What Else Can We Learn from the ‘Six Types of Atheists’ Study?

Earlier this month, researchers Christopher Silver and Thomas Coleman III released a study identifying what they believed were the six different kinds of atheists: Intellectual Atheist/Agnostic, Activist, Seeker-Agnostic, Anti-Theist, Non-Theist, and Ritual Atheist/Agnostic.

It might be surprising to all those who assume atheists are a monolithic group:

After CNN’s Dan Merica‘s article about the study went viral, commenters had a ton of things to say about it, good and bad. CNN Belief Blog’s Daniel Burke took those questions directly to Silver and Coleman. Like this one:

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New Study Shows Breakdown of People Who Believe You Need God to be Good

A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution has a couple of notable results (PDF) regarding religious demographics in America and whether you need God to be moral.

First, the demographics:

A couple of things stand out there, neither of which is particularly shocking but both of which are still worth celebrating:

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Christian Pastor: ‘I Have Never Met Anyone Who is Actually Happy About Having Sex Before They Were Married’

Aaron Buer is a pastor at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he’s made up some very important facts about sex (emphases his):

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This Is What You Have to Yell to Make Jesus Come to Life

Howard Storm was one of those “educated college professors” who didn’t believe in God… until he had a really weird out-of-body experience and visited Hell. Now he’s here to say that you, too, can stop being educated like him, if you only give yourself up to Jesus!

Highlight comes at the 9:48 mark, where he tells us what you have to yell if you want Jesus to come alive. (I guess standing in a dark bathroom and saying “Jesus” fives times in front of a mirror doesn’t do the trick.)

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Matt Dillahunty’s Excellent Response to ‘How to Be an Atheist Without Being a Dick About It’

Jezebel’s Lindy West posted an article today called “How to Be an Atheist Without Being a Dick About It“… which gives you some indication of where her mind is at. It’s the sort of thing people say when their impression of how atheists act is limited primarily to reading Internet comments written by anonymous jackasses.

It’s especially rich coming from the same person who wrote a piece titled “Fuck the Pope.”

It’s not that she’s wrong — of course we shouldn’t be dicks. Of course, in any large group of people, there’s bound to be a handful of awful individuals who deserve our condemnation. But that’s not just a lesson for atheists. It applies to damn near everyone, especially when it comes to issues where good people can have serious disagreements.

Matt Dillahunty has done an excellent job of breaking the article down and responding to her (lack of) points.

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