Ever wonder why so many people are running away from organized atheism?

Huh. I’d almost forgotten David Silverman. Maybe I should peek in at what he’s up to nowadays.


Yikes. That’s some Twitter bio. I wouldn’t need to look any further to know that I want nothing to do with him, ever again. I also discovered that there are 54 people who follow him and also follow me — re-evaluate your life choices, people! Although I do suspect that many of our mutuals follow him to keep track of what horror he’s promoting today (similarly, some of them are probably hate-following me).

It’s an ugly world, there in Silverman’s cranium. While claiming “facts over feelings”, he’s also a pandemic denialist.

Right. 300,000 dead is “hype”. Get in line with Alex Jones, Dave.

Would you believe he’s also retweeting Tulsi Gabbard and transphobic YouTubers, and Tim Pool and Jack Posobiec and Mythicist Milwaukee? Of course you would. He now claims he was wrongly cancelled by “Woke” people. It looks to me like he was rightly cancelled by normal decent people who expected ethical behavior from someone representing an organization they had joined. And now he’s making horrible videos with people like Andy Signore to make self-pitying excuses for “men who cheat”.

Yuck. I feel betrayed, too.


  1. says

    well, let’s see:

    “ex-leftist” no
    “libertarian” nope
    “firebrand atheist” i guess? unfortunately
    “humanist” lolnope
    “fact over feelings” awww, he’s stealing slogans from ben shapiro
    “2+2=4” that twitter saga was fucking epic. mathematicians were explaining exceptions to this rule and skeptibros were having meltdowns and declaring the death of math by postmodernism.
    “systemic racism is bs” not only nope, but this fact doesn’t care about david’s feelings about it
    “dontdefund” yesdefund. police doesn’t need military gear and police-violence-payout-funds paid by taxes
    “felonsmatterless” nope. also one of the reasons why he’s not a humanist.

  2. raven says

    Truthfully, I don’t buy a lot of the Covid hype. I don’t fear the disease much more than the flu and I don’t support shutdowns.

    Truthfully, Silverman is an ignorant idiot.

    There are quite a few people who have said this, gotten sick with Covid-19 virus, ended up in the ICU, and then ended up…in the cemetery.

  3. Bernard Bumner says


    This is just symptomatic of an unfortunately all too common mindset that the criminal justice system is primarily an instrument of revenge, rather than rehabilitation.

    It ignores the fact that punative systems that focus on carceral punishment tend to have higher rates of serious recidivism. And that they embed the short-term inequalities of the judicial system in long-term social injustices, including a rate of wrongful convictions that in the US is amongst the highest in the Western world.

    And if he wants to argue that his approach is logical and evidence-based then he is essentially arguing that he is in favour of systematic discrimination and disenfranchisement. He is saying that he favours a system that makes society more unequal and less safe.

  4. katiejk says

    So sad when someone gets “canceled” like this. Only 56,800 followers on his Twitter account. Will he ever find a way to be publicly heard again? Will he ever have his opinions heard, his arguments aired and discussed? eyeroll

  5. Anton Mates says

    I like the juxtaposition of “facts over feelings” with “I’m not scared of COVID, honest you guys, I’m not I’m not”

  6. signe says

    For someone who claims to be fact-centric, he should check his facts.

    The covid vaccines prevent severe disease. We don’t have any data yet about how they affect contagiousness, since the trial participants and their contacts weren’t regularly screened. Taking it because you don’t want to pass it on is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the current vaccines were developed for – and contradicts the facts!

  7. says

    Seems like a reasonable libertarian/skeptical response would be for him to go get himself infected and then live-blog how the experience compares with flu. Science, ya know?

  8. drew says

    That’s retweeting Tulsi in her role in trying to repeal the Patriot Act. Even if you don’t like her, you have to agree with her on that one. Purity tests inside the bubble if you must but coalitions to improve conditions, please.

  9. says

    PZ, I believe I am one of those 54. It’s basically because I haven’t bothered to unfollow him; I don’t actually keep tabs on what he is up to anymore.

  10. anat says

    drew @9: So what exactly do I have to agree with Silverman about besides the non-existence of any deity humans have so far been able to come up with?

  11. unclefrogy says

    And if he wants to argue that his approach is logical and evidence-based then he is essentially arguing that he is in favour of systematic discrimination and disenfranchisement. He is saying that he favours a system that makes society more unequal and less safe.

    that is very clear and concise summarize of what he and all of the reactionary defenders of the status quo are all about.
    they believe that they are the superior ones and should be the ones who make all the important decisions and receive the benefits there from.
    they would be perfectly happy in a new oligarchy a new feudal society because they are of course the truly blessed ones. If they themselves are not born of the gentry they are clearly part of the clergy that supports them.
    uncle frogy

  12. kome says

    Wow, those rapists and sexual assaulters think all they’re guilty of is “cheating”? Fucking delusional.

  13. wzrd1 says

    I don’t subscribe to a global “police don’t need military gear” nonsense. The right gear, absolutely. Houston’s flooding was an excellent example where, with the right gear lives could have been saved. Rubber boats, yes, military models are nearly unsinkable. Those 6×6 cargo trucks, absolutely. Tentage, definitely. Armored vehicle, maybe for an artificial reef.

    As for Silverman, deny a pandemic, deny gravity, under high risk conditions, either or both denials will kill. If the universe actually to have justice, he could report to the closed hospital, it already overflowing with severe COVID-19 patients.
    Never to receive stabilizing care, which is what is swiftly approaching, thanks to denialists and herd immunity via mass death, ahem, infection fetishists.
    Frankly, the SOB reminds me of germ theory denialists during the 1918 pandemic. Much the same non-arguements in use today.

  14. vucodlak says

    Man who feels that disease that has killed millions worldwide in a year’s time is way overblown says he believes in facts over feelings, and also wonders why he isn’t taken seriously.

    Man who clearly doesn’t believe that all people deserve equal protection under the law calls himself a humanist, and also wonders why he isn’t taken seriously.

    Man who has committed (though not been charged or convicted of, to my knowledge) several felonies says #felonsmatterless, and also wonders why he isn’t taken seriously.

    Libertarian wonders why he isn’t taken seriously.

  15. PaulBC says

    I never understood all the people running towards organized atheism. It seems like a belief system that you can easily practice by yourself.

  16. ORigel says

    Professor Tyrannosaurus: Some alarmists have been terrified of a big volcanic eruption and now they’re saying an asteroid is going to hit us in a weeks’ time. It’s all hype. The volcano is in India, the asteroid will hit the Yutacan Pennisula. We live in prehistoric Montana, for crying out loud. We’ll be fine.

  17. ORigel says

    @16 Organized atheism is about a) activism (both the secularist and anti-religious varieties), b) finding like-minded people to talk about atheism with, and c) adoring idols like Silverman and Dawkins.

  18. consciousness razor says

    PZ, like-minded people (for me) don’t idolize folks like Silverman and Dawkins. So (b) has not lead to (c), despite your purported “discovery.”

  19. PaulBC says

    @18 Activism is a worthy reason, but I’ll leave it to others. I think it’s vital to keep religion out of public schools. I just have little to contribute to that cause. I’m not an educator or a lawyer.

    It’s nice to have like-minded people to talk to about anything, but I think religious belief or lack thereof is a weak correlation for me. The people I work with may or may not practice a religion, though if they do, it’s not likely to be Christianity. Actually, if they’re East Asian it’s more likely to be Christianity than if they’re white from Europe or the US in which case they are likely not to be religious but may be former something or other (tons of ex-Catholics) (or, e.g. I went to a California Buddhist wedding of a friend where nearly everyone was white). South Asians may typically be Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh, and I often wonder about that–do people really believe these things they are “serious” about?

    But roll back the clock 70 years or less in the West and it’s the same deal. People go to church just because it’s expected, and who knows what they actually believe? Nice not to have that requirement anymore. White American evangelicals? No idea. I have heard there are many, but I guess not here. I have met a lot more Mormons out here. The ones I know are great neighbors. Like-minded? Probably not. I just don’t explore too deeply.

    To be honest, probably the only “like-minded” people I have known were my science fiction fan friends back in the 80s. That generally correlates with religious apostasy but not necessarily with rational beliefs overall. Also, I am afraid to check back with some of them, thinking they may be Trump supporters now. (Most but not all were just fine with Reagan.)

    My conclusion is that like-minded people are few and far between, and I am highly unlikely to find them in an organized movement of any kind.

  20. chrislawson says

    PaulBC@21: “like-minded people are few and far between, and I am highly unlikely to find them in an organized movement of any kind”

    One of the core problems with organized atheism is the very existence of the organization encourages irrational, tribalist behaviour and internal power politics. Of course this is a problem with organized anything, including groups dedicated to fighting irrational, tribalist power abuses.

  21. addicted4444 says

    It’s kind of hilarious that he claims to be a believer in fact over feelings, yet the one thing he does say he will do, which is get a vaccine to not transmit the virus to others, is the only thing that IS NOT a known fact.

    Everything else he claims to believe is not true is in fact proven to be true.

    It’s almost as if he actually does not give a shit about facts and only cares about his feelings.

  22. anat says

    WMDKitty — Survivor @22:

    And usually while the police is interacting with them they are only suspects. The police might have the wrong person, or a complete misunderstanding of what happened.

  23. says

    @#9, drew

    That’s retweeting Tulsi in her role in trying to repeal the Patriot Act. Even if you don’t like her, you have to agree with her on that one.

    Very true. It’s one of the reasons I have basically left the Democratic Party — when Elizabeth Warren (who voted to renew the PATRIOT Act twice when it reached its sunset limits, and then voted for the FREEDOM Act which was the PATRIOT Act without sunsets) is considered to be “left”, and the party nominates Joe Biden, cheerleader par excellence for the PATRIOT Act and claimant to writing the bill it was based on, for President, the party clearly has a fundamental disagreement with my way of thinking which cannot really be bridged. But what can you expect of the kind of idiots who try to rehabilitate George W. Bush?

  24. John Morales says


    It’s one of the reasons I have basically left the Democratic Party [blah]

    You’ve been dissing them since before the 2016 election, in fact, since you began posting. If you ever left it, it was prior to that.

  25. PaulBC says

    @28 A friend of a facebook friend bragged that he had not voted for a major party presidential candidate since 1972 (or possibly before 1972 in 1968; I didn’t ask to clarify). The fact that he had not supported a candidate with even a chance to become president in nearly 50 years seemed to be a point of great pride for him. I was unsure why he thought I would be interested in any additional advice after that. Whatever his objective was, it is very different from mine.

    To be clear, I’m interested in more than “my team wins” but I don’t think there is a lot to gain by ensuring that my candidate always loses.

  26. unclefrogy says

    politics is not religion nor is it about true deeply felt convictions. you can have those and still be involved with politics you do not have to compromise your beliefs nor convictions. Politics is art of the possible. It is difficult and often nasty, as the saying goes it makes strange bed fellows some very strange indeed. there are compromises all along the path. it is a process not an end, the goals are the principles and deeply felt convictions. If today you do not reach them there is always tomorrow.
    some people do not understand that and that is their accomplishment.
    uncle frogy

  27. John Morales says

    PaulBC @29, Vicar (singular) as a disaffected Democrat?



    … you do not have to compromise your beliefs nor convictions. Politics is art of the possible.
    there are compromises all along the path


  28. unclefrogy says

    you get what you can today the action of today may be a compromise not the principles, tomorrow you continue to press forward. what else can you do?
    you will not accomplish the goals by withdrawing from the field and taking your high principles with you. How can that work? wait for some day to come in some far off future, that is what the preascher says from his pulpit and it is a thing you can do, sometimes it is necessary to withdraw but not abandon the struggle but resist every step of the way other times it is easy to press forward in both cases holding to principles. Nothing is forever except that it keeps changing.
    politics is difficult and often nasty but it is the art of the possible. What can be done now. Nothing is more difficult then to get people to agree. we are a quarrelsome beast and I see no hint that that will ever change.
    uncle frogy

  29. says

    “Facts over feelings” is an attitude I could approve in some situations. For example, if a person feels that vaccines might be dangerous, I will disregard their feelings and look at clinical trials, which prove the fact that actually vaccines are pretty amazing.
    Unfortunately, it is also possible to believe in false “facts” and discredit valid feelings that stem from factual cases of oppression and discrimination.

  30. p.phillips says

    AAI that Silverman used to be with is still being just great (hah). They’ve announced Dr Lawrence Krauss is joining as an advisor on their board. And AAI posted this on their patheos blog 2 days ago https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularworldbyaai/2020/12/is-wokeism-the-new-religion/ – “Wokeism” is a religion. Aaaaand….like religion the congregation is mostly female. (Really? Does “Wokeism” keep membership rolls? How do we define who is ‘wokeist’ and how do we know what percent id as women?) And even better, he writes that men are the primary victims of these ‘wokeist witch hunts’.


  31. says

    @p.phiillips, your post makes me glad I didn’t read that post, just rolled my eyes that it’s a variation on the “atheism/secularism is a religion” trope used by innumerable religious types.