Is there an atheist version of "gaydar"? In other words, how can you tell?

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.

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I just wear my "A" t-shirts. I also have a lapel pin. The looks I get from people when I explain what the "A" stands for are priceless.

My A-dar is usually pretty good, I am not sure why.
I'd like a nice brooch or pendant please in gold or silver, is anyone selling them?
If Jesus was the Light of the World then Atheism is the Light of the Mind. Perhaps our symbol should be a brain with a light bulb inside it. I would much prefer something positive and non-derivatively Christian as a symbol than something which has links to one religion's symbol for the concept of evil.
For me at least an atheist equivalent of 'gaydar' doesn't work. I'm in a christian community surrounded by christians, and I spent much of my life as a christian, so most people, including fellow non-believers, make the assumption that I'm a bible-thumpin' fire-breathin' fundamentalist believer. And I can fake it better than they do it for real, if I want. Really tends to freak people out when they find out otherwise.

I think it had to do with cultural expectations on the small things. I don't cuss a lot. It doesn't feel natural to me, since I spent 42 years of my life not cussing at all. I don't flinch when the believers get overly religious, and when they talk about their religion I ask knowledgeable, informed questions, so they just automagically assume I'm one of them.

The spell usually breaks when a topic like abortion comes up. Someone makes a radical anti-abortion statement, and just automatically assumes that I agree with them. Then I respond with something like "I don't much like abortion, but I sure hate the idea of giving the government all the rights to decide what women can do with their bodies instead of the women themselves" (That would be a rather bizarre statement in fundy circles, even though it probably seems utterly obvious to most that would read this). And all the sudden their sense of me as a christian does a tilt.

Just be true to who and what you are, and if you are around people enough, it'll come out, if it matters.

To many it won't even matter all that much.
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.

It's not hard here though. 95% of the time, you won't be wrong if you go ahead and assume they're Mormon. They sure assume I am...

But sad as it is, generally the only clue I'd get someone is an Atheist is if they're some punk who just wants to rebel. My immediate family is probably 20% of the Atheists in Utah County...

I've noticed it with anime or game nerds, though they're not hard to spot. ;)
well since I manage to mention that I'm an atheist within a week of meeting people (sometimes within ten minutes) it does mean people will go ahead and share their belief/nonbelief with me fairly quickly :)

Actually went on a date last week and mentioned it and the guy was like "Yeah me too." so my first second-date in three years is coming up soon!
My old boss and I worked together for almost a year before we realized we were both atheists. It came about as we were talking about "uh, i got my Degree in a Science field.....of course I'm an atheist....."
It's pretty easy in Australia - with some notable exceptions, we're pretty well all godless heathens. Just about everyone to whom I confess my involvement in atheist activism says, "Well, good on you! I'm an atheist too!" Examples are the guy who mows my lawn, my optician. the guy at the shoe repair kiosk, and even a friend whose son goes to a very exclusive church school. I suggested that maybe she would prefer if I didn't discuss my atheist activities in front of him and she said, "No! Say anything you want! He can't stand religion!" LOL
hahah. Too true.

We are about the least religious country I know. Thank God!!(pun intended :P )
I too am Australian and all three of my kids went or go to a church school but they're all atheists! As you say, most of us are. The problem here is the opposite one, to identify the religious before you have said something too offensive. If you just tell a believer you're an atheist they will cope, but if you have said something which makes clear your contempt for religion then it can get a bit nasty.

I usually explain something bad which has happened to me by saying "god hates me". The religious will always reassure that he doesn't, the atheists will laugh.
I think so, at least, I can usually tell when they are fundamentalist. To tell if they're atheist or not, I find a reference to Dawkins will usually identify them as such.
Well, shoot! I thought of A-dar, too, before even clicking on the thread. I was hoping to add it to the list of words that *I* have coined.

The reason we can't tell who is religious is that most people live as though they are not. They buy insurance. They save for the future. They sleep in on their supposed mandatory religious attendance days. They cling to life like a cartoon cat sliding down a roof, just like everybody else. I think this is because most of the people who say they are religious lie. They lie. They are liars. Big ones. The more holy than thou, the more they know it, too.

Understanding this helps in understanding a lot about how they behave. Knowing this also helps us to realize something about their trustworthiness. And, they *know* that we can see right through them. It's a big part of why we make them so uncomfortable.



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