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This Week in Atheism 2018–06–10


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/06/10

“You may have seen a version of this meme before, perhaps via a religious relative on your Facebook feed. It’s meant to dismiss atheism by claiming it makes no sense:


The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what-so-ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.

Makes perfect sense.

It’s simplified to the point of being ridiculous — that’s the idea — but it’s also telling that whoever wrote it thinks evolution involves going from “self-replicating bits” to “dinosaurs” in one fell swoop instead of over several billion years.

Anyway, it’s the sort of statement you expect to see in a Ken Ham lecture or in a sermon from a pastor who didn’t do his homework that week and is desperately searching for material. It’s a cheap laugh for ignorant people.”


“The Greenville Avenue Church of Christ near Dallas, Texas recently distributed flyers announcing their summer sermon series in which, every week, “pulpit minister” Shelton Gibbs III will tackle “Dangerous Isms.”

For example, they’re going to talk about the problems with Pessimism, and Materialism, and Judaism, and Alcoholism, and Emotionalism, and wait-a-minute-let’s-back-up.”


“Atheism has always been a difficult concept to explain because, as with the divergent denominations of different religions, there are varied conceptions of what the term entails. As has been expressed by many thinkers on the subject, atheism is a unique negation. You generally don’t profess disbelief in unicorns or giant sea monsters; if you do, there is no widespread term for such philosophical stances. Religion has carved its own corner in this regard.

A new Pew study uncovered interesting facts about how Americans and Western Europeans view atheism. In fact, the study’s lead researcher, Neha Sahgel, goes so far to state that American “nones” — a term used to denote people who are atheist, agnostic, or don’t pay much attention to religion — are as or even more religious than Christians in a number of European nations, including France, Germany, and the UK.

Sahgel notes that while 23 percent of European Christians believe in God, 27 percent of American nones share this belief. Americans are more likely to assert that a higher power exists, even if that higher power never bothered to found a religion in its name.”


Nacer Amari is the Co-Founder of an in-development organization entitled United Atheists of Europe devoted to the united efforts of atheism and atheists in Europe. Here we talk about Tunisian background and the influence on development and work as an atheist, and more.

When I asked Amari about personal and family background, he talked about the southern Tunisian region of youth. This amounts to a region where religion dominates. The customs, social norms, morays, and traditions centre on religion.

Religion equates to life and blood. The nature of being births one’s relationship with God through religion. Why not? It would seem natural as an accustomed lifestyle and stance. People have the right to freedom of belief and religion. What happens when this becomes imposed by force on others with a sense of chauvinism and bigotry?

“I grew up in a Berber family with Arab culture where parents are illiterate and not religious,” Amari stated, “Usually, it has a negative impact on the child’s personality, but I consider myself to be lucky compared to the children where I grew up, even though my parents were illiterate and managed to raise me without being affected by religion.”

Sometimes, people can identify a moment of saying, “I am an atheist,” or feeling apart from the traditions and the religious community. In such a way, that religion becomes null and void to oneself. Then atheism is found as the proper label, eventually. An atheism prior to knowing one exists as an atheist. Atheism without name, but with form and substance — “sort of, like, kind of, you know?” — as the kids say.”


“The words “atheism” and “atheist” are used as insults to denigrate people.

These words are used like “liberal” and “communist” are used by right-wing blowholes on AM radio, who don’t have a clue about the actual meanings of those words. They use those words indiscriminately in order to blur the distinctions between them, in order to create fear and hostility and to promote an Us vs. Them mindset:

  • Democrat = Liberal
  • Liberal = Socialist
  • Socialist = Communist
  • Communist = Lying, murdering, evil bastard

But people who actually have some brain cells between their ears use these words with more care, and understand that these words have different meanings, different implications. Not all Democrats are liberals. Some Democrats are moderates, and some Democrats are conservatives. Not all liberals are socialists. Not all socialists are communists. Not all communists are lying, murdering, evil bastards.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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