Atheist fear of conservative Christians

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The atheist Sam Harris quipped about William Lane Craig that he was "The one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists".[1][2]

According to a Baylor University study, when it comes to various individuals who hold various religions/worldviews, atheists/nonreligious have the greatest fear when it comes to a fear that conservative, Protestant Christians will limit their freedom or cause them physical harm.[3] Atheists/nonreligious fear Muslims the second most when it comes to a fear they will limit their freedom or cause them physical harm.[4] See also: Atheism vs. Christianity and Atheism vs. Islam and Persecution of atheists

According to 2013 FBI statistics, 6/10 of a percent of hate crimes were against atheists/agnostics.[5][6]

Atheist Tom Krattenmaker was quoted in Time magazine as saying about American atheists, "Even though we’re despised in some parts of the country and discriminated against in some ways, we don’t really get bullied or picked on. That makes it harder to gain sympathy for our views."[7] See: Views on atheists and Distrust of atheists

Prominent atheists being afraid/reluctant to debate conservative Christians[edit]

See also: Atheism debates and Atheism vs. Christianity debates and Atheism and cowardice

Richard Dawkins
The Oxford University Professor Daniel Came wrote to the New Atheist Richard Dawkins:: "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."[8]

As far as Christianity vs. atheism public debates, in recent years there have been a number of notable instances of atheists doing poorly in debates (see: Atheism vs. Christianity debates).

Beginning in the latter part of the 20th century, there were a number of notable instances of prominent atheists being reluctant/afraid to debate (see: Atheism and cowardice).[9]

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.[8]

In The Daily Telegraph article Dr. Daniel Came, 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."[8]

The atheist Sam Harris quipped about William Lane Craig that he was "The one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists".[10][11]

In 1990, the atheist philosopher Michael Martin indicated there was a general absence of an atheistic response to contemporary work in the philosophy of religion and in jest he indicated that it was his "cross to bear" to respond to theistic arguments.[12] Yet, in 1994, Michael Martin was criticized for his eleventh hour cancellation of his debate with Greg Bahnsen (see: Greg Bahnsen and debate and Bahnson-Martin debate press release).[13]

Creation vs. evolution debates[edit]

See also: Creation vs. evolution debates

Creation science is science which sets out to show that supernatural creation of the material universe by God is consistent and compatible with the available scientific evidence.

Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates and many have been held since the 1970s particularly in the United States. Given the lack of evidence for the evolutionary paradigm and the abundant evidence for biblical creation, this is not surprising.

In August 1979, Dr. Henry Morris reported in an Institute for Creation Research letter: “By now, practically every leading evolutionary scientist in this country has declined one or more invitations to a scientific debate on creation/evolution.”[14] Morris also said regarding the creation scientist Duane Gish (who had over 300 formal debates): “At least in our judgment and that of most in the audiences, he always wins.”[15]

Generally speaking, leading evolutionists no longer debate creation scientists because creation scientists tend to win the debates.[16] In addition, the atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins has shown inconsistent and deceptive behavior concerning his refusal creation scientists.

Evolutionists and atheists inconsistency concerning debating creationists was commented on by the Christian apologetic website True Free Thinker which declared: "Interestingly enough, having noted that since some atheists refuse to debate “creationists” but then go on to debate some of those people but not others, it is clear that they are, in reality, being selective and making excuses for absconding from difficulties..."[17] In an article entitled Are Kansas Evolutionists Afraid of a Fair Debate? the Discovery Institute states the following:

Defenders of Darwin's theory of evolution typically proclaim that evidence for their theory is simply overwhelming. If they really believe that, you would think they would jump at a chance to publicly explain some of that overwhelming evidence to the public. Apparently not.[18]
Richard Dawkins
The atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins has shown inconsistent and deceptive behavior concerning his refusal creation scientists.

In 1994, the arch-evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott made this confession concerning creation vs. evolution debates:

During the last six or eight months, I have received more calls about debates between creationists and evolutionists than I have encountered for a couple of years, it seems. I do not know what has inspired this latest outbreak, but I am not sure it is doing much to improve science education.

Why do I say this? Sure, there are examples of "good" debates where a well-prepared evolution supporter got the best of a creationist, but I can tell you after many years in this business that they are few and far between. Most of the time a well-meaning evolutionist accepts a debate challenge (usually "to defend good science" or for some other worthy goal), reads a bunch of creationist literature, makes up a lecture explaining Darwinian gradualism, and can't figure out why at the end of the debate so many individuals are clustered around his opponent, congratulating him on having done such a good job of routing evolution -- and why his friends are too busy to go out for a beer after the debate.[19]

In 2010, 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.[20] Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists refused to debate Creation Ministries International.[21]

Secularism exhausted and lacking in confidence[edit]

See also: Desecularization

In April 2010, Professor Eric Kaufmann, whose academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics and who is an agnostic, declared "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."[22]

Kaufmann also declared that secularism "appears exhausted and lacking in confidence".[23]

Decline of the atheist movement[edit]

See also: Decline of the atheist movement

Numerous atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead" or that it is dying (see: Decline of the atheist movement)[24]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. William Lane Craig Puts the Fear of God in Atheists, video clip of the William Lane Craig vs. Sam Harris debate
  2. The God Debate II: Harris vs. Craig, University of Notre Dame YouTube channel
  3. Evangelicals fear Muslims; atheists fear Christians: New poll show how Americans mistrust one another, Washington Post
  4. Evangelicals fear Muslims; atheists fear Christians: New poll show how Americans mistrust one another, Washington Post
  5. 2013 FBI hate crime statistics
  6. Atheism: The Next Civil Rights movement, Vlad Chituc, The Daily Beast, 4-6-2015
  7. 5 Challenges Atheists Face, Time magazine, Hemant Mehta/Patheos, April 24, 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  9. Multiple references:
  10. William Lane Craig Puts the Fear of God in Atheists, video clip of the William Lane Craig vs. Sam Harris debate
  11. The God Debate II: Harris vs. Craig, University of Notre Dame YouTube channel
  12. Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith by Luís F. Rodrigues, page 201
  13. Bahsen at the Stein debate by John Frame
  14. Reason or Rhetoric by Henry Morris, PhD
  15. Voices for evolution - John Ankerberg website
  16. https://www.icr.org/article/811/
  17. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/speaking-assiduous-absconders%E2%80%A6yet-again-vox-day-challenges-pz-myers-debate
  18. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2005/02/are_kansas_evolutionists_afraid_of_a_fai.html
  19. http://www.skepticfiles.org/evo2/credebec.htm
  20. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/richard-dawkins-cowardly-clown
  21. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/richard-dawkins-cowardly-clown
  22. Shall the religious inherit the earth? by Eric Kaufmann
  23. 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