Atheist movement

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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..."[1] 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)[2] See also: Atheist factions

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).

According Pew Research:

In the 2014 Religious Landscape Study, self-identified atheists were asked how often they share their views on God and religion with religious people. Only about one-in-ten atheists (9%) say they do at least weekly, while roughly two-thirds (65%) say they seldom or never discuss their views on religion with religious people. By comparison, 26% of those who have a religious affiliation share their views at least once a week with those who have other beliefs; 43% say they seldom or never do.[3]

See also: Evangelical atheism and Atheist activist

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 2018, the first major atheist conference to be held in New York City was cancelled due to atheist infighting (see: Cancellation of the 2018 atheist conference in New York City).

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported about the global atheist movement:

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass." [5]

See also: Global atheism and Desecularization

Professor Eric Kaufmann, who specializes in the study of irreligion/religion/demographics/politics, told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[6]

In 2010, Kaufmann wrote:

Worldwide, the march of religion can probably only be reversed by a renewed, self-aware secularism. Today, it appears exhausted and lacking in confidence... Secularism's greatest triumphs owe less to science than to popular social movements like nationalism, socialism and 1960s anarchist-liberalism. Ironically, secularism's demographic deficit means that it will probably only succeed in the twenty-first century if it can create a secular form of 'religious' enthusiasm."[7]
In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[8]

In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau wrote: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[8]

YouTube atheist Thunderfoot said about the atheist movement after Reason Rally 2016 had a very low turnout:

I'm not sure there is anything in this movement worth saving. Hitchens is dead. Dawkins simply doesn't have the energy for this sort of thing anymore. Harris went his own way. And Dennett just kind of blended into the background. So what do you think when the largest gathering of the nonreligious in history pulls in... I don't know. Maybe 2,000 people. Is there anything worth saving?[9]


Decline of the atheist movement

See also: Decline of the atheist movement

As noted above, numerous atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead" or that it is dying (see: Decline of the atheist movement)[10]

In 2017, atheist David Smalley has indicated that leftist/progressive atheists were "killing the atheist movement" through being contentious and divisive (see also: Atheist factions).[11] Smalley indicated that the atheist movement was disintegrating.[12] Former new atheist PZ Myers, who subscribes to progressive politics, says he is no longer a member of the atheist movement.[13]

In 2018, the atheist PZ Myers quotes an atheist activist who declares: "It’s quite depressing that movement Atheism has turned into such a joke. I valued it so much once."[14] Furthermore, Myers says the atheist movement is in "shambles" and this is "quite depressing" for him.[15]

The atheist activist Hemant Mehta argues that there never was an atheist movement and that people who wanted their to be an atheist movement wrongly assumed "there’s some list of beliefs everyone has to subscribe to." (See also: Schools of atheist thought)[16] Similarly, a blogger at Freethought Blogs indicates: "To be honest, I never saw "atheism” as much of a “movement” as an uneasy coalition, which may, in fact, now be unraveling."[17]

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).

Participation in the atheist community more difficult than in many communities

See also: Atheism and loneliness and Atheism and apathy and Internet atheism

In an essay entitled How the Atheist Movement Failed Me, an atheist woman noted that participation in the atheist community is often expensive due to the cost of attending atheist conferences and even local atheist meetings in restaurants and bars challenged her modest budget.[18] As a result of the challenges that atheists commonly have in terms of socializing in person, some atheists turn to the internet in terms of communicating with other atheists.[19] Often internet communication between atheists turns acrimonious and contentious (see: Atheist factions).

The atheist Jerry Coyne said about atheist meetings, "But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks." (see also: Atheism and inspiration).[20]

For more information, please see:

Atheist movement and arrogant individuals

See also: Atheism and arrogance

The atheist Adam Lee wrote:

The atheist community has a lamentable tendency to make the same mistakes over and over...

Yet there are those who seem to believe that, just by becoming an atheist, they've proven their superior rationality and are qualified to opine on any subject. Worse, this attitude often comes with an arrogant certainty that they have no need to listen or learn from people who've actually lived through moral dilemmas that are merely abstract to them.[21]

Prominent atheists admitting that fellow prominent atheists are arrogant

See also: Atheism and leadership

John W. Loftus, one of the more prominent atheists in the atheist community, cites John Draper (a Canadian atheist blogger), saying about prominent atheist PZ Myers: "According to PZ you either agree with him or you are the scum of the earth. If anyone is giving atheists a bad reputation it's PZ - he shows no tolerance or respect for anyone other than himself."[22]

PZ Myers wrote: "But see, this is why the atheist movement can’t have leaders. The ones we’ve got, informally, all seem to think they’re like gods and popes, infallible and unquestionable, and that normal, healthy, productive criticism within the movement is all a conspiracy to dethrone them."[23]

Atheist factions

See also: Atheist factions and Schools of atheist thought and Atheist cults

On July 24, 2020, the atheist PZ Myers wrote about atheism: "Deep rifts, ongoing fragmentation, and crumbling reputations seems to be the order of the day in atheism."[24] See also: Atheist organizations and scandals and Atheist scandals

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."[25] 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."[26]

The atheist and secular leftist PZ Myers, who frequently champions feminism (see also: Atheist feminism), wrote in 2016: "We are fractured because there are deep disagreements about how to address serious social issues. Worse, because some people won’t even accept the dehumanization of fellow human beings as something more substantial than ridiculousness."[27]

The American atheist Adam Lee declared:

The atheist community, which once seemed gloriously unified, has become riven in the last few years with ugly fractures and one-step-forward-two-steps-back infighting about what kind of movement we want to be. I’ve lost friends over it, and many of the people I used to idolize have publicly tumbled from their pedestals. Some incomparable friends and activists have burned out or quit the movement in disgust, and each one was a loss I felt keenly.[28]

The atheist David Smalley said about the atheist movement: "We're eating our own... We’re disintegrating."[29]

Journal of Contemporary Religion on schisms within U.S. atheism

See also: American atheism

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.[30]

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.[30]

See also: Atheism and women and Western atheism and race

Atheism, politics and political polarization

See also: Western atheism, schisms and political polarization and Atheism and politics and Social justice warrior atheists

In terms of politics and atheist infighting, there is considerable friction between right-wing atheists (and right of center atheists) and secular leftist/progressive atheists.

At Splice Today, Dylan Green wrote about the Mythcon 2017 Conference: "If there’s a point in time where atheism’s cold war of progressive versus reactionary flavors came into being, it would be the day when Mythcon was held."[31] At Mythcon 2017, Carl Benjamin and other anti-progressive YouTube atheists spoke which upset many progressive atheists.[32][33] Shortly after the conference, the progressive atheist PZ Myers wrote a blog post entitled Time to nuke the fault line and split the rift deeper[34]

For more information, please see: Western atheism, schisms and political polarization

Testimony of Blair Scott about atheist infighting

See also: Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and emotional intelligence

Blair Scott served on the American Atheists board of directors.[35] Mr. Scott formerly served as a State Director for the American Atheists organization in the state of Alabama. On December 1, 2012 he quit his post as a director of outreach for the American Atheists due to infighting within the American atheist movement.[36]

Mr. Blair wrote:

I have spent the last week mulling over what I want to do at this point in the movement. I’m tired of the in-fighting: at every level. I am especially tired of allowing myself to get sucked into it and engaging in the very behavior that is[36]

Ineffectualness of the American secular movement

See also: American atheism

A speaker in the atheist panel discussion "Where do we go from here?" at Reason in the Rock 2013 declared: "We are still culturally and politically marginal. We still don't have very much influence... We are ineffective."[37]

Poor international cooperation among atheists

See also: Atheism and international cooperation among atheists

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

Decline of the New Atheism movement

See also: Decline of militant atheism in the West

In 2015, the atheist author Joshua Kelly wrote about the decline of the New Atheism movement:

...since the death of Hitchens: angry atheism lost its most charismatic champion. Call it what you like: New Atheism, fire-brand atheism, etc., had a surge with the Four Horsemen in the middle of the last decade and in the last four years has generally peetered out to a kind that is more docile, politically correct, and even apologetic.[38]

On November 6, 2015, the New Republic published an article entitled, Is the New Atheism dead?[39]

Professor James W. Jones wrote at a Oxford University Press website:

We seem to be witnessing a broad reaction against the New Atheism movement by atheists as well as religious believers, whether undermining the idea of a long-standing conflict between science and religion, or taking a critical view of their political agenda. James Ryerson recently examined three new books (including my own) in the New York Times Book Review – a small sample of a growing body of work...

The New Atheism movement is receiving a powerful attack from another side as well — the politics implicit in their worldview. Two books published this year exemplify this critique, in which militant atheism is seen as an anti-progressive “secular fundamentalism.” C.J. Werleman, in The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists, himself formerly a militant atheist, describes the New Atheists’ uncritical devotion to science, their childish understanding of religion, their extreme Islamophobia, and intolerance of cultural diversity.[40]

For more information, please see: Decline of New Atheism

Elevatorgate controversy caused deep divisions within in the atheist movement

See also: Elevatorgate and Atheist feminism and Atheism and sexism and Atheism plus

Richard Dawkins
Although the New Atheist Richard Dawkins was always known for his abrasiveness and arrogance, post Elevatorgate and subsequent to his various embarrassing Twitter posts, many atheists are now asking if he is a liability to the atheist movement.[41] See: Atheism and public relations

Most atheists are politically on the left (see: Atheism and politics and Secular left). Part of leftist ideology is feminism. However, there is a significant amount of misogyny among atheists (see: Atheism and women).

For example, the new atheist Richard Dawkins is widely criticized for igniting deep fractures in the atheist movement through his Elevatorgate controversy. On November 26, 2013, the atheist activist and blogger Jen McCreight posted at Twitter the message: "Did anyone on Dawkins AMA ask how he feels about singlehandedly destroying the atheist movement with the Dear Muslima yet?"[42] In December 2013, atheist Jack Vance at Atheist Revolution called July 2, 2011, which is the day that Elevatorgate occurred, "The day the atheist movement died."[43] The atheist PZ Myers said about the current rifts in the atheist movement: "So deep and wide we’ve separated into two continents."[44]

On March 6, 2015, it was reported that Google trends data for common terms associated with atheism/agnosticism have been in decline since about mid 2012.[45] In January 2015, it was shown that Google trends data indicated a recent downward trend for various Google searches related to atheism such as the keywords atheist, atheism, Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers.[46]

See also: Internet atheism

Atheists declaring that Richard Dawkins is now a liability to the atheist movement

See also: Decline of militant atheism in the West and Atheism and public relations

New Atheism is a form of militant atheism as far as its rhetoric.

Although the new atheist Richard Dawkins was always known for his abrasiveness and arrogance, post Elevatorgate and subsequent to his various embarrassing Twitter posts, many atheists are now asking if he is a liability to the atheist movement.[41]

Thunderf00t on the impact of Freethought Blogs and Rebecca Watson

In October 2014, the popular YouTube atheist Thunderf00t indicated that the bloggers at Freethought Blogs (Freethought Blogs is the most popular atheist blogging community) accidentally put him on their email list and that they spend a considerable amount of time emailing each other engaging in petty matters. In fact, he indicated that they spent more time emailing each other than engaged in actual blogging. He also questioned the impact of the bloggers of Freethought Blogs on social justice.[47] Furthermore, he indicated that their attempt to make him a pariah within the atheist community had virtually no impact.[47]

He also indicated that the accomplishments of Rebecca Watson are very thin and that she promotes feminism in an offensive manner.[47]

In addition, Thunderf00t commented on how Jen McCreight, the founder of the atheist feminist movement Atheism plus abandoned her movement within two weeks. And how Richard Carrier "the intellectual artillery" of the movement, quit promoting the movement within a month.[47]

Decline of internet atheism

Atheist movement lacks sufficient emphasis on moral causes

See also: Atheism and morality

The atheist C.J. Werleman wrote in Salon:

More significantly, movement atheism has failed to articulate an identifiable moral cause, and any progressive movement that chooses to dismiss the great moral challenges of its time will be rightfully dismissed itself. In other words, movement atheism, as it stands today, risks facing its end times, or, worse, becoming a passing fad...

The atheist movement ...must move beyond being little more than a moral statement that says, “We are atheists for atheists.”[48]

Atheist PZ Myers on the atheist movement and leadership/other positions

See also: Atheism and leadership and Atheism and groupthink

In 2018, the atheist PZ Myers wrote:

I noticed the “troubling turn” about 8 years ago, as more and more atheists began to rally around two themes: the Glorious Leaders who were fonts of inarguable Reason & Logic, and a definition of atheism that exempted them from all social responsibility or ethical obligation.[49][50]

Myers said about the atheist Seth Andrews:

Here is another problem though with the atheist movement. That we tend to inflate people beyond their capacity.

So Seth Andrews, he's got really good voice. OK, I will admit that. Ah, his position ought to be, you know, reading out transcripts of things that people more qualified, more intelligent than he is have written out. Ah, but no, he's now an atheist thought leader and I have heard anything from him that I have found particularly thoughtful.[51]

Galen Broaddus on opting out of atheist movement

The atheist blogger Galen Broaddus wrote about opting out of the atheist movement:

But after a few years of seeing how the secular movement has been functioning on a large scale, I no longer feel like I can in good conscience be an enthusiastic supporter of it...

At the end of last year, I stepped away from the group I’d been a part of for nearly four years and led for almost two of those. I won’t go into the details out of respect for those who are still involved with it (and, to be perfectly honest, a desire not to publicly discuss it), but it was a deeply frustrating experience for me.

When the page turned to 2016, my connection to local community was gone. The group I’d led wasn’t actually that local to me, and while I considered the possibility of looking for people in the city where I live, I decided that I wasn’t up to it, not at that time.

Now I feel like community isn’t something I need at all...

If I need community, I can find a less toxic one.[52]

At the present time, Broaddus describes himself as an "occasional secular activist".[53]

PZ Myers' prediction that the atheism movement will stagnate or shrink unless atheists change

See also: Atheism, social justice and hypocrisy and PZ Myers and social justice

On September 27, 2014 in a blog post entitled The Atheist Disillusionment, the prominent atheist PZ Myers declared:

I will make a prediction, right here and now.... The number of people identifying as atheists will stagnate or even shrink, because organized atheism is happily in the process of destroying itself with regressive social attitudes, scandals, and their bizarre focus on irrelevant metaphysical differences that don’t help people...

Unless we change.

I don’t know that we can.[54]

Please also see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and uncharitableness

Atheist movement and nerds

See also: Atheist nerds and Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and emotional intelligence

In 2013, 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.[55]

In response, David Klinghoffer at 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.[55]

Women and the atheist movement

See also: Atheism and women

Historically, women have not been attracted to atheism.[56] Today, the atheist community has still found it difficult to attract women to be a part of the atheist community and the majority of atheists are men. In addition, a significant portion of the atheist community has misogynist beliefs and attitudes (see: Elevatorgate and Atheism and women and Atheism and rape).

Western World, racial minorities and the atheist movement

See also: Western atheism and race

Historically, in the Western World, the atheist community has been made up of predominantly white individuals who have had a reluctance and/or inability to attract racial minorities into their community (see: Western atheism and race and Evolutionary racism).

Inability of atheist movement to effect widespread public acceptance of atheists

The atheist Geoffrey Lee Hodge wrote in an article at

A look back through history shows that successful social movements..progress through two waves. The first step is to unite and mobilize the marginalized group, encouraging individuals to be proud of their differences, to stand up for their rights and to speak out against discrimination. The new atheist movement has done this well, and Dawkins and Dennett deserve much credit for carrying the banner. But creating a strong and vocal base is not sufficient to bring about social change. It requires a second wave, different in character from the first. The second wave must convince moderate people outside the marginalized group that discrimination against the minority group is real, harmful, and intolerable.

When I got a chance to ask Professors Dawkins and Dennett about this observation, suggesting that in order to isolate intolerant fundamentalist Christian views, the new atheist movement in the US should consider more outreach to liberal Christians, their answers were interesting. Dennett acknowledged that a second wave was needed, but ultimately agreed with Dawkins’ reluctance to reach out to liberal Christians.[57]

See also: Atheism and liberal Christianity alliances

Reluctance of many atheists to tell others about their atheism in theistic cultures

It is common in theistic cultures for atheists to be reluctant to tell others about their atheism (see: Atheism and apathy).

Theistic cultures are often highly resistant to accepting atheists

See also: Views on atheists and Atheists and the endurance of religion

Social science data indicates that in theistic cultures that distrust of atheists is enduring and deep seated (see: Views on atheists and Atheists and the endurance of religion).

At the present time, there is widespread pessimism about the atheist movement among atheists (see: Decline of the atheist movement).

Atheist Michael Nugent on the global atheist movement

See also: Global atheism and Secular Europe and Atheism in the Anglosphere and Asian atheism

According to the Irish atheist Michael Nugent: "The atheist movement is global. It is not defined by the mostly American ‘deep rifts’ disagreements."[58]

Nugent further indicates:

‘Some of these more mainstream media analyses imply that there is a single ‘atheist movement’, and that it is best analysed through some opinions of some mostly American bloggers and activists who, while committed and sincere and doing good work, are not representative of atheist activism worldwide.’[58]

However, various American atheists attacking the British new atheist Richard Dawkins resulted in a marked decline in Dawkins' influence/popularity and helped cause a very significant decline in the atheist movement as a whole (see also: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence and Decline of the atheist movement and British atheism). In addition, there is very little cooperation between Anglosphere atheists and other other atheists such as Asian atheists (most atheists are probably East Asians).

Nugent has spent a great deal of time publicly criticizing fellow atheist PZ Myers online, while at the same time criticizing Myers for publicly criticizing other atheists (Nugent privately asked Myers to change his behavior as well).[59][60]

In addition, Irish atheists have a reputation for being ill-tempered/quarrelsome just like their American counterparts.[61] According to the Irish Independent, "If there's one thing you can take for granted, it's that atheists tend to be a rather cranky bunch."[61] See also: Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence

Furthermore, as noted above, the global atheist population is shrinking as a percentage of the world's population (see: Global atheism statistics). Asian atheism is seeing a decline due to the explosive growth of Christianity in China (see: East Asia and global desecularization). As far as Europe, in Protestant Europe, France and the UK, the secularization rate is at zero (see: European desecularization in the 21st century).

Composition and structure of the American atheist movement

See also: Atheist organizations

David Silverman is president of the American Atheists organization.

The Journal of Contemporary Religion says about the composition and structure of the American atheist movement:

The organisational structure of the atheist movement is characterised by plurality and eclecticism. Based around no predominant group and possessing no formal leadership or tangible set of governing arrangements, this movement assumes a non-hierarchical and decentralised form that operates within a number of organisations set up to promote a range of atheist, secularist, and humanist (collectively referred to here as ‘ASH’) ideas and causes. Notable organisations include: the American Humanist Association (established in 1941), American Atheists (formed in 1963), the Freedom From Religion Foundation (1978), the Council for Secular Humanism (1980), the Atheist Alliance of America (1991), the Center for Inquiry (1991), the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (1998), the Secular Student Alliance (2000), the Secular Coalition for America (2002), and the United Coalition of Reason (2009).

At the present time, little is known about the specific composition of such groups and the reasons why individuals become actively involved in the atheism movement are still being debated (e.g. LeDrew). Research suggests that a majority of atheists positively engage in efforts to promote atheism in some form (Silver), but it appears that only a small percentage become involved in formal organisations of this kind. Research also indicates that atheists who are actively participating in formal non-religious organisations tend to belong to a number of different groups at any one time (Hunsberger and Altemeyer).[30]

Atheist Jacques Berlinerblau on American atheist movements

See also: American atheism

The atheist Georgetown professor Jacques Berlinerblau declared:

American atheist movements, though fancying themselves a lion, are more like the gimpy little zebra crossing the river full of crocs. In terms of both political gains and popular appeal, nonbelievers in the United States have little to show. They are encircled by cunning, swarming [religious] Revivalist adversaries who know how to play the atheist card. The gimpy zebra remark was a little goofing on this over-the-top chest-thumping that emerges from Movement Atheists. They wildly overestimate their numbers. They tend to overestimate the efficacy of their activism. They underestimate how disciplined and organized their adversaries in the religious right are, too. They fail to recognize that mocking religious people in public is entirely inimical to the goals they wish to achieve."[62]

Leading American atheist organizations lean to the left politically

According to Republican Atheists' President Lauren Ell, the leading atheist organizations such as American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation and Secular Student Alliance lean left politically.[63]

Atheist movement and its public speakers

See also: Atheism and public speaking

The news website Vox reported about Reason Rally 2016:

It is clear, too, that almost nobody who takes the stage at Reason Rally was ever trained as a preacher. The whole thing is languid, urgent words in measured tones. The goal is an "end to bigotry," in the pitch of a polite request, to "reject" a supernatural worldview with all the force of tepid applause. Jamie Raskin says the job of politicians is to "listen to scientists" and closes with "Put your thinking caps on America!" Penn Jillette struggles to get a video playing, chokes up over Hitchens, then plays a Bob Dylan knockoff about his love for all people. The Amazing Randi devotes half an hour to a muted jeremiad against the obscure "facilitated communication" hoax. Peter says he does not know what "FC" is, but he'll look into it.[64]

The atheist Jerry Coyne said about atheist conferences which he attended:

But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks.

...a few things bothered me, most notably the air of self-congratulation (which I excused on the grounds of enthusiastic people finding like-minded folks for the first time), the “fanboyness” directed at some of the famous atheists (they hardly let poor Richard alone, and I’m not sure he liked that!), and the lameness of quite a few of the talks. Again, how much new can you say about atheism?[20]

Reason Rally

The Reason Rally was billed as the largest secular event in history.[65] It was held in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2012.

According to the Religion News Service 8,000-10,000 people showed up for the rally.[66] The Atlantic reported 20,000 individuals were in attendance.[67]

Reason Rally 2016 was sparsely attended.

YouTube atheist Thunderfoot said about the atheist movement after Reason Rally 2016 had a very low turnout:

I'm not sure there is anything in this movement worth saving. Hitchens is dead. Dawkins simply doesn't have the energy for this sort of thing anymore. Harris went his own way. And Dennett just kind of blended into the background. So what do you think when the largest gathering of the nonreligious in history pulls in... I don't know. Maybe 2,000 people. Is there anything worth saving?[9]

Scott Simon of National Public Radio on organized atheism and its small measure of charitable work

See also: Atheism and charity and Atheism and love

Scott Simon of National Public Radio (NPR): "I have covered a lot of wars, famines and tragedies. And it seems to me, truly every theatre of suffering I have ever been to, there is a dauntless nun, priest, clergy or religious person, who is working very selflessly and bravery there for the good of human beings. But I don't run into organized atheists who do this.

New atheist Richard Dawkins: "Perhaps there is not enough of them."...

Scott Simon, NPR: "But I do wonder am I just not seeing the world correctly to see large numbers of well-motivated atheists lending their lives to trying to better the world... If I might put it this way, are they just more concerned about being right intellectually."[68]

Growth of evangelical Christianity in secular geographic regions

Australian atheist movement and the cancellation of 2018 Global Atheist Convention

See also: 2018 Global Atheist Convention that was cancelled and Irreligion in Australia and Atheist feminism

The 2018 Global Atheist Convention that was cancelled was billed as the third Global Atheist Convention and its theme was "Reason to Hope".[69][70] It was sponsored by the Atheist Foundation of Australia.[71]

Robert Martin from Melbourne’s City Bible Forum indicated about the cancellation of the 2018 Global Atheist Convention: "This is a massive blow to the Atheist Foundation as an organisation and to organised atheism in Australia. Where to next? What do they stand for?”[72] According to Martin, fragmentation within today's atheist movement in Australia is a key reason that the convention may have been difficult to sell (see also: Atheist factions).[73]

Atheist movement apathetic about atheist art

See also: Atheist art and Atheism and culture

The atheist and feminist writer Any Roth wrote about the atheist population having apathy about atheist art: "Does art matter to atheism? This is actually an interesting question that I don’t think movement atheist thinks much about."[74]

Historically, religious institutions sponsored great works of art and architecture. Atheist groups do not have a tradition of sponsoring great works of art and architecture.

In contrast to the atheist movement, Christians and other religious faiths historically are prolific in terms of producing musical/art works related to their faith/worldview and many great works have been produced over the centuries (See also: Atheist art and Argument from beauty).


See also: Atheism quotes

"Atheism, I think, is a weird movement. I don't know if we can even call it a movement. To have a movement, you must have followers. And atheists are not followers." - Dan Barker, co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation[75]

See also


External links


  1. The Atheist Disillusionment by PZ Myers, September 27, 2014
  2. 7 facts about atheists, Pew Forum
  3. David Silverman - How the Mighty Get Back Up
  4. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  5. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  6. Shall the religious inherit the earth? - Eric Kaufmann
  7. 8.0 8.1 Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  8. 9.0 9.1 Even atheists bash 'Reason Rally'
  9. Reasonably Controversial: How the Regressive Left Is Killing the Atheist Movement by David Smalley
  10. Reasonably Controversial: How the Regressive Left Is Killing the Atheist Movement by David Smalley
  11. Get Out! A message for the atheist movement by PZ Myers
  12. Atheist Activists Lament a Movement in “Shambles” by David Klinghoffer
  13. Atheist Activists Lament a Movement in “Shambles” by David Klinghoffer
  14. The Atheist “Movement” Isn’t Dead Because There Never Was One by HEMANT MEHTA
  15. The “Atheism Movement:” Dead or Alive?, Freethought Blog
  16. Amanda (August 10, 2012). "How the atheist movement failed me–part 1: cost". Friendly Atheist blog. Retrieved on September 9, 2014.
  17. Norris, Chuck (May 21, 2007). "How to outlaw Christianity (steps 2 & 3)". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved on September 9, 2014. See Chuck Norris.
  18. 20.0 20.1 Are there too many atheist meetings? by Jerry Coyne
  19. [4 Things the Atheist Movement Has Done Badly (and How to Do Them Better)] by Adam Lee, Alternet
  20. Can PZ Myers Change His Ways? Should He? By John W. Loftus at 7/30/2012
  21. The delicate ego of Mr Michael Shermer by PZ Myers, 16 January 2013
  22. I don’t even know what’s going on in atheism anymore by PZ Myers
  23. Rousseau, Jacques (July 13, 2011). "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can rip my soul". Daily Maverick [South Africa]. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  24. The atheist community and internet atheism is still a hostile wasteland
  25. What if the atheist movement needs to die by PZ Myers
  26. Daylight Atheism Is 10 Years Old by Adam Lee
  27. Reasonably Controversial: How the Regressive Left Is Killing the Atheist Movement by David Smalley
  28. 30.0 30.1 30.2 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
  29. The Post-Mythcon Crossroads of Atheism by Dylan Greene
  30. The Post-Mythcon Crossroads of Atheism by Dylan Greene
  31. Chaos during Social Justice and Feminism Debate at Milwaukee Atheism Conference
  32. [ Time to nuke the fault line and split the rift deeper, PZ Myers
  33. "Board of directors" (July 1, 2014). American Atheists. Retrieved from Internet Archive, July 16, 2014.
  34. 36.0 36.1 Scott, Blair (December 1, 2012). "An open letter from Blair Scott". American Atheists. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  35. Where does the Secular movement go from here?: Panel Discussion at Reason in the Rock 2013, YouTube video
  36. Uproar Against Dawkins Is Sign of New Atheism Retrogression by Joshua Kelly
  37. Is the New Atheism dead? by Elizabeth Bruenig, New Republic, November 6, 2015
  38. Growing criticism by atheists of the New Atheism movement by James W. Jones, Oxford University Press, OUPblog
  39. 41.0 41.1 *Richard Dawkins: Atheism’s asset or liability? by Kimberly Winston, Washington Post, source: Religion News Service, August 7, 2014
  40. Jennifer McCreight on the Twitter about the Elevatorgate scandal
  41. The Day the Atheist Movement Died by Jack Vance at Atheist Revolution
  42. Get Out! A message for the atheist movement by PZ Myers
  43. Attention Atheists: Google trends indicates: You are in a slump!
  44. The numbers are in: 2014 was the WORST year in the history of Darwinism/atheism In addition, breaks the Alexa 50,000 barrier
  45. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 Atheism+ Stream: How SJWs pushed their way into Atheism
  46. Atheism’s white male problem: A movement needs a moral cause beyond glamorizing disbelief by C.J. Werleman, Salon, 2014
  47. Get out of my head, Eiynah! by PZ Myers
  48. A shambolic atheist community faces some tough choices by Denyse O'Leary
  49. Seth Andrews Gaslights His Critics: w/ PZ Myers & Kristi Winters
  50. I’m Opting Out of the Movement by Galen Broaddus
  51. Bio Galen Broaddus
  52. The Atheist Disillusionment - PZ Myers, September 27, 2014
  53. 55.0 55.1 in Seattle, PZ Myers Reflects Candidly on His Constituency
  54. From Hitchens to Dawkins: Where are the women of New Atheism? by Katie Engelhart, Salon, July 21, 2013
  55. Advancing the Atheist Movement: Dawkins, Dennett, and the Second Wave by Geoffrey Lee Hodge
  56. 58.0 58.1 "The atheist movement is global. It is not defined by the mostly American ‘deep rifts’ disagreements." by Michael Nugent
  57. Michael Nugent vs. PZ Myers, Atheist Revolution website
  58. Michael Nugent website - Search "PZ Myers"
  59. 61.0 61.1 We're sorry. So very, very sorry. THE FIRST ATHEIST SCHISM?, Irish Independent
  60. Professor Jacques Berlinerblau tells atheists: Stop whining!, Christian Century, Sep 14, 2012 by Kimberly Winston
  61. Atheist and humanist organizations are prioritizing left-leaning political views above all else
  62. American atheists are on the rise. They have radically different visions of the future, Vox
  63. Is mocking religion enough? Harris, Dawkins and the future of atheist/secular politics by Richard Cimino and Christopher Smith, Salon magazine
  64. Winston, Kimberly (March 24, 2012). "Atheists Rally On National Mall; The 'Reason Rally' Largest Gathering Of Nonbelievers (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  65. Benjamin Fearnow & Mickey Woods, "Richard Dawkins Preaches to Nonbelievers at Reason Rally", The Atlantic, March 24, 2012.
  66. Richard Dawkins On Terrorism And Religion
  67. AFA Media Releases & Announcements
  68. AFA Media Releases & Announcements
  69. AFA Media Releases & Announcements
  70. Global Atheist Convention cancelled due to lack of interest, Eternity News
  71. Global Atheist Convention cancelled due to lack of interest, Eternity News
  72. [1]
  73. Dan Barker "Outspoken Atheists: Help or Hindrance to the Secular Movement?"