Wednesday, January 12, 2011

22 Old White Men

Oh wait, that's not the name of this list; it's actually called The 25 Most Influential Living Atheists. But when you skim through, my title seems a bit more accurate.

The only influential female atheists you could think of were Jennifer Michael Hecht, Barbara Forest, and Susan Blackmore? Really? I mean, they're excellent, and I'm happy they made the list - but only three women?

It's especially annoying when about 8 of the men on the list aren't even known for being outspoken atheist activists - they're just scientists who's research may help convince people that the world is a bit more godless, or may take a dig at theism every once in a while. If that's how you want to define influential, fine. But the list explicitly says that it's looking for people who "actively encourage others to disbelieve in God." That ranks them ahead of people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Susan Jacoby, Valerie Tarico, Debbie Goddard, etc...?

Not to mention I haven't even heard of a couple men on the list. Yep, definitely influential if someone very active in the atheist movement has never heard of you.

And no non-white people? I already mentioned Ali and Goddard, but how do you forget Hemant Mehta? He's certainly influential.

At least this is on some random website. If this list appeared within the atheist community after all of the discussion we've been having over the last couple years, I may just give up hope of people getting it.

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