Let me start by saying that I am not from the US, but as I know most of the readers of this (great) site are from there, I am going to write it as if I were from the US of A.


Now, why is it that the prejudice stands at thinking of atheists as democrats? Why is it that conservatives are only thought of as being Bible-belt, Jesus-loving, creationist simpletons?


I consider myself a libertarian atheist. In all things "social" I would indeed be closer to democrats' views... but in all economic/political views, I am much closer to conservative views. Let's see: I am pro-choice (re. abortion) but also pro-gun carrying; I am pro-evolution and anti-religion, but also Obama-bashing (there, I said it... regardless of color, he is simply, plain useless); I am for small government and anti-terrorism, but I am also anti-death penalty. I admire Reagan and Lincoln and think Carter and Obama are the worst presidents in the last 100 years in the US... yet I am an atheist.


I wonder if I am alone out there... anyone with similar world views?


Thanks for reading!

Views: 222

Tags: abortion, atheist, conservative, democrat, guns, libertarian

Comment by Alejandro M on March 8, 2011 at 9:53am
Oh, and to add two seemingly irreconcilable beliefs I have: pro gay rights - anti global warming (it's all a normal cycle, and NOT human generated). So there you go...
Comment by Radu Andreiu on March 8, 2011 at 1:05pm
anti global warming (it's all a normal cycle, and NOT human generated)

I don't want to debate this here but we can do it in the proper discussions. All I want to say is that the vast majority of the scientific community (we can expand on what that means) says that global warming is severely influenced by human activity. All I want to know is whether you don't believe there is a scientific consensus about this issue, or whether you accept that there is a consensus but you think the consensus is wrong. I want to know what the case is so I can give you a link to the proper discussion.


Oh, and about your original post, I'm not libertarian, democrat, republican, green, or whatever. I believe this would only resemble herd mentality and I can't do it. I take issues - social, economical et cetera - on a case by case basis. Of course, it may very well be that my beliefs agree more with a certain political doctrine than others, but I don't really care about that. I don't even know what every party is for, but then again, I don't live in USA. In my country the only thing that matters is who has the power and the money, or so I see it. Some will be more corrupt than others, but, in the end, I haven't encountered any politician that I could believe is anything else than incompetent. All I can hope in my country is that we get the least bad scenario, but not quite a promising one. And all this happens regardless of doctrine, because money and power dictate their actions unlike anything else.

I also don't like to try and impose my views on others, especially when moral components are involved. However, on a personal level, I'm against the death penalty, against most or even all wars, for gun carrying but only for those who pass extremely restrictive tests, pro-choice but also for the minimization of the number of abortions through legitimate actions that respect all basic freedoms. Have I missed any controversial issue?


Anyway, my main interest here is the first issue, about climate change, because it shouldn't belong in politics, but science. If that is the case, then I believe the issue is pretty clear and global warming is affected to an important degree by human intervention. The reason this interests me more is that it doesn't have moral components attached and can have an objective value of truth. My concern is that unnecessary emotions might influence the value of truth some may get. Because of that I will direct you to the proper discussion after you answer my initial question.


Comment by Ryan E. Hoffman on March 8, 2011 at 1:58pm
wow... stop calling yourself a libertarian.

This is the biggest pet peeve of mine. People calling themselves something without truly understanding what the title means. You like REAGAN?!!! REAGAN? The guy who negotiated with terrorists, expanded government, and caused an economic collapse in 1987 by allowing corporations to influence government ergo annihilating the first principle of libertarianism: separation of economics and state? Him you admire? Banana Republic creator, homophobic AIDS denier, stool pigeon for American corporations, tax hiker? Come on, man...

I'm no fan of Obama as Jean-Marie can probably tell you. If you want to call yourself a libertarian, you should probably understand that no mainstream political candidate will give you what you want (not even Ron Paul).
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 8, 2011 at 3:41pm

@Radu - I'm a nonbeliever in global warming as well.  Oh, yeah, it's now "climate change".  Back in the 70's the scientific consensus was that we were plunging into an ice age.  For me, the "climate change" movement has become a religion.  No one cares what you are doing - they only care that you 'believe'.


What I 'believe' is that we are destroying our planet, and I won't be otherwise convinced by any meteorological data.  I've used mass transit for years.  In fact, although I own a personal vehicle I really only use it for vacations or big grocery runs.  I've driven the same vehicle for 19 years and put about 100,000 miles on it.  For that entire time I've tried to use as few plastic bags as possible, recycled as much as I have found practical, and for the past 10 years I've been becoming more and more of a minimalist (opposite of avid consumer).


Now, do you feel it is necessary that I 'believe' in climate change?  If so, why?

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 8, 2011 at 4:59pm
I'm not sure if the above links were directed at me, but if so then I must reiterate my question, "Why is it important that I 'believe'?"
Comment by Alejandro M on March 8, 2011 at 8:20pm

Ryan et al, thanks for your comments. Ryan, there is no such thing as a "perfect" libertarian. I agree thar Reagan was homophobic, but I also admire Einstein and reliable sources say that in his private life he was an a**hole. So? I admire Reagan for the good he did, which obviously overcame his shortfalls. It's manicheist to only look at the bad (as it is looking at the good, of course)... so if you excuse me, I will still call myself libertarian... and still admire The Gipper.


And Heather, it's important you believe because they want your dollars!!! To fund "green" technologies with your taxes... see?

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 8, 2011 at 8:28pm
They don't have my permission to do anything that they do with my tax dollars - that has never stopped 'them' before. As far as green technologies go, I'll gladly spend on them regardless of the weather; as I said, I definitely believe that we are trashing the planet.
Comment by Brother Gabe Rodriguez on March 8, 2011 at 9:15pm


I am also what you call a Libertarian Atheist, and people for some reason to think that is not possible because "obviously" all conservatives are bible-totting radicals! But the thing is that as a conservative and going wit the idea that there should less government that also means that is not some device to be used to push religious beliefs around for less government by definition means that you do not want the government to control such things like abortion. I believe that capitalism does work cause people by nature are greedy and want to have better stuff than the people around them, pushing them to work hard and come up with new ideas. I also believe that having a strong military is actually one of the best ways to prevent wars, because if you look throughout history you will see that most countries that have been attacked were attack due to the fact that they were simply weaker. But to simply answer your question, yes I am a Libertarian Atheist and I am proud of it!

Comment by Mason on March 8, 2011 at 9:20pm

I would also consider myself to be a libertarian atheist, though more along the lines of libertarian socialism. The reason the conservatives in the US are considered to be lacking in atheists is that the Republicans have purposely ostracized atheists in their rhetoric and policy making. Take, for instance, Bush, Sr.'s statement that atheists should not be considered citizens, as this is "one nation under god". Or the general Republican pandering to Christians. The Republican party is helping to perpetuate the negative view of atheists in this country. Numerous leaders in the party have even said that they do not want the votes of atheists. It's pretty much impossible to have any voice in US politics as an atheist unless you are a Democrat (and even then, you're still subject to strong theist prejudices), and Democrats here are associated with liberalism (even though the Democratic party is, in reality, a center-right party). As such, atheism in associated with liberalism in the US.


In short, conservatives are thought of as being Bible-belt, Jesus-loving, creationist simpletons because all the Bible-belt, Jesus-loving, creationist simpletons in the US are Republicans.


Hope that answers your question.

Comment by Alejandro M on March 8, 2011 at 10:09pm

Thanks Heather, Gabriel and Mason for your comments. Yours Mason is interesting, because it shows the difference between different "christians". Outside the US, christians tend to be of socialist tendencies; in the US, they seem to flock to the Republican side of the aisle. I believe this is due to the different views of Catholic (mainly in Latin countries) and Protestant (in Anglo-Saxon countries). For Catholics, "it's more difficult than a rich man goes into the Kingdom than a camel going through a needle"; for Protestants, success on Earth means success in Heaven. I abhor religion in general, but I have to say I feel more comfortable with the latter philosophy. 

Sadly and to your point Mason, I believe the only way that the US of A will have an explicit atheist president (I think it's had many "hidden" ones, including the current one), is if he/she "comes out" after being elected... and oh my what an interesting time that will be!


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