As a sociologist, I have been wondering about the sociological aspects of irreligion, with key questions like:
· under what conditions is it safe to come out as an atheist?
· who are more likely to be atheists?
· what conditions and characteristics are predictors of apostasy?

Religion is a well-studied and was a popular topic for all of the early figures within the sociological enterprise.

Some things that might be important are being free from:
· physical harm;
· negative legal implications; and
· relatively low levels of social death (being no longer considered a full participant in social life).

Associated with this is the demographics of atheists, who tend to be:
· male;
· middle class;
· liberal/socialist political views;
· secular background;
· relative economic independent; and
· university educated.

Apostasy late in life is rare, most become irreligious between 15-25.

Some psychological dispositions may lead to apostasy may include:
· intelligence;
· reading;
· early questioners;
· those that do not leap to conclusions (deeper/longer thinking styles); and
· lack of cognitive dissonance (NOMA)

Any ideas?

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Comment by Justin Murray on December 17, 2012 at 10:09pm

Christians have more children than the non-religious, but evangelicals have even more kids than Christians.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on December 17, 2012 at 9:40pm

Children of parents who are atheists are most likely to be the same.

Comment by Justin Murray on December 17, 2012 at 8:54pm

Morgan - thanks for that. There is very little work going on in the feild at the moment.


Only Phil Zuckerman seems to be actively contributing to it. I was hoping someone might know of others (maybe in different disciplines) doing similar work. 

Comment by Morgan Lamberth on December 17, 2012 at 8:25pm

 Justin, please further this inquiry! I laud your efforts.

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