What makes you think you can speak for all atheists?

There are some very strong opinions expressed here which “counter some misunderstandings about this way of looking at the world” but as “a resource for people who are curious about atheism” how reliable can it be given the subjective nature of belief?

Posted: June 24th 2007

SmartLX www

On the back end of this site it specifically tells us not to speak for all atheists. We’re not supposed to use phrases like “we atheists”. We’re only representative of all atheists in that we are all atheists. We can only speak for ourselves.

That said, the reasons we answerers became atheists and our reactions to religion are likely to be similar to many. Much that we say follows straight on from these basics.

If you think our answers don’t reflect your views as an atheist, write in and join the site as an answerer to make your voice heard. If you’re not an atheist and you think we’re a skewed sample or you don’t think we’re being honest, ask an atheist you know personally for another perspective.

Or of course, ask us another probing question.

Posted: November 13th 2007

See all questions answered by SmartLX

Russell Blackford www

I don’t speak for all atheists. Never claimed to. Indeed, “atheist” isn’t even my favourite label for myself. I prefer to call myself a philosophical, or metaphysical, naturalist.

However, I’m prepared to give my personal answers to questions about why atheists might think this, or how they could take a certain attitude to that … and to hope that my answers are helpful to others. I don’t think more can be asked of me.

Posted: August 20th 2007

See all questions answered by Russell Blackford

Akusai www

Personally, I don’t claim to speak for all atheists. I know that my opinions on certain atheism-related subjects differ from others who share my lack of belief. What I can do, however, is explain those opinions rationally and calmly when prompted by a curious passerby.

What happens on this site is you get a good conglomeration of different atheists from different walks of life, all of us speaking for ourselves based on our own “adventures in disbelief,” so to speak.

What I find interesting is, despite the “cat herding” that is corralling and organizing atheists, many of the opinions expressed here echo each other, though there is no dogma involved, no organization other than voluntary association, no church attended by the question-answerers.

Posted: June 25th 2007

See all questions answered by Akusai

bitbutter www

I believe that the best way to learn about atheism is to hear real atheists talking about it. From the nature of the site’s format I hope it’s clear that the answers here shouldn’t be read as being definitive, or as speaking for everyone who is an atheist.

As a resource it’s completely reliable as long as you know what it represents: A small sample of atheists responding to questions relating to atheism.

Disclaimers at the foot of this page and on the About page emphasise this point.

Posted: June 25th 2007

See all questions answered by bitbutter

brian thomson www

This site “does what it says on the tin”; you can ask atheists questions, and read their answers. Do any individual respondents claim that they are speaking for all atheists?

You are inevitably dealing with individuals and their individual opinions, so it’s not clear what you’re asking here, or what you are expecting. A central authority, with a co-ordinated, approved message? The phrase “herding cats” has been used before, and is still an apt metaphor.

Posted: June 25th 2007

See all questions answered by brian thomson


Is your atheism a problem in your religious family or school?
Talk about it at the atheist nexus forum