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July 15th, 2013
02:50 PM ET

Behold, the six types of atheists

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - How many ways are there to disbelieve in God?

At least six, according to a new study.

Two researchers at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga found that atheists and agnostics run the range from vocally anti-religious activists to nonbelievers who still observe some religious traditions.

“The main observation is that nonbelief is an ontologically diverse community,” write doctoral student Christopher Silver and undergraduate student Thomas Coleman.

“These categories are a first stab at this," Silver told the website Raw Story. "In 30 years, we may be looking at a typology of 32 types.”

Silver and Coleman derived their six types of nonbelievers from 59 interviews. We're pretty sure we've spotted all six in our comments section.

1) Intellectual atheist/agnostic

This type of nonbeliever seeks information and intellectual stimulation about atheism.

They like debating and arguing, particularly on popular Internet sites.

(Ahem.)

They're also well-versed in books and articles about religion and atheism, and prone to citing those works frequently.

2) Activist

These kinds of atheists and agnostics are not content with just disbelieving in God; they want to tell others why they reject religion and why society would be better off if we all did likewise.

They tend to be vocal about political causes like gay rights, feminism, the environment and the care of animals.

3) Seeker-agnostic

This group is made up of people who are unsure about the existence of a God but keep an open mind and recognize the limits of human knowledge and experience.

Silver and Coleman describe this group as people who regularly question their own beliefs and “do not hold a firm ideological position.”

That doesn't mean this group is confused, the researchers say. They just embrace uncertainty.

4) Anti-theist

This group regularly speaks out against religion and religious beliefs, usually by positioning themselves as “diametrically opposed to religious ideology,” Silver and Coleman wrote.

“Anti-theists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental,” the researchers wrote. “The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions.”

Anti-theists are outspoken, devoted and – at times – confrontational about their disbelief. They believe that "obvious fallacies in religion and belief should be aggressively addressed in some form or another.”

5) Non-theist

The smallest group among the six are the non-theists, people who do not involve themselves with either religion or anti-religion.

In many cases, this comes across as apathy or disinterest.

“A Non-Theist simply does not concern him or herself with religion,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “Religion plays no role or issue in one’s consciousness or worldview; nor does a Non- Theist have concern for the atheist or agnostic movement.”

They continue: “They simply do not believe, and in the same right, their absence of faith means the absence of anything religion in any form from their mental space.”

6) Ritual atheist

They don't believe in God, they don’t associate with religion, and they tend to believe there is no afterlife, but the sixth type of nonbeliever still finds useful the teachings of some religious traditions.

“They see these as more or less philosophical teachings of how to live life and achieve happiness than a path to transcendental liberation,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “For example, these individuals may participate in specific rituals, ceremonies, musical opportunities, meditation, yoga classes, or holiday traditions.”

For many of these nonbelievers, their adherence to ritual may stem from family traditions. For others, its a personal connection to, or respect for, the "profound symbolism" inherent within religious rituals, beliefs and ceremonies, according the researchers.

-

The authors of this study have graciously agreed to field questions from our commenters. If you're interested, please post your question below or tweet it to us at @CNNBelief. 

We'll take the best questions to the authors and the Q&A will be posted in a follow-up article. 

Please try to keep your questions related to the study itself.

Thanks,
Daniel Burke

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Holidays • Lost faith • Nones • Spirituality • Trends • United States

soundoff (9,518 Responses)
  1. Tom Wilson

    Ah yes, this site is being censored by key words, I just posted a small post with two words ti-t with out the space and ti-ts without the space and it never showed up... Censorship, Pure censorship!

    July 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Alias

      No Tom,
      Censorship would be if they refuse to allow your opinion to be posted.
      Making you work to get profanity through is allowed by the constitution.
      Titilating, isn't it?

      July 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You can't say something benign like:
      "The Ja/panese Consti/tution is a conspi/cuous doc/ument."
      Too many naught word fragments!

      July 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Athy

        Yes you can. "The Japanese Constitution is a conspicuous document." But you have to know how.

        July 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ken in MD

      Are you 12 years old, or do you just have the IQ of a 12 year old?

      July 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  2. PaulTK

    Question: This would seem like the obvious follow up question- Is an atheist limited to only one of these types? I would classify myself as intellectual atheist with a spattering of ritual atheist. I do enjoy arguing from the side of an atheist, I find it highly rewarding; but that does not mean that I think all religion is inherently wrong; and, indeed, I would go so far as to say that there is a very large amount of wisdom to be found in the less bruised areas of religion.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • lol??

      Yes, your rewards are highly limited.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • CNN Belief Blog Co-EditorCNN

      Thanks, @PaulTK. Great question.

      best,
      Daniel Burke

      July 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      What I dislike is Fundamentalism, in any form. I have many dear friends in religion, especially the "nuns on the bus". Also I volunteer in the Episcopal Diocese in San Diego, and in their music programs, and reading programs for immigrants, and disadvantaged. I have nothing against liberal religion at all. What I hate is ignorance.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  3. Jess Gjerstad

    This is what I don't get within atheistic/ agnostic thought:

    1. According to the theory of evolution and natural selection, the reason we have society (and societal laws) is for utilitarian benefit of all- What in atheistic/agnostic thought is in place to prevent the rise of another "super-tyrant" like Hitler who misuses and terrorized people who were deemed "inferior" for the sake of evolutionary progress such as overcoming the 2nd law of thermodynamics-(i.e. death) for the majority?

    2. Often times, justice cannot be done in time and space within humanity- a mass murder-er may live in infamy in the eyes of society- but he/she doesn't care after he is executed or dies (according to atheistic/agnostic thought, once you're dead, you are dead- nothing more if you greatly contributed to society or if you took away much. Meanwhile the pain he caused is far greater than anything he could have suffered on the earth (i.e. Hitler, Stalin, Osama Bin Laden, etc.). Why then is there still such a deep cry for justice in the soul/psyche of humanity if justice cannot be done in time and space?

    How do atheists and agnostics answer question #1 and question #2 without creating huge philosophical inconsistencies?

    July 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Akira

      I don't suppose you know the difference between evolution and an totalitarian power mad tryrant? What Hitler did isn't evolution.

      Oh, and he was Christian. How do you reconcile that?

      July 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What in atheistic/agnostic thought is in place to prevent the rise of another "super-tyrant" like Hitler who misuses and terrorized people who were deemed "inferior" for the sake of evolutionary progress

      The Third Reich was not based on atheistic thought. It was based on the antisemitism of the 'good' German Catholics and Lutherans of the 1930s.

      Eugenics is not natural selection. "Survival of the fittest" should never be conflated with "rule by the ruthless".

      July 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Why then is there still such a deep cry for justice in the soul/psyche of humanity if justice cannot be done in time and space?

      Unless there is justice while people live, there is no justice. Justice defered is justice denied.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Sigh

      Even if there were no religion there is no telling if the world would be better off. Humans are corrupt, greedy, violent and self-serving. We might have advanced far beyond where we are now... or we might still be living in the dark ages. Both theist and atheist states have proven how oppressive and atrocious humans are capable of being.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  4. vartech

    I like Pascal's Wager.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Then you'd better hope you pick the right god to believe in of all the thousands out there. Pascal's Wager might look good as an either/or, but the odds of making the right guess seem pretty small.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • lol??

        The house always wins??

        July 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I like the many adequate rebuttals to it. They put the wager to shame.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  5. Sigh

    There aren't nearly enough intellectual atheists or non-theists and I would argue most of the internet trolling ones are a combination of activist and anti-theist (too many wouldn't know an intellectual debate if it clubbed them over the head). Most of the people on these boards are just mirror opposites of religious fanatical zealots.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • meifumado

      I smell fear.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • Sigh

        You smell disgust for stupidity masquerading as intelligence. I don't mind an intelligent debate, but people on these boards don't understand the word 'debate' and misunderstand the word 'intelligent.' It goes both for delusional god groupies and self-important egotistical anti-theists.

        July 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Ernest T Bass

          I smell a preachy self-important troll

          July 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      If you want a conversation post something worthy of a conversation, rather than generalized pejorative assertions.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • Sigh

        Sometimes people have to realize they're insufferable and unintelligible before a worthwhile conversation or debate can even take place. So, I'll stick with pejorative assertions about both groups until I see a debate with reasonable participants worth engaging.

        July 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Why don't you start such a debate instead of complaining about why there aren't any. Same goes for your complaints about the behavior of other posters. Be a good poster, yourself, and be a "witness" to how it's done.

          July 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  6. snipeyou

    I would be the first to change my mind about god, if i was ever shown any proof. people believe faith is proof of god, but that is just silly. Atheist can actually back up their arguments with scientific proof. Theist have nothing to stand on beside regurgitating the bible. Most of these people have the idea of religion wrong, i'm not against some of the values, like family and some good that can come from it. I Just find humor in the people that pray and ask god directly for help, either getting money or winning something. if there is a god, it would care less about us

    July 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • SBW

      Faith is not proof in a G/god.

      Faith is belief in the absence of proof

      July 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    In my rectory of doubt, I kneel to pray like one devout,
    As time the great gray dreamless sleep of a useless modern god
    Erodes away each storied day as wretched Adams with hell to pay
    Content upon a rail of pain for just a little rain.

    – Dr. Greg Graffin

    July 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  8. lol??

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    lol??
    Johnny Noir sayz, To Burke!
    It would have helped to address the real substance of my comment. What about racists like lol?? ................."

    I've always held to the Ark story and Noe, just like Jesus. Does your bwain understand the implications of that?? Now get crackin' and prove Noe's wife was, In the field of human genetics, Mitochondrial Eve.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Akira

      So you blame your bigotry on the Bible? Okay.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  9. fallen angel

    CNN will not post what I have to say hmmm somethings burning.Do I smell senorship

    July 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I'm reading a post but they won't publish your posts? hmm

      July 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
      • fallen angel

        Hey Cpt obvious get a clue.They would not publish my point of view in a previous comment I sent.Because the truth hurts

        July 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          No, there is a word filter which for example rejects the tit in institution.

          July 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      You are not being censored – you probably have a "banned" word embedded somewhere in your post. My favorite is "Consti.tutuion" – because it has the word "ti.t" in it.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • ME II

      @fallen angel,
      "CNN will not post what I have to say..."

      If only that were true...

      July 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      There ees no senorship here senor. Hab you tried the boadauck?

      July 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • fallen angel

        Bill Deacon:Buenos dias senhor but do you know where theee boooaathouse is mang.Munchos gracias

        July 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • fallen angel

      Hey Len Bl_W ME but not literally because you probably would

      July 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  10. Colin

    The Bible is a perfect book and has NO CONTRADICTIONS. Just look for yourself.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=390]

    July 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Compare Genesis 1 & 2. Contradictions galore. And that's just the start.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • alaskan lover

      I'm not sure that Colin has good reading comprehension skills. There are plenty of contradictions along with the presentation of a very angry and vengeful god. Who wants to worship such an angry god?

      July 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Ernest T Bass

      Oh Colin..... you're taking all those contradictions out of context! (grin)

      July 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  11. Melissa

    I may be too late for my question to be considered, but I'm curious as to why there isn't a category for "closet atheists." My guess is that those who hide their atheism aren't very likely to be interviewed. However, this is how I describe myself. I don't believe in a god; however, I keep this to myself because my family is very religious, and I'm trying to keep the peace. I also don't want my atheism to be an issue in the workplace, where it doesn't belong, just as much as religion doesn't belong. (I teach.)

    If I were open about my atheism, I would be the type of atheist who simply states my lack of belief and why I feel the way I do. I am frustrated by the role religion plays in politics (again, where it doesn't belong), but I certainly don't begrudge anyone their beliefs–as long as those people treat others with kindness and respect.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Very good points.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • lol??

      Soon you'll have a spot in the parade, just behind the gay float.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • Akira

        Familiar with that position?

        July 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Jake

      That was my first thought. I am confident by far the largest group of atheists are those who openly pretend to be believers for a range of social reasons.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • jo2

      You sound a pretty cool person to me. I would rather know you as an atheist than some of these do called "christians"

      July 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I understand the need to keep peace at any price but denying the expression of life as you experience it in order to get along with people you are afraid of confronting is simply lying, both to yourself and to them. I suspect the reason you are cautious is because you haven't developed your conviction to the point you feel comfortable defending it. It happens to a lot of people but the best way to overcome that is to study and process what you learn into statements you can live with whether others accept them or not.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Nobody said anything about keeping the peace "at any price." Try reading for comprehension sometime, Bill.

        July 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Here's what she said Cpt: "I keep this to myself because my family is very religious, and I'm trying to keep the peace."

          My guess is that eventually the price of self denial will get too high for the strain on peace it provides.

          July 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Bill, when you start out with such a horrible misrepresentation of what the person said, it basically turns your entire post into a lie. Work with what was said, not with what you wish the person had said. It will enhance your ability to effectively communicate whatever ideas you have.

          July 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Let's ask her. Melissa?

          July 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • Melissa

          My hope in commenting was solely to ask a question of the researchers and to (hopefully) help them better understand the variety of atheists' experiences because I think this is a very important study. However, in case those researchers do look at my post, I should clarify that there are a few people who know I am an atheist (my husband and a couple of my closest friends), but they know I don't want my feelings to be public knowledge. As far as my family is concerned, they simply think I never found a church I like in my new hometown (I was an evangelical Christian until I was in my early 20's; I'm in my mid-30's now), and we don't discuss it. I do wish I could be open with my family, but I dearly love my elderly grandparents, and I prefer that whatever time we have left together be spent without arguments and without them feeling sad that I'm "going to hell." Not discussing religion at work isn't a loss. I don't pretend to be religious, and I'm too busy working to discuss religion anyway.

          I will add that my atheism isn't a conviction. I don't believe in god and have no spiritual inklings, but I have no proof that there isn't a god or something out there bigger than us, and one of my problems with religious extremists is that they feel the need to push their beliefs on others. Why would I turn around and do the same thing with my atheism? Besides, my convictions are rooted in issues of equal rights and basic human goodness, and those I defend wholeheartedly and openly.

          July 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • lol??

      lol??
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Soon you'll have a spot in the parade, just behind the gay float.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      Akira
      Familiar with that position?

      July 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Melissa, feel free to post your question. The best place is probably half-way down p66 in response to Daniel Burke's question.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • CNN Belief Blog Co-EditorCNN

      Great question, @Melissa. Thanks for asking.

      best,
      Daniel Burke

      July 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Helpful Hints

        Daniel,

        Why did you remove the list of hints about the word filter? How are posters who are tearing their hair out because their posts don't show up supposed to know about the taboo hidden word fragments otherwise?

        July 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Skeptimist

      Melissa, having read this and your further comment below, I'd say your decency speaks for itself.

      July 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    Religion is predicated on the search for "Ultimate" meaning.
    Atheism negates this concept and asserts that proximate meaning is all there is.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      If by "proximate meaning," you mean things that are actually relevant to our lives (as opposed to meaning derived from imaginary supernatural beings), I'd go along with that.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Things have meaning if we are able to attribute them with meaning. That's about it.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Joe

        Agree 100%.

        July 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Alias

      No, athiesm is a result of the thing the church telling me not making sense.
      Other religions seems lacking too.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  13. jimsmixedviews

    So we have 69 pages of comments from a couple dozen atheists.. of which I am one... who actually try to reason with a couple of trolling theists in WG & Enter the Atheist humper... oops sorry hunter... not sure what he hunts... because he isn't convincing anyone.

    I just hope that anyone that has genuine questions take the time to think about it in any respect. Talk to friends but also get outside opinions... use your brain. And enjoy and live your life! Don't wait to be eternally rewarded... reward yourself now and bring some joy to others.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  14. Sean

    I find it funny when religious people don't believe in evolution......there is scientific proof. It just baffles me.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Enter "The Atheist Hunter"

      i find it funny that atheists don't believe in creation, there is scientific proof of it. baffles me.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • Colin

        such as.....

        July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • soylent green

          you won't get an answer...

          July 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Rodents for Romney

          It is funny. They do know there is something wrong with their nonsense, and that above all, science is valued in 2013. So they claim even their religious stuff is subject to a scientific evaluation. Proves they have no clue what science even means or does, and that in the end, they also share the value of science over religion. The null hypothesis would be what ? 😉

          July 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • meifumado

        Science just told me you are a liar.

        July 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Ernest T Bass

        The sound of crikets chriping...

        July 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Alias

      Evolution is not necessarily that simple.
      People who don't want to believe it get confused and stop trying to understand.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Skeptimist

    I think I know for sure that I'm conscious.
    But I've known other things that turned out not to be so.
    (I voted for quite a few presidents. And regretted it.)
    If I'm conscious, the best part is a sense of humor.
    It's handy for questions of theology as well as politics because
    it keeps me from taking my opinions too seriously.
    Otherwise, the only thing that works reliably is being kind
    and respectful to others, even if they don't like it.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • MB1980

      This might be the most grounded statement anybody has ever made. I wish all human kind could embrace this ideology. How much better off we would all be!

      July 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Russian Blue

      I love it. That was one terrific post.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      Skeptimist .. great name.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  16. Tom Wilson

    Ever wonder why God never shows up at any of the churches where they praise him over and over? Ever wonder why there is so much money poured into a mega church rather than feeding starving kids all over the globe? Anyone have answers?

    July 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Madtown

      Jesus shows up on pieces of toast, on eBay.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • UncleBenny

        And the Virgin Mary shows up in water stains on walls. What more could you want?

        July 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Back in 2004, a grilled cheese sandwich with the likeness of the Virgin Mary sold on EBay for $28,000, even though there was a bite taken out of it.

        July 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • jo2

      Anti-theist

      July 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Skeptimist

      There is one point of view which asserts that She shows up frequently in different places, usually disguised as someone who needs help. I think it's filed under Learning Encounters of the Third Kind.

      July 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  17. david ablett

    im an activist atheist. Its our duty to reach as many people as possible

    July 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • MikeK

      The question here is why? You may change one or one hundred people but you won't change all and therefore what does that do but make you feel less alone in your views? I'm not saying you ARE alone, but there seems to be an undercurrent in arguments and articles that atheists want approval for their views. In religion it is about saving people. Who are you saving by doing this and what are you saving them from? I struggle with seeing how the atheist activist is being in any way altruistic and other centered in trying to take away something (religion) that gives comfort, hope and for most people is about true faith.

      July 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Ted

      Religion has never saved a penny, let alone a person. It's all fiction, all the time.

      July 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  18. Larry

    As a clergy person who doesn't believe in either a physical heaven or hell, I have found that for the majority of people who claim to be atheist in their beliefs, that the God they can't believe in is one I can't believe in either. Many have thrown out the baby with the bathwater, but for some who yet have a secret yearning for another "baby" that might enhance their lives, check out Unity, Religious Science and similar. God is not anthropomorphic, but an omnipresent Energy (said in similar ways as well). Then to my atheist friends, it really doesn't matter, you are just perfect right where you are.

    July 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Enter "The Atheist Hunter"

      You are deceived by lies.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        No, you are.

        July 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      The Force be with you too.

      July 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Skeptimist

      Excellent advice! Exploring the vast expanse of my ignorance with an open mind and a self-directed sense of humor has led to some fascinating connections. The search for meaning is embodied in the question, Why?" A clue to the answer may lie in our capacity to ask the question. If that seems a bit too mystical for "hard science", it is amusing to discover that is precisely where their research has led many quantum physicists.

      July 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  19. John Cram

    They tried to do a study about the 849 types of believers.

    (1) Believes in God only when it agrees with their argument
    (2) Believes in God when they get into trouble
    (3) Believes in God just to save face with their wacko imaginary man believing co-workers...

    Bla, bla, bla – I could go on for hundreds more, but no we don't talk about those folks who "believe" in an imaginary man. That would violate the biggest social rule > "Don't tell believers that if they accidently called Jesus by any other name like say Bob, well then they would just be labeled crazy instead of "faithful."

    July 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  20. brianz72

    I used to call myself an atheist but for the past few years I've described myself as "Anti-Theist". Belief in a god is totally illogically and empirically unsupportable, and furthermore, it has damaged human social progress, both individually and collectively.

    And don't get me started in biblical literalists, those jokers are irreparably stupid,

    July 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Ted

      I so hear you brianz.

      July 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.