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]

Heman Mehta leaves Patheos nonbelief blogging channel after its new editorial policy of not allowing atheists/agnostics to criticize religion

See also: Internet atheism

The Religion News Service reported:

Visitors to Patheos, the multifaith media platform that hosts commentary from writers in many of the world’s religions, may have noticed some changes lately.

Its nonreligious channel has become an empty hulk, bereft of most of the familiar names that once occupied the space, including its most popular blogger, Hemant Mehta, the “Friendly Atheist.”

Mehta and 14 other nonreligious bloggers, along with the channel manager, have decamped to a new site, OnlySky Media, set to launch later this month...

Efforts to reach Patheos’ management team were unsuccessful, but the departing bloggers and their channel manager, Dale McGowan, said that about a year ago, Patheos decided to change its editorial direction. Bloggers were advised they could stay at Patheos so long as they stopped writing negative or critical posts on religion or politics and instead focused on how to live a good life within their own worldview.[10]

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".[11] 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".[12][13]

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.”[14] 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."[15]

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

Hemant Mehta on the growth of the "nones"/unaffiliated in the United States and its effect on American politics

See also: Growth of the "nones"/unaffiliated in the West and its effect on Western politics and the political power of atheists

The nones do not subscribe to an organized religion such as Christianity or Judaism.[16]

In 2022, Pew Research reported:

Looking at the experience of 80 countries, we find that the share of people who were raised as Christians and switch away from Christianity has not risen much above 50% anywhere, even in highly secular Western European countries. For American Christians concerned about these trends, that could be the demographic good news of the day. If there truly is a floor under Christian retention rates, the net movement from the ranks of Christian to the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated eventually may stop.[17]

Although some American atheists like to claim the unaffiliated (unaffiliated with organized religion), "nones" or "no religion" on religious surveys as one of their own, according to Pew Research in 2017, 72% of the "Nones" believe in God, a higher power, or spiritual force.[18]

Hemant Mehta wrote about the growth of the nones in the United States and its effect on politics: "The next step, however, is converting those numbers into political power. I mentioned earlier that the "Christian" catch-all term didn't mean all that much and I could say the same here. People with "no religion" are not monolithic in their views, at least compared to atheists who are overwhelmingly on the side of progressive politics. It doesn't matter how large our numbers grow if we vote below our weight compared to conservative Christians."[19]

As far as cooperation among atheists, according to an international study done by William Bainbridge, atheism is frequent among people whose interpersonal social obligations are weak and is also linked to lower fertility rates in advanced industrial nations (See also: Atheism and fertility rates).[20] See also: Atheism and social skills and Atheism and loneliness

Also, in recent years, there is more infighting among atheists (See: Atheist factions).

For more information, please see: Growth of the "nones"/unaffiliated in the West and its effect on Western politics and the political power of atheists

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.[21] While debunking Rose's slander, Mehta also expressed his remorse for not factchecking the video before posting it:[21]

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.[21]

Christian commentary on Hemant Mehta

Atheist Hemant Mehta on the atheist eat babies meme

See also: Atheists eat babies meme and Communist China and baby eating and Causes of atheists eating babies

In 2014, The Washington Times reported: "China’s one child policy, baby trafficking, and sex trafficking of North Korean women aren’t the worst human rights violation happening in the country. Aborting innocent and healthy unborn children and eating them to boost one’s stamina and sexual health is.[22] See: Communist China and baby eating and China and atheism

Hemant Mehta wrote tongue in cheek about the Atheists eat babies meme:

If you’re like most normal people, you’ve briefly considered eating a baby or two.

Why is that, anyway? Why do babies always seem so delicious, even when you’re not particularly hungry? Using brain scanners and pajamas, an international team of scientists is closing in on a answer.

Apparently it has something to do with the way babies smell…

To be fair, the actual article is much more about how the smell of baby impacts how women bond with them and how those neural pathways are the same as those triggered by certain foods and drugs...[23]

See also

External links


  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 Blogs
  9. What happened to the nonbelief channel at Patheos?
  10. "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website
  11. Hemant Mehta listing - Enthusiastic Brights at Brights Movement website
  12. Science and the Search for Meaning: excerpts from the Introduction to Science Friction by Michael Shermer
  13. Not Too “Bright", Skeptical Enquirer, Chris Mooney, October 15, 2003
  14. Not Too “Bright", Skeptical Enquirer, Chris Mooney, October 15, 2003
  15. Meet the 'Nones:' Spiritual but not religious
  16. Religious ‘switching’ patterns will help determine Christianity’s course in U.S., Pew Research, 2022
  17. Key findings about Americans' belief in God. Pew Research Center (April 25, 2018). “In recent years, the share of American adults who do not affiliate with a religious group has risen dramatically. In spite of this trend, the overwhelming majority of Americans, including a majority of the religiously unaffiliated – those who describe themselves, religiously, as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” – say they believe in God or a higher power, according a new Pew Research Center survey conducted in December of 2017....Finally, among those who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated – also known as “nones” – 72% say they believe in a higher power of some kind.”
  18. Survey Says: A Record Number of Americans Have No Religious Affiliation by Hemant Mehta, 2021
  19. Bainbridge, William (2005). "Atheism" (PDF). Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 1 (Article 2): 1–26.
  20. 21.0 21.1 21.2 I Owe an Apology to the Freedom From Atheism Foundation, Though They’re Not Completely Off the Hook by Hemant Mehta - The Friendly Atheist
  21. Chinese cannibalism of infant flesh outrages the world, Washington Times, 2014
  22. See? It’s Not Just Atheists Who Want to Eat Babies by BY HEMANT MEHTA