New Atheist Convention Cancelled

As if we needed an exclamation mark on the failed Reason Rally II, more evidence has come in that the New Atheist movement is dying:

Due to less than 100 tickets sold this year, out of a possible 1100, Gateway to Reason, [Thomas True] has sadly decided to cancel the event this year.

According to their FB page, they couldn’t even sell 100 tickets since last August even though they were only $50.   I guess that means activist speakers like American Atheist David Silverman and Satanist Lucien Greaves will now have even more free time on their hands.

Does all this mean New Atheists no longer support Reason?

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27 Responses to New Atheist Convention Cancelled

  1. Mechanar says:

    Lets see the new atheist movement startet around 2006, the average new atheist was 16/17/18 I think 10 years is enough to get educated and develop a greater more complex view of the world

  2. Dhay says:

    The Gateway to Reason webpage currently shows just a cancellation message, but when archived by ‘WayBack Machine’ on 21 April it headlined:

    Come see amazing presentations of science and reason.
    The conference will be a two day event in St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis with speakers representing Comedy, Science, Politics, Music and Philosophy. Dates are August 13-14, seating is limited to 1,100 persons. Get your ticket NOW! It is sure to be another sell out!

    http://web.archive.org/web/20160421084756/http://www.gatewaytoreason.com/

    Optimistic advertising springs eternal.

    Down in the ‘Tickets’ section I see, “Early Bird tickets soon go on sale for just $50 for all three days. That’s a bargain you can’t get else where [sic].” Which is odd, because in the heading it’s an August 13-14 two day event.

    Intriguingly, one of the speakers was to have been The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  3. Kevin says:

    I can understand the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a speaker, but anyone who would invite David Silverman as a speaker is clearly not interested in promoting reason.

  4. TFBW says:

    I wonder how strong this particular piece of evidence actually is. Perhaps the primary reason for the underwhelming response was that the 2015 conference was ho-hum, rather than the decline of New Atheism as a whole.

  5. SteveK says:

    Reason would suggest putting on a good conference that isn’t ho-hum in order to ensure success. They couldn’t manage that so reason would suggest they don’t value reason as highly as they claim or they aren’t good at reasoning.*

    * 🙂

  6. Dhay says:

    I note it’s in the same year as a Reason Rally, possibly causing Rally fatigue or penny-counting; it’s also competing with the Rio Olympics, which everyone (bar me) will be glued to our tellies watching.

    There’s also the fuzziness of what science and reason are supposed to be: I did spot a reference to vaccines on the FaceBook page, but what else they were for or against is very unclear.

    At least, with the Reason Rally, there was a list of “Some Say”s which the scientific rationalist was expected to disagree with:

    18th AMENDMENT SAYS “Prohibit alcohol”

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/reason-rally-throws-new-atheism-under-the-bus/#comment-12548

    That’s at least clear, though rather late to the fray.

  7. TFBW says:

    They couldn’t manage that so reason would suggest they don’t value reason as highly as they claim or they aren’t good at reasoning.

    Or they aren’t good at organising interesting conferences, and failed to recognise their own lack of competence in that regard. You don’t have to overestimate your competence in any particular skill by a large margin in order to be a New Atheist, but it seems to go with the territory. A corollary of scientism, perhaps? After all, if science is the right tool to answer every question and solve every problem, then if you’re good at science you should be good at organising a conference, right?

  8. “As if we needed an exclamation mark on the failed Reason Rally II, more evidence has come in that the New Atheist movement is dying:”
    * The reason rally was a dud because it got co-opted by SJWs.

    A very great many of us are beyond fed up with the A+, feminist, SJW, bullshit and we voted with our feet.

    Phil Mason pretty much nails it, as usual

  9. stcordova says:

    If rad feminists have hijacked New Atheism, then this is the new face of New Atheism:

    If SJW have hijacked New Atheism, this is the new face of New Atheism (so bad, some not so bad):

  10. Kevin says:

    I think New Atheists have enough embarrassing figureheads in their movement without adding ol’ Trigglypuff to their ranks.

    At least New Atheists pay lip service to reason, and most of them will actually carry on a conversation, even if it’s full of fallacies. Social progressives have one weapon in their arsenal, which is screaming that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot. In a direct comparison, New Atheists win by many miles.

  11. Ryan says:

    TFBW: After all, if science is the right tool to answer every question and solve every problem, then if you’re good at science you should be good at organising a conference, right?

    Basically, New Atheists are all Jason Bournes. They can do anything and everything better than anyone else because they have Reason. Capitalization intentional.

  12. jbsptfn says:

    Does all this mean New Atheists no longer support Reason?

    They never did.

  13. goldrushapple says:

    I’m an MSW candidate currently in my second class for the summer session. There has been at least one student who said that in her diversity class only the white males did not raise their hands to show they were discriminated against while another lamented how a part of her is “invisible” because she was bisexual (she’s married to a man). It’s the professional victims wanting to help the “marginalized.” No wonder the discipline and profession of social work is wasteland.

  14. Lucas M says:

    I don’t know if it’s just my site, but I’ve also found militant atheism to be severely dying. I haven’t seen an atheist pop onto my site for a good while, and you only get the off hand commenter here and there on the apologetic channels I frequent. And even then it’s always the same ones brainlessly typing away tired soundbites. This is just further proof the New Atheist movement is becoming more and more revolting and unintellectual to the population. They really need to change their ways and attempt to start an actual discussion about religion instead of labelling everyone mentally ill from the get go. It may be funny to an adolescent, but to most who have grown up, it’s becoming nothing but a childish fad of the past.

  15. stcordova August 4, 2016 at 4:39 pm
    “If rad feminists have hijacked New Atheism, then this is the new face of New Atheism:”

    Milo is a theist, what are you even trying to say?

    “If SJW have hijacked New Atheism”

    They haven’t. They are just out spewing a very great deal of nonsense while they manage to to get a few things correct about the absurdity of the god hypothesis.

  16. Ryan says:

    SD: “If rad feminists have hijacked New Atheism, then this is the new face of New Atheism:”

    Milo is a theist, what are you even trying to say?

    Milo isn’t the feminist being referred to. Milo is not a feminist, rather an outspoken critic of contemporary feminism.

  17. stcordova says:

    Stardusty Psyche: “Milo is a theist, what are you even trying to say?”

    The video was showing a rad fem going bonkers and heckling at a public meeting. Whether it was because of Milo (a male theist homosexual) is not relevant to the fact she was behaving in a way that made her look like she had a few screws loose.

    You referenced Phil Mason, and I first saw the video of that very same fat ugly angry rad fem on Phil Mason’s youtube where he was saying rad fem and social justice warriors have infiltrated New Atheism. Here is the video where I got introduced into the rad fem at the Milo Y. talk. Phil Mason showed that fat ugly angry rad fem toward the end of his video, at about the 17:18 mark. Mason also uses the phrase “social justice” as part of the high jack of New Atheism.

  18. Kevin says:

    “They haven’t. They are just out spewing a very great deal of nonsense while they manage to to get a few things correct about the absurdity of the god hypothesis.”

    Odds are, a group of people who can’t tell the difference between male and female are probably completely wrong about God. Would certainly make me reevaluate if I was an atheist.

  19. Dhay says:

    > Does all this mean New Atheists no longer support Reason?

    Here’s a recent comment on one of Jerry Coyne’s recent blog posts, made by one of his regulars:

    I thought, because the time between Christmas & Easter was mere months & Jesus died in his 30s, that Jesus grew into an adult really fast. I figured it made about as much sense as the rest of the Jesus story. Sadly, I though this well into my late teens at least.

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/how-would-you-explain-why-youre-an-atheist/#comment-1377846

    With such penetrating rationality, is it a wonder this person grew up to support Reason in the form of Jerry Coyne.

    *

    In his 02 August 2016 blog post entitled “Do we need religious education in schools?” Coyne blogged that Religious Education should be dropped in British schools. I disagree, and the above abysmal ignorance of basics is one reason why.

  20. stcordova August 5, 2016 at 6:11 am
    ” “social justice” as part of the high jack of New Atheism.”
    * SJWs have infested the atheist movement. That does not mean they are part of New Atheism, whatever that means exactly.

    Broadly speaking the Hitchens, Dennett, Harris, Dawkins, Ali wing of the “party” are anti 3rd wave feminist and anti SJW of the “pernicious sort” (Dawkins).

    Yes, the Triggely Puff clip is hilarious to watch.

  21. Kevin August 5, 2016 at 8:20 am
    “SP They haven’t. They are just out spewing a very great deal of nonsense while they manage to to get a few things correct about the absurdity of the god hypothesis.”

    “Odds are, a group of people who can’t tell the difference between male and female are probably completely wrong about God. Would certainly make me reevaluate if I was an atheist.”
    * Is that supposed to be some kind of rational argument?

  22. Kevin says:

    “Is that supposed to be some kind of rational argument?”

    To the same extent as what I quoted.

  23. Scott Russell says:

    One assumption made here is that atheists or others who don’t believe in myths or supernatural beings are somehow organized. Of course they aren’t. It isn’t a club or society. It is illogical to assume that non-believers are declining in numbers based on one association event. Or even several or many. They don’t generally have to go to meetings or lectures to reinforce the fact that they lack belief. Most aren’t even aware of non-believer groups. 100% of humans are born non-believers. They are taught to believe by their families, cultures, and religious organizations.
    As for the idea that atheists lack knowledge of religion: it has been shown that atheists and Jews know more about Christianity than most Christians, including knowledge of the Bible and the history of Christianity. And they know more about non-Christian religions than most Christians do, too. Ironic, isn’t it?

  24. Kevin says:

    “One assumption made here is that atheists or others who don’t believe in myths or supernatural beings are somehow organized. Of course they aren’t.”

    Reread it. It’s about a single subset of nonbelievers. Don’t go adding in people who aren’t part of the New Atheist movement.

    “100% of humans are born non-believers.”

    I have never understood why so many atheists say this. Are you suggesting that atheist reasoning is infantile? Are you suggesting that religious belief is the only belief that infants lack? I really don’t understand this.

  25. Doug says:

    it has been shown that atheists and Jews know more about Christianity than most Christians, including knowledge of the Bible and the history of Christianity.

    The only way to “show” this to be true is “show” that the majority of those who call themselves Christians are ignorant of Christianity. While that is very likely true, it is certainly no indictment against Christianity. It is an indictment against the ignorant.

    Similarly, it has also been shown that High School Science teachers are largely ignorant of the theory of Evolution. This is not an indictment against the theory of Evolution. It is an indictment against the ignorant.

  26. FZM says:

    100% of humans are born non-believers.

    Yes, but not just in the supernatural and myths. They also lack belief that a distinction between the natural and the supernatural exists, that myths are different to true stories and so on.

    They are taught to believe by their families, cultures, and religious organizations.

    I don’t see any claiming that any baby who is not taught otherwise by their families, cultures or religious organisations will make a distinction between what is ‘natural’ and what is ‘supernatural’ and will reject belief in the latter stuff, at the same time as distinguishing ‘myths’ from other narratives and rejecting belief in them,

    As for the idea that atheists lack knowledge of religion: it has been shown that atheists and Jews know more about Christianity than most Christians, including knowledge of the Bible and the history of Christianity.

    I guess this is because the criteria for identifying or being classified as ‘Christian’ are so broad and minimal, meaning that there are absolutely masses of Christians and fewer atheists. I would be interested to see if in societies outside the USA and Western Europe where secular-atheism has been hegemonic and culturally dominant it still remains the case that atheists know more about Christian belief and practice than, say, active believers.

  27. FZM says:

    A correction:

    My second paragraph should read:

    “I don’t see any basis for claiming that any baby who is not taught otherwise by their families, cultures or religious organisations will make a distinction between what is ‘natural’ and what is ‘supernatural’ and will reject belief in the latter stuff, at the same time as distinguishing ‘myths’ from other narratives and rejecting belief in them.”

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