Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Google Australia: Searches for the term "atheist" is down in the land down under


Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume. 

According to Google trends, the term "atheist" had a relative search volume of 66 in May of 2010 in Australia.  In August of 2017, the term "atheist" has a relative search volume of 22 in Australia.  

Are you an atheist in the land down under?  Can you hear God's thunder? You should run now and seek cover! 


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New study: So MANY people are suspicious of atheists — even other atheists

Below is an 18th century line engraving of the perverse and cruel atheist Marquis de Sade in prison, 


The Special Broadcasting Service website declares:
According to a new study published last week in Nature, people all over the world connect immorality with atheism. In fact, the moral prejudice against atheists is so strong that it holds even in countries like the Netherlands, where most people aren’t religious. Even atheists themselves, according to the study, are inclined to see nonbelievers as more wicked than the faithful.,.. 
“Entrenched moral suspicion of atheists suggests that religion’s powerful influence on moral judgements persists, even among non-believers in secular societies,” the authors wrote. 
The study, led by University of Kentucky psychology professor Will Gervais, surveyed more than 3,000 people in 13 countries, including nations with Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and non-religious majorities: Australia, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. 
As they had hypothesised, the researchers found a universal suspicion of atheist morality across all 13 countries. “People overall are roughly twice as likely to view extreme immorality as representative of atheists, relative to believers,” they wrote. “Consistent with predictions, extreme intuitive moral distrust of atheists is both globally evident and variable in its magnitude across countries.” 
The association was somewhat stronger in more religious countries, but even in very secular countries in the study — Australia, China, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom — people were more likely to associate serial killing with atheism, although the gap was narrower. The survey also asked participants to describe their religious beliefs, which allowed the research team to determine that even atheists connected immoral acts to atheism more often than to religious belief.
 In 2016, The Independent indicated:
People's distrust of atheists is “deeply and culturally ingrained”, with even many atheists having an instinctual distrust of each other, according to a new study.
A report published in the UK’s International Journal for The Psychology of Religion found there to be widespread “prejudice” against atheists, despite the fact 13 per cent of Britain’s population place themselves in that category.
In 2012, Scientific American declared:
Atheists are one of the most disliked groups in America. Only 45 percent of Americans say they would vote for a qualified atheist presidential candidate, and atheists are rated as the least desirable group for a potential son-in-law or daughter-in-law to belong to. Will Gervais at the University of British Columbia recently published a set of studies looking at why atheists are so disliked. His conclusion: It comes down to trust. 
Gervais and his colleagues presented participants with a story about a person who accidentally hits a parked car and then fails to leave behind valid insurance information for the other driver. Participants were asked to choose the probability that the person in question was a Christian, a Muslim, a rapist, or an atheist. They thought it equally probable the culprit was an atheist or a rapist, and unlikely the person was a Muslim or Christian. In a different study, Gervais looked at how atheism influences people’s hiring decisions. People were asked to choose between an atheist or a religious candidate for a job requiring either a high or low degree of trust. For the high-trust job of daycare worker, people were more likely to prefer the religious candidate. For the job of waitress, which requires less trust, the atheists fared much better. 
It wasn’t just the highly religious participants who expressed a distrust of atheists. People identifying themselves as having no religious affiliation held similar opinions. Gervais and his colleagues discovered that people distrust atheists because of the belief that people behave better when they think that God is watching over them. This belief may have some truth to it. Gervais and his colleague Ara Norenzayan have found that reminding people about God’s presence has the same effect as telling people they are being watched by others: it increases their feelings of self-consciousness and leads them to behave in more socially acceptable ways.
Public Perception of Militant Atheists



Atheists pray to God you don't ask them this question


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Worldwide Google searches for the term "atheist" - 13 years and 7 months after the beginning of the New Atheism movement - Searches are down


Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume. 

In 2004, the New Atheist Sam Harris published his book The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason.  The publishing of this book is one of the milestones as far as the beginnings of the New Atheism movement. The graphic atop this article features the four men who were dubbed the "four horsemen" of the New Atheism movement (In the graphic above, counterclockwise from the upper left picture, the four horseman are Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett respectively).  

Featured below n the Google trends graph for the worldwide searches for the term "atheist"  (the red graph), the graph has a value of 44 in 2004.   In the same graph below, the term atheist has a current value of 43. So about 13 years and 7 months since the beginning of the New Atheism movement, the volume of searches is down since the start of the New Atheism movement. 

Why are the worldwide searches for the term "atheist" especially important?  Eric Kaufmann is a professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London and author. His academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics. Kaufmann is an agnostic.  Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."

Worldwide searches for atheism and agnosticism searches - Google trends



USA searches for atheism and agnosticism searches - Google trends

In the Google trends graph for USA searches for the term "atheist" below (the red graph), the graph has a value of 32 in 2004.   In the same graph below, the term atheist has a current value of 37.  



UK searches for atheism and agnosticism searches - Google trends

In the Google trends graph for UK searches for the term "atheist" below (the red graph), the graph has a value of 17 in 2004.   In the same graph below, the term atheist has a current value of 23.  




 Graphic credits: 

Graphic obtained from: Wikimedia - Four Horsemen


Description
English: "The Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse": Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris.
Date29 August 2014, 17:56:44
Source
AuthorDIREKTOR, based on works by listed authors.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Canadian atheists face a tough slog ahead



Before I give some Google statistics relating to Canadian atheism/secular humanism, I am going to preface the Google data with some introductory information relating to Canadian atheism.

The Canadian atheist activist Pat O'Brien is a Canadian atheist, an activist, and ex-president of Humanist Canada and British Columbia Humanist Association (Secular humanism is a form of atheism).

O'Brien said about the willingness atheists/humanists to support national and provincial atheist organizations: "The biggest problem is fundraising. It is difficult to get Humanists to part with their money."

O'Brien said about his tenure as the president of Humanist Canada:
It has been said many times that trying to get Humanists to agree on something is like trying to herd cats. I learned early on that as a leader I could not rule from above, or make unilateral decisions. The membership is highly educated and smart they do not respond well to decrees or being told what to do or what position they should take on a matter so one learns to be inclusive, trying to reach consensus. Without going into too much detail, the reason I resigned was because I felt in a particular circumstance unilateral action was the best course to take and still believe I made the right decision, but it lead to me being forced to resign. In the end, my decision was upheld.
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.

The 2016 Vancouver Sun article entitled Young immigrants to Canada passionate about spirituality indicates
The spiritual commitments of Kim and Shaik illustrate a trend captured by Statistics Canada and pollsters at the Angus Reid Institute: Young immigrants to Canada have an unusually high rate of religious commitment. 
Angus Reid discovered that younger immigrants, including millennials, are almost three times as likely as Canadian-born residents to take part in religious activities, whether Christian, Sikh or Muslim. 
More than half recent immigrants between ages 18 and 49 told Angus Reid pollsters they attend a religious institution at least once a month in Canada, which is also a higher rate than among older immigrants. 
As a result of in-migration, Canadian sociologist of religion Reginald Bibbysays, institutional religion is far from dying in Canada, despite the emphasis journalists and academics place on the expansion of secularism.
The abstract for 2016 journal article Christian Churches and Immigrant Support in Canada: An Organizational Ecology Perspective which was published in the Review of Religious Research states:
Canada receives roughly 250,000 immigrants each year, and the government spends considerable resources on assisting them to settle and integrate into Canadian society through the agencies they support. Most of these new immigrants settle in Canada’s largest cities, where churches meet specific needs that extend beyond the capacities of government agencies. In smaller centers, churches cover a wide range of services because few government supports are available. Little is known about the work of churches in Canada in spite of their importance to immigrant settlement and integration. In this study, we examine the services offered to immigrants by Canadian Christian churches. We show how the service provision of Christian churches is constrained by other organizations and groups in their environment, in ways consonant with the organizational ecology framework. Specifically, churches service the needs of immigrants by adapting to specific niche needs and by filling in gaps left by other service providers.
The Canadian born scholar Eric Kaufmann wrote:
I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious. 
On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British.

The Global and Mail states:
A report this week from Statistics Canada forecasting the country’s demographic makeup in 2036 suggests it’s too late. The transformation of Canada is already far advanced, and continuing.
By 2036, the agency predicts, as many as 30 per cent of all residents will not have been born in Canada. Another 20 per cent of the population will be native-born, but with at least one immigrant parent.
Furthermore, much of Canada's immigration is from Asia (Filipinos, Indians, Chinese, etc.) and much of the atheistic areas of Asia are seeing a rapid decline of atheists and a strong growth of evangelical Christianity (see: East Asia and global desecularization ).

In 2014, the Vancouver Sun declared in article entitled Think religion is in decline? Look at who is 'going forth and multiplying':
Eric Kaufmann, a noted London-based demographer, projects that religious people, especially conservatives, will win the race against the non-religious in the 21st century.
Why? Basically because religious women are having far more babies than secular women....
The main reason Islam, Catholicism and conservative Protestantism is expanding is not necessarily because they’re converting newcomers, Kaufman argues, but because their religions tend to be “pro-natal” and they have more children.
“What no one has noticed is that far from declining, the religious are expanding their share of the population: in fact, the more religious people are, the more children they have,” Kaufmann says in Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (Profile Books)....
“The cumulative effect of immigration from religious countries, and religious fertility will be to reverse the secularization process in the West. Not only will the religious eventually triumph over the non-religious, but it is those who are the most extreme in their beliefs who have the largest families.”,,,, 
Because of increasingly high immigration rates to the West, Kaufmann projects regions such as Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia will grow more religious. “Religion is coming to the West on the backs of immigrants.”... 
What about Canada?
The most recent figures available confirm Kaufmann’s thesis.
Muslim women in Canada have the highest birthrate — at 2.4 babies per woman, followed by Hindus (2 babies per woman), Sikhs (1.9), Jews (1.8), various Protestants (1.6) and Catholics (1.6). Non-religious Canadian women have only 1.4 babies per woman.
Kaufmann has also discovered that children of immigrants do not easily walk away from the family religion — not like many of the offspring of parents born in the West.
Children of immigrants often engage in “cultural defence,” says sociologists. They tend to stay with their parents’ traditional, ethno-religious customs to affirm their identities.
When secularism does gain newcomers, Kaufmann says, they come mainly from the offspring of domestic-born moderate or liberal religious parents. “The middle ground,” as Kaufmann puts it, “is being hollowed out.”
There is a “higher cost” for members of conservative religions to reject their parents’ faith, he says. “To leave a conservative religion is a big, big step. You’re leaving more behind.”
With such lines of reasoning, Kaufmann makes a case that is worth taking seriously regarding who shall inherit the Earth.
Google Canada: Search volume for atheism/agnosticism terms - 2005 to present
Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume. It provides Google search volume data across various regions of the world, and in various languages.
Below are resources related to Google trends data of popular atheism/agnosticism/evolution terms.

Google Canada: Search volume for atheism/agnosticism terms - Last 5 years


C.S. Lewis - from atheism to theism

Walter Hooper, who acted as a temporary secretary for the ex-atheist C.S.Lewis, described him as:
So humble and kind, and such a simple man. I can't imagine anyone not feeling comfortable with him... There was nothing daunting about his home or the way he lived. He was one of those fortunate people who didn't really need much to make him happy. If you had put him in a palace, he would have admired it for its beauty, but he didn't need those things... Lewis' house was so basic. There was even a hole in the floor that you had to be careful the chair didn't fall into. And the food he liked couldn't have been simpler: sausages and mashed potatoes, fish and chips

Ex-atheist C.S. Lewis on his conversion to Christianity



The ex-atheist C.S. Lewis (born November 29, 1898, Belfast - d. November 22, 1963, Oxford) was an Irish writer, novelist, essayist, moral mythologist and a world-acclaimed master of Christian apologetics. He is considered by many to have been the greatest intellectual defender of Christianity in the 20th century.


Peter Berger on the failure of the secularization hypothesis

Peter L. Berger (March 17, 1929 to June 27, 2017) was an Austrian-born American sociologist best known for his work in the fields of the sociology of knowledge/religion, the study of modernization, and various theoretical contributions to sociology.

Berger's work Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (New York, 1966) was declared by the International Sociological Association as being the fifth most influential book written in the field of sociology during the 20th century.

Berger is also well-know for his scholarship relating to the current desecularization of the world (often referred to as the "global resurgence of religion") despite being an advocate of the secularization theory in the 1950s/1960s.

Atheist Tries to Disprove Christianity and Becomes a Christian

The ex-atheist Lee Strobel is a former legal reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a Christian author. The basis for his 1981 journey from atheism to Christianity is discussed in his bestselling book The Case For Christ.

Strobel earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1974 from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree in 1979 from Yale Law School.  In addition, Strobel won Illinois highest honor for public service journalism from United Press International (UPI).  

The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars - Gary Habermas

Atheist Police Detective Examines the Resurrection of Jesus becomes Christian - Part 2

Previously, I made a post entitled Atheist Police Detective Examines the Resurrection of Jesus becomes Christian - Part 1

Below is an additional video by J. Warner Wallace of Cold Case Christianity.

Philosophical naturalism is self-refuting


Previously, I wrote an article entitled The internet spreading reports of miracles is killing atheism and will continue to do so. Pentecostalism and evangelical Christianity are booming. Also, the healing of amputees

The philosophy of naturalism asserts that the supernatural does not exist and consequently miracles have never occurred and does not presently occur.

Below are some videos relating to the philosophy of naturalism.






Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Leading atheist organizations are cutting back staff



In 2017, the atheist activist Lee Moore declared:
If you look at the major atheist groups right now, like the national groups, the ones that are doing the real activist work... They are not bringing in the kind of donations they used to. Most of them are starved for cash. They're downsizing left and right. Because people aren't just giving like they used to. And I talked to a lot of the major donors out there and they said, "Well, we're kind of tired of seeing the atheist community just fight amongst itself and not really get anything done. We'd rather not give money if we don't think it's going to go somewhere.
See also:

Atheist factions

Atheism and social skills

Atheist nonprofit scandals

Career opportunities within atheist movement for racial minorities

In June 2014, the African-American atheist activist Sikivu Hutchinson wrote in the Washington Post that atheists organizations in the United States generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.  Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do focus on helping poor African Americans. See the Washington Post article: Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about

In 2015, BloombergView reported concerning the United States:
According to a much-discussed 2012 report from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, only 3 percent of U.S. atheists and agnostics are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian. Some 82 percent are white. (The relevant figures for the population at large at the time of the survey were 66 percent white, 11 percent black, 15 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian.) 
...Craig Keener, in his huge review of claims of miracles in a wide variety of cultures, concludes that routine rejection of the possibility of the supernaturalrepresents an impulse that is deeply Eurocentric.
On October 9, 2014, Sikivu Hutchinson indicated:
Despite frequent tokenistic calls for “diversity” within the “movement,” there are virtually no people of color in executive management positions in any of the major secular, atheist, or Humanist organizations —notable exceptions being Debbie Goddard of Center for Inquiry and Maggie Ardiente of American Humanist Association. People of color are constantly bombarded with claims of separatism, reverse discrimination, and “self-segregation” when they point to the absence of social justice, anti-racist community organizing, coalition-building, and visibility among secular organizations. After the Washington Post article, the vitriol and denialism among the “We are All Africans” white atheists was off the chain. This illustrates yet again that sticking a few of us on conference panels or secular boards is nothing but cheap appeasement.
Hutchinson also wrote:
The recent merger of the secular organization Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the Richard Dawkins Foundation (RDF) has been dubbed atheism's supergroup moment. Acknowledging the two organizations' outsized presence in the atheist world, Religion News Service acidly declared it a "royal wedding". The partnership, which gives Richard Dawkins a seat on the CFI board, smacks of a vindication of Dawkins' toxic, reactionary brand of damn-all-them-culturally-backward-Western-values-hating- MuslimsNew Atheism. As one of the most prominent global secular organizations, CFI's all-white board looks right at home with RDF's lily white boardand staff.
In 2016, Atheist Alliance International (AAI) conducted an annually reoccurring 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.
Melody Hensley 

On May 15, 2014, the Washington Post reported that Melody Hensley, executive director of the Washington branch of the Center For Inquiry, was "diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a vicious flood of online and social media attacks that included threats of rape, murder and photographs of dismembered women. Many of her harassers, she believes, are men in the secular community."

Post Elevatorgate controversy, at an atheist convention, Rebecca Watson claimed: "Hundreds of atheists have informed me that either they wanted to rape me, someone should rape me so that I will loosen up or that no one would ever rape me because I am so ugly."