With so many 'coming out' stories about atheism, I was wondering if there is a way that atheists can identify one another without asking. In the gay world, it's 'gaydar' - noting the way that someone walks, talks, dresses, interacts with others, or somehow just "is".
I've had a few people, out of the blue (at work) volunteer to me that they are atheist. I didn't ask why, it just seemed like a topic for conversation at the time. Even though it's a very busy workplace and we don't chat much at all.
So I'm wondering, if there is a atheist version of 'gaydar'? Something that makes us think "that person looks like an atheist!". Maybe it's a lack of interest in Xmas, or that is the only person who never mentions going to church, or... what? Seeing that evolve-fish on their car - well, that's obvious. There must be something more subtle.
I've seen a similar situation with Mormons here. Fairly quickly, they seem to identify one another by mentions of their son on a mission, or their trip to Salt Lake City, or, I don't know, their most recent jello recipes. Key words, or key concepts, and maybe mannerisms, seem to help some like-minded people identify one another.
If there is such a 'early detection system', what is it called? Or what should it be called? Somehow 'heathenar' doesn't have that snappy sound.
I get in trouble by assuming that any intelligent and inquisitive person that I meet must be an Atheist. I am often wrong. It is sad to thing that people that subject ever other aspect of their lives to critical thinking and scrutiny fail to do so when it come to belief in Gods.
So in short I have not found the Atheist Gay-dar yet. I often say things referring to Russel's teapot, Memes, and other subjects that most Atheists are in-the-know about and judge the reaction.
After work one sunny day, I decided to go play 9 holes of golf. I was playing alone and there were two guys ahead of me. They saw I was waiting on them for a few holes and there was another group ahead of them, so they asked if I wanted to join them, which I did. One of them was wearing a hat with a cross on it. I knew at some point the question was going to come up..."Do you go to church?". Sure enough, they asked. Since I was just trying to enjoy a game of golf and really wasn't in the mood for a religious debate, I just said "I haven't lately" (in truth, I hadn't been in a church in about 15 years, except for weddings or funerals).
I probably should have told them the truth, but it wasn't really the time or the place to start a debate.
I don't think that it is really possible to spot an atheist in a crowd of people. If they are all naked (with no identifiable marks), an atheist looks just like a theist. It is not like someone's race or (in some rare cases) sexual orientation.
haha. yeah i was bad about saying rude or down right unopropriat things in class when we would say the pledge. i would ay it really loudly and when it got to that part id say something stupid, mind you i was a pervert at the time and very imature so excuse my quotes, like " under my ass," "suck my cock," " fuck you god," under satan," etc. you get the point. i got kicked out of second period a lot for doing that my senoir year. thats when i became an atheist. It was fun to do that in a class full of christian homos.
Any way i cant find any other atheists where i live because they are all idiotic rednecks who would believe anything you say. the only two i know are my girlfriend and this kid whos parents own the hobbyshop. Kool kid. didnt find out how kool he was until i graduated though.
But you bring up a very good point about the A-dar.
After becoming an atheist, I realized that I didn't see the sense in saying the pledge anymore when we were called to do so at school. I didn't want to be questioned on why I wasn't saying it, though, so I recited it and just mouthed the "under god" part. But this year, when the student came on the intercom to lead everyone in saying it, I said to hell with it and sat down in silence.
I haven't gotten any questions about being an atheist from that, surprisingly. Eventually, a few other people started sitting down, too, and I've only gotten one question about why I wasn't saying it--to which I replied that one only needs to pledge allegiance to their country once in their life, not every morning. Not entirely truthful, but it deflected further questions.