Despite the attention received by the New Atheists, they are just the most recent face of atheism. There have been many previous generation of atheists. In my recent poll, 18% of respondents stated that they had always been an atheist, and presumably this means that most of them were raised in non-theistic households.
The divide between first generation atheists – those who were raised religious but deconverted – and second generation atheists – those who were raised in non-theistic families, is starting to get some attention. There was a recent episode of Point on Inquiry that discussed the matter, creating some discussion in places like Blag Hag and other atheist blogs.
In your experience, is there any difference between first- and second-generation atheists?
Are the first-generation atheists more confrontational, as Elaine Ecklund suggested in PoI? Or is it more complicated than that?
And also, If you’re a second-generation atheist, what motivates you to get involved in the atheosphere?
It’s no secret that atheist blogs frequently act as support groups for people leaving the faith, and a chat rooms for people trying to dissect their old religion. Don’t you occasionally feel left out?
(Thanks to reader Revyloution for suggesting these questions)