Atheist factions

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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."[1] 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."[2] Prior to the Elevatorgate incident, Wired magazine made the observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men (see also: Atheism and women).[3]

One of the reasons for the disharmony within the atheist community is the inability of most atheists to keep together for a uniform belief. While there are differences within other religions, such as Christianity, other religions' adherents all share a common belief. In the case of Christianity, some of the basic beliefs Christians share is the deity of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the trinity. However, atheists are unable to even create a coherent definition of their beliefs [4].

Infighting within the Secular Humanism faction of atheism

Paul Kurtz is an atheist philosopher who formerly taught at the State University of NY at Buffalo. Dr. Paul Kurtz founded the modern secular humanism movement which is a form of philosophical skepticism. In addition, he also founded the organization the Center for Inquiry which focuses on promoting secular humanism. In 2009, Dr. Kurtz experienced the humiliation of being stripped of his leadership position at the Center for Inquiry.[5]

Currently, there is an ideological struggle within the secular humanism faction of atheism concerning how militant the movement should be which primarily arose post New Atheism movement which is a more militant form of atheism. (see also: Militant atheism. Paul Kurtz is against the secular humanism movement becoming more militant but some newer followers of secular humanism disagree with Kurtz.[5]

Kurtz's ouster from the Center of Inquiry leadership position

On October 10, 2010, a contentious exchange between members of the Secular Humanism faction of atheism founded by Paul Kurtz and the atheist Ron Lindsay was caught on tape.Video - Part oneVideo - Part 2 During the exchange Ron Lindsay said that infighting has been occurring within the Secular Humanism faction of atheism for years.[6] A Paul Kurtz supporter said that Kurtz was censored by Ron Lindsay and his supporters and Kurtz was driven out of the organization that he founded (Center for Inquiry).[7] Lindsay claimed, however, that Kurtz voluntarily resigned from the organization he founded and Kurtz was never censored. Furthermore, Lindsay said that Kurtz's idea of a "planetary federation" was impractical. [8] Kurtz countered that he was never allowed to publish why he resigned from the organization and that he was censored by the organization that he founded.[9]

Dr. Kurtz described the events surrounding the loss of his leadership position as a "shattering blow".[5]

Thunderf00t and Greg Laden's removal from freethoughtblogs.com

The atheist Thunderf00t is the most popular evolutionist at YouTube.

On July 1, 2012, atheist Ed Brayton wrote about Thunderf00t's banning from Freethoughtblogs:

As many of you are no doubt aware, there’s been a lot of strife in this community lately. Some of it has been in public, some of it was in private and some of it may well go from being private to public as a result of all of this. So let me give you the news and clear the air:

We are parting company with two of our bloggers: Thunderf00t and Greg Laden. We wish them both the best but, unfortunately, their behavior towards other members of the community has made it impossible to keep them as part of our network. This is not a matter of a disagreement or difference of opinion, but of behavior that we cannot condone or support.

None of this is a reflection on the worth of the many contributions that both of these people have made to the atheist cause. I hope and am confident that they will both continue to offer a lot of good things to this community.[10]

The matter which appeared to spark the contention was how to properly deal with the significant amount of misogny within the atheist community (see: Atheism and women and Atheism and rape and Elevatorgate and Women's views of Richard Dawkins and Atheist leaders and immoral relationships).[11][12][13][14]

Vox Day wrote that Thunderf00t's removal from Freethoughtblogs exemplified PZ Myers's unwillingness to intellectually engage his opponents and his lack of integrity.[15]

Matt Dillahunty on the events surrounding Thunderf00t's removal from FreeThoughtblogs

According to the atheist Matt Dillahunty Thunderf00t acted dishonestly and inappropriately subsequent to his removal from Freethoughtblogs and he had "gone off the deep end".[16]

Rebecca Watson response to Thunderf00t and his fans

See also: Rebecca Watson and Thunderf00t factions of atheism

On July 1, 2012 Rebecca Watson wrote post Elevatorgate controversy:

Skepchick has been exposed for what it is: a totalitarian Nazi clique who created an anti-harassment policy specifically so that men could harass women in bars and Muslim could force us to wear burqas. I know it’s true because noted atheist intellectuals Paula Kirby and Thunderf00t said so!

I debated whether or not to write about this because the recent insults about Skepchick have been so self-evidently ignorant and wrong that I felt it would look like we were picking on tiny, angry babies. And no one likes to see that. I’m relenting only because the sheer amount and absurdity of the insults have reached a level that cannot be ignored, like a large mob of angry babies brandishing pacifiers and blankies as weapons.[17]

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:

Decline of atheism and the explosive growth of global Christianity

Hong Kong Christians at Gateway Camp. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[18] See: Global Christianity

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

See also: Decline of atheism and Global Christianity and Atheist population

In 2011, the American Spectator declared concerning research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research:

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."[19]

In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) 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.[20][21]

In 2011, the American Spectator declared concerning research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research:

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."[22]

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."[23]

See also


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Rise of global Christianity:


Internet evangelism:

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