Where do atheists stand? (or) The folly of political prejudice.

Republican candidates in this years primary have increasingly linked secularism and atheism with what is nowadays called liberalism. This charge that all atheists are Marxists is really starting to bother me. First of all I consider myself a Libertarian. It is the only political doctrine that I can reconcile with my version of atheism. In a nutshell, Libertarianism strives to retain as much personal liberty (and with that, responsibility) as possible at all times. I get that. 

I also got to thinking that I am not the only atheist that gets offended as there are as many political doctrines as there religions. So my question is "As an atheist (secularist) what political doctrine do you subscribe to?"

I won't be debating the pro's and con's of the responses so feel free to let your political hopes and aspirations soar. I am willing to bet that we're not all "liberals" though.

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In the US, when people mention the word Libertarian, I think of Ayn Rand, …and have to fight a gag response. This to me is usually a neo-liberal/right wing/anarcho-capitalist simplification.


But, this is all relative, the word libertarian (small "L") meant an entirely different thing to my father, who also equated it with a strong sense of socially responsible governance as a means to achieve a greater good. Conservatives like to tout their "fiscally conservative" positions, even though they're really neo-liberal positions. To some in the US, "liberal" is only to be used as a kind of cooties.


Amazing isn't it? Cross a border and the visual landscape changes little, but the lexicons of the political landscapes are very different. Much meaning has been lost with the "Branding" of political persuasions.


Oh, …Marx was right about a lot of things, and wrong too.


So, where are we all on the political compass? The compass that not only considers the right-left direction, but the authoritarian/anarchist one.


Take the test post the results.

Here's me!


Where "they"are on the compass:

International context:

Historical context:


Where are you??? 

I can't get the graph to post but I too am in the Left-Libertarian quadrant. I feel honored to be with Ghandi and Nelson Mandela :-)

Me too Jessica!~ Melinda

Great add-on Richard

I tried to post mine Richard, but it didn't work.  I was in the same quadrant as you are, and just about, but not quite where it said Ghandi was, lol.  ~ Melinda

Hi Melinda,

All you need to do is place your cursor in the middle of the "compass" image, drag it to the desktop (it's a .png file) and upload using the "add image" button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the image and "Save As" to where ever you keep image files on your PC and upload from there.

If you're posting from a phone?

No, I'm on my laptop Richard, I don't have a very advanced cell-phone.  I am SO not a techie.  I yell for one of my teenagers when I need to do something on the computer!  Thanks for the advice!  Sometimes I get something right and am amazed that I did it myself!  And I'm only 44! lol

Here's me.

We do run the gamut of economic persuasions, but the core question isn't economic; it's cultural.  How many atheists believe that individuals and society at large ought to behave in this or that manner, because things have always been done that way, and because our collective teaching guides that way?  This is the basis of conservatism.  Well, I would venture that very few atheists would subscribe to such doctrine, regardless of whether they believe in winner-take-all capitalism or redistributionist socialism.

If you reject codified tradition as the central basis of what's right, of how to behave, of how society ought to be organized, then you are a liberal.  And in that regard, I would venture to opine that the vast majority of atheists are liberals.

"We do run the gamut of economic persuasions, but the core question isn't economic; it's cultural."  

The OP is curious, so am I. Ficking Chucken had a good idea in his framing this as a survey for atheists.

I just added a bit of science (many atheists appreciate science after all) to the mix to ameliorate the cultural aspect.

"Well, I would venture that very few atheists would subscribe to such doctrine, regardless of whether they believe in winner-take-all capitalism or redistributionist socialism." 

Interesting, ...I tend to see both as redistributionist models.

Though I agree with you that few (if any) atheists will be found on the authoritarian side of the the line, …it would make little sense; as that's where all the fundamentalist theists would be found.

Still I hope more take the test and post results, …in the very least it confirms a bias

So far, 4x left-libertarian out of 4 tests. No "liberals" (in the classic or neo- sense).

Honestly, I expected to end up neo-liberal.  But according to that survey, I'm slightly left of center and fairly far down towards Libertarian - so, not far from the previous posters.  My suspicion is that I ended up further left than I had expected from economic issues, because I believe that it's a public responsibility to support culture and the arts, and to advance the human condition in general.  That is, private enterprise and the profit-motive are a wonderful thing; I love the stock market!  But the sole purpose of private venture is to make a profit.  Means of bringing people together to engage in substantive projects of lasting interest, are mainly within the public domain.  Classical liberals are correct to be skeptical of the state as a behemoth of power, but only the state can provide the services of patronage that were formerly the purview of the aristocracy.

Took the test and here's where I stand. I posted the question before I took the test. I guess I was pretty spot on with my own personal political assessment.



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