Saturday, June 03, 2017

Peak leftism among atheists?

It may be that militant atheism has turned conservatives away from secularism. It may also be that as conservatism has increasingly come to be associated with religiosity, secularists have found there are vanishingly few spiritually like-minded people in their ranks who are on the political right. Figures like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have, as a consequence, have naturally risen up to speak for a lot of atheists.

The following graph shows the percentages of atheists and agnostics, by decade of birth, who politically self-identify as "extremely liberal" or "liberal" (blue) and "extremely conservative" or "conservative" (red):

Milo Yiannopolous, who knows teenage boys well (boo, hiss!), has asserted on multiple occasions that generation Z (those born in the mid-nineties on) are pushing back against SJWism. Many of them are not believers, however. The alt right--leading figures like Vox Day excepted--is not particularly religious, either. It is also largely made up of men under the age of forty. 

We see evidence here, then, that secularism as a thing of the political left and piety a thing of the right may have peaked with late Xers and early millennials and is now moving in a more Nietzschean direction.

GSS variables used: POLVIEWS(1-2)(5-6), COHORT(1940-1949)(1950-1959)(1960-1969)(1970-1979)(1980-1989)(1990-1998), GOD(1-2)


IHTG said...

Now control for race.

Feryl said...

Eh, time to get pedantic. Was Gen Z born in the 90's? Something that gets overlooked is that every generation exists on a continuum, with those born earlier overlapping with the above generation and those born later overlapping with the lower generation. Also, I think the best way to figure generations is by what decades they remember. E.g., all Boomers remember the 60's but none remember the 40's. Gen X-ers remember the 80's, but none recall the 60's. IGen/Homeland Gen (Gen Z I think is a terrible name since it's not creative, says nothing about their characteristics, and rides the coattails of Gen X. After Z, what letter do we use then?) remembers the 2010's but not the 90's.

I like the twenty year birth cohort measure, with two decades being what shaped them and what everyone of them recalls. So people born from '46-'65 were shaped by the 60's and 70's , '66-'85 by the 80's and 90's, '86-'05 by the 2000's and 2010's, and so on. Note that when you turn 14/start high school is important. What's your accent, your vocabulary, your greetings, your pop culture, etc?. It's largely centered around what was the norm for teens at the time. This also fits into the two halves of every generation reality. Thus, early Gen X-ers will always be in the 80's, while late Gen X-ers will always be in the 90's.

Those born right on the borderline of a generation are harder to pin down since, when they were in high school, we are transitioning from one decade to another. So, for example, those born from 1983-1986 will have varying degrees of traits from the youth culture of two decades (in this case, the 90's and 00's). Taking a trip down memory, do the early 80's births here remember how we went from the nadir of whiny/faggy/nihilistic 90's culture around 1996 (alternative angst, clown clothes, ugly music videos and even video games, wiggers, etc.)to the much more fun ersatz 80's culture that took off in maybe '02 and def. in '03 (more fitted clothes, synths and solos made a decent comeback, mostly ridding ourselves of tacky 90's EXTREME drabness or silliness)?

Feryl said...

I've seen some do Gen. IDs that make Gen X as small as 15 and even 11(!) birth years. Usually, these people also limit Millennial to around 15 years. I'm not buying it. Are we going to end up with 6-8 generations in a one century? Splitting generations in half to acknowledge differences between those born earlier and those born later makes more sense to me.

Audacious Epigone said...


Afaik Milo has never used the phrase "generation Z"--that was my way of trying to make it definable. He says something like "high schoolers today", etc. It is a dull name and it only makes boring sense if millennials are referred to as "generation Y" instead of "millennials", but the latter is more common.

I was born in '83 and I remember the late 90s more viscerally and foundational than the early 2000s. Fourteen seems like the most important year in terms of creating a lasting cultural foundation. There's some variance of course but it's my best guess as the median and mode.

Audacious Epigone said...


Race doesn't change things much. Atheism is a pretty white thing, after all. From 2000 onward, 85% of atheists/agnostics in the GSS are non-Hispanic whites, and Asians make up another 5%. NAMs are only about one-in-ten of the godless contingent.

Joshua Sinistar said...

Interesting that they lump atheists with agnostics. Not at all the same you know. Most atheists are perverts, freaks and Satanists. Agnostics are just people who are disillusioned with the Church. Anyone who really believes in God would feel out of place at The Local Temple of Mammon where they thump a Bible, talk about sending moar food to Afreaka and pass a plate to feed the kitty for drugs and prostitutes for revrum fakir and his long line of payoffs and ripoffs.
Secular is just Brand X Satan, straight up. What good is tolerance? Find that word in the Holy Bible. Tolerance by definition means that what they want MUST BE BAD. You never have to "tolerate" anything good do you?

szopen said...

JOshua Sinistar, Fuck you.

Joshua Sinistar said...

Gee szopen, what an interesting and erudite rebuttal. Let me guess who (((you))) are?

szopen said...

There is no other rebuttal when someone labels a group of people as "mostly consisting of perverts, freaks and satanists" - moreover, basing that on his own hunch (as atheists are NOT significantly more perverted, freaked than average people). Divorce rates for atheists are not higher than christians, for example. Not to mention being satanist is not compatible with being atheist pretty much by definition.

Audacious Epigone said...


I lumped them together, though they are separable in the GSS.

You never have to "tolerate" anything good do you?

Nice rhetorical flourish, I like it. Thanks.

BowieCapitalist said...

The atheists and Agnostics who are either clearly to the left or the right of those born in 1940s and 1950s are more conservative, both in total and in ratio, than the atheists and agnostics born in the 1990s. The atheists and agnostics born in the 1960s are about the same politically as the atheists and agnostics born in the 1990s. While the trend from the 70s and 80s has moved a bit to the right its still clear that atheist and agnostic secularists tend to be on the left, and unless this trend continues dramatically, will likely still be true for the mid term, if not for the long term/ foreseeable future.

silly girl said...

The all elusive backlash may show up yet.

Inari el zorro said...

> Interesting that they lump atheists with agnostics. Not at all the same you know.

Most ─if not almost all─ agnostic people are atheist as well. They are not mutually exclusive. Sure, agnostic theist people can logically exist and most likely do, but they just aren't common.

> Most atheists are perverts, freaks and Satanists.

[Citation needed]