Hemant Mehta

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Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta (born 1983) is an author, blogger and atheist activist. He has also served on the board of directors for the organizations Secular Student Alliance and Foundation Beyond Belief. His atheist blog is called "Friendly Atheist".[1]

He initially gained fame as the guy who "sold his soul on eBay" when he offered to go to the church of the highest bidder's choosing in early 2006.[2]

Since the eBay auction, Mehta has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, and Seattle Times, as well as being featured on Fox News Channel.[3] His book I Sold My Soul on eBay came out in 2007.[4]

Hemant Mehta denies the atheist movement ever existed

See also: Decline of the atheist movement and Atheism and historical revisionism

A number of atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead".[5] 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).[6] Smalley indicated that the atheist movement was disintegrating.[7]

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)[8] 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."[9]

Hermant Mehta and the Brights Movement

See also: Brights Movement and Atheism and arrogance

Hemant Mehta

On the Brights Movement website, Mehta is listed as an "Enthusiastic Bright".[10] The Brights Movement has been widely criticized as being pretentious and arrogant (see: Atheism and arrogance). Given the Brights Movement's reputation for smugness, his endorsement of the Brights Movement and his current listing as an "Enthusiastic Bright" on the Brights Movement website, could be seen as a matter of hypocrisy due to the attributes of "friendly" (his blog is called The Friendly Atheist) and "smug" being incompatible opposites (see: Atheist hypocrisy).

Unlike the skeptic Michael Shermer who had second thoughts after endorsing the Brights Movement, Hemant Mehta has never publicly denounced the Bright Movement for its smugness and remains listed on on its website as an "Enthusiastic Bright".[11][12]

The ABC News.com commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the “brights” campaign, “I don’t think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant.”[13] According to a 2003 Skeptical Enquirer article by Christ Mooney, "From the start, the “brights” label label reinforced a longstanding stereotype. Atheists already have a terrible rap for being coldhearted rationalists who attend Mensa gatherings and dismiss religious believers as simple-minded fools."[14]

See also: Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and intelligence and Atheism and the theory of multiple intelligences

Hemant Mehta issues apology to FFAF for posting libelous video

Militant atheist Hemant Mehta issued an apology to the Freedom From Atheism Foundation (FFAF) after he learned that a video made by atheist apologist Philip Rose that he posted, was fabricated and baseless.[15] While debunking Rose's slander, Mehta also expressed his remorse for not factchecking the video before posting it:[15]

The main charge in the video is that FFAF claims to have the support of several legal organizations, yet when the video’s creator Philip Rose contacted those groups, they were unaware that they supported such a group. Hell, they weren’t even aware of FFAF’s existence. I never bothered to look at the page for myself… until after I made my post. When I saw it, I realized FFAF never actually says those legal groups support them; they’re merely linking to them as resources: By Rose’s logic, having a blogroll means every website you link to endorses what you do… which would be crazy to suggest. FFAF isn’t doing anything wrong here. It doesn’t need the approval of those groups to link to them. I also referred to the group as “Christian trolls.” I still believe they’re trolls, in a sense, trying to stir up shit when there’s nothing there at all… but it turns out they’re not all Christians. In fact, their admins include a Muslim and a Buddhist.[15]

Christian commentary on Hemant Mehta

See also

External links

Notes

  1. "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website
  2. "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website
  3. "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website
  4. "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website
  5. Reasonably Controversial: How the Regressive Left Is Killing the Atheist Movement by David Smalley
  6. Reasonably Controversial: How the Regressive Left Is Killing the Atheist Movement by David Smalley
  7. The Atheist “Movement” Isn’t Dead Because There Never Was One by HEMANT MEHTA
  8. The “Atheism Movement:” Dead or Alive?, Freethought Blog
  9. "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website
  10. Hemant Mehta listing - Enthusiastic Brights at Brights Movement website
  11. Science and the Search for Meaning: excerpts from the Introduction to Science Friction by Michael Shermer
  12. Not Too “Bright", Skeptical Enquirer, Chris Mooney, October 15, 2003
  13. Not Too “Bright", Skeptical Enquirer, Chris Mooney, October 15, 2003
  14. 15.0 15.1 15.2 I Owe an Apology to the Freedom From Atheism Foundation, Though They’re Not Completely Off the Hook by Hemant Mehta - The Friendly Atheist