Jewish atheism

New Atheist (image) 3
A basic "new atheism" poster, with the religious background of each atheist labeled, indicating the peculiar phenomenon that 50% of new atheists, according to above poster grouping are of Jewish background, whereas Jews themselves account for on 0.2% of the world religious beliefs, as compared to 32% for Christians.
In atheism, Jewish atheism, as contrasted with Christian atheism, Islamic atheism, or Hindu atheism, refers to disbelief in god from the point of view of one coming from an Judaic religious background or Jewish cultural milieu; the term “ex-Jewish atheist” is sometimes used as an auto-label by this type of atheist.

Overview
In 2010, Robert Putnam and David Campbell, according to polling research, found that about 50 percent of American Jews, doubt the existence of god; which can be compared to other Americans where the number is between 10 and 15 percent. [2]

In 2011, David Silverman, who was born into a Jewish family, asserting (Ѻ) that he became an atheist at age 6, thereabouts becoming open about his disbeliefs, and in a Q&A with David Pakman, stated the following: (Ѻ)

Pakman: Last thing: did you grow up an atheist? When did you ... were your parents atheists? How did this all happen?

Silverman: I could spend a lot more than just a few minutes on this. I was raised in a Jewish home. My mother insisted I was an atheist when I was six. I remember the moment I became an atheist when I was six years old very clearly. Nothing happened to instigate it. I lost god, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus all at the same time. I didn't believe ever. I went to [and] had my Bar Mitzvah as an atheist. And I stood up in front of my friends and my family during my Bar Mitzvah and I said, 'Let us declare the greatness of our god and render honor under the Torah which god gave through Moses as a heritage through the congregation of Jacob...' I had the whole thing memorized, didn't believe a word of it. My mother knew I didn't believe a word of it, but I didn't get a choice, because I was 13. So I went through the whole Bar Mitzvah, I went through the confirmation process as an atheist, and I asked a whole bunch of questions in Hebrew school, and it never stuck. Interestingly, it wasn't until I was 30 years old and New Jersey State Director of American Atheists that my father came out to me and told me he was an atheist.

In 2015, Silverman, in his Fighting God, devoted a six-page section to “Jewish atheism”, wherein he discusses how he retracts his previously held attempts to justify Jewish atheism per the view that Judaism is both a “religion and a culture” or “race and a religion”, separable from each other:

“I have since concluded I was wrong—when I tried to justify Jewish atheism, for this book, and failed.”

Silverman, in this section, goes through a number of interjections, e.g. with Penn Jillette, who is married Emily Jillette, an atheist of Jewish descent, whose family members attempt to state that their kids are Jewish by “Jewish law”, among other examples. [3]

Among notable, prolific, or public atheists, a peculiarly large percentage come from Jewish background and or upbringing; some of which are listed below:

Albert Einstein
Arthur Jonath
Ayn Rand | Randianism (aka Objectivism)
Benedict Spinoza | Spinozism
Carl Sagan
David Silverman
Karl Marx | Marxian atheism (aka Marxism)
Howard Bloom
Lawrence Krauss
Leon Lederman
Sam Harris
Sigmund Freud | Freudian atheism

Spinoza, the most powerful of the bunch, of note was excommunicated from the Jewish community for equating god with nature (see: Spinoza's god). [1] Sam Harris, who started writing his End of Faith, the day after 9/11, of note, is oft-credited with starting new atheism. Freud and Ayn Rand, of commonality, both started their own brand of atheism.

Films
In films, two prominent atheism-themed films, made by Jewish-background agnostic-atheists, include: Bill Maher’s Religulous (2008) and Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party (2016).

Quotes
The following are related quotes:

“Gods are fragile things; they can be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.”
— Chapman Cohen (c.1920), The Devil (Ѻ); in FSM atheism app

References
1. Winston, Kimberly. (2011). “Judaism Without God? Yes, say American Atheists” (Ѻ), USA Today, Nov 26.
2. (a) Putnam, Robert D. and Campbell, David E. (2010). American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (atheist, 18+ pgs). Simon & Schuster.
(b) Winston, Kimberly. (2011). “Judaism Without God? Yes, say American Atheists” (Ѻ), USA Today, Nov 26.
3. Silverman, David. (2015). Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World (§: On Jewish Atheism, pgs. 53-59). MacMillan.

External links
List of Jewish atheists and agnostics – Wikipedia.

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