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of Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach (1723 - 1789) was an early advocate of atheism in Europe.]] Atheism, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and other philosophy reference works, is the denial of the existence of God.<ref>Multiple references:

</ref> Paul Edwards, who was a prominent atheist and editor of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, defined an atheist as “a person who maintains that there is no God.”<ref name=“CRI”>Putting the Atheist on the Defensive by Kenneth R. Samples, Christian Research Institute Journal, Fall 1991, and Winter 1992, page 7.</ref>

Beginning in the latter portion of the 20th century and continuing beyond, many agnostics/atheists have argued that the definition of atheism should be defined as a lack of belief in God or gods.<ref name=“CRI”/><ref name=“Divine”>Day, Donn R. (2007). "Atheism - etymology".</ref><ref>Definition of atheism by William Lane Craig</ref><ref>Britain is a less religious country than the United States and the online Oxford Dictionaries offers both the narrow/broad definitions of atheism (As noted in a previous footnote the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which is a traditional American dictionary, offers a more narrow definition of atheism similar to the definition that major encyclopedias of philosophy use). Oxford Dictionaries: Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/atheism</ref>

Atheism has been examined by many disciplines in terms of its effects on individuals and on societies and these effects will be covered shortly.

As far as individuals adopting an atheistic worldview, atheism has a number of causal factors and these will be elaborated on below.

Types of atheism

See also: Schools of atheist thought and Atheist factions

was an ancient Greek atheist, poet and Sophist of the 5th century BC.

See: History of atheism ]] The history of atheism can be dated to as early as the 5th century B.C. Diagoras of Melos was a 5th century B.C. Greek atheist, poet and Sophist. Since this time, there have been many schools of atheist thought that have developed.

Atheism and why do atheists state they disbelieve?

See also: Weak atheism and Strong atheism

Atheists claim there are two main reasons for their denial of the existence of God and/or disbelief in God: the conviction that there is positive evidence or argument that God does not exist (strong atheism, which is also sometimes called positive atheism), and their claim that theists bear the burden of proof to show that God exists, that they have failed to do so, and that belief is therefore unwarranted (weak atheism).

As alluded to above, theists and others have posited a number of causes of atheism and this matter will be further addressed in this article.

Attempts to broaden the definition of atheism

In 1876, Charles Bradlaugh proposed that atheism does not assert “there is no God,” and by doing so he endeavored to dilute the traditional definition of atheism.<ref name=“Divine”/><ref>

</ref> As noted above, in the latter portion of the 20th century, the proposition that the definition of atheism be defined as a mere lack of belief in God or gods began to be commonly advanced by agnostics/atheists.<ref name=“Divine”/><ref>

Critics of a broader definition of atheism to be a mere lack of belief often point out that such a definition is contrary to the traditional/historical meaning of the word and that such a definition makes atheism indistinguishable from agnosticism.<ref name=“CRI”/><ref name=“Divine”/><ref>

</ref>

For more information, please see:

Some common types of atheism

Below are a few common ways that atheism manifests itself:

1. Militant atheism, which continues to suppress and oppress religious believers today.

Topics related to militant atheism:

2. Philosophical atheism - Atheist philosophers assert that God does not exist. (See also: Naturalism and Materialism)

Secular humanism is a philosophy which holds that human beings are the most important figures, and that social problems are best solved without the involvement of religious doctrine.

The philosophy of postmodernism is atheistic (see: Atheism and postmodernism).

3. Atheistic Buddhism (some schools of Buddhism are theistic)

4. Practical atheism: atheism of the life - that is, living as though God does not exist.<ref>Dr. Martin Luther King in his sermon Rediscovering Lost Values spoke of “practical atheism”. King, Dr. Martin Luther (1954). "Rediscovering lost values"</ref>

5. Other schools of atheist thought: Schools of atheist thought

Atheist factions

See also: Atheist factions and Atheist organizations

was a central figure in the Elevatorgate controversy.]] In 2015, Dr. J. Gordon Melton said about the atheist movement (organized atheism) that atheism is not a movement which tends to create community, but in the last few years there has been some growth of organized atheism.<ref>Baylor ISR- J. Gordon Melton - End of Religion? (May 5, 2015)</ref> See also: Atheist factions and Atheist organizations

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.”<ref>Rousseau, Jacques (July 13, 2011). "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can rip my soul". Daily Maverick [South Africa].</ref> 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.”<ref>"The atheist community and internet atheism is still a hostile wasteland" (April 7, 2013). Question Evolution Campaign [blog].</ref>

Atheist infighting

See also: Atheist movement and Atheism and anger

Blair Scott served on the American Atheists board of directors.<ref>"Board of directors" (July 1, 2014). American Atheists</ref> 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.<ref name=“Blair Scott”>Scott, Blair (December 1, 2012). "An open letter from Blair Scott". American Atheists.</ref>

Mr. Blair wrote:

The atheist Neil Carter wrote:

Eddie Tabash on atheist argumentativeness

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

The American atheist activist Eddie Tabash said in a speech to the Michigan Atheists State Convention, “Since we are a bit of a cantankerous, opinionated lot…”.<ref>Atheists Speak Up - Eddie Tabash - Part 2 of 4</ref>

Low retention rate of atheists in atheist households

See also: Atheism has a lower retention rate compared to other worldviews and Desecularization and Atheism and apathy

study was published indicating that about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household in the United States remain atheists as adults.<ref name=“retention rate”>Nazworth, Nap (July 11, 2012). "Study: atheists have lowest 'retention rate' compared to religious groups". christianpost.com.</ref>

See: Atheism retention rate ]] In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.<ref name=“retention rate”/> Similarly, according to recent research by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in the United States, a majority of those surveyed who were raised in atheist or agnostic households, or where there was no specific religious attachment, later chose to join a religious faith.<ref>Multiple references:

A 2012 study by the General Social Survey of the social science research organization NORC at the University of Chicago found that belief in God rises with age, even in atheistic nations.<ref>Harms, William (April 18, 2012). "Belief in God rises with age, even in atheist nations". UChicagoNews.</ref> The Pew Forum reports about American atheists: “Among self-identified atheists and agnostics, the median age is 34, and roughly four-in-ten adults in these categories are between the ages of 18 and 29.”<ref>Chapter 3: Demographic Profiles of Religious Groups, Pew Forum</ref> See also: Atheism and immaturity.

In addition, in atheistic Communist China, Christianity is experiencing rapid growth (see: Growth of Christianity in China).

See also:

Difficulty in participating in atheist community

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

In comparison to many religious groups, which have many meetings in numerous places in a given day or week which are convenient to attend, atheist meetings are sparse. One of the causes of this situation is the apathy of many atheists (see: Atheism and apathy).

speaking at a 2013 atheist meeting entitled The Amazing Meeting (TAM). TAM is an annual meeting. ]] Atheist Francois Tremblay wrote about the difficulty of motivating atheists to engage in activities related to atheism: “One last problem that undermines any propagation of atheism is inspiration. Let's be honest here, 'there is no god!' is not a very motivating call for most people.” (see also: Atheism and inspiration).<ref>Herding Cats: Why Atheism Will Lose by Francois Tremblay</ref> See also: Evangelical atheism

The atheist Jerry Coyne said about atheist meetings/conferences, “But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks.”<ref>Are there too many atheist meetings? by Jerry Coyne</ref>

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.<ref>Amanda (August 10, 2012). "How the atheist movement failed me–part 1: cost". Friendly Atheist blog.</ref> 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.<ref>Norris, Chuck (May 21, 2007). "How to outlaw Christianity (steps 2 & 3)". WorldNetDaily. See: Chuck Norris.</ref> Often internet communication between atheists turns turns contentious (see: Atheist factions).

For more information, please see: Atheism and loneliness

Abandonment of atheism in communist regimes

Claims about the conditionality and existence of atheism

argued that atheists actively suppress their belief and knowledge of God.<ref>Van Til and Self-deception by Dr. Greg Bahnsen</ref> In other words, atheists engage in self-deception about the existence of God.]] See also: Atheists doubting the validity of atheism

Hannah More wrote: “[T]he mind, which knows not where to fly, flies to God. In agony, nature is no Atheist. The soul is drawn to God by a sort of natural impulse; not always, perhaps by an emotion of piety; but from a feeling conviction, that every other refuge is 'a refuge of lies'.”<ref>More, Hannah (1815). ''An Essay on the Character and Practical Writings of St. Paul'', 5th ed., vol. 2 (London: T. Cadell and W. Davies), p. 234.</ref>

Denials that atheists exist

See also: Denials that atheists exist and Atheists doubting the validity of atheism and Atheism and apathy

It has been asserted by various theists that atheists do not exist and that atheists are actively suppressing their belief and knowledge of God and enigmatically engage in self-deception and in the deception of others (see: Denials that atheists exist and Atheism and deception). In atheistic Japan, researchers found that Japanese children see the world as designed.<ref>Multiple references:

Atheism and death

See also: Atheism and death and Atheist funerals and Atheism and Hell

See: [[Atheism and death">File:Atheism and death.jpg|thumbnail|200px|right|According to a study performed in the United States by researchers Wink and Scott, very religious people fear death the least.Multiple references: *[http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/050628_deathfearfrm.htm "Fear of death: Worst if you’re a little religious?"] (July 13, 2005). World Science. *Wink, P. L. and Scott, J. A. (July 2005). [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15980288 "Does religiousness buffer against the fear of death and dying in late adulthood? Findings from a longitudinal study" [abstract]]. ''The Journals of Gerontology, series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences'', vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 207-14. PubMed.gov See: [[Atheism and death

]] Science Daily reported that “Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God”.<ref name=“Otago”>University of Otago [New Zealand] (April 2, 2012). "Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God". ScienceDaily.</ref> In a Psychology Today article, Dr. Nathan A. Heflick reported similar results in other studies.<ref name=“Heflick”>Heflick, Nathan A. (May 25, 2012). "Atheists, death and belief in God: The effects of death reminders on atheists' supernatural beliefs". Psychology Today website.</ref> Under stress, the brain's processing works in a way that prefers unconscious thinking.<ref>Multiple references:

A United States study and a Taiwanese study indicated that the irreligious fear death more than the very religious.<ref>Multiple references:

Atheists and belief in life after death

See also: Atheism and life after death and Atheists and supernatural beliefs

A significant percentage of atheists believe in life after death (see: Atheism and life after death).<ref>Survey: 32% of Atheists & Agnostics Believe in an Afterlife</ref>

For additional information, please see:

Atheism and Hell

See also: Atheism and Hell

The journalist and ex-atheist Peter Hitchens, who is the brother of the late atheist Christopher Hitchens, said upon seeing an art exhibit of Michelangelo's painting The Last Judgment he came to the realization that he might be judged which startled him.<ref name=“PH”>"Peter Hitchens author interview—The rage against God" [interview of Peter Hitchens] (March 22, 2010). Vimeo video, 8:38, posted by Gorilla Poet Productions.</ref> This started a train of thought within him that eventually led him to become a Christian.<ref name=“PH”/>

There are no atheists in foxholes

See also: There are no atheists in foxholes and Atheists doubting the validity of atheism

.<ref>Multiple references:

Reverend William T. Cummings is famous for declaring “There are no atheists in foxholes.”<ref>"Milestones [excerpt&#93;" (October 15, 1945). Time. magazine website</ref> Chaplain F. W. Lawson of the 302d Machine Gun Battalion, who was wounded twice in wartime, stated “I doubt if there is such a thing as an atheist. At least there isn't in a front line trench.”<ref>"Tells of religion in army. Chaplain Lawson says there are no atheists in front line" (November 25, 1918). New York Times, p. 13.</ref> On the other hand, the news organization NBC featured a story in which atheist veterans claimed that there are atheists in foxholes.<ref>Breen, Tom (April 2, 2011)."Army group 'coming out of the atheist closet'" from NBCNews.com</ref>

Research indicates that heavy combat has a positive correlation to the strength of the religious faith in soldiers during the battles and subsequent to the war if they indicated their experience was a negative experience (for more information please see: There are no atheists in foxholes).

Also, due to research showing that death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Dr. Nathan Heflick declared in a Psychology Today article, “But, at a less conscious (or pre-conscious) level, this research suggests that there might be less atheism in foxholes than atheists in foxholes report.”<ref name=“Heflick”/> Please see: Atheism and death

Atheism and communism

Atheists Karl Marx, Vladmir Lenin and Zhou Enlai

Karl Marx said “[Religion] is the opium of the people.” Marx also stated: “Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction.”<ref>Mulligan, Martin (1959). "Private property and communism" translation of Marx, Karl (1932), Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (Moscow: Progress Publishers).</ref>

Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote regarding atheism and communism: “A Marxist must be a materialist, i.e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i.e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could.”<ref>Rothstein, Andrew and Issacs, Bernard (1973). "The attitude of the worker's party to religion" translation of Lenin, Vladimir (1909), Proletary, No. 45, May 13 (26), Collected Works, (Moscow: Progress Publishers) vol. 15, pp. 402-13.</ref>

In 1955, Chinese communist leader Zhou Enlai declared, “We Communists are atheists”.<ref>Noebel, David, The Battle for Truth, Harvest House, 2001.</ref> In 2014, the Communist Party of China reaffirmed that members of their party must be atheists.<ref>

Russian revolution caused the most notable spread of atheism

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the “most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power.”<ref name=“Marxism-Leninism”>

</ref> Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg, a Soviet physicist, wrote that the “Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists.”<ref name=“Lenin & militant atheism”>

</ref> However, prior to this, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution established a state which was anti-Roman Catholicism/Christian in nature <ref>Multiple references:

  • Tallet, Frank and Atkin, Nicholas (1991). ''Religion, Society and Politics in France Since 1789'' (London: A & C Black), pp. 1-17. GoogleBooks archive.
  • Spielvogel, Jackson J. (2006). ''Western Civilization: Combined Volume'' (Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth), p. 549. GoogleBooks archive.
  • Latreille, A. (2002). “French Revolution”, New Catholic Encyclopedia (2nd ed., Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson/Gale), vol. 5, pp. 972–973. ISBN 0-7876-4004-2</ref> (anti-clerical deism and anti-religious atheism and played a significant role in the French Revolution<ref>Multiple references:
  • Hunt, Lynn and Censer, Jack (2001). "War, Terror and Resistence", ch. 7, p. 3. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution website. George Mason University website/Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media website.
  • O'Leary, Margaret R. (June 1, 2012). Forging Freedom: The Life of Cerf Berr of M Delsheim (iUniverse), pp. 1-2.</ref>), with the official ideology being the Cult of Reason; during this time thousands of believers were suppressed and executed by the guillotine.<ref>Multiple references:

<!– Guillotine –>*

<!– France –>*

<!– Reign of Terror –>*

</ref>

Atheistic communism and mass murder

See also: Atheism and mass murder and Atheist atrocities

File:Stalin-140508 27880t.jpg|right|202px|thumb|The militant atheistic regime of Joseph Stalin killed tens of millions of people. See: [[Atheism and Mass Murder

]] It has been estimated that in less than the past 100 years, governments under the banner of communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.<ref>Multiple references:

Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote relative to atheism and mass murder that “the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them.”<ref name=“Koukl”>Koukl, Gregory (February 20, 2013). "The real murderers: atheism or Christianity?" Stand to Reason.</ref> Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under regimes which advocated atheism.<ref name=“Koukl” /> As noted earlier, Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities and Dawkins was shown to be in gross error.

Koukl summarized by stating:

The ex-atheist Theodore Beale notes concerning atheism and mass murder:

See also:

Communism and religious oppression

See also: Communism and religious persecution and Atheistic communism and torture and Atheism and forced labor and China and involuntary organ harvesting

The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism and various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers.<ref>Multiple references:

The persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union was the result of the violently atheist Soviet government. In the first five years after the October Revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were murdered, many on the orders of Leon Trotsky. When Joseph Stalin came to power in 1927, he ordered his secret police, under Genrikh Yagoda to intensify persecution of Christians. In the next few years, 50,000 clergy were murdered, many were tortured, including crucifixion. “Russia turned red with the blood of martyrs”, said Father Gleb Yakunin of the Russian Orthodox Church.<ref>Ostling, Richard N. (December 4, 1989). "Cross meets Kremlin: Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II". Time. Time magazine website.</ref> According to Orthodox Church sources, as many as fifty million Orthodox believers may have died in the twentieth century, mainly from persecution by Communists.<ref>Moore, Rev. Fr. Raphael (October 1999). "In memory of the 50 million victims of the Orthodox Christian Holocaust", Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul, Serfes, Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios, compiler.</ref>

The religious landscape of China is quickly changing, however, due to the rapid growth of Christianity. See also: [[Global atheism">File:China location.png|thumbnail|left|205px|With its large population, China has the largest population of atheists.[http://www.thechapmans.nl/news/Atheist.pdf "The largest atheist/agnostic populations"]. Chris & Terri Chapman. Countries with the largest atheist populations. The religious landscape of China is quickly changing, however, due to the rapid growth of Christianity. See also: [[Global atheism

]] In addition, in the atheistic and communist Soviet Union, 44 anti-religious museums were opened and the largest was the 'The Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism' in Leningrad’s Kazan cathedral.<ref>Humphrey (December 16, 2008). "Merry Anti-Christmas!" Quodlibeta.</ref> Despite intense effort by the atheistic leaders of the Soviet Union, their efforts were not effective in converting the masses to atheism.<ref>Multiple references:

China is a communist country. In 1999, the publication Christian Century reported that “China has persecuted religious believers by means of harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or 'reform-through-labor' camps and police closure of places of worship.” In 2003, owners of Bibles in China were sent to prison camps and 125 Chinese churches were closed.<ref>"China sends Bible owners to labor camp" (November 26, 2003). WorldNetDaily.</ref> China continues to practice religious oppression today.<ref>Chinese Police Proudly Record Their Torture of Christians, By Voice of the Martyrs|June 12, 2003</ref>

The efforts of China's atheist leaders in promoting atheism, however, is increasingly losing its effectiveness and the number of Christians in China is rapidly growing (see: Growth of Christianity in China). China's state sponsored atheism and atheistic indoctrination has been a failure and a 2007 religious survey in China indicated that only 15% of Chinese identified themselves as atheists.<ref>Briggs, David (January 23, 2011). "Huffington Post: China’s state-sponsored atheism a failure" [excerpt&#93;. National Post website.</ref>

North Korea is a repressive communist state and is officially atheistic.<ref>Lee, Sunny (May 12, 2007). "God forbid, religion in North Korea?" Asia Times Online. Archived at Internet Archive on May 21, 2013.</ref> The North Korean government practices brutal repression and atrocities against North Korean Christians.<ref>Multiple references:

, after his arrest by the KGB. He was tortured to death and his tongue cut out.<ref>Martyred in the USSR</ref><ref>The Russians' Secret by Peter Hoover with Serguei V. Petrov, Speaking Without a Tongue, Chapter 1 (Pages 1-3)</ref> See also: Atheistic communism and torture ]]

Atheistic communism and torture

See also: Atheistic communism and torture

The website Victimsofcommunism.org declares concerning atheistic communism and the use of torture:

For more information, please see: Atheistic communism and torture

Atheistic communist regimes and forced labor

See also: Atheism and forced labor and Atheism and slavery

In atheistic communist regimes forced labor has often played a significant role in their economies and this practice continues to this day (see: Atheism and forced labor).<ref>Multiple references:

Communist China and involuntary organ harvesting

Atheism and politics

, 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.<ref name=“cnsnews.com”>Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020</ref> See: Desecularization ]]

Historically, atheists have favored the left side of the political aisle (see: Atheism and politics).

According to the Pew Forum, in the United States: “About two-thirds of atheists (69%) identify as Democrats (or lean in that direction), and a majority (56%) call themselves political liberals (compared with just one-in-ten who say they are conservatives).”<ref>7 facts about atheists, Pew Forum</ref>

In some regions where the secular left has considerable influence, they are losing an increasing amount of their power. For example, in secular Europe right-wing, nationalist parties are growing and in China conservative Protestantism is growing rapidly (see: Growth of Christianity in China).<ref>EU Failures Fuel Rise of Right-Wing Populist Parties in Europe. Sputnik News, 2016</ref>

For more information please see:

Desecularization and politics

See also: Desecularization and politics

Desecularization is the process by which religion reasserts its societal influence though religious values, institutions, sectors of society and symbols in reaction to previous and/or co-occurring secularization processes.<ref name=“China 2011, page 11”>Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival and Revival by Christopher Marsh, 2011, page 11 (Christopher Marsh cites the definitions of desecularization given by Peter L. Berger and Vyacheslav Karpov)</ref>

Scholars of religious demographics frequently use the term the “global resurgence of religion” to describe the process of global desecularization which began in the late portion of the 20th century.<ref>The return of religion</ref>

Due to the higher fertility of religious conservatives and religious immigration to the Western World, the religious are expected to see a net gain in political power in the 21st century and this may cause a rise in social conservatism within various societies over time (see: Desecularization and politics).

Atheism and history

in the top photo taken in the mid 1930s. Subsequent to his execution in 1940, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by Soviet Union censors.<ref>From the book The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia by David King</ref>

See: Atheism and historical revisionism ]] See also: Atheists and historical illiteracy and History of atheism and Atheist indoctrination and Atheism and historical revisionism

The history of atheism: History of atheism

Atheists and historical illiteracy

A common complaint concerning many atheists is their lack of depth when it comes to knowledge of history and historiography - particularly in areas such as historicity of Jesus Christ and atheist mass murders in history.<ref>Multiple references:

For more information, please see:

Atheists and historical revisionism

Atheists commonly engage in historical revisionism in order to illegitimately distort the historical record (see: Atheism and historical revisionism).

Religion/irreligion and war

See also: Irreligion/religion and war

Louise Ridley (assistant news editor at the Huffington Post UK), Vox Day and others point out that academic studies and other research consistently challenge the link between religion and war.<ref>Multiple references:

Darwinism and war

There is historical evidence indicating that Darwinism was a causal factor for WWI and WWII (see: Irreligion/religion and war and World War I and Darwinism).

Atheism and economics

Analysis of atheism and common objections to atheism

See also: Resources for leaving atheism and Rebuttals to atheist arguments

The phrase apologetics comes directly from the ancient Greek word apologia which is a derivative of a word meaning to speak in one's defence.<ref>Thayer and Smith (1999). "Greek lexicon entry for 'Apologia'". The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon. BibleStudyTools.com.</ref> Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology which focuses on the evidence and arguments for Christianity and the evidence and arguments opposing other worldviews.

Biblical statements concerning atheism

See also: Bible verses relating to atheism

The writers of the Bible considered the existence of God to be self-evident and Moses simply wrote: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1).<ref>Harr, Ken and Lisle, Dr. Jason (August 9, 2007). "Chapter 1: Is there really a God?" The New Answers Book. Answers in Genesis.</ref>

Accordingly, the psalmist David declared:

“The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” — Psalms 14:1 (KJV)

Commonly Cited Arguments Against Atheism and For Theism

's version of the ontological argument appeared in his work Proslogium.]]

See also: Christian apologetics and Rebuttals to atheist arguments and Responses to atheist arguments

The majority of philosophers of religion, or those who have extensively studied the issue of the existence of God, are theists (72 percent).<ref>Does it matter that many scientists are atheists?</ref>

In relation to the debate between theism and atheism, theists often criticize atheism as being contrary to persuasive argument and have a number of arguments against atheism. Arguments for the existence of God include:

  • Cosmological argument: Every event in our universe necessarily has a cause. However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back. Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause distinct from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused. Atheism denies that that first cause is God. Christians point out that the question “Who created God” is an illogical question.<ref>Who created God by Don Batten</ref> See also: Atheism and the origin of the universe
  • Historical arguments for the existence of God. For example, arguments stemming from historical accounts such as Christian historical apologetics, Christian legal apologetics and archaeological evidence such as Bible archaeology
  • Ontological argument: According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Ontological arguments are arguments, for the conclusion that God exists, from premises which are supposed to derive from some source other than observation of the world — e.g., from reason alone.”<ref>Oppy, Graham (July 15, 2011). "Ontological arguments". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).</ref>

argues the existence of beauty in the natural world testifies to the existence of God who both designed natural beauty and who possesses a divine beauty.]]

  • Experiential arguments for the existence of God: Arguments based on personal experience and human intuition. According to philosopher Alvin Plantinga belief in the existence of God exists is a “properly basic” belief and not based on inference from other beliefs but is rationally justified due to one's circumstances of immediate experience of God.<ref>Craig, William Lane (1991). "Introduction: the resurrection of theism". Truth: A Journal of Modern Thought, vols. 3 & 4. LeadershipU</ref>
  • Inconsistency when it comes to the probability of supernatural phenomena or extremely unlikely events. For example, a significant percentage of atheists believe in life after death and possess superstitious beliefs (see: Atheism and the supernatural).

For more information, please see:

Atheism and morality/ethics

Objective morality incompatible with atheism

wrote: “…the existence of a personal God is crucial for a coherent understanding of objective morality.”<ref>Can Moral Objectivism Do Without God? by Peter S. Williams, Bethinking.org</ref>]] Under an atheist worldview, there is no logical basis for objective morality or ultimate meaning and purpose.<ref>

Atheism and moral relativism

See also: Moral relativism and Atheism and morality

Dr. Phil Fernandes states the following regarding atheism and moral relativism:

For additional quotes about atheism and morality, please see: Atheism and morality quotes

Barna Group studies: Atheism and morality

Barna Group study on behavior of atheists vs. evangelical Christians:

Richard Deem wrote:

Barna Group study related to atheist beliefs about behaviors:

The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.<ref>Practical outcomes replace biblical principles as the moral standard, Barna Group</ref>

Given the many diseases associated with homosexuality, the biblical prohibition against homosexuality is quite arguably one of the many example where the Bible exhibited knowledge that was ahead of its time. See also: Atheism and sexual immorality

Study: U.S. public perception of atheist morality

In 2014, a University of Kentucky study was published by Will M. Gervais, which was entitled “Everything is permitted? People intuitively judge immorality as representative of atheists”, and the study indicated that “even atheist participants viewed immorality as significantly more representative of atheists than of other people.”<ref>Gervais, Will M. (April 9, 2014). “Everything is permitted? People intuitively judge immorality as representative of atheists”. PLOS ONE,

.</ref>

Atheism and uncharitableness

:See also: Atheism and charity and Atheist nonprofit scandals and Atheism, uncharitableness and depression

where the nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism is prevalent. In 2010, the Pew Research Forum indicated that 93.2% of the people of Thailand were Buddhists.<ref name=“pew2010”>Pew Research Center - Global Religious Landscape 2010 - religious composition by country.</ref>

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.<ref name=“Burke Campbell”>Multiple references:

Concerning the issue of atheism and uncharitableness, the evidence indicates that per capita charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.<ref name =“Burke Campbell”/>

Atheism and lower empathy

Church-state issues emphasis. Charity low priority

See also: Atheism and uncharitableness and Western atheism and race and Atheism and love

In June 2014, the African-American atheist woman 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.<ref name=“Hutchinson”>Hutchinson, Sikivu (June 16, 2014). "Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about". Washington Post website.</ref> Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do focus on helping poor African Americans.<ref name=“Hutchinson”/>

Atheist nonprofit scandals

See also: Atheist nonprofit scandals and Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science - Embezzlement allegation

Two atheist nonprofit scandals which recently received some publicity were the organizations Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the We Are Atheism organization.<ref>Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee

In addition, David Gorski at Scienceblogs indicated that many atheist/skeptic organizations are poorly run from a financial standpoint.<ref>Richard Dawkins sues Josh Timonen, Posted by David Gorski on October 24, 2010</ref>

For more information, please see: Atheist nonprofit scandals

Atheist fundraising vs. Religious fundraising

Atheism and slavery/forced labor

Immorality of prominent atheists

See also: Atheism, polyamory and other immoral relationships

James Randi is a leader within the atheist community. Brian Thompson, former James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) Outreach Coordinator, wrote:

See also:

Atheism and polyamory

See also: Atheism, polyamory and other immoral relationships

The prominent, American, atheist blogger JT Eberhard wrote: “You may also consider turning to the atheist community. It seems half of us are poly nowadays.”<ref>Answering email: how do I polyamory? by JT Eberhard</ref>

Irreligion and domestic violence

See also: Irreligion and domestic violence and Atheism and women and Atheism and rape

Ellison, C. G., Trinitapoli, J. A., et al. (November 2007). [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17951587 "Race/ethnicity, religious involvement, and domestic violence"] [abstract with link to full article]. ''Violence Against Women'', doi: 10.1177/1077801207308259, vol. 13, no. 11, pp. 1094-1112. Abstract from PubMed.gov />

The abstract for the 2007 article in the journal Violence Against Women entitled Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence indicated:

Secular Europe and domestic violence

Atheism and rape

Atheism and abortion

The Journal of Medical Ethics wrote this about the atheist and sadist Marquis de Sade:

Population control is based on pseudoscience and ill founded economic assumptions.<ref>Egnor, Michael (November 30, 2010). "P. Z. Myers on abortion". Evolution News and Views.</ref> CBS News reported: “According to a mail-in survey of nearly 4,000 British doctors, those who were atheist or agnostic were almost twice as willing to take actions designed to hasten the end of life.”<ref>Katz, Neil (August 26, 2010). "Study: atheist doctors twice as likely to pull plug". CBSNews.com.</ref>

Atheism and profanity

See also: Atheism and profanity and Atheism and culture

Studies indicate that atheists engage in more profanity than Christians/theists and are more likely to believe that obscene language is acceptable to engage in.<ref>Multiple references:

Use of profanity by individuals is negatively correlated with conscientiousness and agreeableness.<ref>Jay, Timothy and Janschewitz, Kristin (May/June 2012). "The Science of Swearing". Observer, vol. 25, no. 5. The Association for Psychological Science website</ref>

For more information, please see: Atheism and profanity

Irreligion and crime/prison population

Atheism and cannibalism

As far as atheism and cannibalism, historically some of the more notable cases of cannibalism which occurred was the cannibalism which occurred under Communist regimes and the cannibalism of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (see: Atheism and cannibalism).

John Attarian wrote concerning the atheist Marquis de Sade: “For the Sadean egotist, then, everything is permitted. Sade incessantly rationalized the most depraved and libertine sexuality, and every crime including cannibalism and murder.”<ref>Dostoevsky vs. Marquis de Sade by John Attarian (MA 46:4, Fall 2004) - 08/01/08</ref>

Atheism and other moral issues

Atheism and hypocrisy

See also: Atheist hypocrisy

In order to attempt to justify their atheism, atheists often engage in hypocritical argumentation. In addition, atheists often engage in hypocritical behavior. Please see: Atheist hypocrisy

Angry and bitter demeanor of militant atheists

See also: Atheism and anger and Atheism and unforgiveness

File:Angry atheist.jpg|thumbnail|right|250px|An angry atheist speaking to a woman with a Bible in her hand. The Christian philosopher James S. Spiegel says that the path from Christianity to atheism among several of his friends involved moral slippage such as resentment or unforgiveness.[http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-philosopher-explores-causes-of-atheism-44353/ Christian Philosopher Explores Causes of Atheism] See: [[Atheism and forgiveness

]] On January 1, 2011, CNN reported:

Various studies found that traumatic events in people's lives has a positive correlation with “emotional atheism”.<ref>Carter, Joe (January 12, 2011). "When atheists are angry at God". First Things [The Institute on Religion and Public Life] website.</ref>

The atheist and lesbian Greta Christina told the journalist Chris Mooney on the Point of Inquiry podcast, “there isn't one emotion” that affects atheists “but anger is one of the emotions that many of us have …[it] drives others to participate in the movement.”<ref>Mooney, Chris (May 14, 2012). "Greta Christina—Why are you atheists so angry?" [interview of Greta Christina] Point of Inquiry website.</ref>

Social science research indicates that anti-theists score the highest among atheists when it comes to personality traits such as narcissism, dogmatism, and anger.<ref>Multiple references:

For additional information, please see: Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and emotional intelligence and Atheism and unforgiveness

Atheism and social justice

Atheist scandals

Earlier definitions of atheism

Dictionaries point out that previous/archaic meanings of the word atheism are: ungodliness. wickedness, immorality<ref>Dictionary Says 'Atheism' Means 'Immorality'!?</ref><ref>Definition of atheism - Merriam-Webster dictionary</ref>

Atheism and meaning

Why atheism is irrational

See also: Atheism and irrationality and Irreligion and superstition

A common and legitimate criticism of the atheist worldview is that atheism is irrational.<ref name=“athdef”/> In short, atheism is a fundamentally incoherent worldview with a number of inconsistencies.<ref name=“inconsist”/> For example, the atheistic worldview cannot account for the laws of logic.<ref>Multiple references:

The atheist worldview cannot explain the existence of consciousness either and the theistic worldview can offer a reasonable explanation.<ref>Multiple references:

.<ref name=“athdef”>Multiple references:

For more information, please see:

Atheism and reason

See also: Atheism and reason

If naturalism is true, then we ought not to trust our capacity for reason for the human brain would be a byproduct of blind/unintelligent natural forces. <ref name=“C.S. Lewis' argument from reason”>*C.S. Lewis' argument from reason

In short, atheism/naturalism and reason are incompatible.<ref name=“C.S. Lewis' argument from reason”/>

Logical fallacies that atheists commonly commit

List of logical fallacies that atheists commonly commit: Atheism and logical fallacies

Atheism and meaninglessness

See also: Atheism and meaninglessness and Nihilism and Absurdism and Existentialism

Under an atheistic worldview, there is no objective meaning or purpose in life.<ref>Multiple references:

For more information, please see: Atheism and meaninglessness

Arrogance of atheism/atheists

See also: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and narcissism and Atheism and deception

, researchers found that Japanese children see the world as designed.<ref>Catchpoole, David (July 16, 2009 [GMT+10]). "Children see the world as designed". Creation.com. See Creation Ministries International.</ref>]]

One of the common and well-founded charges against atheists is their arrogance and presumptuousness.<ref>Multiple references:

Why atheism is an arrogant ideology

See also: Arguments against atheism and Atheism and arrogance

Atheists lack proof and evidence that God does not exist and ignore the clear and abundant proof and evidence that He does exist. The philosopher Mortimer Adler pointed out that atheism asserts an unreasonable universal negative that is self-defeating.<ref name=“defensive”>Samples, Kenneth R. (Fall 1991 and Winter 1992). "Putting the atheist on the defensive". Christian Research Institute Journal, p. 7. Internet Christian Library</ref>

Contrary to the mistaken notion of individuals who are inexperienced in logic/philosophy, there are plenty of cases where universal negatives can be proven.<ref>Ferguson, Shawn (August 14, 2014). "The universal negative: Can it be proven?" Faith Beyond Belief.</ref> However, atheists' universal negative claim that God does not exist is not a reasonable universal negative claim.<ref name=“defensive”/>

Atheists have also given themselves pretentious monikers such as freethinker, rationalist and “bright”. See also: Brights Movement and Atheism and intelligence

In addition, historically militant atheists have commonly endeavored to limit the religious freedom of others while imposing their errant, atheistic ideology on others. See also: Atheism and intolerance

Study: Arrogance of New Atheists

Atheists/agnostics and ultimate purpose

See also: Atheism and purpose and Atheism, agnosticism and pessimism and Atheism and beliefs

One of the most popular arguments for God's existence is the teleological argument. Derived from the Greek word telos, which refers to purpose or end, this argument hinges on the idea that the world gives evidence of being designed, and concludes that a divine designer must be posited to account for the orderly world we encounter.

]] Academic research and historical data indicate that a significant portion of atheists/agnostics often see their lives and the world as being the product of purposeful design (see: Atheism and purpose).<ref>Multiple references:

  • Banerjee, Konika and Bloom, Paul (October 17, 2014). "Does everything happen for a reason?" The New York Times website
  • Catchpoole, David (July 16, 2009 [GMT+10]). "Children see the world as designed". Creation.com. See Creation Ministries International.
  • Atheist Jean-Paul Sartre made the candid confession: “As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for want of being able to think otherwise.” Source: Turner, Dean (1991). ''Escape from God: The Use of Religion and Philosophy to Evade Responsibility'' (Pasadena, California: Hope Publishing House), p. 109. GoogleBooks archive.
  • The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy declares about the agnostic/weak atheist Charles Darwin: “In 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death: 'In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilization of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature — I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, “Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,” and he shook his head vaguely, adding, “it seems to go away.”' (Argyll 1885, 244)”

</ref>

Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading proponents of atheism of the 20th Century.

Yet Jean-Paul Sartre made this candid confession:

Furthermore, late in his life, the agnostic/weak atheist and evolutionist Charles Darwin often had overwhelming thoughts that the world was designed.<ref>Multiple references:

See also:

Atheism and religion and philosophy topics

Atheism is a religion

See also: Atheism is a religion and Atheist cults and Atheist hypocrisy

Sanderson Jones is a founder of the Sunday Assembly atheist church movement.<ref>Atheist Church Split: Sunday Assembly And Godless Revival's 'Denominational Chasm', Huffington Post, 2014</ref>

See: Atheism is a religion ]] Many of the leaders of the atheist movement, such as the evolutionist and new atheist/agnostic Richard Dawkins, argue for agnosticism/atheism with a religious fervor. In addition, although many atheists deny that atheism is a worldview, atheists commonly share a number of beliefs such as naturalism, belief in evolution and abiogenesis.<ref>Multiple references:

Roderick Ninian Smart, a Scottish writer and professor, defined a seven-part scheme of understanding both religious and secular worldviews<ref>Smart, Ninian (1996). ''Dimensions of the Sacred'' [preview&#93; (Oakland, CA: University of California Press). Preview: GoogleBooks</ref> These can be understood as narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material.

English Pastor Daniel Smartt defines atheism as a religion, using Ninian Smart's seven dimensions of worldview as a list of criteria. It is not necessary in Smartt's model for every one of these to be present in order for something to be a religion.<ref>Smartt, Daniel (November 6, 2008). "Atheism religion naturalism morally relative". Archive of SpiritualLiving360°.</ref> However, it can be argued that all seven are present in the case of atheism.<ref>Multiple references:

  • Smartt, Daniel (May 4, 2010). "Atheism: a religion". Creation Ministries International.
  • Ammi, Ken (June 11, 2009). "Atheism". Creation Ministries International.</ref>

In 2013, a trend of atheist services began and atheist services were reported in the New York Times, The Blaze and other major news outlets.<ref>Multiple references:

See also:

Atheist cults

See also: Atheist cults

Within the atheist religion, there have been a number of atheist cults and atheistic groups which have had a cultish following. Some of these atheist cults/groups still exist today. In 2015, FtBCon which is an online conference organizedFreethought Blogs network, recognized that nonreligious/secular cults exist (for example, the atheist cult of objectivism).<ref>Multiple references:

An example of an atheist cult in history is the Cult of Reason during the French Revolution. The French atheist Pierre Gaspard Chaumette encouraged the “worship of Reason”.<ref>Multiple references:

  • Pierre Gaspard Chaumette was an atheist, see Gellis, Roberta (2009), The English Heiress, Book 1 (Akron, OH: Cerridwen Press), p. 211.
  • Pierre Gaspard Chaumette encouraged the “worship of Reason”, see: Rush, Benjamin (1809). “On Animal Life” and footnote from Carlson, Eric T., M.D. et al., editor (1981), ''Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society: Benjamin Rush's Lectures on the Mind'' (Philadelphia, PA: American Philosophical Society), vol. 144, p. 170. GoogleBooks</ref>

The atheist cults or atheist groups which have had a cultish following which have formed in history or exist today are often a result of factors such as: utopian thinking, fanatical devolution to various atheistic ideologies, a poor understanding of science/technology (or a penchant for materialist pseudoscientific thinking) and wishful thinking.

For a more complete listing and description of atheist cults or atheistic groups which have a cultish following, please see: Atheist cults.

Atheism and spirituality

Irreligion and superstition

File:2384975035_230a0eac30.jpg‎‎

reported: “A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows …that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.”<ref name=“paranormal”>Hemingway, Molly Ziegler (September 19, 2008). "Look who's irrational now". The Wall Street Journal website.</ref>]] See also: Irreligion and superstition and Theory of Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism, and Irrationality and Atheist cults

In September 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported:

churches in America grew by 2 million from 2007 to 2014.<ref>Why conservative churches are still growing</ref> See: Atheism vs. Christianity ]] For more information please see: Irreligion and superstition

Atheism vs. Abrahamic religions and religion

Atheism and miracles

:See main article: Atheism and Miracles

In relation to atheism and miracles, modern scholars are divided on the issue of whether or not David Hume was an atheist.<ref>Russell, Paul (February 11, 2013). "Hume on religion". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). </ref> With that caveat in mind, Hume is well known for arguing that it is always more probable that the testimony of a miracle is false than that the miracle occurred.<ref>Multiple references:

The Christian Post reporter Stoyan Zaimov wrote: “Double-blind prayer experiments: where people pray for others with terminal illness. Habermas admitted that most such experiments have not worked, but the three that he knows of that have indeed worked were cases of orthodox-Christians praying for the sick.”<ref>Christian Apologist: 10 Reasons for the Fall of Atheism by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, October 14, 2013</ref>

Atheists who believe in life after death

See also: Atheism and the supernatural

A survey involving 15,738 individuals found that 32 percent of Americans who identified themselves as agnostics and atheists believe in an afterlife of some kind.<ref>Survey: 32% of Atheists & Agnostics Believe in an Afterlife, Skepticsguide.com</ref><ref>Do people still believe in life after death?, Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture Study</ref>

Atheism and science

Atheism and the suppression of science

Atheism and the social sciences

Atheism and the foundation of modern science

See also: Christianity and science

The birth of modern science occurred in Christianized Europe.<ref>Bumbulis, Michael, Ph. D. (November 24, 1996). "Christianity and the birth of science; The evidence; Clue #1. The founders/fathers of modern science were shaped by a culture that was predominantly Christian." Lambert Dolphin's Library. Archived at Internet Archive on July 20, 2014.</ref>

Sociologist Rodney Stark investigated the individuals who made the most significant scientific contributions between 1543 and 1680 A.D., the time of the Scientific Revolution. In Stark's list of 52 top scientific contributors,<ref name=“Origins”>Williams, Alex (August 2004). "The biblical origins of science; a review of ''For The Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-hunts and the End of Slavery'' by Rodney Stark", Journal of Creation, vol. 18:2, pp. 49–52.</ref> only one (Edmund Halley) was a skeptic and another (Paracelsus) was a pantheist. The other 50 were Christians, 30 of whom could be characterized as being devout Christians.<ref name=“Origins” />

Sir Francis Bacon, sometimes referred to as “the Father of Modern Science”, wrote in his essay entitled Of Atheism: “I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.”<ref name=“bacon”>Bacon, Francis (1601). ''The Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral, of Francis Ld. Verulam Viscount St. Albans''; "Of atheism". Authorama.</ref>

Atheism and questions of origins

:See articles: Atheism and Evolution and Evolution as a secular origins myth Creationist scientists state that the first law of thermodynamics and the second law of thermodynamics argue against an eternal universe or a universe created by natural processes and argue for a universe created by God.<ref>Multiple references:

A majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism since World War II have had the worldview of atheism/agnosticism.<ref>

</ref> Creation scientists assert that the theory of evolution is an inadequate explanation for the variety of life forms on earth.<ref>Morris, Henry M., PhD. (January 2001). "The scientific case against evolution". Institute for Creation Research.</ref> The theory of evolution has had a number of negative social effects.

In addition, the current naturalistic explanations for the origin of life are inadequate.<ref>Origin of life by Dr. Don Batten</ref>

Atheism and scientific community

Atheism and deception

For more information please see: Atheism and deception and Atheism and truth and Irreligion and superstition and Atheist cults

]] As alluded to earlier, prior to Charles Darwin publishing his evolutionist work On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist.<ref name=“creation.com”>Charles Darwin's real message. Have you missed it?</ref> On the other hand, there is also evidence that Charles Darwin was an agnostic (see: Religious views of Charles Darwin).

Charles Darwin’s casual mentioning of a ‘creator’ in earlier editions of The Origin of Species appears to have been a merely a deceitful ploy to downplay the implications of his materialistic theory.<ref name=“creation.com”/>

German scientist Ernst Haeckel was a very influential proponent of the evolutionary position and Haeckel was an advocate of atheism.<ref name=“nytimes2”>"Kaiser honors Haeckel" (March 9, 1907). New York Times, p. 1. Nytimes.com</ref> Ernst Haeckel attempted to portray himself as an ethical proponent of atheism, however, history shows he was a deceitful individual.<ref>Multiple references:

The March 9, 1907 edition of the New York Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the “celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism.”<ref name=“nytimes2”/>

For more information please see: Atheism and deception and Atheism and truth

Atheism and mental and physical health

:See also: Atheism and health and Atheism and alcoholism and Atheism and negative emotions/thoughts

The is considerable amount of scientific evidence that suggest that theism is more conducive to mental and physical health than atheism and some of the more significant findings are given below <ref>Multiple references:

</ref> For more information please see: Atheism and health

Mayo Clinic and other studies

found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better physical health and mental health outcomes.<ref name=“Mueller”>Mueller, Dr. Paul S. et al. (December 2001). "Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: implications for clinical practice". Mayo Clinic Proceedings vol. 76:12, pp. 1225-1235. Mayo Clinic Proceedings website</ref> See: Atheism and health ]] The prestigious Mayo Clinic reported the following on December 11, 2001:

The Iona Institute reported:

Atheism and suicide

:See also: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and depression and Hopelessness of atheism and Atheism, agnosticism and pessimism

Although there are recent studies relating to atheism being a causal factor for suicide for some individuals, an early proponent of atheism being a causal factor for suicide was the Reverend Dr. Robert Stuart MacArthur.<ref>Multiple references:

File:Desperation_man.jpg‎

]]

The website Adherents.com reported the following in respect to atheism and suicide:

For more information please see:

's (WHO) regional office in Europe, “The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.<ref name=whoalc>"Data and statistics" (September 2014 or bef.). Health topics/Disease prevention/Alcohol use. World Health Organization (WHO)/Regional office for Europe</ref>]]

Atheism and alcoholism

See also: Atheism and alcoholism

At least 100 studies suggests religion has a positive effect on preventing alcohol-related problems, researchers Christopher Ellison, Jennifer Barrett and Benjamin Moulton noted in an article in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion on “Gender, Marital Status, and Alcohol Behavior: The Neglected Role of Religion.”<ref>The Doubled-Edged Sword of Religion and Alcoholism</ref>

Atheists and atheistic cultures often have significant problems with excess alcohol usage (For more information please see: Atheism and alcoholism).

For example, as far as secular Europe, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, “The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.<ref name=whoalc/>

Atheism and illegal drug use and drug addition

See also: Atheism and drug addiction

Studies indicate that religious individuals are less likely to engage in illegal drug use than atheists/nonreligious.<ref>Believers Consume Fewer Drugs Than Atheists, Christian Post, By Jim Denison, Christian Post Columnist, October 9, 2013|9:47 am</ref><ref>Believers consume fewer drugs than atheists, Science Daily, Date:October 3, 2013, Source: Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung]</ref><ref>Multiple references:

According to Science Daily: “Young Swiss men who say that they believe in God are less likely to smoke cigarettes or pot or take ecstasy pills than Swiss men of the same age group who describe themselves as atheists. Belief is a protective factor against addictive behaviour. This is the conclusion reached by a study funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.<ref>Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung [Swiss National Science Foundation] (October 3, 2013). "Believers consume fewer drugs than atheists". Science Daily website/Science News.</ref>

Atheism and loneliness

]] See also: Atheism and loneliness

Loneliness has been linked to many physical and mental health problems.<ref>Multiple references:

  • Gammon, Katherine (March 2, 2012). "Why loneliness can be deadly". Live Science website.
  • Booth, Robert (October 12, 2014). “Number of severely lonely men over 50 set to rise to 1m in 15 years”, The Guardian.</ref>

Compared to deeply religious cultures where an extended family and a sense of community often exists, secular countries are often lonelier societies. In addition, numerous studies and other data indicate that atheists often have lower emotional intelligence and lower social skills (see: Atheism and emotional intelligence and Atheism and social skills).

For more information, please see:

Sports performance: Religious faith vs. atheism

See also: Religious faith vs. atheism and Irreligion and unsportsmanlike conduct and Atheism and obesity

The Sports Journal is a monthly refereed journal published by the United States Sports Academy. A journal article appeared in the Sports Journal entitled Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions. The article was submitted by Nathan T. Bell, Scott R. Johnson, and Jeffrey C. Petersen from Ball State University.<ref name=“thesportjournal.org”>''Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions''</ref> An excerpt from the abstract of the journal article Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions declares:

Atheism and obesity

. ]] See also: Atheism and obesity and Atheism and the fat acceptance movement

According to the Gallup Organization, “Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious.”<ref name=“Gallup”>Newport, Frank, et al. (December 23, 2010). "Very religious Americans lead healthier lives". Gallup.</ref> For more information please Atheism and obesity

Gallup declared concerning the study which measured the degree to which religiosity affects health practices: ”Generalized linear model analysis was used to estimate marginal scores all five reported metrics after controlling for age (in years), gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education (number of years), log of income, and region of the country… Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-July 28, 2010, with a random sample of 554,066 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.”<ref name=“Gallup”/>

Atheistic China and obesity

China has the world's largest atheist population.<ref>

According to a 2012 report by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of obese children in China has reached 120 million.<ref>"Child obesity reaches 120 million in China" (August 31, 2012). YouTube video, 1:37, posted by NTDTV.</ref> A recent study published in the Obesity Reviews journal, found that Chinese teenagers' rate of diabetes was four times that of their American peers.<ref name=“Pang Li”>Li, Pang (September 14, 2012). "Obesity is a growing concern in China". China.org.cn.</ref> Due to their past one-child policy, which had some exceptions, China now has a lot of over-pampered and over-fed children.<ref>Multiple references:

A recent study published in the Obesity Reviews journal, found that Chinese teenagers' rate of diabetes was four times that of their American peers.<ref>Obesity is a growing concern in China By Pang Li, China.org.cn, September 14, 2012</ref>

Secular Europe and obesity

an Union countries, overweight affects 30-70% and obesity affects 10-30% of adults.”<ref name=“euro.who.int”>World Health Organization - Regional Office for Europe - The challenge of obesity - quick statistics</ref>]] The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported:

Various generations and rates of irreligion/obesity

New Atheism leaders and unhealthy lifestyles

A significant number of the founders of the New Atheism movement have engaged in unhealthy behaviors which have upon occasion caused them significant health problems (see: New Atheism leaders and unhealthy lifestyles).

Despite his esophageal cancer, when asked by interviewer Charlie Rose if in retrospect he would have engaged in heavy drinking and smoking knowing his present cancer condition, the late new atheist Christopher Hitchens said he think he would have done things the same.<ref>Christopher Hitchens: Despite Cancer, I'd Drink & Smoke Again</ref>

Atheism and intelligence

]] See also: Atheism and intelligence and Atheism and Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and Causes of atheism

Within various countries, standardized intelligence test (IQ) scores related to the issue of atheists/agnostics vs. theists intelligence scores yield conflicting results.<ref>

However, within individuals, families and societies irreligion/religion can have an effect on intelligence - especially over time (See: Atheism and intelligence).

For more information, please see:

Study on emotional intelligence and religiosity

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

A 2004 study by Ellen Paek examined the extent to which religious orientation/behavior and found significant positive correlations were found between level of religious commitment and an individual's perceived emotional intelligence.<ref>Journal of Organizational Behavior, Paek, Ellen (2006). “Religiosity and perceived emotional intelligence among Christians". Personality and Individual Differences (International Society for the Study of Individual Differences) 41 (3): 479–490</ref> See also: Atheism and emotional intelligence

According to the prominent brain researcher Antonio Damasio and other brain researchers, emotions play a critical role in high-level cognition and allow individuals to make better decisions.<ref>

</ref>

Brain studies of atheists

See also: Atheism and the brain and Religiosity and larger frontal lobes

Brain researchers have conducted a number of studies focusing on the differences between atheists and the religious (see: Atheism and the brain and Religiosity and larger frontal lobes).

Atheism and women

Recent studies

Atheist Alliance International analysis

In 2016, Atheist Alliance International (AAI) conducted an annually recurring atheist census project and found: “At the time of writing, the Atheist Census Project recorded that on average worldwide 73.2% of respondents were male. The result is consistent with other research… As such, the focus of many scholarly papers has been on seeking to explain this persistent observation.”<ref>AAI Position Statement - Gender Balance</ref>

Surveys by country

In November 2010, Discover magazine published survey results published by the World Values Survey which showed significant differences between the percentage of men and women who are atheists for various countries with men outnumbering women within the atheist population.<ref>Khan, Razib (November 18, 2010). "Gene expression; "Sex differences in global atheism, part N". Discover magazine website.</ref> See also: Atheism and women

United States surveys

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, …women are 52 percent of the U.S. population but only 36 percent of atheists and agnostics.<ref name=agap>Carter, Stephen L. (March 27, 2015). "The atheism gap". BloombergView website.</ref>

A 2009 article in LiveScience.com entitled Women More Religious Than Men reported: “A new analysis of survey data finds women pray more often then men, are more likely to believe in God, and are more religious than men in a variety of other ways…The latest findings, released Friday, are no surprise, only confirming what other studies have found for decades.<ref name=Britt>Britt, Robert Roy (February 28, 2009). "Women more religious than men". Livescience.</ref> In 2007, the Pew Research Center found that American women were more religious than American men.<ref name=Britt/>

Survey: Freedom From Religion Foundation

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

For more information, please see:

Sam Harris on atheism/women

In 2014, the prominent new atheist Sam Harris said that atheist activism lacks an “estrogen vibe” and was “to some degree intrinsically male”.<ref name=“Lee”/> Due feminist atheist backlash, Harris wrote a long blog post indicating that his comments were taken out of context.<ref>Harris, Sam (September 15, 2014). “I’m not the sexist pig you’re looking for”. Sam Harris. See Sam Harris.</ref>

Atheism and sexism

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).

Atheist women currently experience a considerable amount of sexism and harassment from atheist men. For example, in 2014, the prominent atheist PZ Myers said of fellow new atheist Richard Dawkins' attitude towards women: “At a time when our movement needs to expand its reach, it’s a tragedy that our most eminent spokesman has so enthusiastically expressed such a regressive attitude.”<ref name=“Lee”>Lee, Adam (September 18, 2014). "Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name". The Guardian website.</ref>

For more information please see:

Atheist feminism

Atheism and marriage/relationships

Atheism and rates of marriage in the United States

See also: Atheism and marriageability and Atheism and women

The Christian apologist Michael Caputo wrote: “Recently the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published its mammoth study on Religion in America based on 35,000 interviews… According to the Pew Forum a whopping 37% of atheists never marry as opposed to 19% of the American population, 17% of Protestants and 17% of Catholics.”<ref name=“marry”/>

Vox Day declared that according to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) “more than half of all atheists and agnostics don’t get married.”<ref name=“marry”/>

For more information please see: Atheism and marriageability

Atheist marriages

Atheism and interfaith marriages

Atheism and its inability to explain love

See also: Atheism and love and Atheism and forgiveness

From a metaphysical, moral and spiritual perspective, atheists have an inability to satisfactorily explain the existence of love.<ref name=love/> See: Atheism and love

Atheism and sexuality

See also: Atheism and sexuality and Atheism and romance and Atheism and fertility rates

Research shows that religious women (especially evangelical/low-church Protestant women) are more sexually satisfied than irreligious women.<ref>The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States By Edward O. Laumann, John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, Stuart Michaels, page 115</ref><ref>Why Are Christians Having Better Sex Than the Rest of Us? by Tucker Carlson, The Daily Beast, November 11, 25, 2008</ref><ref>Christian Women Have More Sexual Fun, Relationship Center in Springfield Missouri</ref>

A social science study also reports that Hispanic men are more sexually satisfied than other ethnic groups in the United States.<ref>The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States By Edward O. Laumann, John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, Stuart Michaels, page 114</ref> Hispanics are known for their religiosity (See also: Western atheism and race).

In addition, the atheist and agnostic populations have sub-replacement levels of fertility (see: Atheism and sexuality and Atheism and romance).

Western atheism and race

issues and not on the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.<ref name=“washingtonpost.com”>Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014</ref>

Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations significantly help poor African-Americans.<ref name=“washingtonpost.com”/> See also: Atheism and uncharitableness ]] See also: Western atheism and race and Black atheism and Atheism and diversity

Atheism and race: United States and Europe

In 2015, BloombergView reported:

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).

NY Times: Atheism and race in the United States

As note earlier, an atheists' meeting 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…”<ref>Oppenheimer, Mark (October 15, 2010). "Atheists debate how pushy to be". Nytimes.com.</ref> According to the Quantcast data, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to Richard Dawkins' and atheist Sam Harris' message.<ref>Multiple references:

Atheism and education

See also: Religion and education and Atheistic indoctrination and education and Atheism and intelligence and Atheism and academia and Atheism and academic performance

According to Pew Research:

In the United States, religious belief is positively correlated to education; a study published in an academic journal titled the Review of Religious Research demonstrated that increased education is correlated with belief in God and that “education positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life.”<ref>Multiple references:

  • Schwadel, Philip (2011). "The effects of education on Americans’ religious practices, beliefs, and affiliations" [abstract&#93;. Review of Religious Research 53:2. DOI:10.1007/s13644-011-0007-4. ”(2) [E]ducation positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life; (3) education positively affects switching religious affiliations, particularly to a mainline Protestant denomination, but not disaffiliation; (4) education is positively associated with questioning the role of religion in secular society but not with support for curbing the public opinions of religious leaders; and (5) the effects of education on religious beliefs and participation vary across religious traditions. Education does influence Americans’ religious beliefs and activities, but the effects of education on religion are complex.” Abstract retrieved from link.springer.com, July 16, 2014.
  • Retrieved July 17, 2014. See CNN.

  • Retrieved July 17, 2014. See Daily Mail.

  • Retrieved July 17, 2014.</ref>

One of the reasons education is positively correlated with belief in God in the United States is that the demographics of people attending higher education has shifted due to more women and southerners attending higher education (these two groups are more likely to be theists. See: Atheism and women).<ref>Bosmin, Barry (February 17, 2011). "Why do we believe that higher education leads to atheism if it doesn’t?" Science + religion Today. Retrieved on July 27, 2014.</ref>

Although atheistic indoctrination in school systems can have an effect on individuals (See: Atheist indoctrination), research indicates that social/economic insecurity often has a more significant impact.<ref>Ruiter, Stijn and van Tubergen, Frank (November 2009). “Religious attendance in cross-national perspective: a multilevel analysis of 60 countries”. American Journal of Sociology, vol. 115, no. 3, pp. 863-95.</ref>

For more information, please see:

Atheism in academia

]] See also: Atheism and academia

In 2001, the atheist and philosopher Quentin Smith declared:

In 2004, Professor Alister McGrath, professor of historical theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University declared, “The golden age of atheism is over.”<ref>Stewart, Marilyn (August 10, 2004). "Nobts’ Oxford Study Program spans notable lectures & historical sites". Baptist Press. Retrieved on July 26, 2014.</ref>

For more information please see:

Atheism statistics and atheist population

Atheist movement and leadership

Atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations

:See main article: Atheist Population

Specific research on the worldwide atheist population conducted in 2006 suggests that the true proportion of atheists is 4% in the United States, 17% in Great Britain and 32% in France. A survey published in the 2005 Encyclopedia Britannica declared that 2.3% of the world's population consists of individuals who profess “atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion, including the militantly antireligious.” Concerning the 2.3% figure just mentioned, the 2005 survey cited by Encyclopedia Britannica survey did not include Buddhist in regards to the 2.3% figure and Buddhism can be theistic or atheistic.<ref>Anonymous (July 17, 2013). "Is Buddhism atheistic?" ReligionFacts.</ref>

Ipsos, a major global market research company, published a report on report on religious belief/skepticism from a worldwide perspective and the report provides various statistics gained from survey results.

, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a wealth of demographic studies, argues that there will be a significant decline of global atheism in the 21st century which will impact the Western World.<ref name=“sneps”>Multiple references:

See also: Global atheism and Desecularization and Atheist movement and Atheist Population

Global atheism: Predominant geographic areas

See also: Atheism and diversity and Atheism and culture

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.<ref>A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013</ref> See: Global atheism and Secular Europe and Western atheism and race

Razib Khan points out in Discover Magazine, “most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian.”<ref>Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine</ref> See: Asian atheism

As far as the issue of diversity within the global atheist population, compared to Christianity, atheism has a significantly less degree of geographic/cultural, racial, gender and personal wealth diversity (see: Atheism and diversity).

American atheism

Desecularization and the 21st century

See also: Desecularization

, 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.<ref name=“cnsnews.com”/>]] Atheists as a percentage of the world's population have declined since 1970 and global atheism is expected to face long term decline.<ref>Multiple references:

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:

Desecularization is the process by which religion reasserts its societal influence though religious values, institutions, sectors of society and symbols in reaction to previous and/or co-occurring secularization processes.<ref name=“China 2011, page 11”/>

The 21st century is expected to be a time of the decline of atheism in terms of its global market share and religious conservatism/fundamentalism is expected to grow in both the developing world and in the developed world (see: Desecularization). There are a number of causes of desecularization in the developed world (and the world at large), but two of the primary causes are the higher fertility rate of religious conservatives and immigration of the religious into developed countries.

Failure of the secularization thesis

See also: Atheists and the endurance of religion

Pew Research Center declared: “There is a long history of people predicting the demise of religion, but religion has proven more resilient than many people anticipated.”<ref>How we projected the future of world religions</ref>

Dr. Rodney Stark, an agnostic, wrote in his book The Triumph of Faith:

Pew Research Center and Stark are alluding to the failure of the secularization thesis.

Causes of global desecularization

Atheists and sub-replacement levels of fertility

See also: Atheism and fertility rates and Atheism and marriage

On December 23, 2012, the agnostic professor Eric Kaufmann, who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London, wrote: “I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.”<ref>"97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious" (April 30, 2013). Question Evolution Campaign.</ref>

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote about the sub-replacement level of fertility among atheistic populations: “Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century.”<ref name=leake>Leake, Jonathan (January 2, 2011). "Atheists a dying breed as nature 'favours faithful'". London Times website.</ref> Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: “What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level.”<ref name=leake/>

Kochhar, Rakesh (February 3, 2014). [http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/10-projections-for-the-global-population-in-2050/ "10 projections for the global population in 2050"]. FactTank/Pew Research Center website. See: [[Growth of global desecularization">File:Europe map CIA 2005.jpg|thumbnail|right|175px|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.Kochhar, Rakesh (February 3, 2014). [http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/10-projections-for-the-global-population-in-2050/ "10 projections for the global population in 2050"]. FactTank/Pew Research Center website. See: [[Growth of global desecularization

]]

Global atheism and aging populations

Global atheism is facing significant challenges in terms of aging populations in East Asia and Europe and this will be a significant cause of desecularization in the 21st century (see: Global atheism and aging populations).

Growth of global desecularization

Future European religious demographic changes

In a 2006 essay, the prominent European philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote: “secular citizens in Europe must learn to live, the sooner the better, in a post-secular society and in so doing they will be following the example of religious citizens, who have already come to terms with the ethical expectations of democratic citizenship. So far secular citizens have not been expected to make a similar effort.”<ref>Jurgen Habermas on the Vision of a Post-Secular Europe, Modern Diplomacy</ref>

See:

Decline of Asian atheism

Growth of evangelical Christianity in secular regions

Additional causes of the global decline of atheism

See also: Atheists and the endurance of religion and Atheist pessimism about the atheist movement

declared: “The Golden Age of Secularism has passed.”<ref name=“chronicle.com”>Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.</ref>]] The atheist movement saw a number of setbacks during the latter portion of the 20th century and beyond in terms of historical events/trends. As a result, it has lost a considerable amount of confidence (see: Atheists and the endurance of religion).

The agnostic Eric Kaufmann wrote in 2010:

In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau indicated: “The Golden Age of Secularism has passed.”<ref name=“chronicle.com”/>

In 2015, the atheist author Joshua Kelly wrote:

Christian websites and other resources with a large focus on the topic of atheism

is a Christian apologetics website run by Ken Ammi which offers many refutations of atheism.]] See also: Atheism vs. Christianity and Internet atheism

Five of the more notable Christian apologetics websites/blogs which have a large focus on the topic of atheism are: the Shadow To Light blog, the True Freethinker website, the Creation Ministries International resources on atheism and the Fixed Point Foundation website.

Freedom from Atheism Foundation

In 2012, the Freedom From Atheism Foundation (FFAF) was formed as an online interfaith civil rights group to provide support for victims of militant atheism, protect the rights of religious believers, and address the increasing amount of atheist intolerance around the world. The groups many admins are all anonymous due to the large amount of hate mail, threats, and stalking the site receives from militant atheists.

As of July 2014 the group has over 220,000 followers and makes an average of 80 posts a week. Along with tens of thousands of religious supporters, the group also found support from atheist author and biologist PZ Myers.<ref>http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/05/09/i-support-the-freedom-from-atheism-foundation/</ref> A May 2014 article in the Christian Post titled “Freedom From Religion? How About Freedom From Atheism?” profiled the Freedom From Atheism Foundation in greater detail.<ref>http://www.christianpost.com/news/freedom-from-religion-how-about-freedom-from-atheism-119389/</ref>

The Militant atheism YouTube channel has a collection of videos on militant atheism.

Atheism and the media

See also: Atheism and the media and Atheism news

The Media Research Center released a study in 2008 reporting pro-atheism bias by major press outlets in the United States.<ref name=mrc>"Smoking gun proof that there is an atheist media bias" (July 17, 2008). YouTube video, 2:56, posted by Atheism Sucks!</ref> The study found that 80% of mainstream media coverage of atheism was positive and that 71% of Christian-themed stories had an atheist counterpoint or were written from an atheist perspective.<ref name=mrc/> The study is not surprising given the liberal bias that commonly exists in the major media outlets.

Post 2010 decline in news stories about atheism

See also: Drop in news stories about atheism

Post 2010, due to the decline of the New Atheism movement and other various events/trends, there has been significantly less news stories about atheism (see: Drop in news stories about atheism).

Post 2010 increase in percentage of negative news stories about atheism

Due to various factors, there has been an increase in the percentage of news stories about atheism which are negative in nature that are reaching the general public (see: Negative news stories about atheism).

Atheism and public relations

Causes of atheism

:See main article: Causes of atheism and Atheism and hedonism and Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

There are a number of psychological, societal, familial, economic and spiritual factors which cause atheism which have been proposed over the centuries. Please see: Causes of atheism and Atheism and hedonism.

Atheism and debate

See also: Atheism debates and Rebuttals to atheist arguments and Atheism vs. Christianity debates and Atheism and cowardice

File:Bahnsen.jpg‎

became known as the man atheists fear most due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate. See: Greg Bahnsen and debate ]] As far as Christianity vs. atheism public debates, in recent years there have been a number of notable instances of atheists being reluctant to debate and doing poorly in debates (see: Atheism vs. Christianity debates).

In addition, due to prominent atheists dodging debates, the cowardice associated with atheism has become so obvious that it is making newspaper headlines (For more information please see: Atheism and cowardice).<ref>Multiple references:

Richard Dawkins, who flip-flops between being an agnostic and an atheist as far as his public persona (see: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism), has established a reputation of avoiding his strongest debate opponents. On May 14, 2011, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published a news story entitled Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God.<ref name=refuse>Ross, Tim (May 14, 2011). "Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God". The Daily Telegraph website. See The Daily Telegraph.</ref>

In The Daily Telegraph article Dr. Daniel Came, a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University was quoted as writing to fellow atheist Richard Dawkins concerning his refusal to debate Dr. William Lane Craig, “The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part.”<ref name=refuse/> Also, atheists tend to dodge creation vs. evolution debates.

For more information see: Atheism debates and Rebuttals to atheist arguments and Atheism and cowardice

Creation vs. evolution debates

The worldwide atheist community was challenged to a debate by Creation Ministries International as prominent atheists were speaking at a 2010 global atheist convention in Australia.<ref name=“truefree”>Ammi, Ken (May 2010). "Richard Dawkins, the cowardly clown". True Freethinker.</ref> Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists refused to debate Creation Ministries International.<ref name=“truefree”/> Generally speaking, creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates (see: Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates.

Notable atheists who became ex-atheists

Views on atheists

See also: Views on atheists and Distrust of atheists and Atheism and social outcasts and Atheism and public relations and Atheophobia

<small>(photo obtained from Wikimedia commons, see license agreement)</small> ]] Concerning various views on atheists, research in the American Sociological Review finds that among several groups listed, those who hold the position of atheism are the group that Americans relate least to in terms of their vision of American society and are the group most likely to be mentioned as one that Americans would not want to have marry into their family.<ref>Edgell, Penny, et al. (April 2006). "Atheists as 'other': moral boundaries and cultural membership in American society" [abstract&#93;. American Sociological Review, vol. 71, pp. 211-234. Abstract: American Sociological Review website. Subscription or fee required for full article.</ref>

Sam Harris, a founder of the New Atheism movement, is well aware of the stigma surrounding atheism and has advocated that atheists no longer call themselves atheists.<ref name=“Harris”>Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21.</ref> In fact, Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, “It's right next to child molester as a designation.”<ref name=“Harris”/><ref>NEWSWEEK Poll: 90% Believe in God, Newsweek 2007</ref> Due to the stigma of the label of atheist, it is common for atheists to choose to call themselves skeptics, nonbelievers, humanists and freethinkers<ref name=“huffingtonpost.com”>Atheist, Humanist, Secular: Why Fight Over Labels? by Roy Speckhardt. HuffPost Religion</ref> Individuals of Jewish descent often call themselves secular Jews or simply Jews rather than call themselves atheists.<ref name=“huffingtonpost.com”/>

North Americans distrust atheists as much as rapists

See also: Atheism and rape and Atheism and morality

On December 10, 2011, USA Today reported in a story entitled Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists:

Atheism and culture: Art, architecture, music, poetry, dance and humor

See also: Atheism and culture

Atheism has not produced any outstanding cultural achievements and it has had a negative effect on cultures (see: Atheism and culture).

For additional information, please see:

Atheism and homosexuality

Other well-known proponents of atheism

Well-known proponents of skepticism/atheism/agnosticism

Atheist organizations

Atheism quotes

Atheism news

Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

See also

Notes

atheism.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:31 (external edit)