I suspect that there are Fiscal Conservatives who may be atheistic, but while even that seems to be a stretch (if you know of any well-known ones, please name them), my REAL QUESTION is this:


Are there Socially Conservative atheists? (on what basis do they come to that position if not religious ones?)

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Hi there,

Perhaps if you define what you mean by "socially conservative" that would help things along.  I'm probably middle-of-the-road.  I support abortion rights, and capital punishment.  I think torture is permissible under certain circumstances.  In terms of geopolitics, I supported the invasion of Iraq and still do, but feel it was executed terribly (Hitchens agrees with me on this), and cheered to the high heavens when Osama went down (and I couldn't care less if he was armed or not).  I also strongly support gay rights/same-sex marriage, but I think capitalist companies should be able to pretty much do anything they want, including firing workers on a whim, and moving their facilities overseas if that suits them.  And people shouldn't be getting hand-outs from the government unless they're either trying to get a permanent job, or physically/mentally incapable of holding one.  So where does this put the godless me on your map?


Scott, Where does that put you, a social conservative that does not go to church.

Atheist's hold all kinds of political and social views, no dogma and you are allowed to make your own choices. Good chance someone will want to debate them. :)

I'm a fiscal conservative, but social liberal. 

I can't really imagine any rationalist limiting the behavior of other adults without their being a good reason why. Since most atheists are rationalists...well...

We did have a self-described-atheist post on here years ago. He supported anti-choice and was pro-forced-pregnancy. His justification was something along the lines of "it's got unique DNA, it's a human." 

If you do a search of the site, you should probably find it. It was one of the first major abortion debates here on TA, I do believe. I don't want to speak for his views too much, as I thought they were absurd and therefore I couldn't do them justice, but it would be a definitive answer to your question. 


Take 'cus jeebus said so' out of any political situation and come to a logical conclusion. I don't know too many people that can't trace their bigotries back to some sort of voodoo or religious woo. 


Women should be pregnant and in the kitchen cus god said so. Remove the 'said so' part and look at it from an economical standpoint. The countries that have the highest regard for ALL human civil liberties are the most financially successful and have the highest quality of life. They simply have a larger, more educated work-force because parts of their population aren't oppressed and disadvantaged. Remove religion and you remove 90% of all animosity and tribalistic divide. There ceases to be a reason to hate and oppress entire groups of people if someone isn't telling you to do it.

Countries with the largest economic divide are the most theistic and have the lowest quality of life. 

Now, I'm not talking about the the national religion or lack thereof. One could argue that some of the communist, secular nations have a lower standard of living than that of even the most theistic countries. 

That's debatable in itself, but what I'm using to measure this by is the self-identification of the majority of citizens, not the national, official recognition. 

Sure, China might be a secular communist nation, but the people themselves are predominantly Buddhist or ancestry based deists. 

Places like Norway or pretty much every Scandinavian country...hell, even places like Scotland that have a government sanctioned church but a high atheist or agnostic population STILL have a higher standard of living than their more religious cousins in the States. 

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what your government says you are, it just matters what the citiizens say they are. 

Atheism is correlated to social liberty which is correlated to prosperity. 

Not exactly breaking news, right?

Annie Laurie Gaylor of FFRF puts out the Freethought of the Day email, and has begun including some prominent and not so prominent conservative atheists, agnostics and freethinkers.  The one that comes to mind most quickly from one of her recent emails was the writer/columnist George Will.  Hard to get much more conservative than GW.

 the color of your skin will not make you a more appropriate candidate for anything.

Excepting of course when quotas make someone with black skin a more appropriate candidate for being successful or leaving poverty behind.

I am both an atheist and socially conservative on many issues.  I am this way because of the tag team of thinkers of Thomas Sowell and Steven Pinker.  Sowell wrote a book called "A Conflict of Visions" that spelled out the often unstated premise that liberals and conservatives work from.  Liberals work from a Utopian Vision and conservatives work from a Tragic Vision.  In the book "The Blank Slate" Steven Pinker summarized the two Visions,

In the Tragic Vision, humans are inherently limited in knowledge, wisdom, and virtue, and all social arrangements must acknowledge those limits. "Mortal things suit mortals best," wrote Pindar; "from the crooked timber of humanity no truly straight thing can be made," wrote Kant. The Tragic Vision is associated with Hobbes, Burke, Smith, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, the jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., the economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, the philosophers Isaiah Berlin and Karl Popper, and the legal scholar Richard Posner.

In the Utopian Vision, psychological limitations are artifacts that come from our social arrangements, and we should not allow them to restrict our gaze from what is possible in a better world. Its creed might be "Some people see things as they are and ask 'why?'; I dream things that never were and ask, 'why not?'" The quote is often attributed to the icon of 1960s liberalism, Robert F. Kennedy, but it was originally penned by the Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw (who also wrote, "There is nothing that can be changed more completely than human nature when the job is taken in hand early enough"). ...

In the Tragic Vision, our moral sentiments, no matter how beneficent, overlie a deeper bedrock of selfishness. That selfishness is not the cruelty or aggression of the psychopath, but a concern for our well-being that is so much a part of our makeup that we seldom reflect on it and would waste our time lamenting it or trying to erase it.

But this isn't all just pie in the sky philosophy,


What Sowell fails to argue, and that Steven Pinker begins to make the case for, is that these philosophical points of view are not on equal footing. That is to say: Whether the Tragic or Utopian view is correct is not a question of ethics, but a question of fact. To what extent does human nature exist, and to what extent can it be altered by culture?

Which leads to Pinker saying,


… the new sciences of human nature really do vindicate some version of the Tragic Vision and undermine the Utopian outlook that until recently dominated large segments of intellectual life.

Because "some form of the Tragic Vision" is empirically correct, then some form of social conservatism is required to hold a society together.


You can read more in Pinker's book here, start at the "~"



WALENTY:  Can you please explain WHICH issues you are 'conservative' on?



Sure.  Here are a few off the top of my head:


I support monogamous patriarchy.  Under a monogamous patriarchy, unlike our current system, most men are enfranchised into the sexual market place because women are restrained from their natural hypergamous desire to form harems with alpha males.  This also enfranchises most men into civilization because when they form families and have children they will have a stake in the future and the community around them.  Patriarchy is in the interest of the state not only because most men will be enfranchised, and thus less likely to become a problem, but also because patriarchies have a tendency to reproduce in greater numbers than competing systems; thus wiping them out.  While many women will complain about having monogamy forced on them, this is better than the alternative.  The alternative being the few top men forming large harems and then a large underclass of men who won't have wives at all.  This is the condition a lot of middle eastern men live under and this lack of access to women is one of the causes of them being suicide bombers.


I see no reason for the state to recognize the "right" of homosexual to get married.  While they may live in any arrangement they want, there is no reason for the state to legally support behavior that is obviously Darwinianly dysfunctional.  Because exclusive homosexuals will not reproduce, the state has no compelling interest in expending resources to support their lifestyles.  This would go for other non-reproducing couples as well: they may in fact live in whatever arrangement they want but the state has no reason to expend resources on them.


Crime.  A lot of people point out that the U.S. locks up more people than any other nation in the developed world.  They seem to think this is a bad thing.  But my question back to them is: what makes you think a more just society would have fewer people in jail?


Drugs.  Keep recreational drugs illegal.  The state has no interest in brain dead lazy citizens.  But do legalize human enhancement drugs.  Steroid use under a doctor's care could benefit a lot of men.


Eugenics.  While I do realize this was actually an issue of the Progressive Left through part of the 20th Century I'll add it here.  Human beings are as much a part of the natural world as dogs or cats, which means we can be bred in the same manner.  We are basically biological machines and some machines are born broken.  Cornell recently put out a study of how people can know who criminals are just by looking at them.  For a more sane and  just world to exist the human pollution must be removed from society.


I need to get back to work, so that's all for now.

On your topic of drugs, I think you're quite misunderstood. Wouldn't you rather keep people out of jail for smoking a natural plant? No one is going to be "brain dead" as you proposed. You are offering no data or evidence to support such a destructive claim. 

And your homophobic thing? What should the STATE have ANY legal precedence any anyone's marriage? 

Oh boy, you are surely a conservative. It's a rare phenomenon to see a conservative atheist for me. 

Your question leads me to an issue that is interesting. Do atheists have anything in common other than the obvious. Typically, atheists say no. I say yes. Whether apostates or lifers atheists are more likely to examine things and in so doing certain positions are more tenable than others. And so certain things emerge. Less racism, more egalitarianism..etc

I was taught in a Political Science class to use a simplified (if not optimum) concept for discussion. It categorizes and ranks socio-political values of freedom, order, and equality as follows.

  • Libertarians favor freedom over both order and equality
  • Conservatives favor order over freedom, and freedom over equality
  • Liberals favor equality over freedom, and freedom over order
  • Communitarians favor both order and equality over freedom

In the above context, I would generalize that conservatives prefer capitalist progress to social progress, and wish to conserve or return to traditional socio-religious values. Liberals obviously prefer social progress to order and tradition. Libertarians (excepting our contemporary Tea Party) would favor freedom from religion rather than Cruz/Palin-like search for more church in state.

Typically (today), it's Liberals who most dislike religious order.

I am a conservative atheist...

I rarely post on this and other atheist sites because conservative values are unacceptable to most lefty atheists. In fact i would say many would start believing in god if it moved their leftist agenda forward, because they are more committed to leftist agenda than being atheist..


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