Essay: A fifth open letter to a New Zealand atheist

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Numerous atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead" or that it is dying.[1] See also: Decline of the atheist movement and Morale of the atheist movement and Desecularization

Is the atheist movement a dead horse? If so, there is certainly no reason to beat a dead horse.

A New Zealand atheist who goes by the moniker Ace McWicked wrote to me:

Hiding in your bunny-hole, claiming victory... [User:Conservative]... - either man up here or let me use CP. If your position is so strong why don't you actually engage? You don't have to come here - allow me to talk to you directly at CP by letting me create an account. It's very simple - let someone debate with you directly. I don't recall any Sun Zhu quotes that say "Taunt your enemies from a place where they can't engage with you so you can claim assumed victory". No, you are a coward. Proven to have no machismo.[2]

My response

The current state of affairs when it comes to Christianity vs. atheism

Numerous atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead" or that it is dying.[3] See also: Decline of the atheist movement and Morale of the atheist movement and Desecularization

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:

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."[4]

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann, who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London, and specializes in how demographic changes affect religion/politics wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British.[5] [6]

At a conference Kaufmann said of religious demographic projections concerning the 21st century:

Part of the reason I think demography is very important, at least if we are going to speak about the future, is that it is the most predictable of the social sciences.

...if you look at a population and its age structure now. You can tell a lot about the future. ...So by looking at the relative age structure of different populations you can already say a lot about the future...

...Religious fundamentalism is going to be on the increase in the future and not just out there in the developing world..., but in the developed world as well.[7]

See also: Growth of religious fundamentalism

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."[8]

Eric Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[9]

Furthermore, Kaufmann also argues that secularization may reverse itself significantly earlier than 2050 in the West due to religious immigration and a religious population which is increasingly resistant to secularization in Europe.[10]

Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[11] Furthermore, Kaufmann also argues that secularization may reverse itself significantly earlier than 2050 in the West due to religious immigration and a religious population which is increasingly resistant to secularization in Europe.[12]

The prominent historian Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University, indicates that he believes Christianity faces a "bright future" worldwide (See also: Global Christianity).

According to MacCulloch, "Christianity, the world's largest religion, is rapidly expanding – by all indications, its future is very bright."[13]

In 2012, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) reported that every day there are 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day, 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day.[14][15]

Phillip Jenkins published the book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.

Chuck Colson, citing the work of Jenkins, writes:

As Penn State professor Philip Jenkins writes in The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, predictions like Huntingtons betray an ignorance of the explosive growth of Christianity outside of the West.

For instance, in 1900, there were approximately 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000, there were 360 million. By 2025, conservative estimates see that number rising to 633 million. Those same estimates put the number of Christians in Latin America in 2025 at 640 million and in Asia at 460 million.

According to Jenkins, the percentage of the worlds population that is, at least by name, Christian will be roughly the same in 2050 as it was in 1900. By the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world -- one and a half times the number of Muslims. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today.[16]

Atheism vs. Christianity/theism debates

Although atheists commonly claim there are reasonable arguments for atheism, the quality of atheist debate has been quite poor from the proponents of atheism.

For example, the atheist Luke Muehlhauser wrote about the Christian apologist William Lane Craig:

William Lane Craig is a prolific Christian philosopher, apologist, author, and public debater. He is the best debater – on any topic – that I’ve ever heard. As far as I can tell, he has won nearly all his debates with atheists. When debating him, atheists have consistently failed to put forward solid arguments, and consistently failed to point out the flaws in Craig’s arguments.

I’m not the only one who thinks Craig has won nearly all his debates. For some atheists, it is rather maddening.

Craig is a skilled debater, an encyclopedia of facts and quotes, and a careful rhetorician. If you make a logical mistake, Craig knows exactly how to skewer you for it (and for this, I respect him). He holds prepared and persuasive responses to everything an atheist might say, and atheists usually fail to clearly point out the logical flaws in what Craig has to say. Also, Craig does a great job of summarizing the points and counterpoints that have been raised during a debate, and presents them in a way to show he has decisively won. His opponents are never that organized or clear.

This is especially embarrassing for atheists because Craig’s arguments and debates are easily available, and he uses the same arguments all the time.[17]

Please see:

The challenge to Ace McWicked

Ace, at this point, I view the atheist movement as a burning building in the late stage of a fire that will burn it to the ground. See: Decline of the atheist movement

Rather than spend time and effort debating atheists (particularly little known atheists such as yourself), why shouldn't I merely watch the "house of atheism" burn itself out?

After all, there are plenty of worthwhile things to do in the world that would benefit humanity more and would therefore be of more consequence.

Ace, an editor of your atheist/agnostic wiki who goes by the username ikanreed wrote on October 31, 2018:

I think it's the massive reputation blow skepticism and rationalism itself has taken over the coarse of the last... I don't know, let's say 4 years... The intellectual clout of rationalism has suffered dramatically, look at the way people talk about skeptics today versus 5 years ago.[18]

I have documented on how the atheist movement is dead/dying and how atheist argumentation is quite poor (see above). At this point, I view the atheist movement as a burning building in the late stage of a fire that will burn it to the ground.

Ace, rather than spend time and effort debating atheists (particularly little known atheists such as yourself), why shouldn't I merely watch the "house of atheism" burn itself out. After all, there are plenty of worthwhile things to do in the world that benefit humanity more and therefore would be of more consequence.

Ace, I know you can't satisfactorily answer the 15 questions for evolutionists.

I have a challenge for you Ace.

Ace, provide me recent quotes of 15 prominent atheists who state the atheist movement is alive and vibrant. Unless you provide those quotes, I am going to assume the atheist movement is dead. And I see no reason to beat a dead horse. If you want to debate me, you are going to have to come up with those 15 quotes. Good luck coming up with those 15 recent quotes. You will need it.

"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." - Sun Tzu

Ace, I very much doubt that you will be able to come up with those 15 quotes, but if you do, here is some information for you to prep for a debate with a Christian such as myself: Evidence for Christianity

Don't miss out on this sketch with a caption!

Ace, provide me recent quotes of 15 prominent atheists who state the atheist movement is alive and vibrant.

Unless you provide those quotes, I am going to assume the atheist movement is dead. And I see no reason to beat a dead horse.

If you want to debate me, you are going to have to come up with those 15 quotes.

Will Ace be able to come up with the 15 quotes of prominent atheists who say the atheist movement is alive and vibrant and be able to debate User: Conservative?

If Ace does not come up with the 15 quotes, will he finally admit that New Zealand will experience desecularization sometime in the 21st century? See: Irreligion in New Zealand

A final quote for Ace McWicked

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...

...it 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.[19]

A short message to Ace McWicked

As much as I hate to do it Ace, on behalf of all Christians, I unequivocally declare victory of behalf of all Christendom. I have not merely claimed/assumed victory. I demonstrated there has been victory. Christians are going from one glorious victory to another while atheists feel the sting of defeat.

"What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations." - Sun Tzu

By the way, the spelling of the famous Chinese general and strategist is not "Sun Zhu". His name is spelled Sun Tzu.

Ace McWicked, how can you expect to finally defeat me and my fellow Christians when you can't even spell the name of one of the greatest strategist in all of human history? No doubt you never have read his classic work The Art of War. Ace McWicked, one thing for certain, you are not going to resurrect the dead atheist movement. That dead horse is going to stay dead.

Message to Ace McWicked and his atheist/agnostic friends

See also: The internet island of atheism that has been bypassed

Ace McWicked and friends, have made two false claims: 1) I accepted a debate offer from him and then backed out (That is a lie and I did no such thing. And there was certainly no payment made to a Christian relief organization in exchange for the opportunity to debate me). 2) I see myself as a great debater (I have never indicated that I am a great debater). I have repeatedly indicated that it is not my debating prowess that causes me to prevail in exchanges with atheists, but it is the weakness of atheist argumentation and the inherent weakness of the atheist worldview.

If I were to debate an atheist, it certainly wouldn't be with a little known atheist who commonly engages in the fallacy of exclusion, was boorish at a certain Australian's wiki and lied about me accepting a debate offer from him.

Ace McWicked: The atheist movement is dead and NZ atheism is doomed in a world of globalization

Ace McWicked, the sooner you acknowledge that the atheist movement is dead and in a world of globalization NZ atheism is doomed, the less mental anguish you will face in the long run. See: Decline of the atheist movement and Desecularization and Global atheism statistics

See also

Essays:

Notes

  1. AceMcWicked post at an atheist/agnostic wiki that was launched in response to Conservapedia
  2. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  3. London: A Rising Island of Religion in a Secular Sea by Eric Kaufmann, Huffington Post, 2012
  4. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  5. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  6. 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
  7. Shall the religious inherit the earth - Festival of Dangerous Ideas - Eric Kaufmann
  8. *European immigration will pour Christian creationists into Europe
  9. Shall the religious inherit the earth - Festival of Dangerous Ideas - Eric Kaufmann
  10. *European immigration will pour Christian creationists into Europe
  11. Historian predicts 'bright future' for Christianity
  12. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  13. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Status of Global Missions
  14. How Christianity is Growing Around the World by Chuck Colson
  15. William Lane Craig’s Debates (Reviews)
  16. Post at an atheist/agnostic wiki that was launched in response to Conservapedia by someone who goes by the username ikanreed
  17. David Silverman - How the Mighty Get Back Up