I welcome new members, and it never fails to amaze me how antiauthoritarian the newbies can be.

Their About Me answers are often along these lines: (actual answers)

The antithesis.


And I am required to say something here... because?

I'll fill this out later.


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I believe in a lively disrespect for most forms of authority." ~ Rita Mae Brown

One look at my profile (I've been a AN member for several years) kind of tells you where I stand with regards to authority, as I have my favorite quote there -

"if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish Him." Mikhail Bakunin

For those who don't know, Bakunin was a 19th century anarchist.  Answering those questions, or not, as I see it, has nothing to do with ones stance towards "authority".  When one is given a choice, even if it is only implied, answering questions is not bowing to authority, but sharing. Being evasive and hostile, in such circumstances, I would view as counterproductive ("Devision in the face of the enemy has never been a good tactic" - Fidel Castro).  When one is not given a choice, and is ordered to answer, then answering becomes submission, if the answers are truthful.  Appearing to submit, and actually submitting are two different things.

I have been attacked, and even jailed, in the past, for refusing to submit to authority, and  authoritarians, but that is just me.  As for your original question, "Are all atheists antiauthoritarian?", I do think that we tend to have an "above average" level of rejection of the authoritarian view point, because of our rejection of the "supernatural" explanation, but we are still all human apes, and thus subject to our own personal confirmation biases.


I greet a claim to be an anarchist with skepticism. In 40 years in American politics I've met enough people claiming to be anarchists to ask "What do we have when we put five anarchists in one room? We have a noisy argument to determine the boss anarchist."

Whether answering questions is bowing to authority or sharing depends on context.

When people are taught that saying more than a few words interferes with working (as some in my family were taught a mere sixty years ago), they may see a query not as a request to share, but as requiring "mandated communication" and refuse to respond.

A part of a human brain functions much like a part of an ape brain. If I understand confirmation bias, it arises from another part of a human brain.


To start with, Tom, I'm Canadian, not American, and as a first generation English Canadian, my viewpoint, and experiences are different from the American. I've met your American type anarchist, and I would tend to agree. Stick me in the room, and I would walk out in disgust. I refer to myself as a Bakunin/Kropotkin anarchist, that is, I agree with Bakunin's working class view, and rejection of the Marxist "Dictatorship of the Proletariat", as it is just another form of oppression. From Kropotkin, I take his ideas of evolution through mutual co-operation, which has been backed up by several modern evolutionary biologists.
As for my "human ape" comment, it refers to the fact that some leading biologists feel we humans should be classed the same as the apes, as we are so biological similar, and indeed, share the same ancestors.

Thanks, very distant cousin.

I read and very much liked Kropotkin's Mutual Aid. I recommend it often.

Also often, I tell people American capitalism was designed by and for sociopaths.


Here's a new twist, from xhuman. His nonresponse is almost an art form.

About Me
I am a _________. I enjoy such activities as ________, ________, and most importantly (to me at least) ____ _____. My educational background includes _________, studies in ___ _ ___ ______ with the last ____ years in the field of ________. I am mentally tormented by the fact that I am a member of the species H. (sapiens) <--- pretend that everything in '()' is italicized.

i feel now somewhat of an obligation to respond, since my bio info was used as an example of a possible correlation of a philosophy of 'anti authoritarianism' and 'atheism'.   i would propose that a non-deist worldview in its very nature (in the current point of time in our society) is anti authoritarian due to the fact that any deity is regarded, for the most part, as an authority figure culturally.  based upon my observations, 'atheists' have arrived at his/her own conclusions due to an approach of skepticism and reason when dealing with the question of the existence of the/a divine, thus making him or her 'anti-authoritarian' as labeled by those who do not question the cultural status quo.  I think rather than to state that atheists are anti auth, is better to recognize that people who approach established ideas (be them of a god or laws) with questions of the legitimacy of their authority would tend to be labeled as anti-authoritarian.


now for my motivation to the 'About Me' response:  i feel uncomfortable disclosing information about myself in such context because of the gross narcissism that exists in social media (read people's profiles on FaceButt (sic) ).  any statement i make should be regarded with skepticism, and tested to see whether or not there is a basis for its veracity, regardless of my background, be it educational or professional.  Note that Duane Gish , author of "Evolution, the fossils say no!" emphatically includes his title as 'phd.'  thus seemingly to give him more credibility in the veracity of his ideas he writes, until the reader (who at least checks) finds out that his phd is in hydrodynamics, not evolutionary biology, genetics, etc.   a large emphasis on such accomplishments can be misleading, not to mention that we *(I) have the tendency to accept more readily one's opinion or view if he or she has displayed the 'proper' credentials.


now, i will fill in my bio info b/c i do know the value of knowing someone's background when testing the credibility and motives of a person's point-of-view, etc.

thanks.  i look forward to future topics of discussion and learning.

Good try, "Xhuman", but you can't hide from us.  Welcome to the forum, Dr. Spock.  It's an honor to have you here. ;-)

Thank you, xhuman, for what I see as an ingenious "About Me" and an insightful response to its publication. I agree with Beth's seeing the former as almost an art form; it might lead other authors to create variations on it.

Your feeling of mental torment as a member of the species H. sapiens echoes the feeling I had during my middle teens as WW2 ended and I read of Nazi Germany's horrors. Then an inmate of Catholic schools, I had heard many accounts by nuns of what Roman emperors had done to xians, and felt much torment at being a member of a species who so often chose the insane as their political leaders.

About authoritarianism, in the decade following WW2 there appeared a few books on authoritarianism, including one about Adolf Hitler titled "The Pschopathic God." While in college, and breaking my ties with my parents, I began describing my dad as an "old-world-father-is-god German." I later started saying my Catholic education had been a second dose of authoritarianism.

An experience in politics (which I enormously appreciate but won't describe here) helped me break free of all that dogmatism. Having seen other politically active people dealing with political dogma, and now seeing the tactics of the leaders of fundy xians, I like to tell fundies it's easier to change one dogma for another than it is to give up the need for a dogma.

Yes, some of the posts here appear to be the efforts of people freeing themselves from xian dogma. I hope they succeed.

Again, xhuman, welcome to A/N; your willingness to do research to support your views will add much value to the posts here.


Admittedly, I'm not out in any obvious way. My FB has me as pantheist, but a lot of people don't know what that is. Being reverent of anything without woo-woo to go with it confuses a lot of people. I don't go around quoting Dawkins or Hitchens, but I do thumbs-up such posts when I see them. As for why, that's partly because I don't like offending people, especially those close to me. Yes, it is a double-standard, because sometimes I see religious or political posts which make my eyes roll--but I just hide the story from my newsfeed.


And it does seem to be a freakout fest when religious people hear the "A" word, versus "non-believer." It's a bit silly, but they just don't see them being the same thing. Personally, I don't want to test those waters with my family. I've seen my mother's heart broken enough as it is, knowing that I don't see any truth to her beliefs (or others, as I've prettymuch stated when she visited).


I think there are levels to coming out... Some of us feel it necessary to make concessions, fairness aside.

I absolutely LOVE the "I'z confusulated" cat, that is very often me. I am extremely anti-authoritarian, but I think some of us are also antisocial to some degree.The thing about being a new person in a room or group and having someone ask us about ourself "as an icebreaker", to me, is rather rude and intrusive. That's why I very rarely go places like that. I'll "break the ice" if and when I choose, thank you.

Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as "concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people" or the doctrine that advocates such absolutism in rule, as in autocracy, despotism, dictatorship, and totalitarianism. The term anti-authoritarianism is typically extended to include a rejection of all forms of political, social, and economic coercion.

Anti-authoritarian was also the name given to the anarchists inside the First International (IWA) who opposed the Communists. They were excluded from the IWA after the 1871 Hague Congress.

Anti-authoritarianism is sometimes associated with punk rock, hip hop, and other similar genres of music. The people who are part of these musical movements believe that no one person or establishment can contain their rights and freedoms.

Les Athées Napoléonienne


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