I have a few friends who r atheists. Here is something we been talking about recently. Some expressed the view that the now new Atheists Dawkins harris dilahunty Aron ra and many others r now positioning themselves in similar ways as the Joel Osteens tj drakes pat Robertsons etc. going on tours and charging echorbitant entrance fees for their public speaking engagements as well as book sales etc.
while it is agreed that they r spreading truth as against the religious preaching lies ; one wonders if this will be misconstrued by the general public as a new form of exploitation and deception. Should these new atheists revisit this direction ? Ur views .............
I see nothing wrong with anyone charging for their time, services, experience, etc. Anyone who is traveling around, booking venues, and speaking or debating should be compensated for their time, and effort.
Promoting books you have written is also pretty standard practice, regardless of the topic of the book.
Ultimately, it will be up to the public at large to decide whether this is some form of exploitation or not. I think the deciding factor of such a decision will be the value provided by the tours and books. That value is only going to increase as more young people come out as non-religious, and society in general swings in that direction. It has been happening in Europe for decades, and even in the US the fastest growing religious group is the nones.
I see this as a way to raise more people to believe their false claims. I hear of a few who preach and still takes money from people. Expensive shits that they sell so people who are blind to the truth can subscribe to them and therefore extort them and they feed their selfish stomachs and bank accounts.
I have bought a few "New Atheist" books, but have yet to go to a speaking engagement.
Frankly, I'm delighted that there are respectable, well spoken people who will stand up and say that religion is B.S.. It makes Atheism respectable, and they are starting to give some balance to this crazy religious world in which we live.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick of hearing the radio full of Christian Stations and the nightly news filled with the latest right wing republican party defunding Planed Parenthood, or not supporting a woman's right to choose, or even trying to restrict access to birth control! Doesn't that bother you? What century do we live in? Are we going back to the Middle Ages where we let the church run our lives and burn us as witches if we dare step over the line?
We should stand up and support those intelligent speakers who are leading the way forward! We need them, now more than ever!!!!!!!!
These people are teaching about facts that are congruent with reality. They are not teaching religious dogma that relies on "Faith". They are teaching that people should pay attention to the facts and make facts based decisions. They are not teaching to disregard reality for magical wishes.
They may be using some of the same methods such as speeches to get their messages across. The methodologies are not what can be deceitful it is the messages. Honest messages about facts are still honest messages no matter how they are delivered. If a person does it full time and makes a living doing so it makes the message no less valid.
I think they are filling a new vacuum: civil intellectual discussion. My understanding is that most of their audience consists of young adults who are trying to figure out life. Some of them are members of what has become "The Intellectual Dark Web." Here is how they describe themselves:
"The first thing you will notice about this list of leading figures of the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) is that they vary in gender, sexual orientation, race, and political affiliation. They do not form alliances based on their identities or tribal affiliation.
But they all share two distinct and (now) uncommon qualities. First, they are willing to disagree fiercely, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject worthy of public discourse: religion, abortion, gender identity, race, immigration, the nature of consciousness. Many of the opinions they hold on such topics can sometimes be in contrast with the orthodox opinion of their respective tribe. Second, they are intellectually honest and thus resist parroting what’s politically convenient or politically correct.
While most of these IDWers have been more-or-less roasted by the campfire by their "tribe" and the online public at large, they have been able to find a wide audience that resonates with what they have to say. Part of this may be the fact that they are willing to voice what others think, but are too willing to say publicly."
I think it is a very positive sign.