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The 25 Most Influential Living Atheists - Comments

T. S. Elliott's Avatar Comment 1 by T. S. Elliott

I'm sure the first four were a shocking, shocking surprise to everyone.

Although I was saddened to see that Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not included on the list.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:41:02 UTC | #578325

sbooder's Avatar Comment 2 by sbooder

I was more upset to see that I was not included...What has it all been for?

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:51:49 UTC | #578334

ScottB's Avatar Comment 3 by ScottB

Wasn't it great to see E.O Wilson up there? That really has made my day.

:D

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:04:45 UTC | #578341

Sample's Avatar Comment 4 by Sample

Bill Gates must have taken up theism recently? Either I'm wrong about Bill's atheism or the word influential doesn't extend to eradicating malaria in Africa.

Mike

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:15:59 UTC | #578348

T. S. Elliott's Avatar Comment 5 by T. S. Elliott

Bill Gates must have taken up theism recently? Either I'm wrong about Bill's atheism or the word influential doesn't extend to eradicating malaria in Africa.

Three out of the six paragraphs there explain their criteria for choosing, which wouldn't include Bill Gates.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:23:13 UTC | #578353

Sample's Avatar Comment 6 by Sample

Three out of the six paragraphs there explain their criteria for choosing, which wouldn't include Bill Gates. T.S. Elliott

Well, there it is. Thank you.

Mike

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:26:14 UTC | #578355

andreasdhl's Avatar Comment 7 by andreasdhl

id like to hear the reason for omitting dan barker

this mistake warrants an amendment to the list

all the best

andreas

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:27:55 UTC | #578356

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 8 by Hendrix is my gOD

Penn & Teller, for instance, use their prominence as entertainers to promote atheism. But they do so mainly as popularists, not as scholars attempting to make a considered case against theism and for atheism.

I wish they could qualify. They certainly have influenced me. ... that is: influenced how much i have laughed.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:31:09 UTC | #578359

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 9 by TheRationalizer

Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens combined freed me of my god delusion, as a consequence my wife has been freed of hers.

For that we both thank you both most sincerely, for now we know true happiness!

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:33:46 UTC | #578360

bethe123's Avatar Comment 10 by bethe123

Although I was saddened to see that Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not included on the list. -- T. S. Elliott

Such lists tend to be subjective, if not inaccurate.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:34:29 UTC | #578361

Coeuz's Avatar Comment 11 by Coeuz

Honestly, that list is pretty damn cruel. Do you realize how many hours I'm going to spend on Youtube now? Really looking forward to watching hours of presentations and speeches now :D

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:38:58 UTC | #578366

AllynCarter's Avatar Comment 12 by AllynCarter

Surprised not to see Terry Pratchett in there.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:40:53 UTC | #578368

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 13 by crookedshoes

Great list. Surprisingly good picture of James Randi.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:43:18 UTC | #578372

andreasdhl's Avatar Comment 14 by andreasdhl

oh and bill maher...where in beelsebhubs name is bill maher :-)

all the best

andreas

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:51:51 UTC | #578382

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 15 by Steven Mading

Comment 10 by bethe123 :

Although I was saddened to see that Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not included on the list. -- T. S. Elliott

Such lists tend to be subjective, if not inaccurate.

I think she's left off to the same reason Penn & Teller were. She's an important popularizer but not making scholarly arguments about the falsehood of religion (she mostly talks about its immorality).

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:55:45 UTC | #578383

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 16 by Steve Zara

Comment 12 by AllynCarter

Surprised not to see Terry Pratchett in there.

Yes, indeed. Or how about Stephen Fry? Or Tim Minchin?

It seems a pretty poor list to me. I mean, clearly Richard is number one, and Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens have enormous influence, but although I think he is wonderful, how many of the public have actually heard of Daniel Dennett? Not enough, but that does mean I do question how influential he is. Hawking deserves to be there, for sure. But why not someone who has a very high media profile, like Johann Hari?

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:56:13 UTC | #578384

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 17 by huzonfurst

Fantastic list, every one of them a hero!

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:03:38 UTC | #578388

JuJu's Avatar Comment 18 by JuJu

I would have expected to see Victor Stenger in the top 25.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:11:19 UTC | #578394

pasadena beggar's Avatar Comment 19 by pasadena beggar

Victor Stenger? Jerry Coyne?

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:11:56 UTC | #578395

Matt B's Avatar Comment 20 by Matt B

Bill Maher and Penn & Teller, for instance, use their prominence as entertainers to promote atheism.

I don't watch television anymore, but have seen little bits of Bill Maher over the years. One thing is for sure - he has stated himself that he is not an atheist, that he certainly does believe in god - not any of the popular gods, but I think more of a deistic type god. His distain for organized religion (which I applaud) should not be mistaken for atheism.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:13:48 UTC | #578396

Quiddam's Avatar Comment 21 by Quiddam

I would like to nominate Thunderf00t. His videos meet all the requirements for scholarship and evangelizing. I don't know if YouTube counts as a 'scholarly forum' though - but he is very influential

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:16:26 UTC | #578398

andreasdhl's Avatar Comment 22 by andreasdhl

sorry disregard...just read the premise still think dan barker should have been on the list though, and if he was to be, within top ten

all the best

andreas

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:22:04 UTC | #578401

Jiffy's Avatar Comment 23 by Jiffy

Victor Stenger is a startling omission

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:22:46 UTC | #578402

T. S. Elliott's Avatar Comment 24 by T. S. Elliott

Although, I think we can all agree that it is a heartening sign that on a long list of 25 most influential atheists, we can all think of plenty more that should have been included. We have no shortage of brilliant individuals to represent us.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:28:00 UTC | #578404

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 25 by irate_atheist

Should we all be atheists now, Father?

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:37:11 UTC | #578409

ajs261's Avatar Comment 26 by ajs261

I think the very practice of trying to rank such things like this can never be accurate. It's like those Time most influential people lists.

Nonetheless, they can go in the right direction and they are quite entertaining to read.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:37:49 UTC | #578411

The Plc's Avatar Comment 27 by The Plc

Disappointing list. Why is Stephen Hawking on the list but no Victor Stenger or Leonard Susskind? No A.C Grayling either, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:40:30 UTC | #578412

JuJu's Avatar Comment 28 by JuJu

Comment 20 by Matt B

I don't watch television anymore, but have seen little bits of Bill Maher over the years. One thing is for sure - he has stated himself that he is not an atheist, that he certainly does believe in god - not any of the popular gods, but I think more of a deistic type god. His distain for organized religion (which I applaud) should not be mistaken for atheism.

Bill Maher is definitely an atheist. He won the Richard Dawkins award last year and also made the movie Religulous. I've never got the impression that he was deistic or that he certainly believes in a god.

Although I do have a major problem with his views on modern medicine and the cause of disease. He somehow allowed himself to be influenced by pseudoscience when it comes to that topic.

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:44:13 UTC | #578418

liberalartist's Avatar Comment 29 by liberalartist

Many names and faces I don't know - looking forward to some new reading for the year. Victor Stenger should definitely be on this list. And where is Susan Jacoby?

Way to go Richard for making #! :)

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:50:51 UTC | #578422

Ross Gulik's Avatar Comment 30 by Ross Gulik

I think we can all agree that there are a lot of people who might well have made the list. In any case, SuperScholar seems to have gotten the message regarding Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

http://www.superscholar.org/why-didnt-ayaan-hirsi-ali-make-superscholars-top-25-atheists-list/

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:57:35 UTC | #578425