Strength in Numbers: Even Atheists Suffer from ‘Elijah Syndrome’

Friends,

I said yesterday that one of the motivations for Richard Dawkins’ book was surely because he saw himself as a dying breed and needed some company in his misery. Well, I was partially correct.

“People who were ashamed to say there is no God now say, ‘Wow, there are others out there who think like me, and it feels damned good,’ ” said Margaret Downey, president of the Atheist Alliance International, whose membership has almost doubled in the past year to 5,200. It has a 500-person waiting list for its convention in Crystal City later this month.

(In America, Nonbelievers Frind Strength in Numbers, by Jacqueline L Salmon, Washington Post (online), September 15, 2007)

5,200! Impressive. Turns out even Atheists need the comfort of like minded folks to commiserate with. However…

Despite atheists’ increased vocalism and visibility, it seems that the rest of America isn’t buying in.

In a nationwide poll last year by University of Minnesota researchers, Americans rated atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” They also associated atheists with everything from criminal behavior to rampant materialism. According to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll, more than half would not vote for an atheist for president.

I sincerely wish that all who are atheist would come out of the closet! I agree with Richard Dawkins: Come out! Be Proud! Claim your beliefs or lack thereof! Come out by name! There is no shame in being who you are! You see, I think if more atheists would come out by name, then all the less-educated-than-atheists Christians could spend more time praying for them by name.

Hey, I heard a joke one time: What do you get when you cross an Atheist with a Jehovah’s Witness? Someone who knocks on your door for reason whatsoever. (Maybe I told that one before.)

jerry

7 thoughts on “Strength in Numbers: Even Atheists Suffer from ‘Elijah Syndrome’

  1. “I said yesterday that one of the motivations for Richard Dawkins’ book was surely because he saw himself as a dying breed and needed some company in his misery.”
    I can’t see how he would see himself as a dying breed. Atheism is alive and well. All the recent press and publications should be evidence enough of that.

    “Turns out even Atheists need the comfort of like minded folks to commiserate with.”
    Atheists are humans, too. No one likes to be a minority of one.

    “I sincerely wish that all who are atheist would come out of the closet! I agree with Richard Dawkins: Come out! Be Proud! Claim your beliefs or lack thereof! Come out by name! There is no shame in being who you are!”
    I agree! 🙂 This would be better for all atheists in this country. People would feel free to question religion openly and the public opinion of atheists would improve.

    “They also associated atheists with everything from criminal behavior to rampant materialism. According to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll, more than half would not vote for an atheist for president.”
    Too bad these associations are based on ignorance and propaganda rather than reality. There is no over representation of atheists in prisons. They are no more likely to commit a crime than believers are.

  2. Joe,

    As to your last point, “There is no over representation of atheists in prisons. They are no more likely to commit a crime than believers are.”

    I agree. I wish you would tell Richard Dawkins that because he’s convinced that the only people who ever committ crimes are believers! I can’t believe we finally agree on something!

    jerry

  3. It is good to agree.

    “I wish you would tell Richard Dawkins that because he’s convinced that the only people who ever committ crimes are believers!”
    Could you direct me to where Dawkins expresses this sentiment?

  4. Joe,

    On p 1 of the preface he tells of doing a series for the BBC called Root of All Evil (which was about religion). He says, as a caveat, ‘Religion is not the root of all evil, for no one thing is the root of all anything’ (1). He then rolls on from page 1-2 telling us the horrors of religion or the horrors committed in the name of religion. He never once mentions any of the horrors of atheism and the attrocities done in the name of nothing.

    More of the same on page 21,24-25. Then, there’s this, “I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented” (36).

    I have read 36 pages, and not once has he mentioned the attrocities committed by atheists. Oh, and on page 36, sorry to spoil it for you, he attacks a beard. “That old man is an irrelevant distraction and his beard is as tedious as it is long.” That, my friend, is powerful rhetoric indeed. Imagine having the nerve to attack a beard! Imagine a beard being ‘tedious’! Surely Dawkins is a man of real genius!

    I can’t wait for you to read it! He wrote that by the time I’m done reading I will be an atheist. I hope by the time you are done reading it, you will be a Christian.

    jerry

  5. Ah so it sounds like he never actually says that the only people who commit crimes are believers. That’s what I figured. I will not support Dawkins in his argument that religion causes violence. I also do not accept your contention that anyone has killed in the name of atheism or “nothing”.

    “I can’t wait for you to read it! He wrote that by the time I’m done reading I will be an atheist.”
    He actually wrote that? Haha. I wonder where he gets that reputation for being arrogant?

    “I hope by the time you are done reading it, you will be a Christian.”
    Why would I? My atheism has never had anything to do with Richard Dawkins. Even if this book is filled with stupidity and fallacy it will not change my reasons for being an atheist.

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