Survey: What criticisms or pet peeves do you have about fellow atheists?

I decided to stir the pot a little this morning with something I have been thinking alot about recently for a blog I am planning in the future.

Does anything drive you crazy about fellow atheists?
Any criticisms? Any comments or behavior you would warn against?

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here's a list based on my observations and interactions with atheists, and some self reflection:

- positive atheists tend to be anal retentive when it comes to exactitude. That is, if you proffer a question / statement , before they can reply they will break that question down into it's parts to the point where you sometimes forget what the question was and why you asked it. I'm guilty of that sometimes. Its a need for accuracy and to completly understand the premise, but it can be an annoying trait. In my book I give the example of a guy who comments to his atheist co-worker (im paraphrasing here) "It's really miserable weather outside.", the atheist says: "What's your definition "miserable"; rain in and ofitself does not define a state of misery; and the inclusion of the word "outside" in relationship to weather is redundant." to which the coworker replies: "Go fuck yerself!" :)

- people who profess atheism / claim no hold no belief in God, but then add they believe in a "higher power" beyond our understanding. A God by any other name is still a god.

- add to the above those who say they are against religion / atheistic, but "are very spiritual"...please.

- atheists who are atheist in name only. They lack belief in God/gods, but wouldn't raise a finger, write a letter, or contribute to a fund that would prevent theistic intrusion into public schools, have no concern or avoid active involvement with creeping theology into government, won't speak outagainst social injustice fueled by religiosity.

The lowest rung, as if this were a ladder ...which it isn't, are atheists who are so embarrased by their atheism that they are compelled to placate theists to gain their acceptance lest they be rejected and demonized .

anyway, theres my opinion and input from a positive atheist / anti-theist's perspective.


"It's really miserable weather outside.", the atheist says: "What's your definition "miserable"; rain in and ofitself does not define a state of misery; and the inclusion of the word "outside" in relationship to weather is redundant." to which the coworker replies: "Go fuck yerself!" :)
Heheheh..yeah. But also a royal pain in the ass.

The chapter was prompted by a poll that was posted in ironchariots atheist forum on wiki last year. It asked something like "What percent of belief would you give the existence of God/gods?" and he gave a scale in sectioned increments from 0 to 100%

Well, let me tell you... the replies were things like "define god/gods"; "what do you mean by belief?"; "existence is a relative term..."; "why do you have 0-1%, why dont you have it as <1%?"; on, and on and on, until the poor guy was so frustrated I think he was ready to withdraw the question.

ya had to be there :)

Reminds me of George Carlin. He had a bit in which he discussed flying on airplanes and said he was pissed off when the flight attendant said "Please check around your immediate seating area for any personal belongings you might have brought on board".

He responded: "'s a God damned seat. 'Check around your seat'. 'For any personal belongings.' Well, what other kind of belongings are there, besides personal? Public belongings? Do these people honestly think I'm traveling with a fountain I stole from the park? 'You might have brought on board' Well, I might have brought my arrowhead collection. I didn't. So, I'm not going to look for it! I'm going to look for things I brought on board!" :D
I hope you have your magic asbestos underwear on, because it could get pretty hot in here. As a community service:

LOL... yep... i feel it coming.
But it's a valid question and will provoke I think it's all good

Compared to the religious, my pet peeves with Atheists are so tiny... I'd have to ponder this question for a few hours before I find something noteworthy.

... Oh, and regarding the "Not a true Atheist" thing below, I've seen that said... but not toward Atheists... not true Atheists anyhow.
:D heheheh.

Actually I've never seen anyone claim someone else isn't a "True" atheist... but I have seen people call out impostors on this site.

You know the type... they try to convert Atheists while pretending to be one... but all they end up doing is giving us something to laugh at.
Catana said: "... use their personal experiences as the model for all atheists. Just like theists, they sometimes descend to name-calling and insults and reduce all members of "the other side" to a stereotypical lowest common denominator."

Good call.

I've been/am guilty of both those things, as have my counter parts in the weak atheist / non-activist side.

I imagine the same thing can be observed with holders of opinions on any issue that prompts strong gut /emotional response. i.e. Womens rights advocates, gay rights advocates, Conservative vs Moderate Repubs, gun rights advocates, etc.

All of them have adherents who, while they share basic conceptual agreement, posess varying degrees of intensity on the subject and see those with lesser or greater passion as being just wrong, or off base. I suppose it's human nature.

On the positive side, I've never seen an atheist call another atheist "Not a TRUE atheist." like Christians do, just because they don't like their agenda, or lack of one. :)

Yours in Reason,
I've never seen an atheist call another atheist "Not a TRUE atheist."

I have, and on this very site.
by definition an atheist is simply a person who lacks belief in God or gods.
Degree of activism, any other positions on things are irrelevant.

Unless the person calling him/herself an atheist was confused about the definition and was actually a believer, to what did the person attribute his disqualifying statement?


Not in those exact words, but that was the sentiment. Also, that sort of thing isn't endemic just to A|N. I saw it happen on another atheist discussion board. I've also seen it happen with every group I've ever been involved in where some people believe very fervently that they have the market cornered on what it is to be an atheist or environmentalist or humane or a US citizen or (fill in the blank), etc....

I don't have links, I don't remember exact conversations, and if I could be arsed, I'd go look them up, but I can't be arsed. I'm sure others who have been here longer than me have seen it too.

to what did the person attribute his disqualifying statement?

It wasn't just one person. Thankfully, I haven't seen it happen lately. I'm enjoying the relative peace and quiet.

My nutshell version of one circumstance is that the One True Atheist felt that anyone who would take others to task for bashing all religious people must certainly be a stealth theist.
Got ya.





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