Atheist Convention, ‘Reason To Hope,’ Cancelled Because No One Wants To Go

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Photo Credit: Eternity News

The third annual Global Atheist Convention, ironically dubbed “Reason to Hope,” has been cancelled due to dismal ticket sales, The Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Wire reports.

Turns out, offering nihilism packaged as “hope” doesn’t sell too well to the masses.

The conference, which was scheduled for February of this year, was set to be headlined by atheist novelist Sir Salman Rushdie, who was a huge get for the convention organizers. Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie in 1989 in light of his published work, “The Satanic Verses.” The book targeted the prophet Mohammad, Sikhs, and religion in general.

“What is there to respect in any of this, or in any of the crimes now being committed almost daily around the world in religion’s dreaded name? How well, with what fatal results, religion erects totems, and how willing we are to kill for them,” Rushdie once critically said of religion, SMH notes.

Fellow atheist Richard Dawkins was also on the anti-God roster.

And what atheist convention would be complete without depressed, atheistic comedians distracting us from our void and utterly meaningless existence?

“Alongside the thinkers, there was also going to be the ‘entertainers,'” notes SMH. “Comic atheism is a particularly strong strand, and religious pomposity provides it with plenty of material. No doubt there was to be a feast of gloating about census figures.”

The author of the SMH report, Anglican Rector Dr. Michael Jensen, writes that he is personally “disappointed” that the conference was cancelled.

“It’s a great shame there’s a lack of interest,” said Jensen. “I say that as someone who believes in God and thinks that it is the most reasonable thing to believe. … But I also think that the full and frank discussion of fundamental ideas is part of what a healthy culture promotes and enjoys. A Global Atheist Convention is to be welcomed, because every time people think about God and about the meaning of life is a time we more deeply consider the value and purpose of human life. It makes us better citizens.”

“But what really is the poison in the blood is not religion: it is apathy,” added Jensen. “Human beings don’t need religion to be vile. We can be vile perfectly well without it. Even viler, I’d argue.”

8 responses to “Atheist Convention, ‘Reason To Hope,’ Cancelled Because No One Wants To Go


  2. In this case perhaps Christian apologists should reflect on the fact that Europe used to be the center of the Christian world, but look at churchgoing in Europe today. The continent with the most churches and the most prayers uttered over the longest continual period of time to the one true God, practically self-immolated itself with constant warfare for centuries. Doesn’t matter if the continual string of wars between Europeans were the result of religious differences or not, the fact remains that European was not kept from endless wars even WITH all those churches and prayers for all those centuries. Some of the major ones include the Thirty Years War, and two World Wars, and Europe was still filled with churches and faith during those World Wars. During World War 2 there remained many Catholics in Spain, Italy, Germany (half Protestant, half Catholic) and Eastern Europe. It was devout German Christians who grew attracted to the authoritarian figure of Hitler. Hitler had as many votes as other candidates did in the cities of Germany but in the countryside the votes made the difference for him, and many in the countryside were presumably more devout in general than those in the cities. Hitler was viewed as an answer to prayer and he spoke about God. But Europe after the second World War grew less devout than ever before, and more peaceful than ever before as well, except for the ruckus caused over immigration from Africa and Asia.

    Not a fan of atheist conventions nor Christian apologetic conventions, but sometimes I watch a video from one if it is on an interesting topic. I tend to find conventions and speeches as mind-numbing as pep rallies from high school, and would rather read a research paper quietly to myself than listen to someone else read it. As for attending church, it was fun when I was young, but after learning so much more about the Bible and theology I have found going to church to be dull with repetitious choruses being sung, swaying in semi-hypnotic trance in some cases, or kneeling and focusing on what a priest is doing, reading some pre-written responses with a homily thrown in.

    • The significance of this is that many atheists, especially the New Atheists, have claimed, or argued, that atheism is on the rise and that it is overshadowing religious superstition. However, events like these and others (the Reason Rally, for example, was badly attended) suggest otherwise along with the statistics that suggest though secularism is growing within the West, the world is becoming ever more religious and given population proportions atheism is in decline worldwide.

  3. Typo:
    “…scheduled for February of this year”
    should have been:
    “…scheduled for February of next year”
    or (better, because it won’t “go stale”):
    “…scheduled for February, 2018.”

  4. What an ironic thing to title a gathering for atheists, when they believe death ends consciousness, leaving literally nothing to hope for and making everything irrelevant. They’re pretty much masters of cognitive dissonance.

  5. It’s even more ironic now that Australia is well and truly post-Christian, and the current government of the state of Victoria is probably the most aggressively secular it’s ever had.

  6. Pingback: معذرة، بضاعة “الأمل” راكدة! تمّ إلغاء المؤتمر السنوي الثالث للملاحدة في العالم، والذي كان… – حقيقة الملحدين و العلمانيين العرب·

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