Atheism types

Atheism types
A depiction of some common types of atheism, the most common stereotype being that atheists are nihilists and don't believe in anything.
In terminology, atheism types refers label-clarifiers of types of atheists and or atheism adherents.

The number of ways people label themselves or label others in respect to types or shades of disbelief in God or gods is extensive and elaborate.

Some atheist labels or statements of disbelief can be affixed with beliefs; a famous example being Thomas Jefferson, and oft-cited atheist, self-describing himself in 1819 and 1820 as an “Epicurean materialist” and moral philosopher.

See also: Atheism terminology; Atheism types by denial and belief
The following is a work-in-progress listing of atheism “types”, types of atheism, i.e. variants of namesake disbeliefs in the existence of god, ranked generally from weak or marginal to strong or extreme, fitted loosely to the Dawkins scale, i.e. showing equivalent Dawkins number (DN) in column three:

Examples | Description

Weak theist3Agnostic but leaning towards theism

Pascal's wagere.g. Blaise Pascal, noted for Pascal's wager; DN:3.4 (estimate) [7]

Pure agnostic |4Impartial agnostic

20/80 athe-agnostic
e.g. Brad Pitt, quote: "I'm probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic." (Ѻ)

Agnostic soft atheist
One who is not 100% sure about a lot of things, in the universe, but is highly skeptical. (Ѻ)

Soft atheist

e.g. Benedict Spinoza

Agnostic labeled atheist
Neil Tyson (agnostic labeled atheist)e.g. Neil Tyson

Weak atheist5Agnostic but leaning towards atheism

Rumored atheist
e.g. Adolf Hitler (Ѻ) and Barack Obama

e.g. Thomas Hobbes (1651) (see: atheism timeline) [1]

Reluctant atheist
An atheist who is looking for good reasons to reject atheism and return to religious (e.g. Christian) heritage. (Ѻ)

De-facto atheist 6

New atheist
One who has kinship with the new four horsemen of atheism.

Aggressive atheist
Aggressive atheism (Pat Condell) 2e.g. Pat Condell (Ѻ) (Ѻ)

Explicit atheist
e.g. Democritus and the other Greek atomic theorists [3]

e.g. Christopher Hitchens (Ѻ), a DN=7 estimate [7]; one who believes that religion poisons everything and should therefore not just be declined but actively opposed. [5]

Avowed atheist7e.g. Baron d’Holbach (1770) (see: atheism timeline) [2]

Militant atheist
e.g. Friedrich Nietzsche (Ѻ)

Strong atheist
e.g. Libb Thims (Bossens, 2013) (Ѻ)

Staunch atheist
e.g. Ludwig Feuerbach [8] (Ѻ)


Extreme atheist | Historical
Extreme Atheism (poster)e.g. Julien la Mettrie, Ludwig Buchner, Baron d'Holach, Ludwig Feuerbach, Ludwig Buchner, Ayn Rand, and Libb Thims

King atheist9
e.g. Patrick Fergus

Intentionally abrasive atheist
e.g. charlidog2External link icon (c)(Ѻ)

Extreme atheist | Modern10
e.g. Libb Thims (Sekhar, 2011) (Ѻ); self-assigned in 2009 as "10" on the 7-point Dawkins scale amid Moriarty-Thims debate

The following are related quotes:

“The grandfather of Marxian atheism and Freudian atheism is Ludwig Feuerbach, who was first a theologian, then a Hegelian, and finally an atheistic philosopher.”
— Hans Kung (1990), Freud and the Problem of God [12]

1. Berman, David. (1988). A History of Atheism in Britain: From Hobbes to Russell (pg. 110). Routledge. 2013.
2. History of atheism –
3. Implicit and explicit atheism – Wikipedia.
4. Dawkins, Richard. (2006). The God Delusion (scale: spectrum of belief, pg. 73). Houghton Mifflin Harcout.
5. McGowan, Dale. (2013). Atheism for Dummies (implicit vs explicit, pgs. 20-22). John Wiley & Sons.
6. Blainey, Geoffrey. (2011). A Short History of Christianity (pg. 343). Viking Press.
7. Cheney, Mark. (2012). “Are You a Believer? Take the Dawkins test.” Big Think, Apr 8.
8. Feuerbach, Ludwig. (1841). The Essence of Christianity (translator: George Eliot) (Amz) (staunch atheist, back cover). Trubner, 1881;, 2012.
9. Palmer, Michael. (2013). Atheism for Beginners: a Coursebook for Schools and Colleges (pg. 1). Lutterworth Press.
10. Anon. (2010). “3 Types of Atheism”, Sound and Silence, WordPress, Apr 30.
11. Silverman, David. (2015). Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World. MacMillan.
12. Kung, Hans. (1990). Freud and the Problem of God (translator: Edward Quinn) (pg. 3). Yale University Press.

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