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As a aethist, it is amazing to me that I seem to be alone in having what is perceived as conservative political beliefs. This is surprising to me, because, by applying the same reasoning, logic, and scientific method to political arguments, that are applied to the Theisist arguments, it would appear that there should be a close to even split of political ideas, but it appears this is not the case, so speaking only for myself, I have to wonder, why? Why does the same rigor and reason applied to the questions of God and belief(which btw have an impact but arguably not as much potentially as much as a political belief) don't have to stand up to the same rigor. I would never think to impose my ideas on another, and find the thought of another doing so abhorrent. It seems those of like mind (aethist) also find this abhorrent. Unless of course it comes to politics, and in that matter I find that my aethist friends become the things they protest, (lacking objective reasoning, unable to accept overwhelming evidence, putting personal belief ahead of the evidence). This is mind numbingl and depressing, it makes it appear there is little to no hope for our species, when the last vestige of reason is so easily swayed. :-( :-(
Midi - "it would appear that there should be a close to even split of political ideas"
Assuming that you are speaking about US politics:
There probably would be a more even split, except that starting in the late 70's the mainstream party associated with one of those pigeon holes began branding itself as the party of god.
If we start with the assumption that atheists should be evenly distributed, but then make a correction for the fact that one pigeon hole's platform contains the word god 12 times vs. the other hole's platform that contains it 1 time. We shouldn't be surprised that a group of otherwise random people who don't believe in god are drawn away from the hole that is associated with it.
It is the ultimate wedge issue. By associating itself with god, this party is appealing to the majority, and is very politically savoy. The consequence is it tends to drive out the tiny percentage who does not believe, which is of no consequence in comparison to the gains associated with this course of action.
Hi MIDI. You are not alone. While I do not consider myself a Dem or a Rep, I do lean toward the more conservative end of things. But I use reason, I am not the extreme of anything. I do not agree with all the Republican ways of thiking, nor do I disagree with everything the Democrats represent. Actually, I can't stand them all...they are mostly liars, cheats, and hypocrites...and they are all rich, stealing and mismanaging OUR tax money. They will stand on a podium and preach how we have to cut jobs, and do more with less...there is not enough money in the budget ( The U.S. is one of the wealthiest, if not THE wealthiest country in the world, yet there never seems to be enough money...What does THAT tell you?? too many crooks!!) yet they will vote themselves ( something I never understood) ridiculous raises, ( 15,20,30 %!!) while the average working public struggles to make ends meet without ever getting ANY raises for YEARS, and are making a fraction of their salaries. The politicians are truly a bunch of creeps that only care about saving face with their own party by pointing fingers, and the bottom line is they are ALL interested in getting our tax money to live their disgusting lives of excess. Yet, they still have to steal, and cheat...corruption on just about every page of the newspapaer daily. Disgusting...I hate them all!!
Apples, oranges and special interests.
I wouldn't be so quick to suggest atheism equates to better politics. Theism has always enjoyed that spot. People vote for god-fearing people when all else fails. It evidences the sham of separation of church and state.
And, dismissing superstition doesn't require genius. It only requires a modicum of reason and the courage to go with it.
Politics equates to posturing, if we need to equate it to something. Life is a stage and politics is the theme. Methods of persuasion closely follow theism because the appeal is to the ignorant masses. Most voters don't have a thimble full of awareness about what they're voting for. But, the vote no longer works to benefit a nation when the system in power is no longer beneficial. Several lapsed U.S. presidential terms in recent history have proven that. The system is a better employer than a form of government now.
midi, I am certain there are plenty of conservative atheists out there. One aspect is that there is a difference between social conservativism and political (economic and policy) conservativism. The predominant conservative party (Republicans) have crossed the socio-political line into making social conservativism [religious] a political platform. Libertarians and other economic and political policy conservatives don't give a damn about people's private lives and probably harbor their fair share of atheists.
You certainly are not alone. I am fairly conservative on many topics, especially economic. However I find it very difficult to vote for most conservative politicians given their typically ravenous religious views. It is hard for me to trust someone who thinks that god is running the show with my tax dollars. I think too many people pick a single issue and vote based on that without looking at a politician's stance on other issues. In reality, I throw up a little in my mouth every time I vote, because I think that most (if not all) politicians are simply tools of special interests and campaign supporters. I doubt most give a damn about us little folks.
(Speaking from an American perspective) Being a more recent convert to atheism I've wondered if I'm somehow expected to also convert to the left wing in politics. Can I be an atheist and still believe in small government and low taxes? Can I even be so audacious as to hold to certain aspects of social conservatism, or is this somehow a contradiction? Of course I am permitted, but clearly I am out of place according to the template. This is not so much the fault of atheists but the fault of Christians for hijacking the Republican party and the concept of conservatism. About 12 years ago I went to a political rally for a Republican presidential candidate. Even then, when I was a strong believer, I was dismayed to hear some people around me in the crowd acting like they were listening to a sermon at a religious revival. Some kept saying "praise God" in response to comments the candidate made. I, as a Christian at the time, saw no reason to relate my faith to the political statements and I found it offensive that others were doing so.
BTW, these days, I find myself somewhat libertarian and mostly apathetic when it comes to politics.
I think you'll find that the political hacks, and the vigorously faithful have something in common: inflexibility.
This quality, I think, is what you're seeing.