Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Is the internet destroying atheism and the atheist movement?

The atheist Neil Carter wrote:
Friends of mine have noted lately how biting and critical the atheist community can be, not only toward outsiders, but even toward its own members. Has there ever been a subculture more prone to eating its own than this one? I really don’t know.
Before the internet, atheists were rather isolated. But now atheists can rip into each other mercilessly 24 hours a day via the internet. Atheistic cultures are still very lonely cultures compared to deeply religious cultures and there are plenty of lonely atheists, however now atheists can scream into their computer monitors and pound their fists in fury upon their computer desks in response to the unreasonableness of their fellow atheists (see: Atheism and loneliness and Atheism and socialability).

Prior to many people being online, Richard Dawkins could largely communicate with atheists/agnostics via his books. The social ineptness and abrasiveness of Richard Dawkins could be more readily hidden from the godless and various members of the wider public. But thanks to internet, Dawkins was able to grind into a fine dust all that goodwill he built up with his atheists, agnostics and others via his books. In addition, within the atheist movement he ignited a war between the sexes that still exists to this day (see: Elevatorgate ).  Now the atheist movement is anemic and dying (see: New Atheism is dead. The atheist movement is anemic. Now what? ).

Second, the atheist Brendan O'Neill published an article in  The Telegraph entitled "How Atheists Became the Most Colossally Smug and Annoying People on the Planet" which declared: "These days, barely a week passes without the emergence of yet more evidence that atheists are the most irritating people on Earth."

Previous to the the internet being very accessible, one could go years or decades without running into an unpleasant and wicked atheist.  Granted Christians always believed the Bible verse "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds  there is none who does good." (Proverbs 14:1).  At same time, with the advent of the  internet now one has ready access to reams of data confirming the breadth and depth of atheist unpleasantness/wickedness.

For example, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have high rates of internet usage

The abstract of a 2014 peer-reviewed study entitled Everything Is Permitted? People Intuitively Judge Immorality as Representative of Atheists which was published in the journal Plos One reported:
American participants intuitively judged a wide variety of immoral acts (e.g., serial murder, consensual incest, necrobestiality, cannibalism) as representative of atheists, but not of eleven other religious, ethnic, and cultural groups. Even atheist participants judged immoral acts as more representative of atheists than of other groups. These findings demonstrate a prevalent intuition that belief in God serves a necessary function in inhibiting immoral conduct, and may help explain persistent negative perceptions of atheists
On December 10, 2011, USA Today reported in a story entitled Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists:
The study, conducted among 350 Americans adults and 420 Canadian college students, asked participants to decide if a fictional driver damaged a parked car and left the scene, then found a wallet and took the money, was the driver more likely to be a teacher, an atheist teacher, or a rapist teacher?
The participants, who were from religious and nonreligious backgrounds, most often chose the atheist teacher.

The study is part of an attempt to understand what needs religion fulfills in people. Among the conclusions is a sense of trust in others.

"People find atheists very suspect," Shariff said. "They don't fear God so we should distrust them; they do not have the same moral obligations of others. This is a common refrain against atheists. People fear them as a group."
In 2015, the Christian Post indicated in a story entitled Atheists Widely Distrusted, Even Among Themselves, UK Study Finds:
 Distrust of atheists is "deeply and culturally ingrained" among people, and even many atheists are not able to trust each other, according to a new study carried out by the psychology department at Nottingham Trent University in England.

Published in the International Journal for The Psychology of Religion, the study, "The Robustness of Anti-Atheist Prejudice as Measured by Way of Cognitive Errors," was conducted with 100 participants from the U.K. ....

The study shows that "anti-atheist prejudice is not confined either to dominantly religious countries or to religious individuals, but rather appears to be a robust judgment about atheists."
Furthermore, the public's perception of atheists can be readily confirmed by a wealth of social science/historical data readily available via the internet  (see:  Moral failures of the atheiest population).

If this weren't enough, thanks to the modern marvel of the internet,  the public now has at their fingertips rebuttals to a host of atheist claptrap (see:  Rebuttals to atheist arguments). So now you can see with perfect clarity not only are atheists an unsavory lot, but they are wrong as well.

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