Yes we are atheists at the JREF, most of us. But as individuals, not as an organization. In this sense, the JREF is no more an atheist organization than the U.S. is a Christian nation merely because the majority of folks in this country are Christian.
That’s James Randi Educational Foundation’s president D.J. Grothe, explaining why the JREF focuses on testable skepticism regarding “pseudoscience, the paranormal, and the supernatural” instead of on religious claims about God.
D.J. adds that “being atheist is not enough.” He has a point. Bill Maher may be an atheist, but he still believes in certain types of woo.
Still, I’ve always felt the God issue was the more important one.
Why go after the limbs of the Monster when you should be going after its head?
If you can convince people they’re wrong about their religious claims, that thinking will eventually extend into psychics, horoscopes, and Deepak Chopra. (At least, I would hope so.)
A lot of skeptics think it’s the other way around, though: Start with baby steps (“John Edward doesn’t really have any magical powers”) and loss of faith will follow (“Neither does God”). You could even call atheism the pinnacle of skepticism.
Is it intellectually honest to call yourself a skeptic if you still believe in a god? I say no.
What do you think should come first? Skepticism regarding things like ghosts and crop circles… or disbelief in God? Or do those things go hand-in-hand?