Is Atheism a chiefly liberal or conservative philosophy?

I know this may seem like a bit of an odd question but I’ve been wondering about it for the past few days and for some reason I can’t escape the feeling that it (atheism) would be a rather ‘conservative’ point of view (that is, at least in title), and yet I’m constantly being called a liberal because of my social and political leanings. I'm just wondering what your views are on this.


PS: I’ll be gone for a few days but I will catch up with this thread when I return.

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1) Atheism is not a "philosophy". "A-" + "theism", or "without theism". All the term entails is lack of belief in any theistic religion.


2) The "atheist community" is actually pretty diverse. You have liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, etc etc all over the map. Me myself? I lean closer to libertarian in that I a) have somewhat of a distaste for the whole left-right paradigm and snooty PC liberals, b) think both left and right extremes tend to use government to moralize to the rest of us and I'm for limited government. That's without even speaking of economics and only on social issues alone

Actually Brad I’d like to challenge the validity of that statement.

When I postulated this question back in March I was hoping I could see something of the political slant of non-secularism. I did manage to get some idea of it but eventually lost interest when the discussion became endlessly nitpicky after awhile (which was about a week later), so I stopped checking up on it. Mostly because I pretty much concluded what you did and considered the issue dropped.

Then to my surprise I came back to the site two months later and saw that it was still going on.

Anyway, back to what I wanted to point out. Personally Brad I would agree with your assessment except I recently got a e-mail from my Far Right Wing Christian Fundamentalist sister once again illustrating how I was going straight to hell for my beliefs as well as telling me about how Sarah Palin would be putting this country back on track again. So, suddenly I realized ‘I bet there are no atheist tea baggers’.

I’m also beginning to realize that the entire Tea Party is everything Atheism is not, which does not make me very comfortable. Because if (IF) the Tea Party does manage to get into office, it could definitely cause a lot of problems not just for this country but for atheism as well. After all, atheism does pose a ‘clear and present danger’ to the Tea Party.

I'm not sure I'm mean you have fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. I highly doubt that atheist are social conservatives with the whole gay marriage and other issues that social conservatives try and push, however fiscal conservatives can be atheists as this is strictly an economic issue. I would like to think of myself as fiscally conservative, but socially liberal, or libertarian like someone else recently posted. All I know is I value my civil liberties and will part from a party that I feel is violating those rights. Although I did see an article that tried to explain that educated liberals are more likely to become atheists, as education level is closely tied to religiosity.

Here is the link:

Good day to all!

In my opinion, the essence of this question is asking, "As an atheist, have you replaced god and religion with your version of State?" Old question. Authority, rules, regulation, promises, lofty ideologies, theories about social structure, how to address social "problems", etc. The Right will want to say The Left has replaced their god with the State. The Left will say The Right has lost it's humanity in their cold and loveless Randian version of civilization.


Technology is doing what for us? Where are we going? What does "progress" mean? What is all of this leading to?


The answers to these questions would serve us better.

Park Bierbower,


Something is worth what it is paid for. It is not unfair to use 10 dollars in production cost plus effort and time and will to sell something for 20. This is trade, not exploitation. Profit comes from work, the value of which, in dollars, is what the seller and buyer AGREE, without deception or force. Work and trade is not exploitation, unless it involved fraud or force. 


The value of a product is determined at the moment of purchase. This is trade. And it is fair. It is up to the producer and purchaser to decide what all that went into the product is worth. Otherwise, someone is unfairly manipulating someone else, whether purchaser, buyer or mob rule empowered government.

I agree with you on this issue. The value of product is determined by the buyer and seller when the negotiate a price. If the seller thinks the product is worth more than what he will do is tell the buyer either to raise the price or the negotiations will end. The seller is not being coerced into selling to the buyer at a certain price. If the seller agrees to sell the product at a certain price, and the buyer figures out that he can sell this same product to someone else for a higher price, the buyer was not exploiting the previous seller. If there is a demand for a product and someone is willing and able to pay a premium for the product than that is not the fault of the buyer that he made a profit off of the product.
Value is a normative concept, Park. And of course you can see my libertarian angst. But it should do more than seep. Your definition of value of absurd. There is no absolute value of an object. It's value is determined by what it means to an individual. Cost, in terms of dollars, can be quantified, if I paid 10 dollars for some peanut butter and 5 for some jelly and 2 for some bread, put it all together myself, in my kitchen, and I wish to sell it for 50 dollars and you buy it, that's its value! We negotiate the value of a nonquantifiable amount of energy/effort that went into the product. Work!!! It is often much more valuable than the other fixed costs of production. Stop ignoring this. Value is normative. Unlike the length of a line, which is descriptive.
Value is not what one person says it is, as I stated above. It is the agreed price. Exploitation involves fraud or force. Else, it is trade. Moral, proper and fair. Economics and markets work because of work. Peanut butter plus jelly and bread put together by a human is worth more than the pieces by themselves and still in their containers. The additional value of the sandwich over its parts is dictated by the agreed upon price, in the market. This is basic economics. Your wish for exploitation to be implicit in fair trade is plain wishful thinking and it does not make it so. Value is a normative concept, Park. What is valuable to one person is not necessarily a value to someone else. The market decides value, based on supply and demand, of course as long as the majority rule corrupt government decides to force itself into economics and set prices and rates, which fucks everything up.
An intrinsic theory of value does not work because there is no objective value of something, like a gallon of oil. A gallon of gas is worth less than a gallon of cola to a thirsty person with a full tank of gas the same way a gallon of cola is not worth what a gallon of gas is to someone who just ran out of gas and has a 2 liter bottle of Coke in the passenger's seat. I can think of many more examples of how cola can be more valuable than gas. And once again, Park, the price and worth of something are normative values determined at the time by the agreed upon trade between both the seller and buyer. That's what a market is. Neither the buyer not the seller, alone, determine the price of a good. The negotiation between these individuals sets the market price based on supply and demand. And wages are decided by both the employer and employee. If an employer suggests too low a wage, don't work there. If an applicant suggests to high a wage, don't hire him or her. If someone, through their own labor makes something you want, it is not your moral right to empower the government to force him or her to sell it at a price you can afford, whatever your intentions.
You are fabricating a false dichotomy. People get paid based on the salary or price they can negotiate for their labors or products they make. And they use their money, what isn't taken by government, to buy goods and services, based on trade, and you think it is fundamentally unfair that some people are more successful, more capable and therefore more powerful. This is fair. To try and alter free trade in favor of any one group is wrong. What's really ridiculous is even after the producers are disproportionately stolen from, you still blame the process that creates wealth, that allows wealth redistribution.
I would say neither. The only reason that it's widely considered progressive (I don't like to use "liberal" as the opposite of conservative) is because the conservative establishment has for so long been linked with religious dogma. Not so much nowadays with the advent of Ayn Rand-ism and libertarianism, but theism is still a powerful force on the right.



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