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Atheist Activists Lament a Movement in “Shambles”

David Klinghoffer


P.Z. Myers is an atheist Darwinist biologist who has turned sour on the New Atheist movement. Two cheers for his candor. He quotes another atheist activist, Eiynah, who writes:

It’s quite depressing that movement Atheism has turned into such a joke. I valued it so much once.

Professors Myers agrees about the “shambles [that] movement atheism is in right now”:

OK, that’s eerie — it’s the same scene, only about 5 years later, with different players. I noticed the “troubling turn” about 8 years ago, as more and more atheists began to rally around two themes: the Glorious Leaders who were fonts of inarguable Reason & Logic, and a definition of atheism that exempted them from all social responsibility or ethical obligation. The other big difference was that unlike Eiynah, I resisted criticizing with the excuses of #NotAllAtheists and they’ll outgrow the regressive social tendencies if we just keep trying. I was wrong. And it is quite depressing.

There’s some inside-baseball discussion of big names in the atheist firmament that have fallen to the earth, or are believed to have otherwise somehow betrayed their followers. Myers seems to refer to the so-called “intellectual dark web” of provocative online media figures (Jordan Peterson and others) when he concludes:

Where’s all the energy of atheism going? Right into the pockets of those jokers, many of whom are openly anti-atheist.

Interesting. What I take away is that the rank-and-file are increasingly interested in charismatic, sharp-witted, unpredictable, even quite humane and tolerant figures like Peterson, less so in doctrinaire New Atheism, which is short on charisma and plagued by troubling accounts of anti-social behavior. I’m not gloating, only reporting.

Photo credit: José María Mateos, via Flickr.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



#NotAllAtheistsanti-social behavioratheismbiologistdarwinistEiynahinside baseballintellectual dark webJordan PetersonNew AtheistsP.Z. Myers