Western atheism and race

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The atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers giving a presentation to a group that is likely largely made up of white males.[1][2][3] In June 2010, PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[4]

In 2015, BloombergView reported concerning the United States:

According to a much-discussed 2012 report from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, only 3 percent of U.S. atheists and agnostics are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian. Some 82 percent are white. (The relevant figures for the population at large at the time of the survey were 66 percent white, 11 percent black, 15 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian.)

...Craig Keener, in his huge review of claims of miracles in a wide variety of cultures, concludes that routine rejection of the possibility of the supernatural represents an impulse that is deeply Eurocentric.[5]

See also: Atheism and racism and European desecularization in the 21st century

There is a significant amount of racism within the atheist population (see: Atheism and racism). This also holds true for atheists in the Western World as well.

In the United States, blacks have the highest rate of religiosity.[6] Among Hispanics, religion has traditionally played a significant role in daily activity.[7]

At the same time, due to immigration, Europe is expected to become more desecularized in the 21st century (See also: Global atheism and Atheist population).

The atheist Sikivu Hutchinson declared “If mainstream freethought and humanism continue to reflect the narrow cultural interests of white elites who have disposable income to go to conferences then the secular movement is destined to remain marginal and insular.”[8]

The atheist community has not had significant outreach to racial minorities within the Western World whereas Christians have done this (particularly among the poor).[9] See also: Atheism and uncharitableness

Atheist Sikivu Hutchinson says that atheist organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not on the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.[9] Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations significantly help poor African-Americans.[9] See also: Atheism and uncharitablenss

In 2010, an atheists' conference was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The conference, sponsored by the Council for Secular Humanism, drew members from all the major atheist organizations in the United States. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older..."[10]

Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheists' websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women.[3][11][12] These findings suggest that the atheist movement in the Western world and the New Atheism movement are significantly more appealing to white males.

In 2011, Beliefnetnews reported concerning the race and gender of American atheists:

From the smallest local meetings to the largest conferences, the vast majority of speakers and attendees are almost always white men. Leading figures of the atheist movement — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett — are all white men.

But making atheism more diverse is proving to be no easy task.

Surveys suggest most atheists are white men. A recent survey of 4,000 members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation found that 95 percent were white, and men comprised a majority.[13]

Cultural diversity of the atheist population

See also: Atheism and diversity and Atheism and white males and Atheism and culture

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics (see also: Causes of evolutionary belief).[14] Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life has been translated into 35 languages.[15]

In terms of its geographic distribution, Christianity is a much more a global religion than most, if not all, religions (See also: Global Christianity).[16][17] The Bible has been translated into 518 languages and 2,798 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.[18]

Collectively speaking, the Christian community has a much greater degree of linguistic and cultural diversity than the atheist community (see also: Atheist community and verbal–linguistic intelligence).

See also:

Black atheism

See: Black atheism

Atheism/Latino Americans and religiosity and Latino culture

See: Atheism/Latino Americans and religiosity and Latino culture

Token efforts to extend racial minorities leadership positions in atheist organizations

See also: Black atheism and Atheism and leadership and Atheist organizations

On October 9, 2014, the atheist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson declared:

Despite frequent tokenistic calls for “diversity” within the “movement,” there are virtually no people of color in executive management positions in any of the major secular, atheist, or Humanist organizations —notable exceptions being Debbie Goddard of Center for Inquiry and Maggie Ardiente of American Humanist Association. People of color are constantly bombarded with claims of separatism, reverse discrimination, and “self-segregation” when they point to the absence of social justice, anti-racist community organizing, coalition-building, and visibility among secular organizations. After the Washington Post article, the vitriol and denialism among the “We are All Africans” white atheists was off the chain. This illustrates yet again that sticking a few of us on conference panels or secular boards is nothing but cheap appeasement.[19]

Sikivu Hutchinson's criticism of RDF and Center for Inquiry merger

See also: Center for Inquiry and Atheism and international cooperation among atheists

Atheist Sikivu Hutchinson wrote:

The recent merger of the secular organization Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the Richard Dawkins Foundation (RDF) has been dubbed atheism's supergroup moment. Acknowledging the two organizations' outsized presence in the atheist world, Religion News Service acidly declared it a "royal wedding". The partnership, which gives Richard Dawkins a seat on the CFI board, smacks of a vindication of Dawkins' toxic, reactionary brand of damn-all-them-culturally-backward-Western-values-hating- Muslims New Atheism. As one of the most prominent global secular organizations, CFI's all-white board looks right at home with RDF's lily white board and staff.[20]

The secular humanist document Human Manifesto II, which was written in 1973 by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, decried racism and it declared:

The beginnings of police states, even in democratic societies, widespread government espionage, and other abuses of power by military, political, and industrial elites, and the continuance of unyielding racism, all present a different and difficult social outlook. In various societies, the demands of women and minority groups for equal rights effectively challenge our generation.[21]

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).

African-American atheists and loneliness

See also: Atheism and loneliness

National Public Radio interviewed the African-American atheist Jamila Bey and the host of the interview said:

...for a couple of centuries, African-American culture has been imbued with Christianity. The church figured prominently in both the abolitionist and civil rights movements. And today in many communities, the Christian church continues to be the nucleus of black life.

So, what about the black nonbelievers? It's one isolating experience, according to Jamila Bey.[22]

Atheist organizations: Focus on church-state/creationism issues - poor largely ignored

See also: White atheist outreach is not competitive to the black church and Atheism and uncharitableness and Atheism, social justice and hypocrisy

Most atheists likely live in East Asia (see: Asian atheism).

A beggar in Cambodia. In Cambodia, the vast majority of the population adheres to a nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism.

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[23] In the United States, per capita atheists and agnostics in America give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists.

In June 2014, Sikivu Hutchinson wrote in the Washington Post that atheist organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.[9] Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do offer significant help to poor African-Americans.[9] Much of the focus on church/state separation and creationism issues relative to atheist organizations involves initiating and litigating lawsuits (see: Atheist lawsuits).

Also, according to a video posted at Freethought Blogs storefront churches provide assistance to local residents including women, and this partly explains the dearth of Hispanic and African-American women atheists in America (Atheists give less to charity than Christians).[24]

In 2014, the atheist Chris Hall wrote in an article which was published by Salon magazine and Alternet:

Direct challenges to racism and sexism haven’t traditionally been the domain of the large organizations like American Atheists or the Secular Coalition for America. It’s been far more typical to fight incursions against separation of church and state or educate against pseudoscience like homeopathy.[25]

For more information, please see: White atheist outreach is not competitive to the black church

Center for Inquiry and its lack of racial diversity

Expected racial demographic changes in the Western World

See also: Growth of evangelical Protestantism in Europe and British atheism

In the United Kingdom, by the year 2050, 30 percent of the population is expected to be non-white.[26] In the United States, the Hispanic population is expected to triple by the year 2050 and become 30% of the United States population.[27] Yale Daily News reported in an article entitled White Europeans: An endangered species? that "Without a major shift in the current fertility trends, industrialized Europe will see its native population decline by about three-fourths over the 21st century."[28]

PZ Myers' commentary on TheAmazingAtheist

See also: Decline of the atheist movement

In 2016, Myers published a blog post entitled Atheism seems to be amazingly doomed [29] In the blog post he indicated that YouTube's TheAmazingAtheist engaged in racism and the feedback he received from viewers was far more positive than it was negative.

European drop in world's population percentage and rise of religious African population

See: Global atheism and British atheism

In 2014, the Pew Research Forum indicated that Europe will go from 11% of the world's population to 7% of the world's population by 2050 and that Africa will go from 15% of the world's population to 25% of the world's population.[30]

Lack of significant global outreach by atheists

See also: Global Christianity, Christian evangelism and Atheism and apathy

The Christian relief organization Feed My Starving Children has a distribution partner in Malawi, Africa. In recent years, Christianity has seen a rapid growth in Africa.[31]

In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[32]

Western World atheists and East Asian atheists have not engaged in a significant amount of global outreach.

The former Soviet Union had a worldwide expansionist policy as far as spreading atheistic communism.[33] The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to a spike in religious affiliation, both in Russia and in Eastern Europe.[34]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[35] See: Global atheism and Asian atheism

The atheists in the Western World and East Asia have not had significant outreaches to spread atheism throughout the world. Historically, Christians have made great evangelism efforts to reach every people group across the earth. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[32] Doing overseas evangelism/outreaches, often requires significant hardships/persecution and Western atheists and East Asian atheists have been unwilling to endure such hardships in order to spread atheistic ideology (see: Atheism and hedonism).

In the United States, atheists are in the minority (See: Atheist Population). And in the United States and Canada, the general population looks very unfavorably on atheists (see: Views on atheists). In the United States/Canada, atheists are generally white.

Evolutionary racism

See also: Atheism and evolutionary racism and Social effects of the theory of evolution

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[14] The errant and ill-founded writings of atheist Charles Darwin (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) ,[36] which became very influential in the late 19th century, provided a pretext for racism.

Evolutionary racism refers to a racist philosophy based on Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory. It assumes that men have continually evolved, and thus some races are more evolved than others. It replaces Christian morality with the atheistic "survival of the fittest" ideology of Social Darwinism.

Charles Darwin wrote in his work The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex:

At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.[37][38]

The atheist Ernst Haeckel was a virulent evolutionary racist. The agnostic and staunch evolutionist Stephen Gould admitted the following:

Haeckel was the chief apostle of evolution in Germany.... His evolutionary racism; his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a "just" state; his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others; the irrational mysticism that had always stood in strange communion with his brave words about objective science—all contributed to the rise of Nazism.—Stephen J. Gould, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1977, (pp.77-78).[39]

When asked in an interview, "If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?", Richard Dawkins replied, "What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question, but whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath."[40]

The interviewer wrote in response, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."[40]

Evolutionary racism still exist today. For example, evolutionary racism was recently directed at Michelle Obama.[41] The historic taint of white evolutionary racism within the white atheist community no doubt has been a factor which has hindered the adoption of atheism in the Western World among racial minorities. Leading creation science organizations such as Creation Ministries International, Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research commonly point out the evolutionary racism that has existed within the evolutionary community.[42][43][44][45]

Thomas Sowell wrote:

While slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in its history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all…. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principle impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called ‘the religious right.’…this story is not ‘politically correct’ in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.”[46]

The Christian abolitionist William Wilberforce was the father of Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford who took part in the famous creation vs. evolution with evolutionist T. H. Huxley in 1860. In the United States, the black church has been a major force in advancing the cause of racial equality.

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa comments about black women and the black race

Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics. Dr. Kanazawa publishes a blog on the Psychology Today website called The Scientific Fundamentalist.

In 2011, Dr. Kanazawa published the following inappropriate comment which was later pulled by the Psychology Today website:

It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.[47]

Kanazawa has a "Savanna principle" hypothesis which speculates that societal problems are due to the human brain supposedly evolving in Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago in a very different environment from modern society.[48]

Cooperation between Asian atheists and Western atheists nonexistent or virtually non-existent

See: Cooperation between Asian atheists and Western atheists nonexistent or virtually non-existent

Creativity Movement

See also: Creativity Movement

The Creativity Movement, formerly known as the World Church Of The Creator, is an atheistic white supremacist organization.[49][50][51] The movement has denounced Christianity,[50] as it purports to promote love for all of mankind.[52] It denounces religion for bringing horror into the world by dividing the white race.[50]


See also: Atheism quotes and Atheism and social justice

"As a black atheist, I encounter just as much racism amongst other atheists as anywhere else." - Ijeoma Oluo, The Guardian, October 24, 2015[53]

See also

External links


  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/us/16beliefs.html?_r=1
  2. http://www.conservapedia.com/Racial_demographics_of_the_Richard_Dawkins%27_audience
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_appears_to_be_significantly_less_appealing_to_women
  4. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/the_woman_problem.php
  5. The Atheism Gap By Stephen L. Carter, BloombergView, Mar 27, 2015 4:26 PM EDT
  6. Gallup: Blacks Most Religious Group in U.S.
  7. Understanding Hispanic culture
  8. Atheism’s white male problem: A movement needs a moral cause beyond glamorizing disbelief by CJ Werleman, Salon, October 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  10. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/us/16beliefs.html
  11. http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/NONES_08.pdf
  12. http://www.livescience.com/culture/090227-religion-men-women.html
  13. http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/01/atheists-diversity-woes-have-n.php
  14. 14.0 14.1 * Dr. Don Batten, A Who’s Who of evolutionists Creation 20(1):32, December 1997.
  15. Darwin in translation
  16. Many religions heavily concentrated in one or two countries
  17. Christianity in its global context
  18. Bible translations
  19. Atheism and social justice: Sikivu Hutchinson on the first People of Color Beyond Faith conference, Chris Stedman, Religious Service News, Oct 9, 2014
  20. #AtheismSoWhite: Atheists of Color Rock Social Justice by Sikivu Hutchinson
  21. Humanist Manifesto II
  22. Black Atheists Say Non-Belief Means Cultural Outsider, NPR, May 28, 201012:00 PM ET
  23. Multiple references:
  24. Sikivu, Ophelia, and Rebecca — who says atheism lacks women stars?
  25. Forget Christopher Hitchens: Atheism in America is undergoing a radical change by Chris Hall, Salon magazine, Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 12:25 PM UTC (originally published in Alternet)
  26. Non-white people almost 30 per cent of population by 2050, By James Kirkup, Political Editor, The Telegraph, May 5, 2014
  27. [U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050 U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050], USA Today, By Haya El Nasser, 2/12/2008
  28. White Europeans: An endangered species? By Trevor Wagener, Yale Daily News, February 27, 2008
  29. Atheism seems to be amazingly doomed by PZ Myers
  30. 10 projections for the global population in 2050 By Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research Forum, February 3, 2014
  31. The African apostles: How Christianity exploded in 20th-century Africa
  32. 32.0 32.1 Is Christianity taking over the planet?
  33. America Coming to Terms: The Vietnam Legacy By Nguyen Anh Tuan, page 82
  34. [Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020] by Michael W. Chapman, CNS News, July 24, 2013 - 2:18 PM
  35. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  36. http://www.aim.org/wls/90/
  37. The Descent of Man, chapter VI
  38. http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/social.html
  39. 40.0 40.1 http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the-world/richard-dawkins-the-atheist-evangelist
  40. https://creation.com/obama-racism-row
  41. https://creation.com/racism-questions-and-answers
  42. http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/racism
  43. https://www.icr.org/article/evolution-modern-racism/
  44. https://www.icr.org/article/ascent-racism/
  45. Sowell, Thomas (2005) The real history of slavery. In Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books
  46. https://www.scribd.com/doc/55558908/Why-Are-Black-Women-Rated-Less-Physically-Attractive-Than-Other-Women-But-Black-Men-Are-Rated-Better-Looking-Than-Other-Men
  47. http://www.psychologytoday.com/node/38933
  48. Contemporary voices of white nationalism in America. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “World Church of the Creator, an organization that espouses an atheistic and white supremacist religious philosophy known as Creativity.” 
  49. 50.0 50.1 50.2 The new white nationalism in America: its challenge to integration. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “For instance, Ben Klassen, founder of the atheistic World Church of the Creator and the author of The White Man's Bible, discusses Christianity extensively in his writings and denounces religion that has brought untold horror into the world and divided the white race.” 
  50. The World's Religions: Continuities and Transformations. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “A competing atheistic or panthestic white racist movement also appeared, which included the Church of the Creator/ Creativity (Gardell 2003: 129–134).” 
  51. Ludwig Feuerbach. The Essence of Christianity. John Chapman. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “Christ loved men: he wished to bless and unite them all without distinction of sex, age, rank or nationality. Christ is the love of mankind to itself embodied in an image–in accordance with the nature of religion as we have developed it–or contemplated as a person, but a person who (we mean, of course, as a religious object) has only the significance of an image, who is only ideal. For this reason love is pronounced to be the characteristic mark of the disciples.” 
  52. My atheism does not make me superior to believers. It's a leap of faith too by Ijeoma Oluo, The Guardian, October 24, 2015