Some of you are probably familiar with this already, but I finally had some time to watch the whole thing, the main lecture lasts about 50 mins, the interesting stuff starting at about 28 minutes in…
It is not the be all and end all, of course, but I found it interesting mostly because it seems to shine a light on a lot of the drama that happens within our little movement.
The tl:dr is that there are 6 (observed) types of atheists(yes, american results, standard grain of salt)
– Those who participate in religion but don’t really believe
– Those who don’t give religion much thought at all
– Those who claim not to know, but think about not knowing alot
– ‘Academic’ types who like to argue about religion
– Social justice minded people
– Those who want religion destroyed… everywhere… in all its forms… forever and ever. Amen.
I should note, I ordered these… from the most connected with religion to the… not so much.
The data seems to show that anti-theism is very different from the others.
As for me, I seem to have made a transition:
Believer – in my early teens
RA – dabbler, also in my teens
SA – late teens
Anti – Early 20s
IAA – Ever since… with some dabbling in Activism
Having moved around a bit, I can see where a lot of the friction comes from. And… well that is also stating my biases.
The Activists are the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ who want change now, and often have a problem with ‘Do nothing’ Academics. When I first got involved in atheism as a movement, I would have lumped the Activists together with the Anti-theists…
But… boy… or golly gee, was that wrong.
I think the feminist flamewar shows they are very different types, even though I think they share what I would call ‘extreme’ disdain for organized religion.
Anti-theists, I think… the often self-described ‘Firebrand’ atheists, tend to be more self-centred than the Activists apparently, which fits in with the ‘free speech’ trollishness that often characterizes their approach to… just about everything they disagree with.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say Activists/Anti-theists probably map to left and right politically, but in more liberal/libertarian ways… as opposed to social conservative.
Anti-theists are also going to be annoyed with pretty much everyone else, especially the ritual and SA types, who they see betraying the cause or being wishywashy accommodationalists. (A view shared by a lot of Activist types too, I think)
The intellectual types are going to want civil argument, ‘don’t be a dick’ above all else, and the Non-theist are probably watching futbol.
I’m not advocating anyone change their position or saying that these groups are definitive. Just found this interesting.
It seems likely to me that people settle into their particular flavour for what they believe are good reasons, but maybe keeping in mind that not everyone thinks the way you do, and that doesn’t mean they are insane, or hateful, means we might be able to get a long a bit better.
My big take away is that where people fit is largely ‘personality’ dependent, as opposed to arrived at by rational/logical/evidence, so MY common sense atheism may clash with yours, as I’m sure it does with most of you.