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So how would you characterize atheists?

Yes, the authority/rebellion question belied a rather simplistic and narrow oversimplification of what atheism is and means, but I do think that there are characteristics that atheists often share.

How would you characterize atheists?

Are they more rebellious than others? Less willing to embrace the status quo? More honest? More disagreeable?

 
Suzy_Sunshine

Asked by Suzy_Sunshine at 6:35 PM on Apr. 29, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 13 (1,049 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (42)
  • Just like with any other group, it depends on the person in question. I wouldn't characterize all white people as racist, but some are. Not all christians are intolerant of others, but some are (i'm thinking Westboro Baptists here). Not every woman is a feminist... you get my point.

    To me, character traits that atheists share include, but are not limited to: the use of logic, healthy skepticism, the ability to think for onesself, desiring proof to back up a claim, being tolerant of others, getting pissed off at being talked down to, the lack of guilt over things we do which others would do penance for, open-mindedness; and being upstanding, law-abiding, decent, moral human beings, same as many who are NOT atheists.

    This is going to open quite the worm can, I'm sure you're aware...
    Koukla12905

    Answer by Koukla12905 at 6:43 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • The only thing that unites atheists is that we don't believe in any gods. Okay that and a love of sarcasm.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 6:40 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • Logical, in touch with reality.

    Gailll

    Answer by Gailll at 6:40 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • The only defining characteristic I know of is that they don't believe in God. My parents are athiests, so are my mom's siblings. I used to be one. I'm not sure how many other athiests I know, but if I had to think of something to describe them I guess the only characteristic I can come up with is angry, but of course that's based on a select few and I'm sure many aren't. I don't think you can characterize large groups of people like that.
    mybella81

    Answer by mybella81 at 6:41 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • What are the atheists in your life angry about?
    Suzy_Sunshine

    Answer by Suzy_Sunshine at 6:42 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • They are angry about different things at different times of course, but in general I find that speaking of religion makes them very angry. It seems to me that their athiesm is more of a reaction than a conviction, if that makes any sense. It's like they're mad at God for different bad things that have happened and therefore have decided God doesn't exist. Rather than deciding God doesn't exist for other reasons. If they simply didn't believe God existed because there is no evidence for it, then there wouldn't be an angry emotional reaction when God is brought up.
    mybella81

    Answer by mybella81 at 6:48 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • The only time i have an angry emotional reaction to God is when others try to dictate how I should live my life in accordance with their beliefs in him.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 6:52 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • I can't be mad at god any more than I can be mad at the tooth fairy. I'm not sure why this is such a common assumption, because it makes no sense. You can't be mad at something that doesn't exist. I agree with this: To me, character traits that atheists share include, but are not limited to: the use of logic, healthy skepticism, the ability to think for onesself, desiring proof to back up a claim, being tolerant of others, getting pissed off at being talked down to, the lack of guilt over things we do which others would do penance for, open-mindedness; and being upstanding, law-abiding, decent, moral human beings, same as many who are NOT atheists.

    JulieJacobKyle

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 6:54 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • Well I know they are better company than christians!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:56 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • Well Mybell, I wonder if you are mistaking frustration with believers with frustration with a god or gods. Depending on the issue at hand, there are times when the darkest aspects of our world are the best way to refute a specious claim.

    Do you wish that your parents believe in god?
    Suzy_Sunshine

    Answer by Suzy_Sunshine at 6:59 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

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