless young people before evolutionists indoctrinate them in high school and college.[37]

See also:

Biblical statements concerning atheism

see also: Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

The psalmist David wrote: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"

The writers of the Bible considered the existence of God to be self-evident and Moses simply wrote: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1).[38]

Accordingly, the psalmist David declared:

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." - Psalms 14:1 (KJV)

The psalmist David also wrote "The heavens declare the glory of God..." - Psalms 19:1

In his letter to the Romans the Apostle Paul declared:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." - Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV)

Tenuousness of atheism in prominent atheists and in large populations

See also: Atheists doubting the validity of atheism and Denials that atheists exist

Notable professing atheists have had the characteristic of variability and instability when it came to maintaining thoughts in accordance with atheism. For example, Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading proponents of atheism of the 20th Century. Yet Jean-Paul Sartre made this candid confession:

As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for wont of being able to think otherwise.[39]

Charles Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist. (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) [40][41]

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states:

In 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death:

In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilization of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature — I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, “Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,” and he shook his head vaguely, adding, “it seems to go away. ”(Argyll 1885, 244)[42]

Research on the weakness of individuals' attachment to atheism through secularistic upbringing

See also: Weakness of secularistic upbringing

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[43]

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[44] Similarly, according to recent research by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in the United States, a majority of those surveyed who were raised in atheist or agnostic households, or where there was no specific religious attachment, later chose to join a religious faith.[45][46] A notable example of a person raised in a atheistic household who later became a Christian is William J. Murray. Mr. Murray is the son of the late atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair who founded the organization American Atheists. In 1982, William J. Murray founded the Religious Freedom Coalition.

An article published by a Question evolution! campaign group entitled Georgetown University study provides two clues to shrinking atheism faster declares:

Since atheism has a low retention rate among people raised atheists, one of the best methods of speeding up the global decline of atheism is though evolutionism and atheism inoculation. In other words, let Christians and the general public know about the many problems of atheism and evolutionary ideology and the many problems they cause BEFORE individuals consider becoming atheists (Atheism and suicide, atheism and its history of mass murder, etc. See: Atheism)...

Atheism, agnosticism and evolutionism do not stand up under critical examination that is why Richard Dawkins, the British Humanist Association and leading evolutionists have recently ducked notable debate offers. They know their weak ideologies cannot withstand cross-examination.[47]

In addition, as noted earlier, in atheistic Communist China, Christianity is experiencing explosive growth.[48][49] On July 3, 2005, the New York Times reported concerning many countries in the former Soviet Union: "A return to religion in Romania and the region's other formerly Communist countries has in many places outrun the speed at which the church can screen and train clergy..."[50]

Atheism losing adherents in terms of the global population

The 2004 to 2007 publicity campaign for atheism in the Western World was not sustainable. The level of public interest in atheism is not coming back in the West and global atheism is shrinking.[51]

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

In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary reported that globally every day there are 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day and 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day.[52][53]

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 .[54][55]

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."[56]

In 2009, the book A sceptics guide to atheism indicated: "A worldwide poll taken in 1991 put the global figure for atheists at just 4.4% of the population. By 2006 it was estimated that only 2% of the world population were atheists."[57]

In 2012 an article entitled Atheism in decline by Nigel Tomes declared:

The IBMR publishes yearly figures for religions (and non religions) around the globe. Their latest numbers, hot off the press (Jan. 2012) show some interesting trends.

Atheism is in Decline

In 1970 atheists (those avowing there is no God) numbered 166 million worldwide; that was almost one-in-twenty—4.5% of the globe’s population. By 2012 atheists’ number is estimated at 137 million. That’s a decline of almost 30 million. Since world population is growing, atheists’ share declined to less than one-in-fifty—under 2% in 2012. Put differently, every 24 hours there are 800 fewer atheists in the world! Atheism is in decline.

Agnosticism is in Decline

In 2000 agnostics (those who “don’t know” if there is a God) numbered 666 million, 10.9% of the world’s people. By 2012 agnostic’s number is estimated at 661 million--a decline of 5 million. In relative terms by 2012 agnostics represent less than one tenth (9.4%) of world population. Every 24 hours there are 1,100 less agnostics in the world. Agnostics are also in decline.

Added together these two groups make up a declining share of global population. In 1970 atheists and agnostics accounted for one-in-five (19.2%) of the world’s people. Based on current trends by 2025 they will represent less than one-in-ten (9.7%). Their population share will fall by half in 50+ years.[58]

Decline of atheism in terms of global adherents is expected to accelerate

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a a wealth of demographic studies argues the decline of atheism in terms of its global adherents is an established trend that will persist for the foreseeable future and the rate of decline will accelerate.[59][60][61][62]

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

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck, University of London, using a a wealth of demographic studies argues the decline of atheism in terms of its global adherents is an established trend that will persist for the foreseeable future and the rate of decline will accelerate.[63][64][65][66] In addition, Kaufmann argues that religious conservatism has a long term trend of rising and that their influence in the world will significantly increase.[67] Kaufmann is author of the book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?.[68][69] In the Western World due to immigration and the higher birth rates of religious people, Kaufman writes: "Committed religious populations are growing in the West, and will reverse the march of secularism before 2050."[70]

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote "Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century."[71] Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: "What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level."[72]

In addition, currently the Western World population is aging in terms of its demographic makeup, particularly in secular Europe, and it has been found that belief in God grows as a person's death nears.[73][74]

For more information please see the article: Atheist population

Decline of American 1990s secularism

For more information please see:

Prominent atheism websites loss of global market share

The article Internet atheism: The thrill is gone! points out that internet atheism has been in a significant slump since 2008.

See also: Internet atheism and Atheistic bullying and Internet atheism and polyamory

During the period of 2008 to 2012, the atheist community made a concerted effort to spread atheism through means of the internet. However, leading atheist websites have seen plunges in web traffic during this same period and during the first half of 2012.[75]

In May of 2012, it was pointed out by supporters of Creation Ministries International's Question evolution! campaign that from a global internet perspective the public's interest in the views of the agnostic/weak atheist Richard Dawkins and the atheist PZ Myers and in atheism are on the decline while interest in Jesus and Christianity are on the upswing.[76]

For more information please see:

Question evolution! campaign

See also: Question evolution! campaign and Atheist Population

The Question evolution! campaign by Creation Ministries International is a worldwide campaign which poses 15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer.[77] The 15 questions posed to evolutionists can be found HERE

As noted above, since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[78] In 2011, a campaign called the Question evolution! campaign was launched by the biblical creation organization Creation Ministries International which is a worldwide "grass-roots movement to challenge the anti-Christian dogma of evolution".[79]

The focus of the Question evolution! campaign is on 15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer. The campaign will be primarily conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.[80]

Atheist infighting and factions

See also: Atheist factions

Another factor contributing to the decline of global atheism is the lack of unity and the significant amount of infighting in the atheist community.

Jacques Rousseau wrote in the Daily Maverick: "Elevatorgate..has resulted in three weeks of infighting in the secular community. Some might observe that we indulge in these squabbles fairly frequently."[81] An ex-atheist wrote: "As an Atheist for 40 years, I noticed that there is not just a wide variety of Atheist positions, but there exists an actual battle between certain Atheist factions."[82]

For more information please see: Atheist factions

Lack of sound leadership

See also: Atheism and leadership

Using academic studies, survey data and other information, supporters of the Question evolution! campaign maintain that there is a lack of sound leadership within the agnostic/atheist and evolutionist communities in dealing with the global decline of atheism and agnosticism.

See:

Claims of the conditionality and nonconditionality of atheism

See also: There are no atheists in foxholes and Denials that atheists exist

Hanhah More wrote: "In agony or danger, no nature is atheist. The mind that knows not what to fly to, flies to God."[83] Reverend William T. Cummings is famous for declaring "There are no atheists in foxholes."[84] Chaplain F.W. Lawson of the 302d Machine Gun Battalion, who was wounded twice in wartime, stated "I doubt if there is such a thing as an atheist. At least there isn't in a front line trench."[85] On the other hand, the news organization NBC featured a story in which atheist veterans claimed that there are atheists in foxholes.[86]

Atheism and communism

see also: Atheism and communism and Militant atheism and Atheism and mass murder and Soviet Union and morality and Atheism and slavery

Karl Marx said "[Religion] is the opium of the people". Marx also stated: "Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction."[87]

Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote regarding atheism and communism: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."[88]

The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism and various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers.[89]

The persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union was the result of the violently atheist Soviet government. In the first five years after the October Revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were murdered, many on the orders of Leon Trotsky. When Joseph Stalin came to power in 1927, he ordered his secret police, under Genrikh Yagoda to intensify persecution of Christians. In the next few years, 50,000 clergy were murdered, many were tortured, including crucifixion. "Russia turned red with the blood of martyrs", said Father Gleb Yakunin of the Russian Orthodox Church.[90] According to Orthodox Church sources, as many as fifty million Orthodox believers may have died in the twentieth century, mainly from persecution by Communists.[91]

In addition, in the atheistic and communist Soviet Union, 44 anti religious museums were opened and the largest was the 'The Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism' in Leningrad’s Kazan cathedral.[92] Despite intense effort by the atheistic leaders of the Soviet Union, their efforts were not effective in converting the masses to atheism.[93][94]

China is a communist country. In 1999, the publication Christian Century reported that "China has persecuted religious believers by means of harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or `reform-through-labor' camps and police closure of places of worship." In 2003, owners of Bibles in China were sent to prison camps and 125 Chinese churches were closed.[95] China continues to practice religious oppression today.[96] According to Asian Economic News, in 2004 the atheistic and communist government of China had an internal document which directed the Chinese media to promote atheism, instructed internet media to remove user comments that advocate alternative spiritual views, and called for a ban on publications that disseminate religious material out of step with Marxism or atheism.[97] The efforts of China's atheist leaders in promoting atheism, however, is increasingly losing its effectiveness and the number of Christians in China is explosively growing.[98][99] China's state sponsored atheism and atheistic indoctrination has been a failure and a 2007 religious survey in China indicated that only 15% of Chinese identified themselves as atheists.[100]

North Korea is a repressive communist state and is officially atheistic.[101] The North Korean government practices brutal repression and atrocities against North Korean Christians.[102][103]

It has been estimated that in less than the past 100 years, governments under the banner of communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 to 259,432,000 human lives.[104] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[105] Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities and Dawkins was shown to be in gross error.

The theory of evolution played a prominent role in regards to atheistic communism.[106][107] Communists, in particular Stalinists, favored a version of Lamarckism called Lysenkoism developed by the atheist Trofim Denisovich Lysenko.[108] Lysenko was made member of the Supreme Soviet and head of the Institute of Genetics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.[109] Later Lysenko became President of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences.[109] Many geneticists were imprisoned and executed for their bourgeois science, and agricultural policies based on Lysenkoism that were adopted under Stalin and Mao caused famines and the death of millions.[108]

Dr. Carl Wieland, Managing Director of Creation Ministries International, published an article entitled The blood-stained ‘century of evolution’ which declared:

Communism also took evolution to its logical conclusion. If everything just evolved from ‘natural law,’ then man’s opinion, not God’s Word, determines what is right and wrong. If the working class can take power by armed struggle, then this is ‘right,’ regardless of how many must die to bring in the socialist paradise. Communism’s death toll far outranks the Nazis’—probably more than 90 million worldwide.3

Some have suggested that the bloodthirsty deeds of Stalin were an ‘aberration’ from the revolution’s ideals. However, it was Lenin, the ‘father’ of the Russian revolution, who ‘perfected the science of mass killings,’ and total, merciless brutality as the ultimate method of political control. Evolution was the chief tool used to brainwash communism’s masses into ‘scientific atheism.’ If everything just evolved, then everything is at the whim of the most powerful, and there is no Maker to whom to be answerable. Hence Stalin’s belief that killing millions of people was no worse than mowing your lawn (grass is our cousin in evolutionary doctrine).

Mao’s reign of terror and lies resulted in the deaths of tens of millions. It is no coincidence that his two favorite books were by the evolutionists Darwin and Huxley. With millions dying from his forced famine, his physician records that Mao said, ‘We have so many people we can afford to lose a few.’ His successors have since persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands more.[110]

For more information please see: Atheism and slavery

Criticism of atheism

See also: Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian and Christian apologetics

Commonly Cited Arguments Against Atheism and For Theism

Anselm of Canterbury's version of the ontological argument appeared in his work Proslogium.

In relation to the debate between theism and atheism, theists often criticize atheism as being contrary to persuasive argument and have a number of arguments against atheism. Arguments for the existence of God include:

Atheism and mass murder

The militant atheistic regime of Joseph Stalin killed tens of millions of people.
See articles: Atheism and Mass Murder and Atheism and communism and Atheism and sadism and Atheism and slavery

Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote relative to atheism and mass murder that "the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them."[117] Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under regimes which advocated atheism.[117] As noted earlier, Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities and Dawkins was shown to be in gross error.

Koukl summarized by stating:

It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God.[117]

Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote:

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.

Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."[118]

In 2008, Vox Day notes concerning atheism and mass murder:

Apparently it was just an amazing coincidence that every Communist of historical note publicly declared his atheism … .there have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm … These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao …

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan, godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.

Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians, even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two incidents in ninety years reeks of causation![119]

See also:

Atheism and charity

See also: Atheism and charity and Atheism and depression and Atheism, uncharitableness and depression
According to a study by the Barna Group regarding charitable giving:"The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics."[120]

Concerning the issue of atheism and uncharitableness, the evidence indicates that per capita charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[121]

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[122][123] The study revealed that forty percent of worship service attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly as opposed to 15% of Americans who never attend services.[124][125] Moreover, religious individuals are more likely than non-religious individuals to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%).[126][127]

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in Policy Review regarding data collected in the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) (data collected by in 2000 by researchers at universities throughout the United States and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research):

The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.[128]

ABC News reported the following in respect to atheism:

...the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation.

Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. And Arthur Brooks told me that giving goes beyond their own religious organization:

"Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities."[129]

Given that atheistic evolutionary thinking has engendered social darwinism and given that the proponents of atheism have no rational basis for morality in their ideology, the immoral views that atheists often hold and the low per capita giving of American atheists is not unpredictable.

A pie chart delineating the percentage of the irreligious in prison (shown in blue) in the United Kingdom; data courtesy of The National Archives (UK)

Irreligious prison population

See also: Irreligious prison population and Atheist Population

The irreligious prison population, according to government data of many sovereign states, as well as that of independent surveys, makes up a large percentage of the overall prisoner demographic. In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, according to the 2011 Census, the irreligious make up only "around a quarter of the population."[130] However, they are over-represented in the prison population, forming over 34% of all criminals.[131][132] These statistics confirm recent scientific research, which have concluded that "the more involved people are with religious life, the less likely they are to fall into criminal behavior."[133]

Atheism and immoral views

See: Atheism and morality and Atheism and bestiality and Atheism and homosexuality and Atheism and sadism and Atheism and rape and Atheism and slavery and Atheism and hell
The Barna Group found that atheists are more likely to view illegal drug use as being morally acceptable.[134]

The Barna Group found regarding atheism and morality that those who hold to the worldviews of atheism or agnosticism in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.[135] Given the many diseases associated with homosexuality, the biblical prohibition against homosexuality is quite arguably one of the many examples where the Bible exhibited knowledge that was ahead of its time. Although Western atheists generally subscribe to the evolutionary paradigm, there is a conflict between the evolutionary paradigm and Western atheists often having favorable views toward homosexuality. In 1993, Professor Miron Baron, M.D., the renowned medical researcher and Professor at Columbia University, wrote in BMJ (British Medical Journal) "...from an evolutionary perspective, genetically determined homosexuality would have become extinct long ago because of reduced reproduction."[136] For more information please see: Atheism and homosexuality

The perverse and cruel atheist Marquis de Sade in prison, 18th century line engraving.

The Journal of Medical Ethics declared concerning the atheist and sadist Marquis de Sade:

In 1795 the Marquis de Sade published his La Philosophic dans le boudoir, in which he proposed the use of induced abortion for social reasons and as a means of population control. It is from this time that medical and social acceptance of abortion can be dated, although previously the subject had not been discussed in public in modern times. It is suggested that it was largely due to de Sade's writing that induced abortion received the impetus which resulted in its subsequent spread in western society.[137]

Population control is based on pseudoscience and ill founded economic assumptions.[138] CBS News reported: "According to a mail-in survey of nearly 4,000 British doctors, those who were atheist or agnostic were almost twice as willing to take actions designed to hasten the end of life."[139]

In 2007 the Baptist Press reported:

...a pollster at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that adults who profess a belief in God are significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience, generosity and a concern for others are "very important." In fact, the poll found that on 11 of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value "very important."

The survey by sociologist and pollster Reginald Bibby examined the beliefs of 1,600 Canadians, 82 percent who said they believed in "God or a higher power" and 18 percent who said they did not.[140]

Dr. William Lane Craig states the following concerning the comments of debater Dr. Kai Nielson who advocates atheism:

He doesn’t really defend his point there, but he says, "I have a reason why we should be moral." He says, "It’s in our self-interest to be moral." I was really surprised to hear that coming from him. That sort of purely self-interested motivation for morality is, I think, fatal to the atheistic position because for someone who is sufficiently powerful not to be worried about what others do, self-interest can only lead to a sort of self-aggrandizing hedonism. It leads to the kind of life of a Marcos, a Papa Doc Duvalier, a Mbbutu, and so forth. Self-interest will never be able to justify an ethic of compassion. And so I think that was a fatal admission on Dr. Nielsen’s part for the atheistic worldview.[141]
An essay by the Christian apologist Dr. James Spiegel describes Bertrand Russell as a "misogynistic and a serial adulterer; a chronic seducer of women, especially very young women, even in his old age."[142]

Dr. Phil Fernandes states the following regarding atheism and moral relativism:

Nietzsche preached that a group of "supermen" must arise with the courage to create their own values through their "will to power." Nietzsche rejected the "soft" values of Christianity (brotherly love, turning the other cheek, charity, compassion, etc.); he felt they hindered man's creativity and potential....

Many other atheists agree with Nietzsche concerning moral relativism. British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) once wrote, "Outside human desires there is no moral standard." A. J. Ayer believed that moral commands did not result from any objective standard above man. Instead, Ayer stated that moral commands merely express one's subjective feelings. When one says that murder is wrong, one is merely saying that he or she feels that murder is wrong. Jean-Paul Sartre, a French existentialist, believed that there is no objective meaning to life. Therefore, according to Sartre, man must create his own values.

There are many different ways that moral relativists attempt to determine what action should be taken. Hedonism is probably the most extreme. It declares that whatever brings the most pleasure is right. In other words, if it feels good, do it. If this position is true, then there is no basis from which to judge the actions of Adolph Hitler as being evil.[143]

Evolutionist and weak atheist/agnostic Richard Dawkins stated in an interview: “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question."[144] The interviewer wrote, regarding the Hitler comment, "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."[145]

An essay by the Christian apologist Dr. James Spiegel examines the morality of some well known atheists. Dr. Speigel describes Bertrand Russell as a "misogynistic and a serial adulterer; a chronic seducer of women, especially very young women, even in his old age."[146] Spiegel refers to the atheist Karl Marx as a "fiercely anti-semitic; egocentric, slothful, and lecherous; exploitive of friends and unfaithful to his wife; sired an illegitimate son, whom he refused to acknowledge."[147] In addition, Spiegel refers to atheist Jean-Paul Sartre in the following manner: "in his old age Jean-Paul Sartre—notorious for his sexual escapades with female students, often procured by his colleague and lover Simone de Beauvoir."[148]

Many consider atheist Harry Hay to be the founder of the American homosexual movement.

Given that atheistic evolutionary thinking has engendered social darwinism and given that the proponents of atheism have no rational basis for morality in their ideology, the immoral views that atheists often hold and the low per capita giving of American atheists is not unpredictable.

Atheism, pederasty and NAMBLA

see also: Atheism, pederasty and NAMBLA and Teenage homosexuality and Homosexuality and pederasty

Some of the well known atheist advocates of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) are:

1. The atheist and homosexual David Thorstad was a founding member of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).[149]

2. Harry Hay (1912 - 2002) was an liberal advocate of statutory rape and the widely acknowledged founder and progenitor of the activist homosexual agenda in the United States. Hay joined the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) in 1934. [150] Harry Hay was an atheist.[151] He was a vociferous advocate of man/boy love. [152][153] In 1986, Hay marched in a gay parade wearing a shirt emblazoned with the words "NAMBLA walks with me."[154]

3. The writer Samuel R. Delaney is an atheist and a homosexual.[155][156] Delaney said he was a supporter of NAMBLA.[157]

See also: Richard Dawkins on child molestation and so called "gentle pedophiles" and John Maynard Keynes and pederasty

Atheism and bestiality

See also: Atheism and bestiality

Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia). Despite holding these views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University.[158][159]

The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia). Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University.[160] See: Atheism and bestiality

The Bible says that bestiality is a perversion and, under the Old Testament Jewish Law, punishable by death (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 18:23, Leviticus 20:15 and Deuteronomy 27:21). The atheistic worldview does not lend itself to the establishment of morality within society and individuals (see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and deception).

The Christian apologist and author Michael Caputo writes:

Although bestiality is not openly supported by well known Militant Atheist sites, support for it is inherent in their insistence that decisions of a sexual nature should be left up to the individual adults to determine. God disagrees.[161]

British atheist Christopher Hitchens on bestiality

See also: Atheism and bestiality and Bestiality and Britain and Christopher Hitchens on bestiality

At the end of the Christian apologist William Lane Craig vs. atheist Christopher Hitchens debate there was a audience question and answer period.VIDEO The first audience member to ask a question twice asked Christopher Hitchens to label bestiality as an immoral act, but he refused to do so.[162] Dr. Craig said the question posed to Hitchens was a good one and it helped illustrate that atheism cannot offer objective moral standards (see: Atheism and morality).[163]

Additional information on atheism and bestiality

For additional information please see:

Sweden is among the most atheistic countries in the world.[164] In recent years, bestiality has been on the rise in Sweden.[165][166]

Atheism and rape

See also: Atheism and rape and Atheism and women

Atheism offers no condemnation of rape and it provides no moral basis a society to attempt to prevent and deter rape. As noted earlier, Western atheists often assert there are no absolutes in morality and argue for moral relativism.

Commenting on Western atheism and rape, the Christian apologist Mariano Grinbank wrote:

When considering any and every atheist condemnation of any action whatsoever it is of primary importance to keep in mind that they are expressing personal opinions about the act(s) they are condemning. They are merely telling you their personal preferences in the form of morality borrowed from the Judeo-Christian worldview. They are piling unfounded assertion, upon unfounded assertion, upon unfounded assertion, and building a tel of arguments from outrage, arguments from personal incredulity, arguments for embarrassment, etc.[167]

Christian apologist Kyle Butt wrote: "In fact, in my debate with Dan Barker, Barker admitted that fact, and stated that under certain circumstances, rape would be a moral obligation (Butt and Barker, 2009)"[168] (see: Atheist Dan Barker Says Child Rape Could Be Moral).

TheAmazingAtheist is YouTube's most subscribed to YouTube channel produced by an atheist and as of August of 2012 it had over 300,000 subscribers. In 2012, he viciously told a rape victim "you deserved it" and told her that her rapist "deserved a medal". He also told her that she should try to relive the rape in her mind.[169]

Atheist Rebecca Watson and post Elevatorgate claim concerning harassment

See also: Atheism and rape and Elevatorgate and Atheism and women and New Atheism

Post Elevatorgate controversy, at an atheist convention, Rebecca Watson claimed:

Hundreds of atheists have informed me that either they wanted to rape me, someone should rape me so that I will loosen up or that no one would ever rape me because I am so ugly".[170]

In addition, Watson declared: "It get regular rape threats. I get regular rape and murder threats".[171]

See also:

Atheist leaders and immoral relationships

See also: Atheist leaders and immoral relationships and Internet atheism and polyamory

PZ Myers

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

On June 14, 2012, an article entitled Atheist leaders and immoral relationships published by an advocate of the Question evolution! campaign declared:

The website Submitted to a Candid World is written by an agnostic and the website was praised by the prominent atheist PZ Myers in the past.

On April 20, 2012 an article appeared in Submitted to a Candid World which declared:

'Several of my close friends — coincidentally, all extremely intelligent, math/science oriented, and leaders in the freethought/rationality/atheist communities — find themselves practicing and promoting an arrangement they term “polyamory.” Essentially, this describes a post-jealousy, highly rationalized state where participants date each other, and several others simultaneously...

In the ideal polyamorous relationship, one man is seriously “dating” several women, each of whom is in turn dating several men.'[172]

The article Atheist leaders and immoral relationships further declares:

Several leaders of the "freethought"/atheist community are practicing and promoting polyamory. This is not going to help the poor reputation that atheism already has among the public. The Mormons promoted bigamy for a while and later retracted their position due to the public outrage.

Of course, atheist leaders engaging in and promoting practices such as polyamory is one of the many reasons why atheism has such a bad reputation in the world.[173]

For more information please see: Atheist leaders and immoral relationships

Atheism and miracles

See main article: Atheism and Miracles

In relation to atheism and miracles, modern scholars are divided on the issue of whether or not David Hume was an atheist.[174] With that caveat in mind, Hume is well known for arguing that it is always more probable that the testimony of a miracle is false than that the miracle occurred.[175] Christian apologists William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler, C.S. Lewis, JP Holding, and others have shown the inadequacy and unreasonableness of Hume's position regarding miracles.[176]

Atheism and questions of origins

See main article: Atheism and Evolution

Creationist scientists state that the first law of thermodynamics and the second law of thermodynamics argue against an eternal universe or a universe created by natural processes and argue for a universe created by God.[177][178][179] A majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism since World War II have had the worldview of atheism.[180][181] Creation scientists assert that the theory of evolution is an inadequate explanation for the variety of life forms on earth.[182] In addition, the current naturalistic explanations for the origin of life are inadequate. The theory of evolution has had a number of negative social effects.

Atheism and mental and physical health

See also: Atheism and health and Atheism and obesity and Atheism and alcohol abuse

The is considerable amount of scientific evidence that suggest that theism is more conducive to mental and physical health than atheism and some of the more significant findings are given below [183] (For more information please see: Atheism and health).

Mayo Clinic, university studies, and other research

The prestigious Mayo Clinic found that that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life and other health outcomes.[184]

The prestigious Mayo Clinic reported the following on December 11, 2001:

In an article also published in this issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed published studies, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and subject reviews that examined the association between religious involvement and spirituality and physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life and other health outcomes.

The authors report a majority of the nearly 350 studies of physical health and 850 studies of mental health that have used religious and spiritual variables have found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes.[185]

The Iona Institute reported:

A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.*[186][187]

In December of 2003, the University of Warwick reported:

Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.[188]

Duke University has established the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health.[189] The Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health is based in the Center for Aging at Duke and gives opportunities for scholarly trans-disciplinary conversation and the development of collaborative research projects.[190] In respect to the atheism and mental and physical health, the center offers many studies which suggest that theism is more beneficial than atheism.[191]

File:Nietzsche.jpg
Currently, there is an ongoing debate on whether Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity was caused purely through disease or whether his atheistic/nihilistic philosophical outlook on life was the cause.

The Christian group Teen Challenge reported:

Teen Challenge claims of a 70% cure rate for the drug addicts graduating from their program attracted the attention of the U.S. Federal Government in 1973. Most secular drug rehabilitation programs only experienced a cure rate of 1-15% of their graduates. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, funded the first year of this study to evaluate the long term results of the Teen Challenge program.[192]

Teen Challenge has a number of studies that indicate the high effectiveness of their drug treatment program compared to other programs.[193] Studies indicate that consumers of secular counseling psychology programs show hardly any benefit at all for alcoholism (see also: Ineffectiveness of secular counseling psychology).[194][195] The Apostle Paul in a letter to the church of Corinth indicated that Christians were able to overcome being drunkards through the power of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 6:9-11). The website The Berean Call has a number of articles on various false claims and unbiblical notions that many practioners of counseling psychology promote.[196]

Currently, there is an ongoing debate on whether Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity was caused purely through disease or whether his atheistic/nihilistic philosophical outlook on life was the cause.[197] [198]

An article published on the Hong Kong Baptist University declares:

Trying to explain what caused his insanity can only be a matter of speculation. Some people believe it was the result of a physical illness. Others interpret his suffering as that of a true prophet, almost as if he were accepting the punishment on behalf of those who could not see mankind's tendency towards self-destruction so clearly. Still others regard his final fate as a natural outcome of his philosophical outlook.[198]

The Russian-born psychoanalyst and writer Lou Andreas-Salomé, who had a brief and tempestuous affair with Nietzsche, believed that Nietzsche's philosophy can be viewed as a reflection of his psychology and that his madness was the result of his philosophizing.[199] In addition, the French historian René Girard asserted that Nietzsche's philosophy led to his insanity.[200]

Atheism and suicide

See also: Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide and Atheism, gender and suicide and Atheism, marriage and suicide

Although there are recent studies relating to atheism being a causal factor for suicide for some individuals, an early proponent of atheism being a causal factor for suicide was the Reverend Dr. Robert Stuart MacArthur.[201][202][203] In 1894, the NY Times stated the following in relation to atheism and suicide:

Dr. Martin urged that a great cause of suicide was atheism. It was, he said, a remarkable fact that where atheism prevailed most, there suicides were most numerous. In Paris, a recent census showed one suicide to every 2,700 of the population. After the publication of Paine's "Age of Reason" suicides increased.[203]
Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman stated concerning suicide rates: "this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations."

The same NY Times article quotes the Reverend Dr. MacArthur describing suicide in the following manner:

It is mean and not manly; it is dastardly and not daring. A man who involves his innocent wife and children in financial disaster and disgrace and takes his life and leaves them to bear the burden he was unwilling to bear, is a coward.[203]

In 2004, the American Journal of Psychiatry reported the following:

Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder. No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found.[204]
The emblem of the World Health Organization.

The website Adherents.com reported the following in respect to atheism and suicide:

Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman compiled country-by-country survey, polling and census numbers relating to atheism, agnosticism, disbelief in God and people who state they are non-religious or have no religious preference. These data were published in the chapter titled "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns" in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005). In examining various indicators of societal health, Zuckerman concludes about suicide:

"Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization's report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism."[205]

Australian online opinion writer and lecturer in ethics and philosophy at several Melbourne theological colleges, Bill Muehlenberg, in his essay The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (In a World Without God) states the following:

Announcing, and believing, that God is dead has consequences. And it is we who suffer the most for it. We cannot bear the whole universe on our shoulders. We were not meant to. We must let God be God. Only then can men be men. Only then can we find the way forward to be possible, and the burdens not insurmountable.[206]

Atheism, uncharitableness and suicide

See also: Atheism and depression and Atheism, uncharitableness and depression and Atheism and suicide

A number of studies have confirmed that there is an inverse relationship to doing volunteer work and depression.[207] The atheist population has a higher suicide rate than the general population. (see: Atheism and suicide).

Ex-Christians, self-esteem and suicide

See also: Ex-Christians, self-esteem and suicide and Atheism and depression and Atheism and self-esteem and Richard Dawkins and Jesse Kilgore and Ex-atheists

There are preliminary studies indicating that individuals who reject Christianity in Western cultures have lower self-esteem than the Christian population.[208][209] There are studies indicating that lower self-esteem is associated with suicidality.[210][211]

Atheism, gender, marriage and suicide

See also: Atheism and depression

Please see: Atheism, gender and suicide and Atheism, marriage and suicide

Atheism and obesity

See also: Atheism and obesity and Atheism and health

According to the Gallup Organization, "Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious."[212] For more information please Atheism and obesity

Gallup declared concerning the study which measured the degree to which religiosity affects health practices: "Generalized linear model analysis was used to estimate marginal scores all five reported metrics after controlling for age (in years), gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education (number of years), log of income, and region of the country... Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-July 28, 2010, with a random sample of 554,066 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling."[213]

Please see:

Atheism and alcohol abuse

See also: Atheism and alcohol abuse

As noted above, the Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use and excessive drinking; [214]

Binge drinking and brain damage

A 2012 study suggests that a habit of binge drink risks serious brain damage including increasing memory loss later in adulthood.[215][216]

Atheism, binge drinking and suicide

Binge drinking is a potent risk factor for suicide.[217] As noted above, atheists have a higher suicide rate than the general population.

Soviet Union and alcoholism

Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[218] Between 1940 and 1980, the Soviet Union had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[219]

Sports performance: Religious faith vs. atheism

Numerous studies report that athletes to be more religious than non-athletes.[220]

See also: Sports performance: Religious faith vs. atheism

The Sports Journal is a monthly refereed journal published by the United States Sports Academy. A journal article appeared in the Sports Journal entitled Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions. The article was submitted by Nathan T. Bell, Scott R. Johnson, and Jeffrey C. Petersen from Ball State University.[221]

An excerpt from the abstract of the journal article Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions declares:

Numerous studies report athletes to be more religious than nonathletes (Fischer, 1997; Storch, Kolsky, Silvestri, & Storch, 2001; Storch et al., 2004). According to Storch, Kolsky, Silvestri, and Storch (2001), four reasons may explain why religion interacts with athletic performance. First, athletes may identify with religious beliefs for direction and humility. Second, athletes may turn to religion to gain a sense of optimism and security, benefiting from such beliefs following a disappointing athletic performance. Third, religion can be used for emotional and psychological support in stressful circumstances like the uncertainty of athletic competition, which can cause athletes an overwhelming amount of anxiety. Religious beliefs can offer the internal strength to persevere through the stress. Fourth, religion “provides a cognitive framework conducive to the relief of anxiety associated with competition” (Storch et al., 2001, p. 347). This framework allows relief from fear and anxiety on the basis of the athlete’s understanding (i.e., belief) that a supreme being is in complete control of the situation. For example, athletes may rely on religious faith to place a poor athletic performance in perspective...

Religion can be an important aspect in athletes’ lives and may serve a protective function against psychological distress and maladaptive behaviors such as substance use or aggression (Storch, Roberti, Bravata, & Storch, 2004). Viewers of sporting events can frequently observe athletes pointing to the sky, engaging in team prayer on the court or field, and glorifying God following athletic competitions.[222]

Atheism and sports performance

Besides lacking the aforementioned benefits that religion bestows on athletes, atheists have higher rates of depression and suicide than the religious (see: Atheism and health and Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide). This suggests that atheism is a detriment to sports performance.

Atheism and women

see also: Atheism and women and Atheism and rape and Elevatorgate and Prominent atheists whose wives believe in the existence of God

Studies and web traffic data appear to indicate that women in the Western World tend to be more religious than men.[223][224]

Recent studies

Surveys by country

In November of 2010, Discover Magazine published survey results published by the World Values Survey which showed significant differences between the percentage of men and women who are atheists for various countries.[225]

United States surveys

A 2009 article in LiveScience.com entitled Women More Religious Than Men reported: "A new analysis of survey data finds women pray more often then men, are more likely to believe in God, and are more religious than men in a variety of other ways...The latest findings, released Friday, are no surprise, only confirming what other studies have found for decades. [226] In 2007, the Pew Research Center found that American women were more religious than American men.[227]

Atheist PZ Myers commentary concerning atheist meetings

In June of 2010, the atheist PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[228]

Large atheist group survey and atheist meetings

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.[229]

2010 New York Times description of atheist meeting attendees

In 2010, an atheists' meeting was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older...". [230]

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

The website run by the organization American Atheist has significantly less women trafficking their website according to Alexa and Quantcast.[231][232] The Internet Infidels website has significantly less woman trafficking their website according to Alexa and Quantcast.[233][234] The British Website New Humanist Magazine receives significantly less traffic from women according to Alexa and Quantcast.[235][236] Atheist Ireland also has significantly less women trafficking their website according to Alexa (there is no web traffic data from Quantcast).[237]

New Atheism websites appear to receive significantly less traffic from women

The four most prominent writers of the New Atheist movement are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. Like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris has his own website. According to the website tracking firms Alexa and Quantcast women frequent the website of Samharris.org and richarddawkins.net significantly less than men.[238]

Atheist PZ Myers says atheists are largely a population of internet nerds and geeks

See also: Atheist nerds and Internet atheism and Atheism and marriage and Atheism and women

In 2013, the atheist PZ Myers declared:

If we're going to expand our base and we're going to draw in more people to recognize the virtues of living in a secular world, we need to appeal to more than just that geek and nerd subset of the population. We need to have a wider base. ...I seriously believe that we're on the cusp of a crisis. We're not there yet but it's looming in front of us. Will we adapt and thrive and change the world? Or will we remain an avocation for a prosperous and largely irrelevant subset of the population? Will we become something more than a scattered society of internet nerds? That's what we have to do.[239]

In response, Evolution News and Views wrote:

A crisis looms, in Myers's view, because he looks around himself and sees a not very promising basis for a mass movement. He's right. There is indeed a quality of geeky isolation from reality, common sense, and the fullness of life that I see as a motif in atheist and Darwin activism alike.[240]

Summary

The above data suggest that atheism in general and the New Atheism movement is significantly less appealing to women in the Western World.

Atheism and sexism

See also: Atheism and rape and Elevatorgate and Western atheism and race

Writing on the sexism within the atheist community, atheist Victoria Bekiempis wrote in a Guardian article entitled Why the New Atheism is a boys' club:

Annie Laurie Gaylor, who founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation with her mother, Anne Nicol Gaylor, in 1978, sums it up succinctly: “One word — sexism.” Gaylor’s husband, Dan Barker, who helms the organization along with her, is usually the one invited to speaking engagements, despite her longer tenure as the organization’s leader and her numerous books on atheism.[241]

For more information please see:

Atheism and marriageability

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

Studies indicate that atheists are a minority in the population. Studies also indicate that people tend to marry people with similar values or who resemble their parents or themselves.[242][243] In addition, the Bible teaches Christians not to marry a non-Christian (The Bible also teaches a believer to stay married to a non-believer if you are already married).[244] Also, interfaith marriages often have greater marital friction and interfaith marriages historically have had higher rates of divorce.[245] Therefore, it would not be surprising if atheist/theist marriages also have increased marital friction and higher rates of divorce since these two worldviews are so different.

Given that atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women, atheists are a minority in the population and that people tend to marry people with similar values or who resemble their parents or themselves; this would suggest that male atheists may find it more difficult to find prospective female partners for marriage. And of course, militant atheism might make matters even more difficult.

Atheism and rates of marriage in the United States

See also: Atheism and women

Christian apologist Michael Caputo wrote:

Recently the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published its mammoth study on Religion in America based on 35,000 interviews... According to the Pew Forum a whopping 37% of atheists never marry as opposed to 19% of the American population, 17% of Protestants and 17% of Catholics.[246]

Vox Day declared that according to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) "more than half of all atheists and agnostics don’t get married."[247]

Obese atheists and marriageability

See also: Atheism and obesity

As indicated earlier, atheists have significantly lower rates of marriage in the United States. According to the abstract for a paper presented at the 2004 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association: "Obese individuals have fewer dating opportunities, marry later and marry less desirable partners."[248] For more information please see: Atheism and obesity

Obese male atheists and marriageability

See also: Atheism and obesity

Given that atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women, obesity reduces one's marriageability, atheists are a minority in the population and that people tend to marry people with similar values or who resemble their parents or themselves as noted above; this would suggest that obese male atheists may find it more difficult to find prospective female partners for marriage. And of course, militant atheism might make matters even more difficult. For more information please see Atheism and obesity

New Atheism movement and contention between atheist men and women

See also: Abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins and Atheist factions

Within the militant New Atheism movement, there appears to be a significant amount of contention between men and women with complaints from women that there is a significant amount of misogny within the atheist community and its leadership is too heavily populated with men.[249][250] This may partly explain why Western atheism is less appealing to Western women (see: Atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women). In addition, the significant amount of contention between men and women may apply to Western atheism as a whole (see: Atheist factions).

Western atheism and race

See also: Western atheism and race

As note earlier, an atheists' meeting 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 organizations in the United States. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older..."[251] According to the Quantcast data, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to Richard Dawkins' and atheist Sam Harris' message.[252][253] These findings,combined with the aforementioned data indicating that atheism is significantly less appealing to women, suggests that atheist movement in the Western world and New Atheism movement are significantly more appealing to white males.

Atheism and evolutionary racism

An evolutionary racist put Ota Benga on display at the Bronx Zoo in the monkey house.[254]

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.[255] The errant and ill founded writings of atheist Charles Darwin (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) [256], 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.[257][258]

An example of evolutionary racism is when an evolutionary racist put Ota Benga on display at the Bronx Zoo in the monkey house.[259] In addition, evolutionary racism was directed at Michelle Obama.[260]

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).[261]

As noted earlier, 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."[262]

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."[262]

Evolutionary racism still exist today. For example, evolutionary racism was recently directed at Michelle Obama.[263] 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.[264][265][266][267]

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 hits 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.”[268]

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.

Creativity Movement

See also: Creativity Movement

The Creativity Movement, formerly known as the World Church Of The Creator, is an atheistic white supremacist organization.[269][270][271] The movement has denounced Christianity,[270] as it purports to promote love for all of mankind.[272] It denounces religion for bringing horror into the world by dividing the white race.[270]

Atheism and deception

For more information please see: Atheism and deception and Irreligion and superstition

As alluded to earlier, prior to Charles Darwin publishing his evolutionist work On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist.[273] Charles Darwin’s casual mentioning of a ‘creator’ in earlier editions of The Origin of Species appears to have been a merely a deceitful ploy to downplay the implications of his materialistic theory. [273]

German scientist Ernst Haeckel was a very influential proponent of the evolutionary position and Haeckel was an advocate of atheism.[274] Ernst Haeckel attempted to portray himself as an ethical proponent of atheism, however, history shows he was a deceitful individual.[275][274][276] [277][278] The March 9, 1907 edition of the NY Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the "celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism."[274]

Noted evolutionist Stephen Gould wrote the following regarding Ernst Haeckel's work in a March 2000 issue of Natural History:

"Haeckel’s forceful, eminently comprehensible, if not always accurate, books appeared in all major languages and surely exerted more influence than the works of any other scientist, including Darwin…in convincing people throughout the world about the validity of evolution... Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities [between embryos of different species] by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases — in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent — simply copied the same figure over and over again.…Haeckel’s drawings never fooled expert embryologists, who recognized his fudgings right from the start. Haeckel’s drawings, despite their noted inaccuracies, entered into the most impenetrable and permanent of all quasi-scientific literatures: standard student textbooks of biology... Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because…textbooks copy from previous texts.... [W]e do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!"[279]

Stephen Gould continues by quoting Michael Richardson of the St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, who stated: "I know of at least fifty recent biology texts which use the drawings uncritically".[279]

 Intelligent design
Intelligent design theorists contend that the core feature of life consists of information processing systems that cannot be fully explained as being the result of unintelligent causes alone.

Intelligent design theorist Michael Behe exposed the fraudulent nature of Haeckel's embryos in a NY Times article.[277] It appears as if Stephen Gould was irritated that the fraud was exposed in manner that publicly embarrassed the evolutionary community - namely though a high profile NY Times article.[277]

In addition, many of the ideas that Haeckel supported had a number of negative social effects.

Modern proponents of atheism and deception

As mentioned previously, a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism since World War II have had the worldview of atheism.[280][281] The continued use of deceitfulness has continued by modern evolutionists. In recent times, evolutionists have tried to convince the public of the supposed validity of the evolutionary position by frequently using the term "overwhelming evidence" or similar terms in relation to the alleged existence of evidence that supports their position.[282] For example, Richard Dawkins, a prominent advocate of atheism and the evolutionary position, claimed in an interview with journalist Bill Moyers that there is "massive evidence" for the theory of evolution.[283] However, the scientific literature certainly contains material which illustrates the deceitfulness of stating there is "overwhelming evidence" to support the evolutionary position which is a commonly cited aspect of Western world atheism. For example, in January 2000 scientist Simon Conway Morris declared:

When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: "It happened." Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight must seem rather odd. -(Simon Conway Morris, [palaeontologist, Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK], "Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold," Cell, Vol. 100, pp.1-11, January 7, 2000, p.11)[284]

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati states the following in relation to the diluted definition of the word "evolution":

...many evolutionary propagandists are guilty of the deceitful practice of equivocation, that is, switching the meaning of a single word (evolution) part way through an argument. A common tactic, ‘bait-and-switch,’ is simply to produce examples of change over time, call this ‘evolution,’ then imply that the GTE [General Theory of Evolution] is thereby proven or even essential, and creation disproved. The PBS Evolution series and the Scientific American article are full of examples of this fallacy.[285]

Evolutionary paradigm - degree of public support

In 2010, the Gallup organization reported that 40% of Americans believe in young earth creationism.[286] In January 2006, the BBC reported concerning Britain:

Just under half of Britons accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life, according to an opinion poll.

Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons.[287]

The Wall Street Journal reported: "A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows ...that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians."[288]

Irreligion and superstition

See also: Irreligion and superstition and Theory of Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism, and Irrationality and

In September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported:

The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.

"What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians....

This is not a new finding. In his 1983 book "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener," skeptic and science writer Martin Gardner cited the decline of traditional religious belief among the better educated as one of the causes for an increase in pseudoscience, cults and superstition. He referenced a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer that showed irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born-again Christian college students were the least likely.[289]

Evolution, irreligion, extraterrestial life, UFOlogy and other pseudoscience

For more information please see: Irreligion and superstition

The notions of extraterrestrial life and UFOlogy are fast growing pseudoscientific religions which are perpetuated and/or aided by the ideologies of evolutionists, atheists, liberals and other promoters of quackery.[290][291][292] However, the ideologies of extraterrestrial life, UFOlogy, exobiology, evolution and abiogenesis are anti-biblical ideas which are not supported by sound science.[293][294]

The liberal and agnostic Carl Sagan, an avid smoker of marijuana who claimed that marijuana gave him scientific insights, was a prominent peddler of extraterrestial life, evolution and other pseudoscientific nonsense. Sagan's agnosticism and avid marijuana smoking no doubt helped inspire Sagan's pseudoscientific fantasy that evolution was a "fact".[295][296]

No doubt pseudoscientific and superstitious thinking in many cases is partly due to a lack of self-discipline as rigorous scientific and logical thinking requires disciplined thought[297]

Irreligious/atheistic France and the Soviet Union and UFOlogy

See also: Irreligion and superstition and Christianity and UFOs

On January 4, 2003, it was reported in the newspaper the Toledo Blade concerning the irreligious countries of the former Soviet Union and France that "in countries with a high degree of occult activity such as Russia during the Soviet era, France, and certain parts of Brazil also had high percentages of UFO encounters. During Russia's Soviet period when every expression of religion except occult activity had been outlawed, he said, “Russians were seeing UFOs at five to eight times the rate Americans were."[298]

Christian apologists who reject naturalistic explanations of life such as the theory of evolution argue that difficult to explain UFOs are spiritual in nature and not amenable to naturalistic explanation.[299]

Library of Congress researcher's findings on UFOs

See also: Atheism and satanic deception

Gustave Doré's depiction of Satan from John Milton's Paradise Lost.

Lynn Cato, senior bibliographer for the library of Congress, created a 1600 entry on UFO bibliography for the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research. After a two year investigation, in which she reviewed thousands of documents, Catoe stated:

A large part of the available UFO literature...deals with subjects like mental telepathy, automatic writing and invisible entities...poltergeist manifestations and 'possession'....Many of the UFO reports now being published in the popular press recount alleged incidents that are strikingly similar to demonic possession and psychic phenomenon which have long been known to theologians and parapsychologists.[300][301]

Prominent UFO researcher John Keel concurred. After surveying the literature on demonology Keel declared:[301]

The manifestations and occurrences described in this imposing literature are similar if not entirely identical to the UFO phenomenon itself.

Intellectuals increasingly rejecting atheistic ideology

According to Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg "Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide."[302] Given that the evolutionary position is a often cited component of the ideology of atheism in the Western world, the gradual loss of public support of the evolutionary position is one of the many factors which are eroding the ideology of atheism. Oxford scholar Alister McGrath cites a number of additional factors in regards to the decline of atheism as an intellectual position.[303] [304]

Given the many factors which are eroding atheistic ideology McGrath states:

...Atheism is in trouble. Its future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its natural habitat.[305]

Christian websites with a large focus on the topic of atheism

See also: Atheism and the internet

Four of the more notable Christian apologetics which have a large focus on the topic of atheism are: True Free Thinker, the Creation Ministries International resources on atheism, the Fixed Point Foundation website, and Atheism Analyzed.

Liberal media - apostles of atheism

The Media Research Center released a study in 2008 reporting pro-atheism bias by major press outlets in the United States.[306] The study is not surprising given the liberal bias that commonly exists in the major media outlets.

Causes of atheism

See main article: Causes of atheism and Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

There are a number of reasonable explanations for atheism:

1. Moral depravity: The history of the atheist community and various studies regarding the atheist community point to moral depravity being a causal factor for atheism.[307] In addition, there is the historical matter of deceit being used in a major way to propagate atheism from the time of Charles Darwin onward. Francis Thompson wrote: "Maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman." (see also: Atheism and morality ). The Bible asserts that "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." (Psalms 14:1 (KJV)). The biblical fool is said to be lacking in sound judgment and the biblical fool is also associated with moral depravity. For example, the biblical book of Proverbs states: "A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated. The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge."(Proverbs 14:16-18 (NASB)). The book of Proverbs also has strong words regarding the depravity of biblical fools: "The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil." (Proverbs 13:9 (KJV)). Regarding the deceitfulness of fools Proverbs states: "The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit." (Proverbs 14:8 (KJV)). Noted Bible commentator and clergyman Matthew Henry wrote regarding atheism: "A man that is endued with the powers of reason, by which he is capable of knowing, serving, glorifying, and enjoying his Maker, and yet lives without God in the world, is certainly the most despicable and the most miserable animal under the sun."[308]

Noted ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz

2. Hatred towards God. Angry, bitter and juvenile attacks on Christianity and Christians are due to hatred towards Jesus Christ and the Bible.[309][310]

3. Atheistic upbringing. However, according to recent research by the Pew Forum Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in the United States, a majority of those surveyed who were raised in atheist or agnostic households, or where there was no specific religious attachment, later chose to join a religious faith.[311][312] In addition, as noted earlier, Christianity is experiencing rapid growth in atheistic communist China and has experienced rapid growth in former communist countries. [313][314][315]

4. Rebellion: Atheism stems from a deliberate choice to ignore the reality of God's existence[316] Dinesh D'Souza declared: "Look at Satan's reason for rebelling against God. It's not that he doesn't recognize that God is greater than he is. He does. It's just that he doesn't want to play by anybody else's rules. This idea that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven is Satan's motto, and it turns out that this is also the motto of contemporary atheists such as Christopher Hitchens." [317]

5. Hedonism.[318] The Apostle Paul wrote that in the end times, men would be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4). See: Atheism and hedonism

6. Naiveté/Gullibility: Many atheists have embraced a number of far fetched, unworkable, and errant notions and ideologies such as communism, abiogenesis, and evolution despite abundant evidence of their falsity.

A comprehensive study by Baylor University found that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.[319]

7. Irrational thinking: As noted earlier, a comprehensive study by Baylor University found that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.[320] Also, as noted above, a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer found irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born again Christian college students were found to be the least likely.[321]

8. Superficiality: Noted ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz has stated that he had superficial reasons for becoming an atheist such as the desire to be accepted by his Stanford University professors who were united in disbelief regarding God.[322]

9. Error: Some argue that atheism partly stems from a failure to fairly and judiciously consider the facts[323]

10. State churches: Rates of atheism are much higher in countries with a state sanctioned religion (such as many European countries), and lower in states without a sanctioned religion (such as the United States). Some argue this is because state churches become bloated, corrupt, and/or out of touch with the religious intuitions of the population, while churches independent of the state are leaner and more adaptable. It is important to distinguish "state-sanctioned churches," where participation is voluntary, from "state-mandated churches" (such as Saudi Arabia) with much lower atheism rates because publicly admitted atheism is punishable by death.[324]

11. Self-deception[325]

12. Satanic deception [326] (see also: Atheism and satanic deception )

13. Poor relationship with father: Some argue that a troubled/non-existent relationship with a father may influence one towards holding the position of atheism.[327] Dr. Paul Vitz wrote a book entitled Faith of the Fatherless in which he points out that after studying the lives of more than a dozen leading atheists he found that a large majority of them had a father who was present but weak, present but abusive, or absent.[322][328] Dr. Vitz also examined the lives of prominent theists who were contemporaneous to their atheist counterparts and from the same culture and in every instance these prominent theists had a good relationship with his father.[322] Dr. Vitz has also stated other common factors he observed in the leading atheists he profiled: they were all intelligent and arrogant.[322]

14. Division in religion: According to Sir Francis Bacon, atheism is caused by "divisions in religion, if they be many; for any one main division addeth zeal to both sides, but many divisions introduce atheism."[329]

15. Ignorance. Atheism is indirectly proportional to education; a scholarly study published in an academic journal titled the Review of Religious Research demonstrated that increased education is correlated with belief in God and that "education positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life."[330][331][332][333] Sir Francis Bacon wrote: "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." [334]

16. Indoctrination and ease of life: Francis Bacon argued that atheism was partly caused by:"Learned times, specially with peace and prosperity; for troubles and adversities do more bow men’s minds to religion."[329]

In addition, Jewish columnist Dennis Prager has stated that a causal factor of atheism is the "secular indoctrination of a generation."[335] Prager stated that "From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular – is presented. The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages." [336] In addition, in communist countries (such as the former Soviet Union) atheistic indoctrination occurred in the educational system through such venues as schools, atheist museums, and clubs (see also: Militant atheism).[337][338] Atheists and secularists rarely point out that universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, and many others were founded by Christians.[339][340]

See also: Does atheism thrive on economic prosperity and religion prosper when people are desperate and ignorant?

17. Negative experiences with theists

18. Scientism: Science has in many ways become a new god.[341][342][343]

Atheism and the existence of evil

See also: Atheism and the Problem of Evil and Theodicy and Atheism and satanic deception and Atheism and hell

Those who advocate atheism commonly state that the existence of evil is a problem for theism which holds to a good and powerful God.[344] Theodicy is the branch of study in theology and philosophy that defends the goodness of God despite the existence of evil.[345] In traditional Christianity and Judaism the book of Job is used to explain the existence of evil.[346] In recent times Christian apologists often cite Alvin Plantinga's free will defense when it comes to the subject of the existence of evil.[347][348] The work of St. Augustine is also cited in respect to theodicy.[349] Dr. Ron Rhodes of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministry states regarding this issue regarding the existence of evil in relation to atheism:

...it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle).

The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of "absolutely good." If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it.[350]

Atheism and the foundation of modern science

See also: Christianity and science

The birth of modern science occurred in Christianized Europe.[351] Sociologist Rodney Stark investigated the individuals who made the most significant scientific contributions between 1543 and 1680 A.D., the time of the Scientific Revolution. In Stark's list of 52 top scientific contributors,[352] only one (Edmund Halley) was a skeptic and another (Paracelsus) was a pantheist. The other 50 were Christians, 30 of whom could be characterized as being devout Christians.[352] Sir Francis Bacon, sometimes referred to as "the Father of Modern Science", wrote in his essay entitled Of Atheism the following: "I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind."[353]

Bertrand Russell and Christianity

The evidence points to Bertrand Russell being a "weak atheist" or an agnostic (Bertrand Russell wrote an essay entitled Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?).[354] In 1927, Bertrand Russell wrote an irrational essay entitled "Why I am not a Christian" which was based on a lecture Russell gave the same year.[355][356] Below are some works by Christian apologists which show the inconsistencies and logical fallacies of Bertrand Russell's essay:

It is also noteworthy that Russell was widely infamous for his immoral behavior and public promotion of promiscuity and sexual sin.

Atheism and debate

See also: Atheism debates and Atheism and cowardice and Atheist factions

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as the man atheists fear most due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate. See: Greg Bahnsen and debate

Historically speaking, atheism has fared very poorly in debates. In addition, due to prominent atheists dodging debates, the cowardice associated with atheism has become so obvious that it is making newspaper headlines (For more information please see: Atheism and cowardice).[357] [358] For example, as noted earlier, Richard Dawkins has established a reputation of avoiding his strongest debate opponents. On May 14, 2011, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published a news story entitled Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God.[359] In The Daily Telegraph article Dr. Daniel Came, a a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University was quoted as writing to fellow atheist Richard Dawkins concerning his refusal to debate Dr. William Lane Craig, "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[360] Also, atheists tend to dodge creation vs. evolution debates.

For more information see: Atheism debates and Atheism and cowardice

Creation vs. evolution debates

See also: Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates

The worldwide atheist community was challenged to a debate by Creation Ministries International as prominent atheists were speaking at a 2010 global atheist convention in Australia.[361] Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists refused to debate Creation Ministries International.[362] Generally speaking, creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates (see: Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates.

Doug Jesseph

In October of 1997, atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels, stated that he believed that in regards to atheism "the most impressive debater to date" was Douglas Jesseph.[363] Yet Douglas Jesseph claimed in a debate with William Lane Craig in 1996 that the origin of life had a detailed atheistic explanation(s).[364] In 1996, John Horgan wrote the following regarding what the highly respected origin of life researcher Stanley Miller believed to the case regarding naturalistic explanations of the origin of life: "Miller seemed unimpressed with any of the current proposals on the origin of life, referring to them as “nonsense” or “paper chemistry.”"[365] In addition, in 1996, John Horgan wrote the following in Scientific American: "The origin of life is a science writer's dream. It abounds with exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion."[366]

Additional information on atheism and debate

See:

Notable atheists who became ex-atheists

See: Ex-atheists

Views on atheists

Concerning various views on atheists, research in the American Sociological Review finds that among several groups listed, those who hold the position of atheism are the group that Americans relate least to in terms of their vision of American society and are the group most likely to be mentioned as one that Americans would not want to have marry into their family.[367] Dr. Sam Harris, a founder of the New Atheism movement, is well aware of the stigma surrounding atheism and has advocated that atheists no longer call themselves atheists.[368] In fact, Dr. Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[369]

Position: This group does not at all agree with
my vision of American society:
I would disapprove if my child wanted
to marry a member of this group:
Atheist 39.6% 47.6%
Muslim 26.3% 33.5%
Homosexual 22.6% NA
Conservative Christian 13.5% 6.9%
Recent Immigrant 12.5% Not Asked
Hispanic 7.6% 18.5%
Jew 7.4% 11.8%
Asian American 7.0% 18.5%
African American 4.6% 27.2%
White American 2.2% 2.3%

New Atheism

See also: New Atheism and Atheist factions and Brights Movement and Militant atheism

Dissent Magazine stated the following about the "New Atheism":

A number of prominent authors and scientists have published books in the past year that advocate a "New Atheism." The books, which include Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell, Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great, have sparked considerable public controversy across the political spectrum.[370]

Dr. Albert Mohler Jr. describes some of the key attributes of the "New Atheism":

Now, WIRED magazine comes out with a cover story on atheism for its November 2006 issue. In "The New Atheism," WIRED contributing editor Gary Wolf explains that this newly assertive form of atheism declares a very simple message: "No heaven. No hell. Just science."...

Wolf accomplishes a great deal in his article, thoughtfully introducing the work of militant atheists such as Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. At the same time, he probes more deeply into the actual meaning of the New Atheism as a movement and a message.

At the beginning of his article, he gets right to the point: "The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking."[371]

Impact of the New Atheism

See also: Impact of the New Atheism

The New Atheism has not had much of an impact in terms of gaining new adherents to atheism. In a March 10, 2008 USA Today article Stephen Prothero indicated that the New Atheism movement was not effective in adding new adherents to atheism and he cited statistics from a large Pew Research Center study which indicated that the number of atheists in the United States was merely 1.6% of respondents.[372]

Atheism and the Bible

See also: Atheism and the Bible and Atheism and hell
The Holy Bible, opened to the Book of Isaiah.

Biblical skeptics have been disputing the reliability of the Bible for centuries. Christian apologist JP Holding rightly states that Bible exegesis and Bible exposition is a multi-disciplinary pursuit, and often critics of the Bible have not done a fraction of the due diligence required to make an allegation regarding the Bible.[373]

Christian theologian and apologist Bernard Ramm wrote the following regarding Biblical skeptics, in his often cited work Protestant Christian Evidences:

A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.

No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or religion or psychology or belles lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism? With such thoroughness and erudition? Upon every chapter, line and tenet?

The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions.[374]

Christian apologists have responded to the various biblical errancy and claims of contradictions by atheists with an array of well known websites. Some popular ones include: Tektonics.org, A Christian Think Tank, Apologetics Press - Alleged Discrepancies, Inerrancy.org, and many more.

In addition, many Christian scientists and apologists such as the Christian scientists and apologists at Creation Ministries International and CreationWiki assert that the Bible, although not written as a science text book, shows an understanding of science beyond what was believed to exist during the time the various Bible books were composed.[375][376]

Atheism in academia

In 2001 atheist and philosopher Quentin Smith stated the following in respect to atheism:

Naturalists [atheists] passively watched as realist versions of theism … began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians…. God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the 1960's and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."[377]

In 2004, Professor Alister McGrath, professor of historical theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University declared, "The golden age of atheism is over."[378]

American Atheists

See also: American atheism

American Atheists is an American atheists group founded by Madalyn Murray O'Hair that has a history of intellectual incompetence. Below are some noteworthy examples.

For more information please see:

French Revolution and atheism

On July 14, 1789, the Bastille was stormed by a mob and its prisoners freed, which is regarded as the start of the French Revolution.

For a related article please see: History of Atheism

The University of Cambridge reports the following historical relationship between atheism and the French Revolution:

Between 1700 and 1750 thousands of atheistic clandestine manuscripts circulated across Europe (although still only read by a very small minority)...

The French Revolution (1789-94) would dramatically transform the power relationship between belief and unbelief in Europe: whereas before atheism had been 'high brow', discussed in the cafes and salons of Paris, henceforth it would set itself down among the people. A strident unbelief became a real political factor in public life, as the anticlerical 'dechristianisation' period following the revolution would demonstrate. The impact of the French Revolution in inspiring people to put the irreligious ideas of the Enlightenment into practice would extend beyond France to other European countries, and to the American colonies (although in the latter it would take a deistic rather than atheistic form).[379]

Atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations

See main article: Atheist Population

Specific research on the worldwide atheist population conducted in 2006 suggests that the true proportion of atheists is 4% in the United States, 17% in Great Britain and 32% in France. A survey published in the 2005 Encyclopedia Britannica dcclared that 2.3% of the world's population consists of individuals who profess "atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion, including the militantly antireligious." Concerning the 2.3% figure just mentioned, the 2005 survey cited by Encyclopedia Britannica survey did not include Buddhist in regards to the 2.3% figure and Buddhism can be theistic or atheistic.[380]

Ipsos, a major global market research company, published a report on report on religious belief/skepticism from a worlwide perspective and the report provides various statistics gained from survey results.

Other well known proponents of atheism

Prominent holders of the position of atheism and atheist schools of thought have been or include:

Atheism and intelligence

See: Atheism and intelligence

Atheism quotes

See articles: Atheism Quotes and Humorous quotes about atheism and evolution

Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

see also: Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

Below are some resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian:

Watch an online Christian church service

Tips on choosing a Christian church

Spiritual growth

See also

Online videos concerning atheism and related topics

External links

see also: Atheism website resources

General articles on atheism:

Documentary on atheism:

Decline of global atheism:

Christendom prevailing against atheism:

Atheism and despair:

Christian outreach to atheists on YouTube:

Unreasonableness of atheism:

Atheism and uncharitableness:

Atheism is a religion:

Comedy/satire concerning atheism

Atheism and intelligence:

Atheism and cowardice:

Atheism and science:

Decline of atheism:

Various issues concerning atheism:

Atheism and history

Atheism and some recent events

Sermons

Miscellaneous

Recommended reading

General Works On Atheism:


Book on the New Atheism:

  • R. Albert Mohler Jr., (2008), Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists, Crossway, ISBN 9781433504976

Atheism and history:

  • Dimitry Pospielovsky, (December, 1987), A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Antireligious Policies, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312381328
  • Dimitry Pospielovsky, (November, 1987), Soviet Antireligious Campaigns and Persecutions (History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 2), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312009054
  • Dimitry Pospielovsky, (August, 1988), Soviet Studies on the Church and the Believer's Response to Atheism: A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 3, Palgrave Macmillan, hardcover: ISBN 0312012918, paperback edition: ISBN 0312012926


Notes

  1. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philisophy - Atheism and Agnosticism
  2. 2.0 2.1 Is Atheism More Rational? by Creation Ministries International
  3. Atheism - Etymology
  4. Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “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.”
  5. Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg (2009). On Superconductivity and Superfluidity: A Scientific Autobiography. Springer Science+Business Media. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “The Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists.”
  6. James Adair (2007). Christianity. JBE Online Books. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes toAlthough the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes to the calendar eliminated references to Christian holidays, and even the ancient seven-day week, and a ist of officially recognized saints included such famous thinkers such as Socrates, Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rosseau. A period of political persecution, often with religious overtones, broke out, known as the Reign of Teror. Thousands of people were executed by the guillotine, including many of the original leaders of the French Revolution.”
  7. William Belsham (1801). Memoirs of the reign of George III. to the session of parliament ending A.D. 1793, Volume 5. G.G. & J. Robinson. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Reign of this portentous period, it has been eloquently tenor, and energetically observed, " that the reign of atheism in France was avowed the reign of terror. In the full madness of their career, in the highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the temples of God, abolished His worship, and proclaimed death to be an eternal sleep:-in the very centre of Christendom, Revelation underwent a total eclipse, while atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fearful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended every age, rank, and sex ,indiscriminate proscription and massacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre, that the imperishable memorial of these events might teach the last generations of mankind to consider religion as the pillar of society, the parent of social order, and the safe-guard of nations." It is wonderful that, amid the horrors of this dismal period, while "the death dance of democratic revolution" was still in rapid movement, among the tears of affliction, and the cries of despair, "the masque, the song, the theatric scene, the buffoon laughter, went on as regularly as in the gay hour of festive peace."”
  8. William Kilpatrick (2012). Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Ignatius Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Actually, it's helpful to think in terms of two Enlightenments: the Enlightenment that cut itself off from God. The former led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement. The latter led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the suppression of church by state, and the godless philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche and their offspring-National Socialism and communism. More recently the abandonment of God has led to the regime of cultural relativism that regards rights as arbitrary constructions. It's this second Enlightenment tradition that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to when he wrote, "The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots ultimately leads it to dispense with man." Actually this transition happened no "ultimately" but almost immediately. The first instance occurred when Enlightenment worship of abstract "reason" and "liberty" degenearated quickly into the mass murders committed during the antireligious Reign of Terror in France. "Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name", said Madam Rolande as she faced the statue of Liberty in the Place de la Revolution movements before her death at the guillotine. She was one of the early victims of a succession of secular systems based on rootless notions of "liberty", "equality", and "reason". As many historians have pointed out, the atheist regimes of modern times are guilty of far more crimes than any committed in the name of religion. Communist governments alone were guilty of more than one hundred million murders, most of them committed against their own people.”
  9. Schwadel, Philip (2011). The Effects of Education on Americans’ Religious Practices, Beliefs, and Affiliations. DOI:10.1007/s13644-011-0007-4. “education positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life; (3) education positively affects switching religious affiliations, particularly to a mainline Protestant denomination, but not disaffiliation; (4) education is positively associated with questioning the role of religion in secular society but not with support for curbing the public opinions of religious leaders; and (5) the effects of education on religious beliefs and participation vary across religious traditions. Education does influence Americans’ religious beliefs and activities, but the effects of education on religion are complex.” 
  10. Jim Kavanagh (11 August 2011). Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures. CNN. ““With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, ‘I don’t believe in God,’” he said. “But you are relatively more likely to say, ‘I believe in a higher power.’””
  11. The more education people receive, the more religious they become?. Daily Mail (12 August 2011). “By analyzing data from a large national survey, sociologist Philip Schwadel of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that people tend to become more religious - by certain definitions - as they further their education. The survey also qualified what concept of God or a 'higher power' individuals held, as well as whether they had any doubts. Mr Schwadel said that: 'With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, "I don’t believe in God," but you are relatively more likely to say, "I believe in a higher power."'”
  12. More is More When it Comes to Education and Religion, Study Says. Christian Post (13 August 2011). “Sociologist Philip Schwadel from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) studied this phenomenon. He discovered that people today tend to become more religious as they further their education.”
  13. Athenagoras, A Plea for the Christians, 2d century A.D.[1]
  14. Plato, Apol., 26,c.
  15. Dr. Martin Luther King in his sermon Rediscovering Lost Values spoke of "practical atheism".[2]
  16. Atheism - Etymology
  17. Positive Atheism's Big List of Charles Bradlaugh Quotations
  18. Atheism - Etymology
  19. Atheism - Etymology
  20. Atheism - Etymology
  21. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philisophy - Atheism and Agnosticism
  22. Atheism - Etymology
  23. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth11.html
  24. Dimensions of the Sacred, page 2
  25. "Atheism vs Religion", Daniel Smartt
  26. Atheism: A religion
  27. Atheism
  28. http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion
  29. http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/Kitzmiller%27s_error_summary.pdf
  30. http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/Kitzmiller%27s_Error.pdf
  31. The effects of the Question Evolution! Campaign will be devastating to evolutionary belief and atheism
  32. Ruse, M., How evolution became a religion: creationists correct? National Post, pp. B1,B3,B7 May 13, 2000.
  33. 15 questions for evolutionists
  34. Cutting off the air supply of atheism
  35. Cutting off the air supply of atheism
  36. http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/AnswersBook/existence1.asp
  37. Is Christianity Alone Fully True and is Jesus Christ Really the Only Way To God? -- Part 4
  38. Darwin’s real message: have you missed it?
  39. American Scientist May 1977:323
  40. Notes to Teleological Arguments for God's Existence
  41. http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-atheists-have-lowest-retention-rate-compared-to-religious-groups-78029/ Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups
  42. http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-atheists-have-lowest-retention-rate-compared-to-religious-groups-78029/ Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups
  43. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/defectors-to-faith-mark-a-growing-trend/story-e6frg7ko-1225710667095
  44. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1204/religion-changes-affiliations-survey
  45. Georgetown University study provides two clues to shrinking atheism faster
  46. http://www.millennialstar.org/christianity-exploding-in-china/
  47. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/shows/cwn/2008/August/Christianity-Growing-in-China-/
  48. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/03/international/europe/03romania.html
  49. The 2004 to 2007 publicity campaign for atheism was not sustainable. Level of public interest is not coming back
  50. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  51. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Status of Global Missions
  52. http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity
  53. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  54. http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity
  55. A sceptics guide to atheism, page 4
  56. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  57. 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
  58. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  59. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  60. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  61. 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
  62. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  63. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  64. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  65. [http://www.sneps.net/RD/uploads/1-Shall%20the%20Religious%20Inherit%20the%20Earth.pdf 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]
  66. Shall the religious inherit the earth by David Kaufmann
  67. [http://www.sneps.net/RD/uploads/1-Shall%20the%20Religious%20Inherit%20the%20Earth.pdf Early paper - 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]
  68. Early paper - 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
  69. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  70. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  71. Belief in God grows as mortality nears, survey says
  72. [http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2008/03/the-demographic-winter-and-the The Demographic Winter and the Barren Left
  73. Internet atheism: The thrill is gone!
  74. Question evolution! campaign by Creation Ministries International
  75. Question evolution! campaign
  76. http://creation.com/question-evolution
  77. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can rip my soul
  78. Atheism Analyzed
  79. Hannah More quotes
  80. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,792459,00.html
  81. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9905EFD91239E13ABC4D51DFB7678383609EDE
  82. Army group 'coming out of the atheist closet'
  83. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm
  84. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
  85. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,150718,00.html
  86. In Memory Of The 50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox Christian Holocaust by Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
  87. http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2008/12/merry-anti-christmas.html
  88. http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2008/12/merry-anti-christmas.html
  89. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/jssr/2004/00000043/00000001/art00003?crawler=true
  90. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35818
  91. http://theworldnow.wordpress.com/tag/around-the-world/asia/china/
  92. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WDP/is_/ai_n7582025
  93. http://www.millennialstar.org/christianity-exploding-in-china/
  94. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/shows/cwn/2008/August/Christianity-Growing-in-China-/
  95. http://life.nationalpost.com/2011/01/23/huffington-post-chinas-state-sponsored-atheism-a-failure/
  96. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/IE12Dg01.html
  97. http://www.nysun.com/article/23082?page_no=1
  98. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/5/7/120250.shtml
  99. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM
  100. http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3054/
  101. http://creation.com/the-darwinian-foundation-of-communism
  102. 108.0 108.1 http://www.bookrags.com/research/lysenkoism-wog/
  103. 109.0 109.1 http://www.bartelby.com/65/ly/Lysenko.html
  104. The blood-stained ‘century of evolution’
  105. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/
  106. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth01.html
  107. Aesthetic Arguments for the Existence of God
  108. Shockofgod calls into Atheist Radio show
  109. Shockofgod calls into Atheist radio show - Part 2
  110. The question that is causing atheists to abandon atheism
  111. 117.0 117.1 117.2 Koukl, Gregory, The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?, 1994
  112. http://www.icr.org/article/stalins-brutal-faith/
  113. http://creation.com/atheism
  114. Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians The Barna Update, 2007.
  115. Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians The Barna Update, 2007.
  116. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  117. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  118. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  119. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  120. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  121. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  122. Brooks, Arthur C., faith and charitable giving Policy Review, Oct-Dec 2003, p.2.
  123. Stossel, John and Kendall, Kristina Who Gives and Who Doesn't? ABC News, November 28, 2006
  124. Religion in England and Wales 2011: Part of 2011 Census, Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales Release. Office for National Statistics (UK) (December 11, 2012). Retrieved on May 14, 2013. “Meanwhile the proportion of the population who reported they have no religion has now reached a quarter of the population.”
  125. Religion in Prisons 1999 and 2000. The National Archives (UK). Retrieved on May 14, 2013. “Prisoners with No religion formed 34% of all untried prisoners and 31% of all convicted prisoners in September 2000.”
  126. Prison Population Statistics. House of Commons Library (UK). Retrieved on May 14, 2013. “30% were recorded as having no religion.”
  127. Dreher, Rod (June 29, 2011). Is God an Effective Crime Fighter?. Templeton Report. Retrieved on May 14, 2013. “Research indicates that the more involved people are with religious life, the less likely they are to fall into criminal behavior.”
  128. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/58-practical-outcomes-replace-biblical-principles-as-the-moral-standard
  129. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/58-practical-outcomes-replace-biblical-principles-as-the-moral-standard
  130. BMJ. 1993 August 7; 307(6900): 337–338.
  131. http://jme.bmj.com/content/6/1/7.abstract
  132. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/11/pz_myers_on_abortion040971.html
  133. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20014770-10391704.html
  134. http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=26675
  135. http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-nielsen5.html
  136. http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:the-causes-of-atheism&catid=96:bonus-content&Itemid=80
  137. http://instituteofbiblicaldefense.com/1997/05/refuting-moral-relativism/
  138. http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the-world/richard-dawkins-the-atheist-evangelist
  139. http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the-world/richard-dawkins-the-atheist-evangelist
  140. http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:the-causes-of-atheism&catid=96:bonus-content&Itemid=80
  141. http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:the-causes-of-atheism&catid=96:bonus-content&Itemid=80
  142. http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:the-causes-of-atheism&catid=96:bonus-content&Itemid=80
  143. http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/100822
  144. The Boston Phoenix, The real Harry Hay, Michael Bronski, October 31 - November 7, 2002.
  145. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2010/ss_politics0010_01_07.asp
  146. The American Spectator Special Report, When Nancy Met Harry, Jeffrey Lord, 10/5/2006.
  147. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2010/ss_politics0010_01_07.asp
  148. http://www.mega.nu/ampp/baldwin_pedophilia_homosexuality.pdf
  149. Samuel R. Delaney, About writing: seven essays, four letters, and five interviews, page 36
  150. http://www.enotes.com/contemporary-literary-criticism/delany-samuel-r
  151. Delany, Samuel R.; Freedman, Carl (2009). Conversations with Samuel R. Delany. Univ. Press of Mississippi, page 143
  152. The Basis of a Christian Worldview
  153. CMI answers philosophy/religion professor on biblical exegesis and the problem of evil
  154. Michael Caputo's Militant Atheism Exposed website, THE BIBLE AND BESTIALITY
  155. Christopher Hitchens vs William Lane Craig - Does God Exist Debate
  156. Christopher Hitchens vs William Lane Craig - Does God Exist Debate
  157. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  158. Bestiality on the Rise in Sexually Libertine Sweden
  159. Swedes have more and more animal sex
  160. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/atheism-bible-rape-evilbiblecom-and-dan-barker-part-1-6
  161. http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2333
  162. Atheist victimizes rape victim
  163. PZ Myers and the Art of Shameless Dishonesty
  164. FreeThoughtBlogs and PZ Myers
  165. Atheist leaders and immoral relationships
  166. Atheist leaders and immoral relationships
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  316. Jim Kavanagh (11 August 2011). Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures. CNN. ““With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, ‘I don’t believe in God,’” he said. “But you are relatively more likely to say, ‘I believe in a higher power.’””
  317. The more education people receive, the more religious they become?. Daily Mail (12 August 2011). “By analyzing data from a large national survey, sociologist Philip Schwadel of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that people tend to become more religious - by certain definitions - as they further their education. The survey also qualified what concept of God or a 'higher power' individuals held, as well as whether they had any doubts. Mr Schwadel said that: 'With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, "I don’t believe in God," but you are relatively more likely to say, "I believe in a higher power."'”
  318. More is More When it Comes to Education and Religion, Study Says. Christian Post (13 August 2011). “Sociologist Philip Schwadel from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) studied this phenomenon. He discovered that people today tend to become more religious as they further their education.”
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