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View Diary: Being an atheist in America (242 comments)

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  •  Multiple Atheist Communities, in a sense... (1+ / 0-)
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    WI Deadhead

    What I notice about the atheist community is that there is no atheist community, and rightly so.

    There are multiple atheist communities: atheists who are communists, atheists who are Buddhists, atheists who are Religious Humanists, atheists who are Secular Humanists, atheists who are Objectivists, atheists who are Raelians, etc.

    They don't all work together and form a single, cohesive community because they often have little in common. There is nothing about atheism upon which one can construct a political, social, or cultural identity. It doesn't lead to any particular political beliefs or positions. There is simply too much diversity among atheists for that to happen.

    •  I would only put (0+ / 0-)

      up a slight objection to that. There is generally a corelation between atheism and liberalism, as most atheists vote for Democrats.

      •  It's a Cultural Correlation (0+ / 0-)

        There is generally a corelation between atheism and liberalism, as most atheists vote for Democrats.

        Atheists do tend to be more liberal than conservative, and that's largely due to the broader correlation between conservatism and religion (conservatism is about conserving traditions and power structures, both of which tend to be preserved in religions). There are, however, many atheist conservatives and even more atheist libertarians. On my forum, there are been many heated debates between liberal and conservative atheists over things like the "war on terrorism."

        There is nothing about atheism which requires one be liberal — the correlation is ultimately cultural. If you had a society which was generally non-religious, I think that the distribution of atheists between liberalism and conservatism would be more even.

        •  didn't mean to be redundant (0+ / 0-)

          I started posting my reply (below) and had to stop mid-sentence to butter my toast.  In that time you posted what I was going to post.  Glad we agree, sorry to be redundant.

          "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."- Emerson

          by Sidof79 on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:41:44 AM PDT

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          •  No worries.... (0+ / 0-)

            I wouldn't worry about the appearance of redundancy. It' been my experience that the exact same thought, expressed in slightly different terms, can cause a person to suddenly "get" what is being said. Even just a slight word change can make a big difference. So, someone might more easily "get it" based on what you said than based on what I said.

      •  liberal -> anti-conservative (0+ / 0-)

        I think the reason that most atheists vote democratic isn't because they are inherently liberal, but that they are against the more religiously-orienty legislation sponsored by conservatives.  This is also way many gays vote democrat, because conservative republicans tend to try to get legislation passed to limit their civil liberties.  It's not so much that they have a lot in common with liberals, just the common anti-religious right.

        "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."- Emerson

        by Sidof79 on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:40:10 AM PDT

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        •  There is a Common Thread... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChaosMouse

          I think the reason that most atheists vote democratic isn't because they are inherently liberal, but that they are against the more religiously-orienty legislation sponsored by conservatives.

          That certainly plays a big role, but there are reasons why an atheist might tend towards anti-conservatism anyway. In today's society, most people who are atheists have arrived at that position because they have questioned traditional religion, religious beliefs, and religious institutions. Anyone who does this will probably be inclined to ask similar questions about beliefs, traditions, and institutions outside religion. That, in turn, will tend a person to be more critical of the politicians who appear to be acting to preserve those beliefs, institutions, and traditions.

      •  On the other hand, Ayn Randians (0+ / 0-)

        or Objectivists, tend to be atheists who are politically libertarian. They would have been voting Republican for the most part until the Republican Party got hijacked by the theocrats.

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChaosMouse

      there are Athiest communities.

      Many of them are called "science departments" and "laboratories". :-)

      Yeah, I know, some scientists are, uh, "believers" but many are not, and in academia, athiesm is common.

      The only reason I don't call myself an athiest is that I don't know that there is nothing beyond my space-time continuum (sp), but I have great doubts that there is and I see no evidence to believe in any diety; other than perhaps this one.

      When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

      by onanyes on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:41:51 AM PDT

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      •  True... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shadan7

        The only reason I don't call myself an athiest is that I don't know that there is nothing beyond my space-time continuum (sp), but I have great doubts that there is and I see no evidence to believe in any diety...

        Being an atheist doesn't require that one claim to know for sure that no gods exist — just as being a theist doesn't require claiming to know for sure that some god or gods exist. Some theists claim to know for sure, but some don't. Some atheists claim to know for sure, but some don't.

        Being a theist merely signifies that one believes; being an atheist merely signifies that one doesn't believe. Whether one claims to know or not is a related but separate issue. I don't claim to know for sure that nothing warranting the label "god" does or does not exist in some form, so the label "agnostic" applies to me. I also don't believe in the existence of any such thing, so the label "atheist" also applies to me.

        •  of course I meant (0+ / 0-)

          deity. :-)

          I said "diety" because I was getting hungry.

          Yeah, I act like an athiest in that I think that being moral is its own reward (I can't stand this "fire insurance" mentality; that is so juvenile) and that if we humans dig ourselves into a hole, we had better be able to dig ourselves out of it.

          When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

          by onanyes on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 10:15:45 AM PDT

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