I’m planning to do a video soon in which I present a taxonomy of atheists. I wanted to present my rough draft for it here in case anyone has feedback to give to help me improve it:
- Philosophical Atheists — atheists who think about fundamental questions
1.a. Spiritual atheists — Nietzsche, etc.
1.b. Parasitic atheists — Modern Philosophers, the sort of people you find in academia where all they can do is deconstruct what others have done
- Simple atheists — engineer types who don’t think about big things at all, ever
- Cultural atheists — rabbits who just go with the herd and don’t think; the dominant culture is secular, so they are too; had it been religious they would be exactly that religious
- Teenage rebels — raised religious, either in an irrational tradition or in a rational tradition but not taught it; when they started having questions their parents had no answers
- Angry atheists — people with daddy issues, often a lack of father in their life, though a week father, a neglectful father, a drunkard, etc. can all produce this; they grew up too early and so think of themselves as the ultimate authority figure in their life, they need everything to make sense on their terms, etc.
- Cult atheists — atheists who have found some measure of community and purpose in Atheism™ brand disbelief in God, and their actions reflect their attachment to this community and the purpose they find in it.
An individual atheist can be in multiple taxons at once, though mostly that’s true of taxon 6, while they start out in one of the other ones and then move into it.
In the video I will of course clarify that #6 doesn’t mean that there’s one big cult, rather rather there is a loose network of cults, primarily online, and less intense than the sort where everyone moves onto one compound and practice taking suicide cool-aid. There are similar relationships, though; a similar drive to find new members, a similar us-vs-them mentality, a similar view that their life isn’t lacking purpose and meaning.
Have I missed any taxons?
One thought on “A Taxonomy of Atheists”
I’d include “Just doesn’t believe in God”.
And the “Anti-Religion/God” types (one on-line friend calls these anti-theists).
The “Just doesn’t believe in God” type rarely makes a big-deal of it and likely is a live-and-let-live type toward religion people.
The Anti-Theist types just has to argue with religious people and can be assholes toward religious people.