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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. Cynthia

    I'm an Altruistic Atheist-Agnostic. Meaning I don't believe in a deity but don't know whether a deity exists or not(I'm not terribly concerned in either eventuality) and I am deeply concerned about the condition of my fellow man. You don't need a religion to do the right thing for humanity and in many cases it can actually get in the way of progress. Once we get our heads out of the clouds and our minds off of what happens when our lives are over I think humanity will achieve great things.

    August 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  2. photografr7

    Quoting the Bible to prove the existence of God is like quoting Wikipedia in your Ph.D. thesis on ANY subject.

    August 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  3. amercon

    I suggest Pope read from the Bible in 1Corinthians chapter 5 about judging and expelling the immoral brother.

    August 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Kevin

      Yes, Chapter 5 is very clear and very appropriate for today's culture. Chapter 6 is very clear as well.

      And from the Old Testament; "If those people who are called by my name (Christian) will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their sinful ways, then I will hear from Heaven and heal their land".

      God is love...

      August 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
      • Typical christian, thinks everything is about them

        There were no christians in the old testament. They hadn't been invented yet

        August 4, 2013 at 5:15 am |
    • Freethinker

      The Bible also allows slavery and selling your own daughter as a s** slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40, Isaiah 13:16) and bashing babies against the rocks (Psalms 137:9 and Hosea 13:16). Should we suggest the pope also read these verses?

      August 4, 2013 at 3:46 am |
      • chrisnfolsom

        Typical Atheist taking quotes out of context!! Wait a second, maybe if those sections should not be taken literally perhaps Genesis might need to be looked at differently too.... It is strange how the Bible is "literal" and people still keep trying to find cities and artifacts that are named in the Bible to show it's validity, but then they skip over so many of the social issues that just make no sense at all....to take literally.

        August 4, 2013 at 7:27 am |
        • photografr7

          Literal vs. Figurative

          When I say, "I'm so tired I could sleep for six days," what I REALLY meant to say was, "I could sleep for an eternity." That's if the passage "The universe was created in six days" is taken literally or figuratively. Until the 1960's it was one, and now suddenly it's the other. So maybe when I say, "I'm so tired I could sleep for six days," I REALLY meant SIX DAYS. So confusing.

          August 4, 2013 at 7:40 am |
        • Freethinker

          Although a difficult task, I’m going to try and interpret your post considering it was written in moronic drivel, but here it goes. So you are asserting that there is some sort of guide that lets readers know when it is appropriate to take the bible literally and when not, essentially whichever condition best supports your statement.
          Following with your line of thought, are we to understand that the verses I listed did not actually happen, rather the biblical author lied? You can’t have it both ways, is the bible factual or not, and either it must all be considered as literal, or none of it. What kind of supposed omnipotent being would instruct a book written in such a manner.
          This method of picking, choosing and piecing together biblical text into something that fits your desired outcome is something like Nostradamus’s method of predicting the future through loosely connected events. The clinical term is for this is pareidolia, and it is the genetic tendency of human beings to find patterns in coincidence, and a common ailment of conspiracy theorists.

          August 5, 2013 at 12:44 am |
        • Keith

          Very well said but your excellent exoplanation will be lost the sheep and the lame brains.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:13 am |
        • Freethinker

          Chrisnfolsm: Your posting is confusing: in previous posts you sound like a highly intelligent person, and an atheist, so is this an attempt at sarcasm, or did I interpret your post incorrectly? (If so, I extend my apologies for my earlier retort). I should explain that after having been raised in a christian household and having spent a number of years of exposure to bible literalists I find statements like, “expelling the immoral brother” highly offensive and inflammatory.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:11 am |
        • chrisnfolsom

          @Freethinker
          – yes, bad attempt at sarcasm... having more problems posting here...very annoying.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • photografr7

          May I suggest a "SARCASM WARNING:"? Hey, how come atheists are more sarcastic as a group than believers? Is that a function of their higher intelligence or the fact that they know "the truth" from evidence as opposed to faith? And why don't believes call them selves "knowers" if they are so sure the Bible is the word of God? Maybe believers should call themselves "knowers" and atheists should call themselves "believers' because most atheists are aware that science changes over time.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • Keith

          Very well written, the problem is that the flocks of sheep will be unable to follow your reasoning as they have NO ability to THINK for themselves all they can do is PRAY. We all KNOW that prayer is a complete waste of time all it does is to reinforce already embedded concepts about supernatural Sky Fairies.

          August 5, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • photografr7

          Prayer might work.... When I was in college in a school with many Chinese students, becoming the dorm ping pong champion was darn near impossible. But one day - I must have practiced a lot - I actually was doing quite well for some reason, and the next point was key. (Remember, we took ping pong very seriously and played very aggressively) So I closed my eyes and prayed; not to a God which I didn't believe in but to myself. Some people call it "digging deep." I also whispered to myself. "I must win this point, I must win this point." To be honest, I don't know if I made that point or not, but I made THIS point: prayer works, sometimes.

          August 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • chrisnfolsom

          You can't quite draw that conclusion. Concentration, relaxation and many other things may have helped – all cloaked under the activity of "praying" although to "most" prayer is to a deity for divine intervention/guidance which according to you, you do not believe in. Congrats on the game though!

          August 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • photografr7

          I do remember slow breathing, and closing my eyes, so it might have been more Buddhism than Christian prayer.

          August 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
        • Keith

          the sheep are not as stupid as I had first thought, I have suddenly realized that their prayers are actually just WISHES, they don't believe prayers work any more than I do.

          August 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Keith

          If you really want to know about something that WORKS try THINKING, thought is behind every achievement in the history of man. Prayers or should I say Wishes NEVER work.

          August 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Keith

          Dear, dear that wasn't a PRAYER it was a WISH, two very different things. What you have proved is that WISHES WORK.

          August 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • photografr7

          Excuse me, I never said my prayer/wish worked, in fact there's a high probability it didn't. If you've ever seen Chinese ping pong players, you'll know what I mean. This was 1976... Was the Olympics in Boston that year? It might have been the Chinese ping pong team, but my mind could be playing tricks on me.

          August 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • Keith

          "I don’t know if I made that point or not, but I made THIS point: prayer works, sometimes"
          Well after reading this several times I frankly cannot decide WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.
          THINKING works, PRAYER does not, as for wishing well who knows.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
        • photografr7

          I think there's a huge difference between thinking, wishing and praying. If I'm ready to take a math test, I could think I'm going to do well, and I could even wish/hope I do well. But if the grade (on an SAT for example) means going to Harvard or not, I better do a lot more than wish. I might even say (to myself), "Come on, man, you better ace this thing or you'll be flipping burgers for the rest of your life. Well, true story, it worked. I got a 750!

          August 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
        • Keith

          EXACTLY.

          August 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • chrisnfolsom

          I generally refrain from making comments about peoples beliefs as it's hard enough to communicate without them hating you...right or wrong.

          I believe the sarcasm issue though has to do with the fact that theists lives are based on sarcasm as they know that they want what they believe to be true – to "know" without a shadow of a doubt that what they believe is true, but cannot prove it. So here they are telling us they know beyond a shadow of a doubt, but they cannot prove it – or really know it – irony, not a fun kind of irony – you almost expect some theist to jump out and say "gotcha" joke on you!!! If your belief in your God is based on irony chances are you wouldn't want to use it on other things....

          I like the "Knowers" description. It seems theists should use "knowers", but perhaps by using "believers" they are softening their message a bit to not intimidate the other religions or people. Also, as 44% of US Christians have changed denomination it's best to leave your options open.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  4. amercon

    The fool says in his heart. "There is no God". Psalm 14:1

    Since what may be know about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans1:19-20

    Information, organization, laws of science, laws of logic, and life can only come from an intelligent living being (God). Energy and matter have no of these things unless first put there by God.

    August 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Freethinker

      I’m not sure what your comments have to do with the article, but in essence your saying that scientists of previous generations wasted their time because it should be assumed that a supernatural being created everything. The bible (genesis) also claims that god made the sun and moon on the 4th day, yet in a previous verse the claim is that god created night and day on the first day; you can’t have it both, unless the author didn’t realize that light comes from the sun. The bible also claims to have created the stars on the 4th day, while the earth is known to have formed from accretion of particles dispersed by a supernova billions of years before earth was formed. None of these inaccuracies are something you’d expect from a book inspired by an omnipotent being.

      Let’s not forget the scientists like Bruno Giordano who was burned at the stake by the church for claiming earth orbits the sun, or Galileo who was put under house arrest by the church for validating both Giordano and Nickolas Copernicus’s findings? You can’t stymie science simply because you of your beliefs.

      August 4, 2013 at 3:06 am |
  5. lweba

    There is another group of atheists, this group is made up mainly of black people of African origin. Christianity and Islam has marginalized these people. Christians and Muslims throughout history have enslaved, colonized, segregated, oppressed, dehumanized and today they are looting their continents natural resources. Hinduism classifies them below the lowest caste. Buddhism ignores them completely. These blacks feel if there is a God then that God is not for them.

    August 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • photografr7

      But the very largest group of atheists I am aware of, and not mentioned in the article (clearly at least), are atheists like myself who don't believe in any deity whatsoever. I must be the 7th type.

      August 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • The Dagger

        photografr7 are you just stupid? Atheists believe in no deity, the closest atheist that would believe in a god would be a pantheist. You must be a former Christian who still needs the feeling of being special, you want to separate yourself to feel superior, when in all reality, you are the 8th group of atheist, the unwanted kind.

        August 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • photografr7

          MODERATOR: Can you please remove The Dagger, if that's his real name. He just called me stupid, and now I feel sad.

          August 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • The Dagger

          Why are you so against me? You attacked my post when I tried to help you, you called me ignorant, and basically said I wouldn't be anything. You have no place to talk if I attack you, calling you stupid is nothing compared to you telling me I will be do nothing with my life.

          August 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • porksoda

        I must be that elusive 7th type as well. Where is that study about the types of believers out there?

        August 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • photografr7

          When I find the study, I'll post it.... brb

          August 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • photografr7

          Here's a study that divides atheists into three classes, not six: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/arp/2011/00000033/00000001/art00002

          August 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • photografr7

          This book discusses TEN types of atheists. We must be growing! http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Wo_UEOknVbwC&oi=fnd&pg=PT12&dq=%22types+of+atheists%22&ots=pcjfg3xX2o&sig=LHXRX2yhfuvmSSg9dnxseO1auiQ#v=onepage&q=%22types%20of%20atheists%22&f=false Why is it that atheists just say they are atheists, but believers try to break us up into classes, types or levels? They must have an ultimatum.

          August 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
        • Keith

          I'm with you, I do not believe in ANY supernatural fairy tale critters. This means that I enjoy complete FREEDOM and it is wonderful. Neither do I need a Sky Fairy to tell me the difference between good and bad.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:06 am |
        • photografr7

          What he said.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:15 am |
  6. mason

    I'm a 1, 2, & 4. Theism is doomed except among the most impoverished, uneducated, or greedy.

    August 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • photografr7

      You forgot one other group in which theism is strong: half the people that post to this blog.

      August 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • chrisnfolsom

        Although in reality by far the largest trend in Religiosity (besides the Catholic Exodus – 10% of Americans are former Catholics) is the growth of Unaffiliated Americans going up 5% over the last 10 years to 16.1% and that 25% of all 18-29 year old Americans are unaffiliated. Even by the numbers 44% of Americans have changed their religion or beliefs in some way. Theists ARE under attack, and as their usual sales strategy of salvation through Fear Uncertainty and Doubt might have worked many are seeing the hypocrisy of Mega Churches, support for Republican Economics protecting the rich and increasingly, desperately, trying to push their agenda through politics while playing obstructionist on science, and now politics – the emperor has no clothes.

        August 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  7. Lorraine

    AWWH, WHAT DOES IT ALL MATTER ANYWAY, CHRISTIANS, SAME AS CRETINS, ATHEIST, OR THE IN DIFFERENCE, SELFISHNESS, GREED, AND THE HATE? EXAMPLE: 4th of ju/jew ‘LIE’ independence day humbug! Ppl like you and me, SO CALLED ‘BLACKS’ never did have, and still dont have any true independence, nor democracy in the past, or now, and i wont celebrate a day that mocks the murder of our ppl, no thanks, and i dont care 4 bbq black men women and children cause thats what they did then, and shooting us down 4nothing now. please dont use our oppression that causes us to hurt/vandalize one another as an escape goat, thats what they trained us to believe; even Fredrick Douglas taught that oppression can make a man go Mad. and who said we should go anywhere, or leave; no we must unite here, now, and stop trying to ‘fit in’ it aint worked since we got here. wake up, and use our old ways our ‘culture’ as John Henrick Clarke the african historian proved; we were a tribal family, it may not be but a nickel between us, and yet we looked after one another, we all had good food, shelter, and decent/clean clothes on our backs; and most of all we had righteousness, loyalty, and ‘morals’ between us. And so lets begin to do for one another without the criticizing, and belittling, of selfish greediness, the self-hatred that was also brainwashed into our heads as if we could afford in this country the u.s. to point a finger at each other; im sure they have a ball laughing at us all, esp. during their hell a days. which most of them, ‘helladays’ dont have a dang thing to do with us anyway, and who we truly are, something else they 'snickers' at us about just analyze that ‘Snickers’ shark commercial well; I don’t see anything funny about how the sharks were loving to eat chocolate ‘us’ when we were thrown off of the slave ships in the past, do you? SO WE SO CALLED BLACK FOLK MUST UNIT 4 REAL TO HELP EACH OTHER IN 'LIFE', CAUSE ITS NOT GOING TO GET ANY BETTER ANYTIME SOON FOR NO ONE.

    August 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Manfred

      escape goat???

      August 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Cheeeeesssseee

      Wow, your grammar is awesome! I really understand your comment.

      August 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • photografr7

        Be gentle, Cheeeeesssseee, I understood at least one word she meant to say.

        August 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  8. JerryG1

    A riddle-me-this:
    If one can feel and observe effects of the wind, but can't see it, does it mean it doesn't exist?

    August 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • photografr7

      The wind doesn't exist; never did, never will. Either does the string that God holds as the Earth spins on its axis. What other explanation is there??

      August 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • The Dagger

      Wind is not a thing, it is moving air, we can see air through a very powerful microscope. and if it is moving, we would most likely be able to see that.

      August 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • photografr7

        OK, forget air. Try electrons. I'm pretty sure they move too fast to see. You might be able to see the electron shell, but not the individual electron. And I know for a fact we can't see the black hole where the Big Bang took place because it's a ... wait for it... a Black Hole from which light cannot escape. So even if you were looking right at it, you'd never see it. So much for "believing your eyes." I'd rather believe science.

        August 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • The Dagger

          Maybe you misinterpret, I am an atheist and I was replying to "Riddle-me-this" and I am fairly certain that we can see electrons with an electron microscope. And that second part of your argument shows that you blindly follow science.

          August 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • photografr7

          Hahaha ... An electron microscope can't see electrons. It uses electrons to see small things, but not that small. As far as blindly following science, I follow it blindly like I blindly breath air to breath. I don't know how it works, but I do know I won't work without it, or do you believe that God puffs oxygen into your lungs when you're sleeping. Oh, by the way, I don't care if you are an atheist. Some atheists are obviously as ignorant about science as most theists are. Congrats, you are a member of another club: the ignorant club.

          August 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • The Dagger

          Oh, sorry. I'm an atheist who is also a senior in high school, who's forte as it were is in social studies. I have taken one class of physical sciences in my high school career, chemistry. I don't pretend to know all about science. My stance is a more philosophical one, less scientific. Do I believe in the big bang? I don't know, because I do not know specific and will not pretend to. That's why all of my remarks, such as "I'm fairly certain that an electron microscope..." have a "fairly certain" or something that shows doubt, because I do not understand in depth sciences. Using ignorant in this case show's your own intolerance. Just because I don't read up on science every day means I'm somehow less of a human, maybe because my mind cannot comprehend these concepts at an in depth level, and maybe at a lower level as I didn't know the capabilities of an electron microscope. Do not call me ignorant, because my area that I focus my studying in(as far as religion/atheism) goes is philosophical and social, not scientific.

          August 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • photografr7

          You are trying to understand with a high school diploma what Albert Einstein and Ph.D. cosmologists don't as yet know fully... All I'm saying is... "good luck with that!"

          August 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • The Dagger

          So you're saying that I should stop my pursuits. I don't know much about science. But to have the gall to say that a young person should not try to learn and understand the world because "they aren't smart enough" I wish you were a theist because you are about as useful as they are.

          August 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • chrisnfolsom

          If your only contribution is to pick little points of an explanation to prove the "jist" of the comment was wrong you are an idiot – as is defined by many comments here.

          In regards to things you can't see "not existing" – if you can measure it, or the effects of it then it is there within reason. The "within reason" bit is there as if you press a science based person about anything he will say that it may not exist as we can never know anything for sure without some leap of faith – unfortunately when dealing with theists they "know" with evidence or not....

          @The Dagger (High School student) – talk and comment all you want as it's the only way to get better at it – if someone thinks they are better then you because of some stupid mistake, or misunderstanding that is their problem.

          August 3, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • ME II

      @JerryG1,
      No.

      August 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • photografr7

        As my mother used to say, "Trust your feelings." But it wasn't a Bible reference. She was a closet atheist.

        August 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  9. CheCheImFurst

    I see a flaw in their definitions of #5 and/or #6. For example, some people are raised atheists, but not in an aggressive sense. They come from a non-theist/non-religious households and taught to be respectful of others faiths (like may religious households do). But they live in a society where quasi-religious traditions are ubiquitous (e.g. Christmas, Halloween), so they are participants whether they choose so or not.

    For example, many Western countries observe Christmas day as an official holiday, which includes the closing of businesses, etc. Plus there are festivities/marketing throughout this "Christmas season". If you're born/raised an atheist, you see this as just a cultural event, akin the Labor Day, etc. You're not "apathetic", but it doesn't take on any *religious* context inside your home or family. Thus there isn't any animosity or resentment, as some activist atheists may engage in; you view it as a time your society uses as an excuse to party (same with holidays like Halloween or Labor Day), gather around family and friends, give gifts, decorate the home. Depending on your mood you and yours may join into the festivities or you may relax (as many religious people do).

    As a child my father, who raised us as atheists/non-theists, would still put up a Christmas tree and give us gifts, but there wasn't any religious context to the holiday. For years I didn't even know what the word "Christmas" even meant, though the concept of Santa Claus is everywhere! That's because so much of the present holiday in the US/Canada is a cultural event, not a religious one, so anyone can participate without adhering to a particular faith and its religious rituals.

    August 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  10. GOOD NEWS

    A "True Remedy" for all 6 types of Atheists:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    August 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • photografr7

      GOOD NEWS: You say you know the truth and then you post SPAM to back it up this "knowledge"? OK... We admit it. You were right all along.

      August 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  11. photografr7

    I just read "Behold, the six types of atheists." As an atheist and an author I have just one thing to say: "It's the most ridiculous article I have ever read." Does Dan Merica work for CNN or did he beg them to post this garbage on their site?

    August 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Kindoalkun

      The supreme irony here is that this article is most likely the product of a politically-correct attempt to be inclusive of atheists. The idea of forming a community around a LACK of belief in something is in itself absurd. Ah...the human need to classify people into groups and apply labels never ceases to amaze.

      August 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
      • photografr7

        I type-4 agree with you. I almost type-5 agreed, but that would be a little much.

        August 2, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  12. Smarter than U

    1,4,6. I love a Seder!

    August 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Alan

      I think what you mean is that there are 6 types of religious people who judge atheists . . . Since if god is not talking within a human voice right now telling you what is up, you have no proof of anything that is not secular. You propagate a lie on judging people with i vision of knowledge you think is right, this is all. A definition of psychology is based on a representation of ideals not yet propagated and only inferred. Since there is no full omniscience you decay in a thought you thought you would get to the end with and it becomes no more. Atheism is just a routine that is appropriate to the person that controls its knowledge . . . religion does the same, except they do it with belief . . . It is all inappropriate consternation. If the end comes to this statement what do you use to get past it?

      February 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
  13. Jacob1

    Getting back to the assertions in the article: I don't think it is valid to assert that there are 6 types of athiests based on a sample of 59. Could we confidently claim that there were 6 broad categories of fish in the sea based on the first 59 we caught?

    August 1, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  14. Eric Esoteric

    Can atheists be pious? Do any of you so-called "Atheists" consider yourself "Pious"? It seems to me that many of these "Atheists" hold very high standards for ethical conduct, and that is not quite enough for some...

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pious

    August 1, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • chrisnfolsom

      By definition and Atheist cannot be pious, but there is no problem being moral as is so often throws against Atheists and agnostics by theists. I have a hard time understanding how the theists say they are so moral. It seems that those who don't ask questions and are taught to "be right" just because are more apt to just believe they are right whether that is killing in war, killing in state (death penalty), judging others, keeping and spending your wealth "as god would want you to" as many of the new christians do... Even condemning others to hell – which is judging in it's highest when that is NOT what Jesus would do, or did according to his book. I am not saying all theists or Christians are bad, but it seems a bit hypocritical that there is so much energy put into laws limiting my daughters rights to control her body when there are so many other issues that cold be dealt with internally first – but thanks for your concern.

      August 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  15. BuleriaChk@aol.com

    Science suggests that after the Big Bang, god smoked a cigarette, rolled over, went to sleep, and hasn't been heard from since.

    However, the Bibble teaches that he woke up, knocked up a poor carpenter’s fiancé, convinced the locals that it was a virgin birth, and then threw his illegitimate son under the bus when he turned out to be a liberal. The locals testified that the son appeared to them after his death, a story that perseveres to this day, often as images on the crusts of toasted cheese sandwiches.

    God has strong Republican CEO core values...

    August 1, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • Cheeeeesssseee

      The more athiests I meet the more I am convinced that the standard atheist is very arogant narcisistic bleading heart liberal socialist. Constantly offended by popular opinion and quick to offend. Jumping on the liberal band wagon screaming oppression when their desire is to oppress. Atheism is defenitely a religion, one of the most oppressive on earth.

      August 1, 2013 at 8:17 am |
      • JC

        "Constantly offended by popular opinion?" Now why would that be? Popular opinion is increasingly that religion is ridiculous. And since most athiests agree with that, there's no offense taken. As far as being a "bleeding heart socialist" I've always wondered why those following in the footsteps of JEEEBBUUSS are not bleeding heart socialists. Your own saviour calls you to be one. And you ignore him. Blasphemy. Your cruel intolerant capricious god is certain to throw you into the fires of hell for all eternity. After all, you're not following his son's teachings, which you yourself claim is the only truth. Which means you're the worst kind of person. A hypocrit.

        August 1, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • Cheeeeesssseee

          Yes, religion is a problem. I will agree with you there. Jesus didn't come to create religion he wanted to get rid of it. Also, Jesus said help the poor not the lazy. Most of the liberal agenda doesn't help the poor but people that don't want to work hard for themselves.

          August 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • chrisnfolsom

          Yes the old fear of "helping those lazy people" yes, as far as I am concerned many "believers" are lazy in that they won't research the facts, and just like to believe what Fox News tells them, or Rush Linbau (A great Christian) or their friends. Religion used to be based on works, now it's based on making you feel good and on obstructionism as in Congress or learning in schools. As always, nothing applies to all people – just so we don't get "I have a Phd and I'm a Christian!" comments...

          August 4, 2013 at 12:20 am |
      • tallulah13

        Poor Cheese. You must be a very sensitive flower is you are offended by people who point out that truth is not a popularity contest.

        August 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • sam stone

        You are an imbecile

        August 2, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • photografr7

          I second that.

          August 2, 2013 at 9:58 am |
        • Cheeeeesssseee

          Sam Stone, thanks for confirming my comment with yours.

          August 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  16. Julien

    Shocked that Stephen Fry wasn't on the list

    July 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  17. Agnostictheist

    #4 demonstrates a lack of knowing and understanding the English language. Theism has to do with a belief in a god or super natural being not religion, so Anti-Theism is a nonsensical word. Areligious is the correct word. Atheism meas lack of belief in a god or supernatural being. I'm an Agnostic Theist, meaning I believe God exists, but Its existence cannot be empirically proven or disproven. I believe an afterlife is possible, but I don't know for sure because I haven't died yet.

    July 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  18. Logic

    Delusional people can be dangerous. That is why you have to be careful when disparaging religion with logical arguments. There is nothing good to be had debating facts versus what someone takes on faith. If someone said they were 'Christian' and actually followed the philosophy of the biblical person named Jesus, I would say good for you. Trouble is most people who call themselves Christian are anything but, including some of the authors of the New Testament.

    July 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Maani

      While I disagree with your characterization of believers as "delusional," as a believer I agreed with you until your last comment about "including some authors of the New Testament." What are you referring to?

      July 31, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
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About this blog

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.