Friday, December 09, 2011

The World's Top Atheists

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll bet that Ilion would love to be locked in a room with all 50 of them.

Walter said...

No one deserves that kind of punishment, Anon.

Anonymous said...

Hold up Walter...which of the two is being punished?

Walter said...

If Christians are right about the existence of hell, then surely being locked in a room with Ilion must be what they are talking about. A punishment that dire would cause even Richard Dawkins to beg Jesus for forgiveness.

B. Prokop said...

Wow. I only recognized the names of 17 of them. Where's Loftus on that list?

Anonymous said...

"Where's Loftus on that list?"

Uh, it's a list of TOP atheists. ;)

Anonymous said...

That list really gets kind of horrible in the 20-50 bracket. It's a who's who of guys who barely qualify as atheists and kings of nothing. Oh boy the humanists! :)

Anonymous said...

The top atheist is Woody Allen?

I like it. That pervert is a poster child for Atheism.

Anonymous said...

"I like it. That pervert is a poster child for Atheism."

Meanwhile your pope was protecting child molesters and moving them to new parishes for fresh conquests.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile your pope was protecting child molesters and moving them to new parishes for fresh conquests."

Piffle.

Oh and btw: Nothing is wrong in an atheistic universe. Just fyi.

kbrowne said...

I feel ashamed that there are so many of them that I have never heard of. Maybe it is a list intended for Americans.

I think I would question some of the names. Surely Woody Allen fails the certainty test. And surely both Woody Allen and Stephen Hawking fail the energy test.

I wonder if someone will come up with a list of the 50 top theists.

Anonymous said...

And what "prey" tell is Bernie Law the poster child of?
You remember Bernie don't you? The environmentally
friendly former cardinal of Boston. The former quality member of of the USCCB. That fine august body and soul of RCC administrators. He recycled abusive priests like so many aluminum cans or glass bottles.
Again what is he the poster child of? I forget.

BenYachov said...

PZ Myers (who is an idiot) and other brain dead Gnus are on that list but not JJC Smart?

Well that sucks!

BenYachov said...

Can't we kick the frikin Gnus off that list and put Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters on it?

What about Tiller or J. Michael Straczynski, Josh Weaton..

Hell is an eternity with Ilion and a bunch of Gnus!!!

Anonymous said...

"Piffle."

It's not piffle at all - it's a fact. The current pope was the head of the church office assigned to investigate child molestation cases. He ordered that abuse cases be kept silent under penalty of excommunication, and that no evidence be shared with the police or other secular institutions, such as the press. He was personally responsible for moving various child molesting priests to new parishes - where there were subsequently new victims. This is all amply documented. Here's a link to get you started - but there's much more out there on the Internet.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/apr/24/
children.childprotection

BenYachov said...

Pretty much is it piffle . That charge against the Pope is false.

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2010/09/17/3014875.htm

Matthew G said...

Wow, there were actually 2 people on that list that weren't clowns.

Anonymous said...

BenYachov,

Your link cut off at the '3' - can you post the whole thing?

Jake Elwood XVI said...

highlight the link and the next line (date of his posting) the past and delete the date line and it works.

BenYachov said...

>Your link cut off at the '3' - can you post the whole thing?

Maybe it's your browser? It looks fine to me.

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2010/09/17/3014875.htm

Try here

Jake Elwood XVI said...

As a safari users it does not work but your hyperlink does.

unkleE said...

Well I am not an atheist, but I think that is a most interesting list for a range of reasons.

1. Aussie Peter Singer is No. 1, which is nice. In many respects he is an admirable man, even though I believe dangerously wrong on other matters.

2. I was glad to see David Sloan Wilson so high up (15) - he too is an admirable man, but I would have thought he was (thankfully) insufficiently evangelical and dogmatic about his atheism to satisfy their criteria.

3. I was surprised to find I had heard of most of them. Unlike other commentators here, I thought it was quite an eminent list, with only a few people who I wouldn't have put there.

But as Winston Churchill didn't say: "Never has so much known by so many been so wrong!" : )

Anonymous said...

Well, that article is little more than a piece of Catholic propaganda, including typical attempts to blame the pedophilia on the Sixties.

For instance, "Marcial Maciel Degollado - the notorious founder of the Legionaries of Christ and a monstrous sexual predator"

led to this:

"But upon becoming pope, Benedict XVI moved swiftly against Maciel, removing him immediately from all priestly duties and banishing him to "a life of prayer and penance."

Tough action there!

From an article in the Tablet
http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/14451


GC: The accused, then, are 3,000. How many have been tried and condemned?

CS: First of all, one can say that a full trial, whether penal or administrative, has taken place in 20 per cent of the cases and usually it was held in the diocese of origin – always under our supervision – and only very rarely here in Rome. We do this also in order to speed up the process. In 60 per cent of the cases there has been no trial, above all because of the advanced age of the accused, but administrative and disciplinary provisions have been issued against them, such as bans on celebrating Mass with the faithful and hearing confession, and an obligation to live a secluded life of prayer. It should be stressed that in these cases, some of which are particularly sensational and have caught the attention of the media, there has been no absolution. It’s true that there has not been a formal condemnation, but if a person is obliged to a life of silence and prayer, there must be a reason.

GC: That still leaves 20 per cent of cases.

CS: Let’s say that in 10 per cent of cases, those that are particularly serious ones and with overwhelming proof, the Holy Father has assumed the painful responsibility of authorising a decree of dismissal from the clerical state. This is a very serious but inevitable provision, taken through administrative channels. In the remaining 10 per cent of cases, it was the accused priests themselves who requested dispensation from the obligations deriving from the priesthood, requests which were promptly accepted. Involved in these latter cases there were priests found in possession of paedophile pornographic material and, for this reason, condemned by the civil authorities.

~~

I love this bit: "the Holy Father has assumed the painful responsibility of authorising a decree of dismissal from the clerical state".

Anonymous said...

See here also:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/03/more-evidence-emerges-tha_n_524192.html

Matt DeStefano said...

I might be biased, but I don't see why Dr. Matt McCormick isn't on the list. (www.provingthenegative.com)

Especially because some of them are just so... not impressive.

Anonymous said...

"I was surprised to find I had heard of most of them. Unlike other commentators here, I thought it was quite an eminent list, with only a few people who I wouldn't have put there."

It depends on what you think the purpose of the list is. The fact is they're really reaching with a lot of those names, and most of the most interesting names on the list tend to be those who hardly mention their supposed atheism at all. Perhaps the best lesson to take from the list is that the New Atheists have been a flop, yet once you remove the New Atheists from the list you're left with the tragically (in terms of religious and atheistic thought) uninteresting for the most part.

parbouj said...

Woody Allen is not at top of list. Reading comprehension fail...

parbouj said...

anon most atheists are tragically uninterested in their own atheism. they focus on other things altogether. not like christians who can't fall over each other fast enough to see who has more conversions under their belts.

unkleE said...

Another interesting thought - the top 5 are all philosophers (I wouldn't rate Dennett with the other 4, but that's the fun of lists). I find this interesting because many atheists I have met are scornful of philosophy and philosophers. I think the list is right and the scorners are wrong, but it is interesting.

BenYachov said...

>Well, that article is little more than a piece of Catholic propaganda, including typical attempts to blame the pedophilia on the Sixties.

The author of the article is an Australian Protestant Clergyman not a Catholic & of course it's factually based.

Nice try though.

>"But upon becoming pope, Benedict XVI moved swiftly against Maciel, removing him immediately from all priestly duties and banishing him to "a life of prayer and penance."

>Tough action there!

In effect it's prison only more boring. Or have you never been in a Closter?

Also Hollywood seems to have a serious Pedophillia problem going all the way back to the 50's & 60's.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070474/Does-Hollywood-paedophilia-epidemic-Abuse-revealed-child-actors.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Gee if only Hollywood would let women be Actors, let Actors marry or didn't have such a repressed attitude toward sex & contraception this would never have happened to it.

Plus Hollywood always has as it does to this day resisted the progressive ideals and cultural mores started in the 60's.

It's the Family values they are trying to push on the rest of us that cause this....

;-)

BenYachov said...

New Atheists are only interesting the way Fred Phepts is interesting. Acting like a bigoted jerk gets you noticed.

Carl Sagan was a class act and even Bertram Russell was more reasonable then the current Gnu crowd.

The Problem with Gnu's was the same problem that dogged religious fundies.

Religion or anti-religion is just an excuse for politics.

Sad really.

Anonymous said...

"anon most atheists are tragically uninterested in their own atheism. they focus on other things altogether."

And chances are most of those supposed atheists wouldn't even think of themselves as atheists. There's a real divide between the sort of trog you find bottomfeeding on PZ's blog and the merely non-religious.

"not like christians who can't fall over each other fast enough to see who has more conversions under their belts."

It really depends on the christian, doesn't it? Just as it really depends on the atheist. But the list is still pretty funny, and they clearly had to scrape to get those names.

Chris W said...

The list sucks. Peter Singer is pro-infanticide and has never made a good argument for atheism. And I think Woody Allen is an agnostic. Here's my list:

1. William Rowe
2. Ivan Karamazov, if he was a real person
3. ...
to quote Hillel, the rest is commentary.

Anonymous said...

a better list would be ...atheist-conservatives and "philosophers" who pretend to be religious

featuring the likes of Reppert, Feser, Vallicella, McGrews etc

Victor Reppert said...

a better list would be ...atheist-conservatives and "philosophers" who pretend to be religious

featuring the likes of Reppert, Feser, Vallicella, McGrews etc

What????

Doug Benscoter said...

unkleE, I agree completely. It was refreshing to see Michael Martin, for example, near the top of such a list. My many disagreements with him notwithstanding, of course...

David B Marshall said...

There are a lot of interesting people on the list. I've had run-ins with three, who, however, do not overwhelm me with their intellect or character.

His flares of bombast aside, PZ Myers seems essentially a timid soul. In the months that I posted on his website, the posts were about 99.5% by atheists. I found out why quickly enough: from my first post, PZ was looking for an excuse to get rid of me. (Running through several options till he found one that the "base" could plausibly buy -- along with his troops carpet-bombing the site with pornographic curses aiming to flush out yours truly, which PZ clearly approved of.) All this I take as a safety measure. PZ lives in a hothouse, and survives by keeping the thermostat up and the door tightly shut.

Victor Stenger seems a kindlier if rather distracted old gentleman. He spent the good part of a chapter in his The New Atheism quote-mining what I wrote about faith in The Truth Behind the New Atheism. He got almost nothing right, though; I didn't get the impression he had read attentively. Seems like a nice guy, but honestly, The New Atheism as a whole was awful. Maybe his other books are better?

Richard Carrier is, at this stage in his career, pretty much an intellectual lightweight. He seems to have studied a mile wide, and a few inches deep. He is prone to grandoise claims, but makes numerous mistakes, which he is loath to correct. On the plus side, he has a lot of ideas. (Him and Gingrich.)

Who, BTW, is Ilion?

BenYachov said...

Victor Stenger debated Craig twice. The first time he did really well but the second time ouch!

BenYachov said...

>featuring the likes of Reppert, Feser, Vallicella, McGrews etc

>What????

Oh I get it. This person is rocking the "Intelligent people really don't believe in God so these individuals must secretly disbelieve" meme.

(It's weird considering Feser was an Atheist.)

It's sort of the reverse of "Atheists really secretly believe in God they just want to rebel etc" meme.

That's what I think.

parbouj said...

David don;t flatter yourself pz has no idea who u r. Name dropping douche nobody knows who u r.

Doug Benscoter said...

parbouj: "Name dropping douche" ...

Sounds like a good band name.

BenYachov said...

>David don;t flatter yourself pz has no idea who u r. Name dropping douche nobody knows who u r.

He wrote The Truth Behind the New Atheism. There are whole New Atheist threads on the internet dedicated to pointing out that David is a "liar" 7 what "lies" he allegedly told in his book.

I own the book. It's ok. No offense to David but it's not THE LAST SUPERSTITION or REBIRTH OF WISDOM or anything by Stephen Barr.

But it's ok.

>Name dropping douche nobody knows who u r.

Who are you again parbouj?

Edward T. Babinski said...

Top 50?

"John W. Loftus"
250,000 results
Edited three books of essays (many by Richard Carrier who is on the list) that debunk arguments for classical theism and revealed religion, and his original work, Why I Am An Atheist, is now in its second edition.

"Robert M. Price"
240,000 results
Prolific published author (ex-Baptist), biblical scholar and member of the Center for Inquiry, also hosts the Bible Geek radio program.

"Hector Avalos"
88,000 results
Biblical scholar and author of a growing number of books related to biblical studies including The End of Biblical Studies, and a new book on the Bible and slavery. Works with John Loftus and Robert M. Price on occasion.

BenYachov said...

Jesus Mythers the Atheist version of Young Earth Creationism.

Excepting Loftus.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the heart to tell Eddy that even in terms of google popularity, those results are pretty pathetic? And that Loftus's numbers are partly a result of his willingness to comment on any site he can, up to and including livejournals?

Let's drive the point home.

"Bea Arthur's Dick"
40,200 results

"Edward T. Babinski"
27,000 results

parbouj said...

Ben I never pretended to be well-known enough for people to give a shit about my anecdotes.

BenYachov said...

>Ben I never pretended to be well-known enough for people to give a shit about my anecdotes.

Neither have I but what does that have to do with your uncalled for snark at David or your claim PZ doesn't know who he is?

Since David seems to be an ID advocate and PZ is militantly anti-ID and anti-Creationist it seems likely PZ knows who he is.

Your claim seems to be gratuitous dising rather then substantive reply.

.

Crude said...

I don't know if David is "well known" and I don't care. He has a very pleasant way of writing, his approach to these questions is refreshing, he's been polite and thoughtful in all interactions I've seen him in, and I'm going to pick up a couple of his books when funds permit. Good stuff, one of the few guys I know of who writes on Christianity and theism with anything approaching an eastern perspective.

And if you're going by that idiotic google fu, David > Avalos.

David B Marshall said...

Par: PZ knows who I am. Not well, of course, but God aside, who knows any of us well? Who knows Herman Cain well? Sometimes it's an advantage to be obscure.

Ben: Thanks for reading. Tastes vary; you may enjoy one of my more positive arguments more.

Crude: Thanks. Give me your address, and I'll send you one, for Christmas.