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January 04, 2009

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People who question social conventions and assumptions are likely to be independent minded and less willing to conform to norms.

...communism...

I've always wondered.

Unwillingness to conform to social norms is a great way to become a social outcast.

"This is because ugly people become social outcasts, and social outcasts are more likely to be attracted to outcast movements like atheism, libertarianism, communism, etc."

How about Palin Trutherism?

Sounds about right. I'd write an anecdote, but I'm sure everyone who might read this has a dozen that are just as relevant.

the people likely to attend atheist conventions are not the same as most atheists, I'd expect them to be uglier and less socially inclined (after all, they have nothing better to do than go to an atheism convention)

It could also be that when people marry and have children, they become less likely to hold atheist beliefs.

It's probably just having a high IQ, minus the advantage of being Jewish and having other high IQ and socially conservative potentiol mates.

It seems to be organized atheism that attracts the losers. How prickly and annoying do you have to be to care if "under God" is in the pledge or to be anti-Christmas carols? Check out atheist websites and the causes that they take up. These people aren't just outcasts; they're outcasts who relish in their weirdness.

1. Correlation does not imply causation. Young, brash headstrong atheists, make less money and live alone because they are young. When they get married and start popping out babies, eternal nothingness is less appealing.

2. The studies assertion that atheists make less is also due to the general social problems atheism causes. The lack of a social network inherent in atheism leads to fewer networking oppurtunities and less in-group similarity at work and play. Therefore, as one ages and realizes that "fitting in" is a worthwhile thing to do, people will join religions and those that don't will make less. I'd be interested to see a test that assesses true religious belief vs. household income/size rather than group membership.

3. People who spend money to attend conventions in their spare time are in general, ugly social outcasts. They attend conventions to find others like themselves, because it's the only way they can procreate.

Speaking of which, has anybody else seen the now former head of American Atheists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Johnson

Absurdly beautiful for what she does (did) for a living.

"Atheists are less desirable sexual partners"?

I wish you theists would get your stereotypes straight. What happened to the claim that men became atheists because atheism allegedly makes it easier to get access to swinging sex?

Yeah, and such people are more likely to be male, which is part of the problem.

Your observations on this issue are probably inaccurate. Atheists tend to be among the brightest people (93% of the members of the academy of science are atheist), but why would this lead one to the conclusion that they are also ugly ? It may be that the group of convention goers that you observed may have been predominantly unattractive - but one may conclude that convention goers in general are unattractive as they may have nothing else going on in their lives.

That doesn't mean that Christianity is the way to go. It seems like not being openly anything (whether atheistic or theistic) is truly the way to avoid being an outcast. In other others, being completely secular is a benefit.

I'm sure there's plenty of theistic outcasts living alone.

Calling atheism a "religion" and "movement" reveals a shallow understanding and no shortage of disparagement.

Atheism is to theism as cold is to hot - the former of each pair is simply a term to describe the absence of the latter.

It is no more a religion than not believing in Santa Clause is a religion. It is no more a movement than not going to church is a movement. Everyone is born a atheist, they're simply inculcated into religion in childhood or voluntarily identify with one later in life to fill their identity voids.

I am assuming you're not a Christian; from your remarks you likely self-identify as "agnostic." Forgive me if I'm wrong about this affiliation, but if I'm correct you should know that "agnosticism" is the height of intellectual dishonesty and crass pragmatism.

For my part, the only excuse for this phony neutral posturing is to avoid the stigmatized atheism when trying to bag cute, naive Christian girls.

Otherwise, its bullshit sophistry.

Humans are social animals, but atheists have no social infrastructure even close to the extended infrastructure of church denominations and interdenominational groups. A lot of atheists attend or visit Universalist, Buddhist or other non-doctrinal groups just for developing new social circles.

We are between the age of religion and the age of atheism.

"The atheist were predominately male, and significantly uglier than average."

So this is a personal observation that you've decided should be writ large? That's hardly the basis for an opinion, let alone a blog post.

Tufty
http://atheophobia.blogspot.com

Patrick, thank you for demonstrating for the class.

I also find it ironic that the same christians who tend to preach abstinence before marriage have now started to ridicule single male atheists as losers for their allegedly disability in getting laid.

Patrick
Theists & Atheists are all god-heads, who care passionately about their imaginary friends, hence the movement/dogma label. Its not sophistry, its an accurate observation of behavior.

Good point Patrick. Saying atheism is a religion is like saying that non-smokers smoke the absence of cigarettes.

Patrick,

I am agnostic. I don't do it to fit in and fail to see how it is intellectually dishonest. I don't see a lot of evidence for a supernatural being, but cannot rule out the possibility. Therefore, I am unsure about the existence of a God; therefore, I am agnostic. It isn't a "phony neutral posturing." I honestly am unsure about whether or not a God(s) exists. In any case, I don't pray and for all intents and purposes act as though God does not exist.

"How prickly and annoying do you have to be to care if "under God" is in the pledge or to be anti-Christmas carols?"--Richard H

Contrary to what many a social conservative might tell you, organized atheists aren't waging any war on Christmas. Even Richard Dawkins goes caroling.

Here's the thing, I decentlooking guy w/ a good family (catholic or protestant) isn't going to necessarily stir things up just because he doesn't believe in the supernatural aspects of religion.

He probably feels like church is a decent place to meet up w/ other (otherwise) like-minded people.

In fact most male churgoers are there for social reasons. So they are not non-conformists but likely not strong believers.

Outcasts like atheists rock the boat and end up destroying the social underpinnings of christian teachings by focusing too much on the supernatural component.

People who go to atheist conventions are likely to be outcasts. Let's face it, you've got to be pretty short on things to do to meet up with people who share your disbeliefs. "Hey, I don't believe in flower fairies either! Let's have a convention!"

It's just a sample of one, but I recently met a woman who is very active in a athiest group and she is butt ugly.

At the other extreme, I occasionally attend services at a huge megachurch. There are lot's of hot women at that church, including my friend that takes me there.

Even if I'm a non-religious Jew who doesn't believe in Jesus I enjoy that church. Mostly because I like seeing all the beautiful women, the sex ratio has to be 75/25 female there. Plus I enjoy the contemporary music (even the main vocalist looks like Carrie Underwood). Most of the sermons are about general topics like finance. There is no speaking in tounges or anything so it's not uncomfortable for me.

I am positive that church going women are overall better looking than their athiest counterparts. I especially think it's unusual for a woman to be an Athiest, just like there aren't too many female Libertarians. If you are attractive and have a good social life you will generally not be interested in out of the mainstream groups or ideas. Why buck the status quo when it's working in your interests?

"People who go to atheist conventions are likely to be outcasts."

Same goes for furries. Or so I'm told...

"The atheist were predominately male, and significantly uglier than average."

Simple. In the US, the populace most likely to become atheists are those who have the least to fear from social conformity, are committed to evidence and reason and have their own social support structure and value system. In short, scientists. For historical reasons they have generally been filled with white men who aren't extremely physical.

No more a surprise than the fact the Senate is mostly white men.

"It could also be that when people marry and have children, they become less likely to hold atheist beliefs."

Not really. We have... every single atheist I know that remained that way with kids.

"I am agnostic. I don't do it to fit in and fail to see how it is intellectually dishonest. I don't see a lot of evidence for a supernatural being, but cannot rule out the possibility. Therefore, I am unsure about the existence of a God; therefore, I am agnostic. It isn't a "phony neutral posturing." I honestly am unsure about whether or not a God(s) exists. In any case, I don't pray and for all intents and purposes act as though God does not exist."

Many Gods are logically impossible and thus you can assert they do not exist. Others simply lack evidence. Still others could be made (lets have it for the singularity!)

"People who go to atheist conventions are likely to be outcasts. Let's face it, you've got to be pretty short on things to do to meet up with people who share your disbeliefs. "Hey, I don't believe in flower fairies either! Let's have a convention!""

You do realize some of these people have been effectively disowned? They need a place to cuddle and belong that DOESN'T have furries.

"Outcasts like atheists rock the boat and end up destroying the social underpinnings of christian teachings by focusing too much on the supernatural component."

Capitalists did the same thing to communism- those bastards! Replacing a decaying system because it was falling apart. How could they be so heartless?

"Why buck the status quo when it's working in your interests?"

It isn't if you are a women- no birth control, no sex manuals, no sextoys, no porn... seriously, how do they live?

There is a 3L at my law school who I've met a few times, and on her facebook profile it actually says "atheist". She's actually pretty hot and probably slutty, so I'm trying to work it. In a NYC law school the average person is very liberal, so religious people aren't very common. Still, most claim to have a religion.

My impression is that many urban Jews are really atheists, and just Jewish culturally.

"This is not surprising. Atheists are less desirable sexual partners. I observed this once when I was living in Washington, DC, and I wandered by an atheist convention happening on the mall. The atheist were predominately male, and significantly uglier than average.

"This is because ugly people become social outcasts, and social outcasts are more likely to be attracted to outcast movements like atheism, libertarianism, communism, etc."--Good observation by Sigma

This is very good screenwriting. I see it as an interior monologue of a man that is slowly losing his mind--in fact, it's Kafkaesque. And is atheism a "movement"?

>>Let's face it, you've got to be pretty short on things to do to meet up with people who share your disbeliefs. "Hey, I don't believe in flower fairies either! Let's have a convention!"<<

If you go to a convention of any kind that isn't related to your respective profession, doesn't that make one an outcast?

It's understandable and even expected by their employers, for college professors and other professionals to attend a convention sharing research findings, but why for a certain interest or philosophy? I like video games, pro-wrestling and fantasy football (I realize that makes me low class in the eyes of many of you here but I'm working on a BS right now so it's ok for me to like that stuff) but I wouldn't for the life of me, attend a convention with like minded people.

And what's wrong with being an outcast? It's not like some people get to choose where they were socialized. People get dealt a bad hand and will never be able to catch up with their more normal counterparts. It's not their fault.

(I'm sick of hearing the word "convention". It doesn't even sound like a word anymore.)

"Atheists are most likely to live alone."

Prolly 'cause they have higher IQs. Narrows down the possibilities of who one could find -- and bear -- to live with. For those with average or below-average IQs, they have a bigger range from which to choose.

My impression that I've had for years is that most people could really just marry any old body they met -- being average they all seem kinda the same, really.

Anonymous,
"Many Gods are logically impossible"

Yes, I am an atheist in regards to Zeus and Thor, but I cannot say with confidence that there is NO God whatsoever. Therefore, I am an atheist on basically every specific God I have heard about, but the evidence makes me an agnostic generally.

Posted by: not important | January 05, 2009 at 02:47 PM


Dude, settle down. It is OK that you like the stuff you mentioned. Nobody is judging you...As long as you aren't a furry or anything...

I think this analysis of atheists is mostly wrong. Its correct as far as atheists who attend any kind of "atheist" organizations or conventions is concerned. However, most atheists I know do not identify with being "atheistic" or join any kind of atheist organization. Such people simply go about our lives and do whatever they want and do not think about anything like religion and atheism.

I believe there is a significant difference between atheists that attend a convention for what they do not believe in and those like myself who could care less about meeting up with others to discuss our lack of belief in god. I'm an attractive enough atheist and I've never had a problem getting the guy I wanted. The problem: Being in the minority means that it's harder to find a desirable man, as where if I were in the status quo I'd be more open to more of the guys who are attracted to me. It just so happens I find nothing interesting about the status quo and choose to remain alone when someone doesn't meet my intellectual expectations.

Just to make it clear if it seems muddled, the percentage of people living without a significant other is from the Pew US Religious Landscape Survey, and is not controlled or restricted by age. But the income numbers used in comparison with IQ all come from people who have procreated and subsequently had at least one teenage child at the time of measurement.

Re: Jack - "My impression is that many urban Jews are really atheists, and just Jewish culturally."

Yes, as a secular Jew myself I can well state that we Jews have always known this to be the case and it's a sort of "open secret" in the Jewish community: a large proportion of Jews are indeed atheists, with agnostics, skeptics, and various other "non-believers" also heavily represented in the Jewish community. To tell the truth, the purpose of the majority of synagogues is actually more about social networking than religious worship.

If honest polling and studies were done it would no doubt be proven that ethnic Jews are the most atheistic, non-believing group of people on Earth.

'Yiff' is furry fiction of a sexual nature, in case anyone's wondering.

"It may be that the group of convention goers that you observed may have been predominantly unattractive - but one may conclude that convention goers in general are unattractive as they may have nothing else going on in their lives."

It's the atheist convention goers who cause the most problems by trying do stuff such as banning "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. The atheist fanatics are the ones giving ordinary atheists a bad name.

If the anti-theists - as oppossed to ordinary atheists - minded their own business society would be less riven by the culture wars and we could focus on more important issues like immigration, entitlements, etc.

>Dude, settle down. It is OK that you like the stuff you mentioned. Nobody is judging you...As long as you aren't a furry or anything...<

Are you kidding me? This blog is obsessed with applying the "low class" tag to everything including the types of clothes one wears or the types of drinks one likes. My comment was a jab at the snob brigade that inhabits this board. But I'll admit, their comments about low class culture are rather funny.

What's a "furry"? Is this some sort of inside joke? I don't get it.

Either a monogamous lifestyle is for losers or a polygamous lifestyle is for losers. You can't have it both ways. The strongest predictor of sex partner number is years married. (people generally accumulate sexual partners until they are married)

According to the GSS, the modal number of lifetime sex partners for non-theist males is 5, and for all theist categories it's 1. So which is it? Are atheists winners because they put off marriage and collect more sex partners, or are they losers because they put off marriage and collect more sex partners?

Further, I checked the relationship between belief in the bible and loneliness. Those who believed that the bible was a "book of fables" reported slightly lower feelings of loneliness in the last seven days than people who believed the bible was inspired or written by God.

The issue is not just atheism itself, but, rather, the conventioneering. It's one thing to be an atheist - whatever the motivation (and it does have an irrational element to it that agnosticism does not).

But getting together to exult in the faith that there is no God is another matter. Can such a thing be fulfilling or enriching? It seems like difficult concept to build a weekend around. I don't see it appealing to many balanced, well-rounded people (and I concede that there are many atheists who fall into that category).

Either a monogamous lifestyle is for losers or a polygamous lifestyle is for losers. You can't have it both ways. The strongest predictor of sex partner number is years married. (people generally accumulate sexual partners until they are married)

According to the GSS, the modal number of lifetime sex partners for non-theist males is 5, and for all theist categories it's 1. So which is it? Are atheists winners because they put off marriage and collect more sex partners, or are they losers because they put off marriage and collect more sex partners?

Further, I checked the relationship between belief in the bible and loneliness. Those who believed that the bible was a "book of fables" reported slightly lower feelings of loneliness in the last seven days than people who believed the bible was inspired or written by God.

Most people are effectively atheist; the behave is if there is no god or if there is a god it has no influence on the world.

Most people don't really think through their beliefs, this is a trait of odd people. Humans are social animals and most mental energy of most people goes towards social matters. Some few people do think things over. Some of those people become aware that they are atheists.

Out of the population of atheists, only a tiny percent would actually announce it. Why? Because you think you're right? Who cares? You get points for being right about things? Who believes that?

I was with a girl who was an atheist. Every time she yelled, "Oh, God! Oh, God!" I just knew she was lying.

"Most people don't really think through their beliefs, this is a trait of odd people. Humans are social animals and most mental energy of most people goes towards social matters. Some few people do think things over. Some of those people become aware that they are atheists."

You've just said something that really needs to be drilled into the heads of all thinking people. The majority simply doesn't care.

You only have a limited amount of mental energy and time in a day. To most people, all intellectual matters are a tool to be used and discarded in what's really important: status competition.

I doubt there are any good looking or average people involved with this movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGvRo-hir-w&feature=related

"Yes, I am an atheist in regards to Zeus and Thor, but I cannot say with confidence that there is NO God whatsoever. Therefore, I am an atheist on basically every specific God I have heard about, but the evidence makes me an agnostic generally."

That is only because the word God is completely undefined. All the major ones are logically impossible.

"What's a "furry"? Is this some sort of inside joke? I don't get it."

People have... unusual tastes. This extends to sexual preference. Now, you are probably familiar with the labels for the obvious (and the four illegal ones). Furry refers to people who are interested in anthropomorphic animals- it isn't necessarily sexual, but given the internet, much of it is.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg...

"Most people are effectively atheist; the behave is if there is no god or if there is a god it has no influence on the world.

Most people don't really think through their beliefs, this is a trait of odd people. Humans are social animals and most mental energy of most people goes towards social matters. Some few people do think things over. Some of those people become aware that they are atheists."

You mean like how you haven't committed suicide to get to heaven?

I dunno, Shirley Roper looks OK, and the Westboro Baptist Church is a right-wing movement that seems calculated to offend their more moderate brethren...it's like a left-wing group that runs around protesting bad education for the poor by yelling 'Poor people are stupid!'

"I dunno, Shirley Roper looks OK, and the Westboro Baptist Church is a right-wing movement that seems calculated to offend their more moderate brethren...it's like a left-wing group that runs around protesting bad education for the poor by yelling 'Poor people are stupid!'"

No, it is like a left wing group that does that, by vandalizing gated communities.

Sorry for not labeling earlier comments.

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