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Study: Some atheists with children attend religious services
December 7th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Study: Some atheists with children attend religious services

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Nearly one in five atheist scientists with children involve their families with religious institutions, even if they personally do not agree with the institutions teachings, a recent study says.

The study, conducted by Rice University and the University at Buffalo, found that these scientists affiliate with churches for both social and personal reasons. Additionally, the scientists indicated a strong desire to prepare their children to make educated decisions about their personal religious preference.

“This was so surprising to us just because of all of the public discussion about the ways in which scientists are very against religions people,” said Elaine Howard Ecklund, a sociologist at Rice. “When in fact, those we might most expect to be against religious people are sitting alongside them.”

Study participants also indicated they were involved in a religious institution because of the religious preferences of a spouse or partner.

One of the most interesting findings, according to Ecklund, was that some atheist scientists want to expose their children to religion due to scientific reasoning.

"We thought that these individuals might be less inclined to introduce their children to religious traditions, but we found the exact opposite to be true," Ecklund said. "They want their children to have choices, and it is more consistent with their science identity to expose their children to all sources of knowledge."

Ecklund said there were cases in which survey respondents identified that not only did they introduce their children to one church, but they also attended other religious services in the hope that the children would better understand each denomination.

"I think that understanding how nonreligious scientists utilize religion in family life demonstrates the important function they have in the U.S.," Ecklund said.

Sociologist Kristen Schultz Lee of University of Buffalo co-authored the study, which can be found in the December issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

The data was pulled from a survey of 2,198 tenured or tenure-track faculty at 21 U.S. research universities. Around half of survey respondents identified a form of religious identity, while the other half did not.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Church • Culture & Science

soundoff (2,129 Responses)
  1. blake

    You have to wonder why these folks believe Christianity will benefit their children, but is not relevant for them. Perhaps some of them will find Christ by accident in the process.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Luis Wu

      You missed the whole point of the article, that atheists want to expose their children to opposing beliefs. To both sides of the story so they can make up their own minds using logic and reason. Unlike Christians that brainwash their children from birth.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Binky42

      Blake – you misread the article. Some atheist parents are taking their kids to religious gatherings, not just to church, so their kids will have a well-rounded knowledge of the options out there for them.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • BR

      Completely missing the point and imposing your dogmatic interpretation blake. It was never said that they felt that 'christ' would benefit their children. Exposing their children to different points of view and giving them as much available information will better prepare them to make their own decision. Religious indoctrination of any flavor stifles one's ability to see the truth.

      You'll never see a devout theist reading Dawkins with their kids...except possibly to show how 'evil' trys to tempt you with verifyable, repeatable scientific observations.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Philojazz

      Blake, I'm not sure they think that Christianity will benefit their children, but rather that their children should be introduced to whatever is out there, so that the children can make up their own minds in the future. (This, by the way, is the opposite of the way that most "believers" raise their kids.). As far as the atheists getting to know Christ, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, on that one.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Atheist4Evr

      Ditto what Luis Wu said.

      I do commend any rationalist that takes their children to learn about an opposing mindset so that they can see the world without blinders. Doing so will allow them to choose for themselves with logic and reason instead of being indoctrinated against their will.

      The funny thing is, you will never see a Christian or Muslim parent take their child to an atheist seminar so they can decide for themselves. The pious are all about forcing religion upon the young (because the young are impressionable and have not developed logic and reason yet) to keep their numbers strong.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  2. Kool Aid

    What if each community in this country had a support center that provided all of the local family support, fellowship and charity normally associated with churches, but just left out the God parts? Growing up military, we had such centers on most of the bases I lived on. These scientists are grasping for anything they can to demonstrate community involvement and activism to their children–a shame this is ALL they can find.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Binky42

      It doesn't surprise me. I attended a meeting of a local atheist group a couple of years ago. All they wanted to do was drink beer, eat nachos, and talk about the stupidity of religion. They weren't interested in volunteering, or charitable works. They just wanted to beat their chests and inflate their own egos. I was truly disappointed. I volunteer with Christian charity groups, even though I don't share their religious beliefs, because I still share their belief of good works.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Kool Aid

      Blinky, this is actually a really good point. Atheists, such as myself, often do get caught up in what we sometimes believe is a more 'righteous' high ground and miss the big picture around us. But I do wish everyone could come together to create support networks that are not based on worship (or atheism) and plant them in every community.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  3. Eric

    Sounds like they're treating the religious gatherings as a kind of Petri dish.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Ironicus

      That would be ironic, wouldn't it?

      December 7, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  4. mouse

    Yeah....I get mad when someone puts a Dallas Cowboy T-Shirt on their child. I think the child should be able to decide which team to get behind on his own.......

    December 7, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  5. Amy

    The Human species is wired (?) to create narratives about the world, in order to make sense of it. For the most part, it serves us well. Clearly, given all the forms of religion, spiritually, philosphy, etc. each of us will adopt a different path that speaks to our own sense of truth about the world. I am glad I live in an era and country where I am free to search for that truth and be open about it. Life is so much more exciting when you can be honest with yourself.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • earnest

      Amy – that is truly the most reasonable and warming comment I have ever read. Thank you.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  6. John

    As a parent and a Christian,I respect these people for allowing their children the freedom to choose a relationship with God,or not.God gives everyone free-will.He doesn't force His way into peoples lives.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Bob

      Perhaps He doesn't, but his followers sure do. Ugh.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Binky42

      Well said John!

      December 7, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Luis Wu

      All the gods that have been worshipped since the beginning of history would fill 10 football stadiums. But of course YOURS is the only one that's real. Give me a break.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • lee s

      He doesnt force his will on people because he doesnt exist, maybe? But there are plenty of people here who feel its their appointed duty.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Atheist4Evr

      Unfortunately, your god's followers push religion on the rest of us.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Hopeful

      And likewise, I hope you give your child free will to not choose a relationship with your God.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  7. T3chsupport

    I'm an agnostic. I miss church though. Less about the message itself, but more about the community. The only issue I have is with people taking my kid and telling him that if he doesn't do something a certain way then he's going to go to hell, or telling him that certain other people are going to hell, and teaching him to judge. We've done very well so far with raising a gentle, kind child.

    I also don't know how to explain worship in a logical way, because worship makes no logical sense to me. The very idea of worshiping anyone or anything does not compute.

    When he's a little older, I might take him, but it will be tough choosing where to go now that all of my old church friends are spread far and wide, and I don't know anyone around here.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • bandgeek1

      Try a Presbyterian or Unitarian church. Presbyterians generally don't preach about going to he!! and Unitarians are sort of all-inclusive in their approach to religion.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Beja

      As a worship leader, I'd love to give a little friendly help on this. I grew up in a traditional denomination, and grew up a musician, but didn't understand worship until I was an adult. Worship is simply an act of love towards the worshiped receiver. In my case, I worship God through singing about him while my friends play instruments and other friends sing along.

      There are many purposes for worship, but the main one is just to connect with God. Many of the words speak of the things we believe he has done, and other times they speak of what we believe he can and will do for us.

      Worship can also be other acts like painting, by serving the homeless, writing a check for Haiti orphans or paying another's bills. Many times worship is individual like in the choice to feed someone on the street, but other times, it's called corporate worship- not because it's out to make money, but because people are gathered in the name of God. Here's an example of painting, instrumental, and vocal worship. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLUqKJz6CCA&feature=related Dex is singing about becoming a new creation in Christ because his life is changed to love others.

      Worship is something that I believe even the angels do. In the book of Job Chapter 38, God is responding to Job's prayer explaining that details of how he laid the foundations of the earth, and that meanwhile the angels were shouting for joy.

      No matter the belief, I invite anyone seeking to understand what worship looks like by checking out the videos I've shared in this response. This one is a group of friends that have a worship band and got together to worship and made a video of it. Pretty musically interesting too, I might add. They do a lot in very crazy time signatures and with lots of different instruments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRUCV78IULQ

      And here's one more just because they are so influential in the worship world on teaching what worship is, Hillsong United. Here is there worship channel that shows their heartbeat isn't just music worship, but is also by taking care of the helpless-
      http://www.youtube.com/user/Hillsongenerationtv?feature=watch Music lovers will appreciate this non-cheesy worship.

      Thanks for letting me share what worship is. I don't aim to preach at anyone. Just love to answer any questions or misunderstood subjects for anyone who wants to know.

      ❤ Beja

      December 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  8. Aminotothat!

    I don't need to give my kids just a little bit of poison to prove to them it is bad for them. My religious family members recently asked if I would be willing to let my kids attend their CCD (Bible) class, you know, just to give my kids exposure to religion so they can make an educated decision about their involvement in the future. I agreed, on the condition, they send their children to me for two hours per week to discuss why I am a non-believer and why atheism is a reasonable alternative to all they have been taught, you know, just to give them some exposure to a non-believing alternative so they can make an educated decision about it in the future. Amazingly, they thought this was a terrible idea. – Aminotothat!

    December 7, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  9. Barry G.

    Pearls before swine.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Yep. As in logic and reason and objectivity before Christians.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  10. Mick

    So scientists are taking their kids to church to expose them to religious ideas, so that they can make educated decisions regarding religion? Not buying it. They're doing it because of social/family pressure. The scientist goes because the spouse and/or other family members go.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Atheist4Evr

      Exactly. My ex always demanded I go with her to church for the holidays (Christmas Mass, Easter, etc.). Even though I am as atheist as they come, she would say, "If you love me, you will come to church with me and support me." Glad she's my ex. 🙂

      December 7, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  11. Caryn- non-theist that attends church

    I'm an atheist that attends church regularly. Never have believed, most likely never will.

    There are a couple of good reasons to attend church; one is to worship God, another is to be part of a community of like-minded people. I do not attend for the worship aspects. I do attend for the community. The church I attend (a Unitarian Universalist church) is a socially, politically and community service active church and I get a lot out of these activities. They do not require that i subscribe to their particular interpretation to be a member.

    can't get behind a God that sacrifices his own son to save his own creation from his own wrath. How silly. And, no, I don't have the answer to how the world began. It most likely occurred naturally, which is awesome enough in itself that I don't feel the need to make up some anthropomorphic deity to have made the whole thing happen. That idea just seems to add some unneeded complexity to the mix.

    The Baptist churches I attended required that 'I accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savour', which I cannot do. They said they would wait for me to decide and immediately began to pressure me to commit. Plus, they were so judgmental. Ick. Sorry, guys- I had to move on.

    I really hate to be condescending, but I think I am a better Christian than some of my friends and co-workers, which I find particularly funny given my non-belief in a deity! When I watch them cheat, steal, gossip, lie all while pronouncing judgement on the actions of others, and then twist themselves in knots to excuse their behavior, it makes me sad for them. Then they always say, "I'm not perfect, just forgiven!" and move along as thought they are still good people. What crap.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      My mother goes to the xmas services because she likes singing the carols, rest of the year you wont find her near a church.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Bill

      I'm glad that you have a community of like minded people. I'm a christian, but I have a really hard time with the idea of pushing my beliefs on other people. In the past I got involved with evangelizing and it never seemed to work, I just was a pushy jerk trying to score points in heaven. I believe that faith comes from God, some have it and some don't. If you are not given faith, then you can't believe that Jesus died on the Cross for your sins. But for me, it is the Gospel. I've struggled with doubting that God exists at some points, but I always come back in spite of these doubts.

      I guess I just know that God exists and that he hears me. It's almost involuntary – like "irresistable grace". I think that is the things that resonates most with me – the grace. I guess I just want to say that I totally sympathize with your point of view and I'll pray that you will recieve faith from him.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  12. andrew.peter

    The article present the idea that a vast majority of atheists go to a religious service, but if you go back to the top and re-read it, only 20% do this. Yeah, it's admirable that they are involved in something that they disagree with, but this is not enough to make a broad conclusion that "Atheists aren't against religious people" because a mere 20% go to church.
    This article has such an agenda that it reeks!

    December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Binky42

      Most atheists aren't "against" religions people. There are just a few bad eggs that ruin the reputation for everyone. The same is true with all faiths. When a man kills an abortion doctor in the name of God, it doesn't mean he's talking for everyone.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  13. wow123

    I'm a scientist and Engineer and I'm also religous and believe in God. I 'm a little confused why the article implies you can't be both. I think atheists are atheists regardless of being a scientists or anything else, please don't confuse the two.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Mick

      Wow123, aren't you ever bothered by the conflict between the scientific method that you employ in everyday life, and the blind, unquestioning faith that religion demands? That's not an attack; I'm just curious.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Binky42

      My physics professor in college was Jewish, and I asked her how she could balance the two things at once. She just told me that they were completely separate in her life, and she didn't mingle the two. Science requires an in-depth analysis, but religion only requires faith.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """I'm a scientist and Engineer"""

      Did you become religious first or after you became educated. That's your answer.

      Despite what you learn later, it's very difficult to shake the religious indoctrination you receive as a child, and then you find yourself self-rationalizing so that you can reconcile the inconsistencies.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Atheist4Evr

      I'd like to echo Mick's question and add another.

      Does anyone else get a laugh out of people that claim they are gay and Christian? Isn't that like being black and being a member of the KKK?

      December 7, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Beja

      I'd say that it's easy for people to be both scientific and people of faith in God. For instance, you come up with a hypothesis to test like "Is there a correlation between cold temperatures and pneumonia cases?" and you do your research and find results. There is nothing in the Judeo Christian faith that condemns scientific testing. In fact, there are verses that specifically tell those who read to TEST everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21). And there is another that comes to mind that describes a chemical process and likens it to faith- 1 Peter 1:7- "These trials are only to test your faith,to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold, and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. "

      Not saying this to preach, but to share a point of view. Great conversations taking place here with many view points. This comment section is a neat little community. =D

      Also, there is nothing wrong with a gay person calling him/herself a Christian which is simply someone who believes in Christ. According to the Christian faith, gay people are loved by God. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." The use of world here is all inclusive of all people and all creation (just as it is in the verse before it in John 3:16). I say this knowing there are people like the people of Woodsboro who would claim the contrary. Most Christians do not agree with their extremism as they use the Bible for their agenda of hating gays. It's hard to slough off that reputation when many of them seek any outlet (especially media and other loud platforms) to condemn others.

      December 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  14. SDFrankie

    Bogus analysis. Is the glass 17% full or more than 80% empty. Factor in the atheists who get dragged to church by their spouses and the "story" disappears.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  15. Jesus

    I was OK with my grade school child attending Biblke School even though I am an atheist...actually more of an anti-theist. I presented FACTS and REALITY to the child when she reached teen years. The evidence against religious dogma overwhelms the myth of the Bronze Age. It is so easy to debunk! We'd still go to Christmas services once a year for the music and singing. Even with all that, she and her husband are atheists.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Binky42

      I'm an atheist and still celebrate Christmas every year. For my family it's more of a cultural celebration that has taken on many forms over thousands of years. Christianity is part of my heritage, as are most European pagan religions, even if I don't believe in them myself.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • CDB

      I doubt you are an Anti-Theist. I assume you think that means that you are someone who is against organized religion, but actually it means you believe in god, but strive to work against him (it).

      I point this out not to be rude, but because the vast majority of people don't understand the terms Atheist, Theist, Agnostic, and Gnostic and the varios negatives and combinations. If they did, we'd all be able to talk about the subject much more clearly, with less preconceptions getting in the way of discussion.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Bart

      I am glad to see you have such a complete understaning of the universe and science to make such definitive conclusions. Your confidence is overwhelming! Congratulations. I hope you are able to put it into print so that we all may benefit from your knowledge.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Binky42

      CDB – you are wrong. Atheist means there is no belief in anything supernatural. It doesn't mean anti-religion.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • BR

      Blinky...the OP did actually say that they were 'more of an anti-theist'.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  16. Bob

    One of the key differences between most atheists and religious folk I know is that (as shown by this article) atheists aren't afraid of their children deciding to believe differently than themselves. Rather, they encourage critical thinking and a broad understanding of different viewpoints. I'm not concerned about my children being religious, as long as they arrive there through careful consideration, rather than fear and indoctrination.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Jon KIng

      Excellent post!

      December 7, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Caryn- non-theist that attends church

      This is how I raise my kids. Get the information- make you own decision. One kids leans agnostic/atheist, the other leans religious.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  17. Binky42

    Sounds like what my parents did. My mom is Christian, and my dad is agnostic, but they both shared the belief that children are too young to pick and fully understand a religion. They encouraged me to take comparative religion classes in school, and to go to different religious ceremonies with friends and family. I ended up atheist anyway, but at least they gave me the right to choose.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  18. HappyMadison

    I'd bet most people on the pews don't really believe in god. I mean, you'd do some seriously crazy crap if you really believed god existed.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • todd in DC

      The crazy crap doesnt eminate from belief in God. It comes from organized religions. The beginning of the universe comes down to either: someone did something grand or It just happened.

      Either explanation is equally plausible (though I DO believe in God). But I don't think eating a man's flesh and drinking his blood is going to anything special to you. And don't get me started on the Catholic church.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • BR

      todd in DC – Sorry, you don't get the organized mumbo jumbo without the belief in a deity which necessarily comes with it the belief that one knows what that deity wants.

      And no...the universe always existing...or "just happened" as you put it is much simpler than any god, for which there then necessitates its own explanation.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  19. Lissa

    @Marc – My husband and I (both atheists) take our 3 children to church relatively frequently. With family friends we have attended several Christian denominations, a Synagogue, a Sikh Gurdwara, a Wiccan solstice ceremony, and other things that slip my mind, over the years. As an atheist, I would prefer that my children share my and my husband’s beliefs (or lack thereof) but I will understand if they do not.

    It is important to remember that most atheists come from a religious background, and do not share their parent’s beliefs – my mother-in-law’s family is Catholic, my father-in-law’s is Baptist, and my parents are Lutheran. My two best friends are Jewish and Sikh. Already my 16 year old son believes in “something” (which usually corresponds to his girlfriend believes,) my 6 year old believes fervently in Santa Claus and Shelf Elves (although after seeing Thor, I think she might want to believe in the Norse gods too,) and my middle child thinks it is all just silly. Somehow, we all manage to get along anyway.
    My children will do what makes them and their future partners happy. I only hope that if they do embrace a faith it will not be one of the fire and brimstone varieties. Because that whole “Repent, for you are going to H**l" shtick is just boring.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  20. Luis Wu

    I think most atheist are actually agnostics. They don't "believe" in a supernatural being in the sky, but of course it can't be proven one way or another. I don't believe in an invisible sky god but of course anything is possible. To me, an athiest would be someone who claims to "know" absolutely for sure that there is no god. That's about as dumb as someone who claims to "know" absolutely for sure that there is one. An agonistic doesn't "believe" there is one but of course can't say for sure.

    But having said that, to me all religions are just ancient mythology, written thousands of years ago by members of a primitive society. None of them bear any resemblance to reality. In an interview, Albert Einstein was asked if he believed in God. He replied that he didn't believe in a "personal" god, but something more like "Spinoza's god", which is somewhat like pantheism – or the "great spirit" of some American Indian religions. A life enegery that permeates the Universe. To me that makes more sense than any of the "traditional" religions.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Jon KIng

      Well call me an atheist then. The entire god idea makes zero sense to me.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      “The religion of the future will be cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.” – Albert Einstein

      December 7, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • JohnQuest

      The Point of Ethical Monotheism is that there is only one God and "He" is supreme. Your argument if true holds for all Gods and myths (Santa, Tooth Fairy, etc...). Are you a Santa Agnostic or a Santa Atheist?

      December 7, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • CDB

      Actually, the definition of Atheist adopted by most atheists and by most dictionaries is simply someone who does not have a belief in a god-like figure. There is no requirement that the atheist positively claim that god does not exist. This is a very common misconception.

      A little clarification:
      Atheist and Theist refere to beliefe, Agnostic and gnostic refer to knowledge.

      And Atheist does not believe in god, a Theist does.

      An Agnostic does not believe it is possible to know if there is a god with any certainty, a Gnostic would claim it is possible to know.

      Combine them and you get:
      Agnostic Atheist – the most common type of atheist, one who has no beliefe in a god, but does not claim to know with certainty that one does not exist. Also called weak atheism

      Gnostic Atheist – an atheist who claims to know with certainty that god does not exist, also called strong atheism.

      you can also have:
      Agnostic Theist – someone who believes in god but does not believe it is possible to be certain of that belief

      Gnostic Theist – (the most common type) someone who believes in a god with certainty.

      You are right about strong atheism being ridiculous: it is as untenable as gnostic theism, a claim that cannot be supported.

      Like I said though, most atheist are weak atheists: they see no evidence sufficient to support the claim of a god-like figure; therefore they do not believe in one. They do not claim that there positively is not a god.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Greg Shaffer

      Contrary to popular opinion "atheism" and "agnosticism" are not mutually exclusive concepts. Atheism addresses the question of faith. If the question is, "do you have faith in this specific god" (or any god), and your answer is "no", then you are, on some level, an atheist.

      Agnosticism addresses the question of knowledge, not faith. Most atheists are technically also agnostic, as most understand the logical impossibility of proving a negative. Many believers are also agnostic: they have faith that there is a god but intellectually don't know for sure.

      I don't know that there is no god any more than I don't know that there's not an invisible unicorn living in my car that exists but evades all methods of human detection. Technically that makes me an agnostic, and my lack of faith in a god also makes me an atheist, which is generally the word that overrides most people's perceptions of me. I agree with you that anyone that would claim to know for an absolute certainty that there is no god is doing so foolishly, but I don't know that I've ever actually met someone that fits that description (a "gnostic atheist"). I don't know that there is no god but I'm not exactly holding my breath or losing sleep over it. I think most self-described atheists would say the same.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Mick

      It is not "dumb" to say there is no god. You wouldn't call someone dumb for saying there are no leprechauns, would you? Same thing.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • tallulah13

      I suppose I am technically agnostic, because if there was suddenly indisputable proof that a god existed, I would believe. If a god did come forward, I doubt very much it would be like any of the gods humans have ever worshiped. Any being capable of creating the universe would be utterly foreign to the human mind.

      Fortunately, there has never been proof and none seems forthcoming. So I'll continue to identify as atheist.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:06 am |
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