Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Are nones atheists?

Some people think the decline of religious affiliation is a gain for atheism. I think this is a category mistake.

38 comments:

B. Prokop said...

Lumping "nones" in with atheists is like saying independents are non-political.

Legion of Logic said...

How else can they pad their numbers to make it look like the New Atheist movement was even remotely effective beyond making the movement into a spectacle?

Joe Hinman said...

I agree. I follow the numbers game with their many annual claims of increasing their numbers. It[s of Atheist Watching. The nones are only about half atheist. If even that much.

Joe Hinman said...


atheism is not increasing in America
As of Nov 2015

Ilíon said...

VR: "Are nones atheists?"

B.Prokop: "Lumping "nones" in with atheists is like saying independents are non-political."

LoL: "How else can they pad their numbers to make it look like the New Atheist movement was even remotely effective beyond making the movement into a spectacle?"

"Nones" tend to hate the so-called atheists -- no matter which variety they are -- but the thing is, they also tend to hate with nearly equal fervency Christians and Christianity -- for Christ demands that they "go and sin no more".

At best, the “nones” are hostilely-indifferent and dismissive toward the arguments of Christianity … you know, B.Prokop, like you are toward an argument that thus-and-such is a violation of the Constitution.

Ilíon said...

... the "nones" want the 'atheists' to shut up, but they also want the Christians to shut up about the actual Gospel. So long as a so-called Christian offers pablum that doesn't offend/judge what they have already set themselves to do, the "nones" will tolerate it; but say something true, say something with an edge, and you may be surprised at how quickly they show your their kindred to the "new" atheists.

grodrigues said...

@Legion of Logic:

"How else can they pad their numbers to make it look like the New Atheist movement was even remotely effective beyond making the movement into a spectacle?"

As someone who has a strong taste for farce and comedy, I have to say I am enjoying the show.

Walter said...

As someone who belongs to no particular religion and labels himself as a deist, I would say that most of the other "nones" that I encounter in life are best described as apatheists. They have a vague and non-devotional belief in a Higher Power without accepting any specific religious creed. Most "nones" are not strident anti-theists like the New Atheists, but we do occasionally side with atheists when criticizing particular religious claims. And sometimes we side with the religious when they critique metaphysical naturalism.

Ilíon said...

^ Which is to say, "nones" generally don't want real answers to be presented.

Walter said...

^ Which is to say that "nones" like myself don't believe that religionists like you have any.

B. Prokop said...

A deist is like a sports fan who has never himself ever played in any sport. Along with Chauncey Gardiner in the movie Being There, he says "I like to watch!"

But I do agree with Walter that a large percentage, if not a majority, of nones are apatheists. I do not blame them for this, but rather the poor quality of evangelization in recent decades. But perhaps that's starting to turn around? Pope Francis is certainly setting a good example. What we could really use is a 21st Century C.S. Lewis. The closest thing I've yet seen is Brandt Pitre, but he's not that well known outside of Catholic circles (at least, so far - his latest book, The Case for Jesus, may change that).

Jezu ufam tobie!

Joe Hinman said...

... the "nones" want the 'atheists' to shut up, but they also want the Christians to shut up about the actual Gospel. So long as a so-called Christian offers pablum that doesn't offend/judge what they have already set themselves to do, the "nones" will tolerate it; but say something true

what do you mean by actual gospel you mean voting republican? seems like came out at one point.

Joe Hinman said...


April 07, 2016 6:21 AM



Blogger Ilíon said...
^ Which is to say, "nones" generally don't want real answers to be presented.


they are too complex a group to write them off that way. that's your mission field. the reason they are that way is because of the hypocrisy of the right wing republican church. They've had over 30 years of it. you are not going to win them to Christ because you have nothing to offer them. Jesus met people where they are. you want them to get a political indoctrination first.

Joe Hinman said...

... the "nones" want the 'atheists' to shut up, but they also want the Christians to shut up about the actual Gospel.

No they don't. when I first went into doctoral work I just out of seminary but also just quite being a central America activist. In doctoral work they were t4lling me "I like it when you talk about God." call it pabulum if you want to but my stuff moved them closer to hearing the Gospel yours turns them off.

you talk like they should accept your judgment of them without thinking but you don't to hear why they feel burned by that.

B. Prokop said...

I pretty much agree with most everything Ilion says, except when it comes to sola scriptura, Catholicism, and political partisanship. On those things, we have significant differences.

When asked about what political stance a Christian should take, I like to cite Luke 12:13-14. One of the multitude said to [Jesus], "Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me." But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?" See? God does not "take sides" in our ideological squabbles. What counts is do we take His side? (In a possibly apocryphal exchange, President Lincoln was asked whether he thought God sided with the Union. Lincoln replied, "You should rather be worried about whether we are on His side." Or words to that effect.)

And I say that as a recovering partisan myself. I had a "Road to Damascus" experience a few years ago, and swore off (hopefully for life) all forms of political partisanship. I believe that is what Dante was warning us about in Canto VII of the Inferno, wherein is described the 4th Circle of Hell, in which we see the souls of the blindly partisan, endlessly rolling great stones against each other in an eternal, senseless battle. Most frightening is Virgil's comment that no one individual can be discerned in this circle, since they have all voluntarily surrendered any independent thought to their respective parties.

A good Christian can be a Democrat, a Republican, a Socialist, a Fascist, a Monarchist, a Libertarian, a Feudalist, or a Distributivist (or any other political philosophy) - as long as he does not fall prey to what C.S. Lewis termed "Christianity and...". Because the "and" inevitably becomes more important than the Christianity.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Joe Hinman said...

A good Christian can be a Democrat, a Republican, a Socialist, a Fascist, a Monarchist, a Libertarian, a Feudalist, or a Distributivist (or any other political philosophy) - as long as he does not fall prey to what C.S. Lewis termed "Christianity and...". Because the "and" inevitably becomes more important


Well said. Bravo! agree. btw Dante was political, he was an exile and paid a heavy price for his politics. I don't say that as disproof of your point but as confirmation. All of us political junkies know politics is the worst in itself. you have to be able to transcend it for hi9gher ground, Otherwise is negates the end for which you struggle. As St. Augie said City of man can never be the city of God. .

Ilíon said...

"But I do agree with Walter that a large percentage, if not a majority, of nones are apatheists. I do not blame them for this, but rather the poor quality of evangelization in recent decades."

And yet, *God* will hold "apatheists" accountable (i.e. God will "blame" them).

The thing about "apatheists" isn't that they have been inadequately evangelized, it is that *no* evangelization can reach them, precisely because they don't give a damn about God nor about knowledge of God -- they make Cal Metzger look like an intellectually honest person.

Joe Hinman said...

And yet, *God* will hold "apatheists" accountable (i.e. God will "blame" them).

I seem to recall a parable in Mathew that implies that he also hold accountable those who did not reach to people in need. Something about sheep and goats and being in prison and getting visited but who want's to visit guys in jail, they are not even Republican.s



The thing about "apatheists" isn't that they have been inadequately evangelized, it is that *no* evangelization can reach them, precisely because they don't give a damn about God nor about knowledge of God -- they make Cal Metzger look like an intellectually honest person.

so if judgimng them and making them feel bad about themselves doesn't reach them nothing can?So much for all sisy love stuff.

Hey Generalissimo Jesus I knew you were a macho dude so I hid my talent so liberals couldn't tax it.

B. Prokop said...

Joe,

You appear to think that Christians shouldn't be Republicans, or that somehow being liberal makes you a better Christian. Please correct me if I have misinterpreted what you're saying.

Ilíon said...

^ *Zounds!* It's like meeting a younger version of yourself, isn't it?

B. Prokop said...

It does indeed. I am so glad to have put partisanship behind me. Perhaps you should try it yourself?

Joe Hinman said...

You appear to think that Christians shouldn't be Republicans, or that somehow being liberal makes you a better Christian. Please correct me if I have misinterpreted what you're saying.

now what did I say to imply that? I said bravo the statement that Christians can be from all political views. I said the Sheep and goats is about reaching out to people in need and loving not shaming them but you can be as republican and do that. I have seen it. I know it's possible. so I get where you see that.

Ilíon said...

How can one put behind oneself what one has never had?

Joe Hinman said...

*Zounds!* It's like meeting a younger version of yourself, isn't it?

You told me I was a liar because I understood a side of the central America issue you don't know about, I had actually talked to people who were kin the massacre and said I was lying. It looks like you are a younger version of yourself.

"I was so much older then I'm younger than that now." Dylan

Joe Hinman said...

You appear to think that Christians shouldn't be Republicans,

No one should be a republican. But if they are that doesn't make them less as Christians.

B. Prokop said...

So you would prefer to live in a one party state? Well, there's always China...

Joe Hinman said...

No. I want everyone to choose democrats and Christianity not have a one party state. or a one religion state.

B. Prokop said...

But if everyone "chooses" to be a Democrat, then what you get is a one party state! We need two healthy, viable parties in this country. The Democrats and Republicans have served us well for 150 years now, and I see no good (and certainly no "superior") alternative to an open and vigorous exchange of ideas between one "leftist" and one "rightist" party. That seems to be the Best of All Possible Worlds.

Aragorn said...

Agreed.

Joe Hinman said...

well first of all not going to happen. secondly i9f people were deep enough and sharp enough to all see things like I do we wouldn't need parties at all, or even governments. (crickets chirping...cough, cough...tap tap is thing on?)

planks length said...

if people were deep enough and sharp enough to all see things like I do

Shades of

"I hope someday you'll join us
And the world can live as one."
(John Lennon)

How convenient. Think like me, and then we can all agree.

planks length said...

... or was that Lenin?

Ilíon said...

In the end, does it matter how it's spelled?

Joe Hinman said...


April 07, 2016 2:00 PM
Delete


Blogger planks length said...
if people were deep enough and sharp enough to all see things like I do

Shades of

"I hope someday you'll join us
And the world can live as one."
(John Lennon)

How convenient. Think like me, and then we can all agree.


why does it not surprise me that you don't get the humor? but why should it be humor comservatioes always think everyone has to be like them

Joe Hinman said...


April 07, 2016 2:35 PM



Blogger Ilíon said...
In the end, does it matter how it's spelled?

April 07, 2016 2:41 PM

see what I mean? everyone has to be like m e and those who aren't are all commies

lamer said...

That's it in a nutshell: "think like me, then we can all agree"

These new atheists or whatever they are, they're as intolerant of faith as the believers they criticize.

Those Nazi chefs, they had to do the same thing you know: you pretty much have to demonize somebody before you can exterminate them with a semi-clean conscious, and that's what the new atheist rhetoric is setting up.

Would they talk like that to Boyle, Babbage, Faraday, Kelvin, Pasteur, et al.?

B. Prokop said...

You are correct, lamer.

Just take a look at Loftus's comments in the conversation below this one, labeled "Parsons and Feser on Coyne". Loftus feels the need to ridicule beliefs he does not agree with, and apparently cannot understand why I do not do the same.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Joe Hinman said...

That's it in a nutshell: "think like me, then we can all agree"

These new atheists or whatever they are, they're as intolerant of faith as the believers they criticize.

Those Nazi chefs, they had to do the same thing you know: you pretty much have to demonize somebody before you can exterminate them with a semi-clean conscious, and that's what the new atheist rhetoric is setting up.

Would they talk like that to Boyle, Babbage, Faraday, Kelvin, Pasteur, et al.?

I agree. I've been running a blog for years called atheist watch where I think I was the first to argue new atheism was a hate group. Actually I had a bit more complex view on it than that. But I argue it has elements of a hate group.It's Orwellian.