Sociology of Minorities Class

Curious College Students Says:
Alright dog, i have a few questions for you that will help me on a project for my Sociology of Minorities Class. We are working on social issues regarding minorities and we would like to get the opinion of Atheist.

First of all do you feel that Atheist are a minority in this county? If not how do Atheist view themselves in the United States?

Secondly in a social respect, how do you feel Atheist are viewed differently.

And lastly, what can Atheist do to attain a level of minority status that will allow them to receive benefits that are given to other minority groups?

Thank you for taking time to answer our questions and we look forward to reading your responses and learning about Atheism.

Curious College Students

8 Responses to Sociology of Minorities Class

  1. The Atheist says:

    CCS,

    Glad to help out.

    First of all do you feel that Atheist are a minority in this county? If not how do Atheist view themselves in the United States?

    According to polls, atheists make up anywhere from 5% to 10% of the US population (depending on the poll). So yes, I feel that atheists are in the minority. However, I don’t feel in any way an outcast simply because my beliefs about God are in the minority.

    Secondly in a social respect, how do you feel Atheist are viewed differently.

    I feel that atheists are mistrusted by many, misunderstood by most, and hated by a few.

    And lastly, what can Atheist do to attain a level of minority status that will allow them to receive benefits that are given to other minority groups?

    I suppose that atheists would have to show that their status as a minority was somehow debilitating. Since I don’t think this is the case, I don’t think that atheists are entitled to special benefits.

  2. Curious College Students says:

    so overall you agree that statistically atheist are a minority in the US, but are not at the same level of minority group status as lets say a racial group.

  3. Curious College Students says:

    well could you possibly give us an example or a story about an experience that you may have had where you were mistrusted, misunderstood or hated for being an atheist?

  4. The Atheist says:

    We can see statistical evidence that atheists are widely mistrusted (see this article from ABC News)

    Since I rarely discuss religion unless approached by someone who is proselytizing or unless they are posting to blogs that are discussing religion, most of my experience of being misunderstood or hated is online. That said, I frequently see hateful comments toward me and other atheists in these blogs and forums. You can see a few examples by spending a little time perusing some of the posts to this blog. Regarding being misunderstood, an example of that is the relatively frequent claim that atheists hate God or that they are somehow less moral than believers. You can see some examples of that on this blog too.

    I don’t want to single any of my guests’ posts out to use as examples because I want anyone to feel welcome to post here – even if they are hateful or if the make accusations based on their misunderstandings. So I invite you to read the comments and judge for yourself.

  5. joeseeker says:

    Are there really so few atheists in the US? I didn’t realize religion was so popular. I knew Christians were outspoken but…

    Thanks for enlightening me.

  6. The Atheist says:

    Yes, religion is very popular here in the US with Christianity being by far the largest group. Atheism is on the rise but it remains a small minority. Here are a few statistics:

    Atheist in North America – about 6% according to this poll in 2005: http://www.thearda.com/QuickLists/QuickList_102.asp

    Christian denominations in the US as of 2000: http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/US_2000.asp

    Overall religion in the US as of 2006 (atheists make up 16% according to this poll):
    http://www.thearda.com/quickstats/qs_101.asp

  7. J.D. says:

    First of all do you feel that Atheist are a minority in this county? If not how do Atheist view themselves in the United States?

    Yes, but then again so are intellectuals, college grads, and Patriots. It is not safe in this country to be an atheist. “dog” check out the news channel once in a while, especially CNN or FOX, it is “UnAmerican to not believe in God.” We know we are minority and growing, as reason reaches more people there is less room for bronze age superstitions.

    Secondly in a social respect, how do you feel Atheist are viewed differently.

    I feel that atheists are mistrusted by many, misunderstood by most, and hated by a few. This is simply because people just don’t seem to understand that you can be moral with out a god in your life. There are sermons about “great people go to hell all the time. ” I am an ex-baptists Christian by the way.

    And lastly, what can Atheist do to attain a level of minority status that will allow them to receive benefits that are given to other minority groups?

    well, IN MY OPINION, you should not get special treatment just because of color, creed, or social standing. But that would be a perfect world now wouldn’t it

    so overall you agree that statistically atheist are a minority in the US, but are not at the same level of minority group status as lets say a racial group.

    you are comparing apples ad oranges. That question should be omitted.

    well could you possibly give us an example or a story about an experience that you may have had where you were mistrusted, misunderstood or hated for being an atheist?

    My answer is the same as The Atheists, honestly, it is not safe AT ALL to be publicly Atheist in my community.

    Are there really so few atheists in the US? I didn’t realize religion was so popular. I knew Christians were outspoken but…

    I wouldn’t say religion is popular, I would say ignorance is rampant.

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