Conservative Atheism - Or How To Be Alienated By Almost Everyone.

I am a conservative. Not a Republican, not really anything other than a pragmatic libertarian. The conservative movement is basically co-opted by [choose your] god-fearing citizens who want their country to run like they think it should. Nothing wrong with that innately, I mean that is everyone.

I am an atheist. I don't believe in god.

Alienation - Within the realm of politics, assumptions are made. Being a conservative, I am often surrounded by those of faith who generally assume I am of faith as well. If/when I reveal my faithlessness, I am marginalized, seen as not-a-true-believer conservative despite that fact that political association and religion are not related (by definition, if not functionally.) I am seen as either a closet libertarian/anarchist or a plant by the left wing, a poor soul conflicted.

Within the realm of religion, atheists are by an large a left-wing group. If in the presence of other atheists, should I mention that I am a conservative the assumptions are basically reciprocal. How can I possibly support the "X-tian" right? I must really be a centrist, they say. No, I am far right, more so than most Republicans.

It is with atheists that I feel the most alienated. Here is a group of people who generally pride themselves on rationalism and skepticism, who say "prove that god exists" yet a fellow member is often marginalized by stereotyping and not being "true" to the cause.

In our culture, belief (whatever it may be) is personal, private, sacrosanct. But when religious belief is co-mingled with politics, everyone loses. But alas this is world in which we live, and I must choose to hide in the shadows of both groups or be true to who I am, and what I believe both politically an spiritually.

I ask those of you who find themselves in a similar quandary to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences here so that we can all draw encouragement that we are not alone.
jl39472 jl39472
31-35, M
4 Responses Aug 11, 2010

I have been both a conservative and an atheist since high school. As others have noted, it has made dating extremely difficult. As finding a conservative atheist is nearly impossible, I've had to pick between the available alternatives.

Since I've found that liberal atheists are much more bigoted than religious conservatives are, I've had to go with whatever I can find, and so I've dated conservatives, most of whom are somewhat middling-religious, but pretty tolerant of others who believe differently.

The problem is, how to find such people? Obviously, church is not a good place to look, and the local Republican party get-togethers are almost devoid of single women. (Obviously, a single, conservative woman is a hot commodity!)

I'd say start your own group, as your area is lacking in one. It may seem as if there aren't many in your area, but after a while I think similar minded people will begin showing up.

I am also a conservative atheist. I find it particularly difficult in dating. I started off dating believers in God who were somewhat conservative, but then a single incident changed my life. In the best relationship I've ever had, my girlfriend of a year and a half said to me, "I need the person I'm with to believe like I do." I thought about conceding, but decided that I couldn't, so we parted ways. An essentially perfect relationship ruined by superstition. Heart-breaking and frustrating.<br />
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Not wanting to repeat that awful experience, I've focused on dating atheists ever since then. But now I'm running into an even worse problem. Every one of the atheists I've dated (perhaps 5-6) have been extremely liberal. They call themselves free thinkers, which is a joke because they all think alike like a bunch of sheep. Not an independent thought in the bunch. It turns out that liberalism is a harder faith to crack than Christianity. After having to tip-toe around political issues for a few months, we usually agree to call it off. I think I may go back to dating conservative Christians and take my chances. I can handle someone believing in God. I can't handle someone who thinks Obama is a good President.<br />
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It's surreal to live in a world where about 97-99% of the population is living under one or two major delusions (God, liberalism, or both). The few of us who are basically rational people have to coexist with them as best we can and try to have meaningful relationships ba<x>sed on mutual respect. I'm still trying to figure out why so many atheists are liberal. My only conclusion is that there is a human need to believe in something more wonderful and pure than the crappy reality of the world as it is. It's just weird that the people who have the analytical ability to reject one form of faith can't muster up the intellect to reject the other.<br />
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Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent!

I would have to disagree with you. <br />
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Agnosticism (and gnosticism) are statements of knowledge. A gnostic would state that they know /have sufficient evidence to make a positive knowledge claim that a god (or gods) do or (exclusively) do not exist. An agnostic would state that they do not have sufficient evidence to make a positive claim of knowledge about the existence or non-existince of god (or gods) and thus do not make any claim of knowledge.<br />
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Atheism is a statement of belief. An atheist believes that no religion has demonstrated unambiguous evidence of the existence of a god (or gods) and therefore is justified in not believing that those gods exist. <br />
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Using myself as an example, I am an agnostic atheist. I do not know (factually) whether god/gods exist but I do not believe that they do.<br />
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For an expanded discussion of this issue, please take a look at : http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheist_vs._agnostic

There are two types of atheists.<br />
Those who are atheist for the wrong reasons, and those who aren't.<br />
What's the difference?<br />
One type has questioned and logically disproven the actual concept of a volitional god.<br />
The other has simply questioned individual religions and found fault in them.<br />
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The latter type should not exist under the term atheist, but rather agnostics. These are typically the ones who will cause **** storm religious debates for the sake of it.