Atheist activist

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The atheist activist Greta Christina told the journalist Chris Mooney: "there isn't one emotion" that affects atheists "but anger is one of the emotions that many of us have ...[it] drives others to participate in the movement".[1] See also: Atheism and anger

According to the atheist activist Greta Christina, the first goal of an atheist activist is “to see atheists be fully accepted into society, and to have our atheism recognized as legitimate.”[2] The second is the demise of religion.[3] See also: Evangelical atheism

Most atheists are apathetic about their atheism (see: Atheism and apathy).

At the 2018 American Atheists National Convention, the ex-president of the American Atheists organization David Silverman declared:

It is a hard time to be an atheist activist. This has affected us. And it has affected our community... has really affected us. We are suffering a level of defeatism that I have never seen before...

We feel the loss. And we feel like we have lost. We feel like we lost the election... We see this cascade of attack coming down at us over and over from all different directions and we feel like it's over. I have heard so many times it makes me sick. It makes me sad. It feels like we lost.

The apathy that follows. It doesn't matter. We can't win anyways. It's useless to fight. This apathy is infecting us. It's hurting us.

And people are reacting to each other now. And so that is causing a division. Lots and lots of division in our movement. Hard, bad division... And that has resulted in a splintering and factioning of the movement that I have never seen before and none of us have.

In other words, we're in a bad situation and it's getting worse.[4]

In the United States, from 2006 to 2016, Americans sharpened their negative views towards atheists (see: Views on atheists).[5]

In June 2016, American Interest reported concerning American atheism:

First of all, religious belief is still very powerful and widespread, and there is nothing inevitable about its decline. In fact, the proportion of people who say they believe in God actually ticked modestly upward, from 86 percent to 89 percent, since Gallup last asked the question in 2014.[6]

Historically, atheists have had an unrealistic view concerning the endurance of religion (see: Atheists and the endurance of religion).

In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[7]

Pew Research Center declared: "There is a long history of people predicting the demise of religion, but religion has proven more resilient than many people anticipated."[8]

Dr. Rodney Stark, an agnostic, wrote in his book The Triumph of Faith:

Secularists have been predicting the imminent demise of religion for centuries. They have always been wrong—and their claims today are no different. It is their unshakable faith in secularization that may be the most "irrational" of all beliefs.(p. 212).[9]

The 21st century (and the foreseeable future) is expected to be a century of desecularization. Global atheism is shrinking in global market share and perhaps in terms of its number of adherents as well (see: Global atheism statistics). In addition, in a great many areas of the developed world, the rate of secularization is now zero (see: Western World areas with stagnant secularization rates).

Atheist movement

See also: Atheist movement and Atheist factions

The atheist PZ Myers declared on September 27, 2014, "I will make a prediction, right here and now.... The number of people identifying as atheists will stagnate or even shrink..."[10] See: Desecularization and Decline of global atheism

Division is widespread within the atheist movement and numerous atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead" or that it is dying (see: Decline of the atheist movement)[11] See also: Atheist factions

In 2019, a writer at Freethought Blogs wrote: "Last month I looked at some postmortems of the atheist movement...".[12]

Atheist organizations have experienced large drops in donations to their organizations (see: Atheist organizations and fundraising).

Before the atheist movement died/declined, various atheists attempted to change the public's perception concerning atheism, but were largely unsuccessful (see: Attempts to positively rebrand atheism).

Most atheists are apathetic when it comes to sharing atheism with others - especially when compared to evangelistic religions such as Christianity (see: Atheism and apathy).

The Journal of Contemporary Religion says about schisms within atheism:

The persistence of internal schisms and regular outbreaks of in-fighting within the atheist movement also ensure that much energy is effectively wasted on parochial concerns and further undermine attempts to establish a genuine sense of group cohesion.[13]

The Journal of Contemporary Religion say that internal divisions within the American atheist movement have to do with:

internal divisions within the movement around issues relating to goals, strategies, and direction. These can be seen most notably in debates about the formation of a collective ‘atheist’ identity, in disputes about the effectiveness of confrontationalism and accommodationism, and in concerns about the movement’s ethnic, racial, and gender profile.[14]

The atheist actist Greta Christina told the journalist Chris Mooney: "there isn't one emotion" that affects atheists "but anger is one of the emotions that many of us have ...[it] drives others to participate in the movement".[15] See also: Atheism and anger and Atheism and negative emotions/thoughts

For additional information, please see: Atheist factions

The atheist movement saw a number of setbacks during the latter portion of the 20th century and beyond in terms of historical events/trends (See: Causes of desecularization). As a result, it has lost a considerable amount of confidence (see also: Atheists and the endurance of religion).

Seth Andrews on atheist activists dropping out of public atheism

Seth Andrews signing one of this books after a 2016 speaking engagement in San Jose, California.

In 2017, the atheist activist Seth Andrews declared about the atheist activist dropping out of public atheism:

You know lately when I look around on social media and in the media in general really. I see these proclamations. Proclamations that the atheist movement is on life support. It's dying. It's probably beyond saving.

Now I know some people out there are very weary of all the public infighting and the squabbling and the division and just the general nastiness out there between various camps. And I totally get that. I totally get it.

Some people draw a big circle around New Atheism... And they declare New Atheism is dead or it's dying or irrelevant or whatever...

As an atheist activist myself, I can understand myself why some activists have just left the party...

They just got tired of it. All the politics and the posturing and the trolls and the bad faith operators out there. They have seen first hand that atheists are not immune to scandal, to ugliness to irrationality. To this unhealthy rage.[16][17]

Poor international cooperation among atheist activists

In recent years, international cooperation among atheists has been low (see: Atheism and international cooperation among atheists).

Atheists and a lack of evangelism in third world countries

See also: Atheism and apathy and Atheism and hedonism

Doing overseas evangelism/outreaches, often requires significant hardships/persecution. Western World atheists have been unwilling to endure such hardships in order to spread atheistic ideology. On the other hand, historically, Christians have made great evangelism efforts to reach every people group across the earth. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[18] See also: Atheism and hedonism

Atheist activist communities and embezzlement

See also: Atheist organizations and scandals

In a 2018 YouTube video entitled David Silverman Ousted as President of American Atheists, the atheist YouTube channel Utah Outcasts said in a video about David Silverman and atheist organizations: "Many other people were also like maybe he was embezzling funds because we know people in atheist activist communities where that kind of sh*t happens. Yes, it was kind of common."[19]

List of atheist activists and/or prominent atheists

David Silverman declares he is a former atheist activist

See also: David Silverman's loss of public influence

As can be seen above, in January of 2020, David Silverman, the ex-president of the American Atheists organization, declares he is a former atheist activist via his Twitter account.

See also

External links


  1. Greta Christina - Why Are You Atheists So Angry?
  2. The Problem With ‘Atheist Activism’ by Chris Stedman.
  3. The Problem With ‘Atheist Activism’ by Chris Stedman.
  4. David Silverman - How the Mighty Get Back Up
  5. Atheists Remain Most Disliked Religious Minority in the US
  6. Atheism is Rising, But…, American Interest
  7. Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  8. How we projected the future of world religions
  9. Despite What You've Heard, World Is More Religious Than Ever, Christian Post
  10. The Atheist Disillusionment by PZ Myers, September 27, 2014
  11. The ghost of atheist past, Freethought Blogs
  12. Divided We Stand: The Politics of the Atheist Movement in the United States by Steven Kettell Journal of Contemporary Religion, Volume 29, Issue 3, 2014
  13. Divided We Stand: The Politics of the Atheist Movement in the United States by Steven Kettell, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Volume 29, Issue 3, 2014
  14. Greta Christina - Why Are You Atheists So Angry?
  15. Is the Atheist Movement Dying? by Seth Andrews
  16. Atheist activist Seth Andrews keeps seeing reports on social media and the media that the atheist movement is dying. Examining Atheism
  17. Is Christianity taking over the planet?
  18. David Silverman Ousted as President of American Atheists, Utah Atheists, Go to the 3 minute mark in the video