Of functional and other atheistic lifestyle commitments

”  the fool has said in his heart –  there is no God – “

As is typical in human nature and experience atheism comes in many  shapes  and sizes.

A study done by staff of  the  University of Tennessee listed six types of atheists.  

Professor  Herb Siverman adds  two other categories.

 One  of   these  categories  is  that  of    functional  atheism 

Ironically,  liberal  churches  are bastions of   functional  atheism.


In his support for homosexuality Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a classic

example of  a functional atheist.


Below , Herb Silverman , Professor Emeritus of Mathematics ,  founder and past president of  the Secular  Coalition of America  discusses the different categories  of  atheists.


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Varieties of atheist experience | The Washington Post

by Herb Silverman posted on July 31, 2013 03:37PM GMT
Thanks to /Mike (admin) for the link!

There is a link in the full source below to a recent article by Herb Silverman in Free Inquiry God-Talk for Atheists

A recent blog in the London Guardian entitled “The six types of atheist” has created quite a stir among atheists. The six types are based on a study at the University of Tennessee. Curiosity has led many an atheist to consider if he or she really belongs to any of them. Please bear with me, as I explain why I’m not contradicting myself when I call the study both meaningless and constructive.

Mark Poprocki / iStock

The so-called six types of atheist, listed here alphabetically, are: activist (vocal about issues), anti-theist (assertive and outspoken), intellectual (philosophical and scientific), non-theist (apathetic), ritual (enjoy culture and ceremony), and seeker(open to different views).

Even the authors acknowledge that separating atheists in this way is arbitrary, and atheists can fall into more than one category. Many atheists prefer different labels, including agnostic, humanist, and freethinker. Depending on context, I put myself in these as well as all six of the atheist categories.

Most of my life I was a non-theist because I didn’t much care about my atheism. I became an activist atheist after moving to South Carolina and learning that the state’s Constitution prohibited atheists from holding public office. I worked for eight years to change that unconstitutional provision. As a curious intellectual who questions all religions, you could call me both a seeker and an anti-theist because I have the audacity to challenge religious belief. I also appreciate some religious ritual through godless Humanistic Judaism.

My biggest disappointment about the study is that it left out the largest category:closeted atheists. They are the elephants in the room and the ones most likely to change the culture by coming out. However, many of them feel they have good reasons not to, including potential ostracism from family and friends as well as loss of income or employment. Another unmentioned category is what I call functional atheists, those who may or may not have vague supernatural beliefs that play no practical role in their lives. They live as if there is no god, just as all atheists do.

An atheist is simply someone without a belief in any deities. But disbelief in gods doesn’t describe individual atheists any more than disbelief in the divinity of Muhammad, Krishna, and Zeus describes individual Christians. Everybody disbelieves in some gods; atheists just disbelieve in more gods than theists do.

continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

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One Response to Of functional and other atheistic lifestyle commitments

  1. Kay Bailey says:

    Why would an atheist appreciate “some religious ritual through godless Humanistic Judaism.” Dem people fuh fool fi true. Confused Darkened Intellect.

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