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Old 06-11-2021, 04:55 PM   #51
Aaron W.
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Originally Posted by ecriture d'adulte View Post
We agree that evangelicals have lost some key culture war issues, (1) will continue to lose more in the future and (2) are therefore less inclined to try to change laws to mandate their moral positions.
(1) Broadly, yes. But in certain ways, no. For the last two decades, I've felt that the push to overturn Roe v. Wade was a waste of resources. But I think the odds of Roe v. Wade being overturned is significantly higher right now than it's been at any other point during those two decades.

(2) Yes, but... They have not abandoned doing this in general, and such laws are still coming forward all the time. There is a shift in strategy that actually mirrors the shift in strategy used to get gay marriage at the national level, which is to engage more forcefully in state-level politics. And this has been going on for a while. Think about the bathroom bills that have gone forward in multiple states, or Trump's decision to revoke LGBTQ protections. You don't see religious conservatives pushing hard behind those things? Do you not see "God made them man and woman" as the basis of biological sex being understood as the ultimate determination for gender?

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I casually referred to this as an atheist win, but if you prefer to call it a religious right loss I don't care.
You may think the relevance is small, but atheism had a much smaller role in the types of changes you're putting forward than you seem to think. And the New Atheists had a smaller role in it than you seem to think. Behind the socially progressive movement is a large number of more socially liberal Christians. There's probably a at least a couple orders of magnitude more of them than New Atheists.

But sure. Celebrate the 1-15 season because why not.
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:02 AM   #52
ecriture d'adulte
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

The 1-15 analogy makes no sense. It's more like a fan saying we won after their team wins despite doing nothing, especially since I said explicitly that I'm not arguing atheism or new atheist are a causal factor.

For the first time in US history a majority do not belong to a religious congregation and no religion is at an all time high in the US while Catholicism and Protestantism are both decreasing as a percentage of the population. No religion will certainly increase again this decade while the big religions fall again. These aren't cheap gains either, that simply come from people without religion having more kids or immigration from places where no religion is the default. People leaving actual religions and converting to none is fueling the growth. It's a major societal change..... I can't think of an actual religion in US history that has ever been as large while growing as fast through conversion as no religion is now.

Last edited by ecriture d'adulte; 06-12-2021 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:58 PM   #53
Aaron W.
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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The 1-15 analogy makes no sense. It's more like a fan saying we won after their team wins despite doing nothing, especially since I said explicitly that I'm not arguing atheism or new atheist are a causal factor.
I'll point out that while moving the New Atheists from participants to spectators serves your argument, your analysis fails the reality test. They were not fans yelling at the TV for a running play, seeing that the team picked a passing play, and then celebrating a touchdown anyway. The New Atheists *DID* play in the game. They did have *AN* impact on the outcome. I will say that they even *CONTRIBUTED* to the the "win" in some sense.

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For the first time in US history a majority do not belong to a religious congregation and no religion is at an all time high in the US while Catholicism and Protestantism are both decreasing as a percentage of the population. No religion will certainly increase again this decade while the big religions fall again. These aren't cheap gains either, that simply come from people without religion having more kids or immigration from places where no religion is the default. People leaving actual religions and converting to none is fueling the growth. It's a major societal change..... I can't think of an actual religion in US history that has ever been as large while growing as fast through conversion as no religion is now.
Yes, the rise of the nones has been happening for over a decade. But no. The bolded is wrong. The rise of the nones is not people leaving religion and converting to none. The shift is primarily seen by the increasing number of people in younger generations entering into the survey landscape. That is not people "leaving actual religions and converting." It's merely "new people with a different 'default' response to religiosity being surveyed."

Granted, this is a true societal shift, but it's not the mass exodus you seem to be implying. Rather, the culture-at-large has reached a point where people no longer take on an assumed default identity. Part of this is that there really is not longer a cultural assumed identity. The population is simply too diverse (and aware of its diversity) to do that.

The reality is that people tend towards religiosity as they get older. Scroll down to the graph titled "Nones Decrease with Age":

https://news.gallup.com/opinion/poll...ise-nones.aspx

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Several things are evident. There are clearly more "nones" of all ages now than there were in 2002 and 2009, and particularly more nones now among younger people. This is the rise of the nones we hear so much about, and it's a rise of the nones that is most evident among those who are younger.

But, despite this overall increase of nones, older people are still less likely to eschew religion than those who are younger. And, the pattern of nones among those of millennial age today follows the same generational pattern evident in 2002 and 2009. People in their 20s are less religious than people in their early 30s.
It goes on to analyze that church attendance increases with age as well. It is certainly lower than previous years, and the drop is meaningful. But it defies your analysis.

There is an underlying shift in the demographics. There is increasing acceptability of "atheist" labels an an overall decrease in religiosity. But "hard gains" of conversion do not appear to be the causal factor.
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Old 06-12-2021, 01:40 PM   #54
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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People leaving actual religions and converting to none is fueling the growth.
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Yes, the rise of the nones has been happening for over a decade. But no. The bolded is wrong. The rise of the nones is not people leaving religion and converting to none. The shift is primarily seen by the increasing number of people in younger generations entering into the survey landscape. That is not people "leaving actual religions and converting." It's merely "new people with a different 'default' response to religiosity being surveyed."
Nope. From my link only 9% of people say they were raised with no religion but close to double that say they have no religion. There is no actual large religion in the US with that kind of profile, where more than half were not raised in it. It's true that younger people are fueling the growth of None but only because they are more likely to leave the religion they were raised under.

Oh and in terms of who the new atheists are in the sports analogy cheer leaders, equipment managers it doesn't really matter since I never gave them a ton of credit or compared them to players or the GM etc.

Last edited by ecriture d'adulte; 06-12-2021 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 06-13-2021, 03:25 PM   #55
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Nope. From my link only 9% of people say they were raised with no religion but close to double that say they have no religion. There is no actual large religion in the US with that kind of profile, where more than half were not raised in it. It's true that younger people are fueling the growth of None but only because they are more likely to leave the religion they were raised under.
You're overreading the data.

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Originally Posted by me
That is not people "leaving actual religions and converting." It's merely "new people with a different 'default' response to religiosity being surveyed."
I have no idea how old you are. Around the 1990s, the modes of parenting switched from the expectation that children would default to their religion to allowing the idea that children would choose whatever religion they wanted. This was a somewhat new societal expectation for the US and as best as I can tell was a pretty broadly adopted viewpoint of raising children.

You're taking "raised with a religious affiliation" to mean "the person would self-declare to be of a particular religious affiliation" whereas it means something closer to "my parents were of a particular religious affiliation." This is what I mean by the shift of the default response.

It's a huge difference.

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Oh and in terms of who the new atheists are in the sports analogy cheer leaders, equipment managers it doesn't really matter since I never gave them a ton of credit or compared them to players or the GM etc.
I hate to break it to you, but they *were* the game for a while. They aren't the game now, but to try to relegate them to non-players is both stupid and ahistoric.
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:54 AM   #56
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Once these books fell off the bestseller list and people lost interest in talking about religion and god, the movement died out. And of the leaders who lost relevance, it was mostly due to age and death.
Yeah, there wasn't really much chance of a sustained movement without something crazy happening like a Mike Huckabee type becoming president. Even then, the arguments get pretty tired. Like I was a student of a scientist who's written best seller popular level books. And while my impression was they agree with Dawkins style atheism and don't mind wading into social issues, there is very little unique to add to this subject.
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Old 06-23-2021, 04:18 AM   #57
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Lol, do you have to make every thread about you?
I'm not sure that I have to make every thread about me; but I can't say that I'll often pass up the opportunity to do so.

n.b. I have six of the posts in this 57-post thread, and four of them are me responding to your observation about me making the thread about me.

Last edited by lagtight; 06-23-2021 at 04:24 AM. Reason: added second paragraph
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:17 AM   #58
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Originally Posted by ecriture d'adulte View Post
The 1-15 analogy makes no sense. It's more like a fan saying we won after their team wins despite doing nothing, especially since I said explicitly that I'm not arguing atheism or new atheist are a causal factor.

For the first time in US history a majority do not belong to a religious congregation and no religion is at an all time high in the US while Catholicism and Protestantism are both decreasing as a percentage of the population. No religion will certainly increase again this decade while the big religions fall again. These aren't cheap gains either, that simply come from people without religion having more kids or immigration from places where no religion is the default. People leaving actual religions and converting to none is fueling the growth. It's a major societal change..... I can't think of an actual religion in US history that has ever been as large while growing as fast through conversion as no religion is now.
I don't know how much of a factor it is, but a lot of infamous religious personalities in politics and extremely wealthy mega-church pastors are probably also having an effect. For a lot of people, those figures aren't a good look. Riling up a base is good business, but if the message doesn't have a broader appeal, it probably doesn't do wonders for recruitment.

We live in a time with intense scrutiny of public figures and where a lot of people get undressed morally, ethically and ideologically. The thread subject is part of that trend. A lot of churches that under less watchful eyes could easily sell themselves as superior in morals and purity are shown to be hypocritical.
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:46 AM   #59
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

"How 'the' new atheists are just grifters".

lol, I'll happily grant you whatever definition you want to use of anything in your post and still say 'so what'.

Brings to mind people who think that climate change isn't real because some of the people promoting the idea are just doing it to profit from it. I'm not a fan of Dawkins or Hitchens anyway, and Krauss can be irritating. None of that changes anything at all about the truth of the issue though, utterly irrelevant. Can't even figure out your motivations in posting this. Wanna compare atheist grifters to religious ones for fun though? Not sure I have time to list all the religious ones, I'd be here all week... Just lol.
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Old 07-12-2021, 12:22 PM   #60
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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"How 'the' new atheists are just grifters".

lol, I'll happily grant you whatever definition you want to use of anything in your post and still say 'so what'.

Brings to mind people who think that climate change isn't real because some of the people promoting the idea are just doing it to profit from it. I'm not a fan of Dawkins or Hitchens anyway, and Krauss can be irritating. None of that changes anything at all about the truth of the issue though, utterly irrelevant. Can't even figure out your motivations in posting this. Wanna compare atheist grifters to religious ones for fun though? Not sure I have time to list all the religious ones, I'd be here all week... Just lol.
Are you familiar with the Whataboutism Fallacy?

I think virtually everybody is aware of the religious grifters, since they are on television 24/7 peddling "Holy water" or "Send me $100, and you'll be blessed ten-fold" nonsense, etc, etc. (I recall that the always-good for-a-laugh Jim Bakker was pedding a cure for Covid.)

I suspect far fewer people are aware of atheist grifters. Hence, why this thread is interesting (in my opinion).
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Old 07-12-2021, 01:11 PM   #61
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Are you familiar with the Whataboutism Fallacy?

I think virtually everybody is aware of the religious grifters, since they are on television 24/7 peddling "Holy water" or "Send me $100, and you'll be blessed ten-fold" nonsense, etc, etc. (I recall that the always-good for-a-laugh Jim Bakker was pedding a cure for Covid.)

I suspect far fewer people are aware of atheist grifters. Hence, why this thread is interesting (in my opinion).
lol yes I'm very familiar with 'whataboutism', I experience it virtually every time I point out Trump's pathological dishonesty to trump supporters, they reply 'but what about clinton/obama/biden'... whatever... I'm expecting more of the same from you actually on the other thread, unless you want to try to defend Trump's lying?

But I'm not doing whataboutism here, it's why I added 'for fun' at the end because my intention wasn't to undermine the point of the thread because as far as I can tell, it has no point worth criticising, it's certainly not making any claims about whether or not god exists, but if Aaron is interested generally in the subject of grifters, for no other reason than to expose them, then let's do the religious ones too. For fun
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:24 PM   #62
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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lol yes I'm very familiar with 'whataboutism', I experience it virtually every time I point out Trump's pathological dishonesty to trump supporters, they reply 'but what about clinton/obama/biden'... whatever... I'm expecting more of the same from you actually on the other thread, unless you want to try to defend Trump's lying?

But I'm not doing whataboutism here, it's why I added 'for fun' at the end because my intention wasn't to undermine the point of the thread because as far as I can tell, it has no point worth criticising, it's certainly not making any claims about whether or not god exists, but if Aaron is interested generally in the subject of grifters, for no other reason than to expose them, then let's do the religious ones too. For fun
Sounds like fun! Start a thread!

By the way, welcome back! Haven't seen you in this Forum in a while. Hope you are well.
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Old 07-13-2021, 05:55 AM   #63
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Sounds like fun! Start a thread!
Technically you already have.


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By the way, welcome back! Haven't seen you in this Forum in a while. Hope you are well.
Well thanks, same to you. I got bored of arguing with Aaron and no one else as engaging last time I was here, it's gone very quiet. RGT is still a never-to-be-forgotten port of call though.
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Old 07-13-2021, 06:10 AM   #64
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Re: Godless grifters: How the New Atheists merged with the far right

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Technically you already have.




Well thanks, same to you. I got bored of arguing with Aaron and no one else as engaging last time I was here, it's gone very quiet. RGT is still a never-to-be-forgotten port of call though.
Glad you're back!
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