All Entries in the 2012 Atheism Round

In a conventional Turing Test, computer programmers try to write a computer program that can pass for human.  In the Ideological Turing Test, atheists and Christians test how well they understand each other by trying to talk like each other.  All the entries in the atheist round are collected below, and you can click on each link to read the entry to decide whether you think the author is sincere or shamming.

Make sure you vote before you read the comments; they’re open for speculation.

  1. Atheist Entry #1
  2. Atheist Entry #2
  3. Atheist Entry #3
  4. Atheist Entry #4
  5. Atheist Entry #5
  6. Atheist Entry #6
  7. Atheist Entry #7
  8. Atheist Entry #8
  9. Atheist Entry #9
  10. Atheist Entry #10
  11. Atheist Entry #11
  12. Atheist Entry #12
  13. Atheist Entry #13

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About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011 and lives in Washington DC. She works as a news writer for FiveThirtyEight by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."

  • Gilbert

    I can’t comment on the first entry. Actually I find that state of affairs preferable (I’m cynical about people not peaking before voting), but given that there’s an explicit invitation to speculate I suppose it’s the same bug that affected another post a few days ago.

    • leahlibresco

      Gaah! Should be fixed now.

  • James

    Does the feedback section of the poll go to the person who wrote the entry or to you Leah?

    • leahlibresco

      It just goes to me. If you want to say something publicly, put it in the comment thread of the corresponding entry.

      • James

        Thank you for the quick response.

    • Gilbert

      But the idea of direct feedback for the person who wrote it is good. Perhaps in the third contest?

  • Gilbert

    Perhaps interesting side-question for my fellow Christians:
    Regardless of what I expect, I find myself hoping some of the atheist entries are real. Is that morally OK?

    On the one hand, yay, interesting atheists! Those are thin on the ground so it would be OK to hope for discovering them. Perhaps they would even stay around to talk some more. On the other hand it’s better to be Christian, so I’m wishing the worse of two possibilities on someone specific.

    I tell myself the relevant alternatives are not between a specific one being real or fake but between a specific one and an other specific one being real. That would solve the problem but it might just be a convenient rationalization.

    (No sweat, I’m not agonizing over this. Even if it’s immoral I have much bigger fish to fry. Mostly I just find the question interesting.)

    • Cous

      This sounds like a job for…the doctrine of double effect! You’re not hoping that these people have false beliefs, you’re hoping that if they have come to hold false beliefs, that they still have these qualities of thought/expression/whatever it is you’re admiring about these responses. Being an apathetic or fake Christian isn’t necessarily better than being a sincere, truth-seeking atheist. Mysteries of the workings of salvation and all that.

  • The Ubiquitous

    No. 5 is mistitled as “atheism” instead of “atheist.” (On the page itself, not the links here.)

    Don’t mind me, just OCD’ing through.

  • brent

    why no comments on #13?

    • leahlibresco

      Thanks for the catch. That bug should be fixed now.