Side Comments on Seven Atheist Archetypes

Hi, Joshua. Thanks for the invitation.

And hello to you, @Patrick.

I am probably closest to #5, The Rogue:

The Rogue The rogue most likely grew up in a religious family (or came to religion at some point), conforming to the religious community and experiencing and expressing religion with sincere conviction. A combination of compelling atheist arguments and internal self-doubt led the rogue to abandon his/her religious convictions, often with a lot of hurt feelings and resentment. Rogues tend to become the most outspoken activists after having seen first-hand how much damage religion can cause.

One difference is that there aren’t a lot of hurt feelings and resentment associated with my Christian past. I mostly have fond memories of my believing days. My apostasy was intellectually driven, and the process was drawn out mostly because I wasn’t eager to leave.

For anyone who’s interested, I described my deconversion experience a while back in four comments at the Uncommon Descent blog, starting here.


@keiths, welcome my friend. @Patrick needs some company.

You used to be LCMS? Wow, the timing is interesting. I hope you stick around for this in a couple weeks: Daniel Deen and Joel Oesch: The Lutheran Voice and Crosswise Institute. It is going to be interesting. I hope you give them some honest and pointed questions.

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@keiths, you sound a little like a “Reluctant” too. Maybe you are a Reluctant Rogue?

@sygarte, what type of atheist where you before you found your faith?

Don’t forget this one too: How Keiths Left LCMS.

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Yes! I have a lot of familiarity with LCMS not only because I visited such churches at times but because I was often invited to lecture on LCMS seminary campuses (and also to their Association of LCMS Greek and Hebrew Professors conference.)

There is no end to the multiplication of fascinating threads on this forum.


I was reluctant during the transition – after all, Christianity was all I had ever known – but I’ve been quite happy as an atheist and I don’t long for the comforts of religion.

(I see you dubbed me as ‘Rogue Athiest’ in my icon. Could you just shorten that to ‘Atheist’, and correct the spelling from ‘ie’ to ‘ei’? Thanks.)

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Typo fixed, I’ll call you a Friendly Atheist? (Don’t make me regret that one)

I want something more interesting than merely “atheist”, cause I hope there will be a lot of you running around here soon. What do you suggest?

‘Friendly Atheist’ sounds too much like a ripoff of Hemant Mehta. How about ‘Atheist without horns’? :slight_smile:


I like it—except it almost implies that a typical atheist has horns. In my experience, very few have horns. (I would tolerate a smile-emoticon here despite my hesitation to actually use an emoticon.)

I can’t help but think about the term peaceful atheist----but it has similar implications concerning unfortunate stereotypes about atheists.

[By the way, the key word in keiths’ suggested term almost inspired me to make a bad joke about the current allegations concerning Lawrence Krauss. Fortunately, I successfully resisted the temptation.]

I considered that, but ‘atheist without horns, contrary to the stereotype’ didn’t have the same ring to it. And Joshua clearly wanted something pithier. He even shortened ‘atheist without horns’ to ‘hornless atheist’!


“Former theist atheist?” Labels are such limiting thnigs…

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I suppose I’ll leave it to @keiths tell other atheists why their default status is “horned.”

So, what type of horns are we talking here? As in “evil” devil horns? Or “aggressive” bull horns? If it’s the later, @Patrick might let his out at times. Honestly, maybe I have once our twice too :wink:.

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In the US, at least, my fellow atheists don’t need to be told. They already know. In 1958, according to a Gallup poll, only 18% of American voters were willing to vote for a qualified atheist candidate for president. That number has improved over the years, but it was still only 54% by 2012.

That put atheists at the bottom of the heap, behind gays/lesbians (68%) and Muslims (58%).


Devil horns, for sure. Americans don’t mind aggressiveness in their presidential candidates.