June 17, 2024

I am 3 of the 6 types of atheist, down from 4

I’m a little confused at the new study of ‘Six Types of Atheist’, because I am half of them. I fit their criteria for #1 the Intellectual Atheist, #2 the Activist, and #4 the Anti-theist. Personally I thought there were more categories than that, but the others I’m thinking of might all belong to category #3, the Seeker or metaphysical atheists, which I was once upon a time. #5, which they call the Non-theist is what the call the ‘apatheist’; they don’t care if there’s a god. And #6 the Ritual atheist doesn’t seem to care about anything. They just play along with religion for no reason whatsoever.  I would call that category the ‘useless atheists’.




7 thoughts on “I am 3 of the 6 types of atheist, down from 4

  1. If I don’t care about “what “type” category I fit into, does that make me worse? I enjoy a good discussion (and the inevitable “you just have to have faith”), but I don’t feel the need to devote much time seeking out the rationally challenged.

    I would say that I fall into more of a Sam Harris mentality, with some Hitchens lurking just out of sight, waiting for the foolish evangelicals on my doorstep. I don’t believe any change is accomplished by debating the likes of Eric Hovind, as he is more of a fringe element. If you could get W.L. Craig into a corner … I would pay to see you give him a beatdown. (that guy loves stupid word and context games)

    I will say, thank you for doing what you do.

  2. To me it looks like the descriptors are fairly vague and describe socially-derived archetypes (angry antitheist versus the “nice” atheist who stays quiet about their non-belief and joins in with singing songs in church) rather than attempt to find ways to delineate and define one type of atheist from another. Reading through them I also belong in a few boxes; the non-exclusivity of the categories suggests the whole “percentage of people fit into X category” thing is a bit meaningless.

    Perhaps a future study could focus on making categories a bit more exclusive/non-overlapping, for example, disbelief based on knowledge versus emotions; active versus passive engagement with theism, active deconversion versus passive non-religious (e.g. brought up religious or not), ritual inclined/ritual averse, etc.

  3. There is only one type of atheist and that is the one who lives without gawd. As the name A-theist says.

    To hate or fight against religious BS is politics and one can do that no matter what you believe.

    There is a different word for some one who does not believe in gawd and goes along with the religious BS….Hypocrite…same thing as a person that says they believe in the buyBull and dismiss most of it.. The excuse for that is when you are under age and dependent on bigots for your livelihood…ie a kid in school.

    Being picky about it, I would be a ‘apatheist’; as I don’t care if there’s a god, it is irrelevant, as this space/time is operating under rules that make it look like gawd is a null. And all the holey books are full of bigotry and schite, and anything they say that is good has been stolen from others around them.

    And there are no new or angry atheists, there are the same old religious bigots who don’t like atheists talking.

  4. There are two types of people, those who insist on separating people into types, and those who insist it can’t be done effectively. (Right?)

    I think that many “type separating” exercises are just an attempt to force a classification structure on a confusingly diverse population. It shouldn’t surprise anyone. That’s how we formulate our basic understanding of the world; we classify and contrast. We just don’t always know when it’s not such an appropriate tool. It’s kind of like that thing where we see faces in everything whether there are really faces there or not.

  5. I didn’t fit any of the types for 40+ years. I was always an atheist and never had the slightest doubt, torment, or worry about it. I never thought it over or discussed why I was an atheist or even thought about that. That’s not any of the categories. It’s a bit of #5, but I wasn’t “apathetic”. There were no social movements (or internet) to participate in at the time.

    Then came the Rise of the Religious Right, and my two sisters’ feeling free to pummel me with their fundie beiiefs. I was forced to become an Intellectual Atheist in self-defense.

  6. I consider myself a “ritual atheist” (among several of those categories) as do many of my fellow atheists. I celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25th by exchanging presents, cooking traditional foods, etc. I do it because I enjoy it and so does my family. I attend the Unitarian Universalist congregation on occasion because I like the people there. I am not a “useless atheist”, Aron. I am not a hypocrite, L. L . Long. I am an out and proud atheist and I don’t think we need to have some sort of purity test for who is a real atheist.

  7. What category is a person who is reluctantly atheist?

    I’m an athiest but because it had alienated me from my friends/family/indigenous culture; I wish I could go back to the way it was before I became an atheist. Truly.

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