On the Hardcore Atheism Meme

I’ll let this speak for itself — Am I a Hardcore Atheist?. Let’s answer this meme and find out. 🙂

Copy and paste the list below on your own site, boldfacing the things you’ve done. (Feel free to add your own elaboration and commentary to each item!)

  1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge.
  2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person.
  3. Created an atheist blog. (Not really, but I do blog about atheism on occasion.)
  4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone.
  5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic.
  6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron.
  7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know.
  8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc.
  9. Have come out as an atheist to your family.
  10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering. (Well, it was back when I was in college.)
  11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization.
  12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony.
  13. Donated money to an atheist organization.
  14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins. (Does my collection of Doctor Who videos with Lalla Ward count?)
  15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism.
  16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize.
  17. Had to hide your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away.
  18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc).
  19. Attended a protest that involved religion.
  20. Attended an atheist conference.
  21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel.
  22. Started an atheist group in your area or school.
  23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism.
  24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die.
  25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction.
  26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex. Or you said something else in its place.
  27. Lost a job because of your atheism.
  28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count).
  29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a on — dollar bills.
  30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
  31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!”
  32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying.
  33. Have turned on Christian TV because you needed something entertaining to watch.
  34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist.
  35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant.
  36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service).
  37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic) (Not currently, but I have.)
  38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism.
  39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God.
  40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift.
  41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public.
  42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically because you wanted to argue with them. (Back in college, yeah.)
  43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God.
  44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants).
  45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it.
  46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.”
  47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all.
  48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to…
  49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray.
  50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you.

0-10: Impressive, but not too far from agnosticism.
11-20: You are, literally, a “New Atheist.” But you now have something to strive for! Go for the full 50!
21-30: You are an atheist, but babies aren’t running away from you. Yet.
31-40: You are the 5th Horseman! Congratulations!
41-50: PZ Myers will now be taking lessons from you.

Methinks I’m just a padawan. 🙂

And on a completely different note, I found myself watching Elbow’s video for “One Day Like This,” and all I could think was this — anyone who knows me knows what a fidgety person I am, and I would probably do the very same thing. 😉

8 thoughts on “On the Hardcore Atheism Meme

  1. Hmm. One and a half. (I haven’t refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but I do elide the 1950s addition.)

    Oh well. I’m closer to the agnostic end of the spectrum anyways. 😉

    1. It’s not a secret, per se, but I don’t randomly drop it into conversation.

      Strangely, it’s one of the things I find easier to blog about than to talk about. *shrug*

  2. Thing is, I find this meme dubious anyway because:

    a) it presumes atheism is a rejection of Christianity rather than of all faiths (it doesn’t ask if you have a copy of the Koran or avoid the synagoge for example). Number 47 stands out as containing the only reference to a non-Christian faith system.

    b) it presumes that a hardcore atheist is one who proslytises their atheism. For example, a low score makes you practically an agonostic. It also presumes a good atheist is one who joins atheist movements.

    It’s as if I took a “how vegetarian are you?” quiz meme which scored me not on my actual food intake but on how often I mention intensive farming when out for a meal with meat-eaters. It’s not about the extent to which you confront others on their choices, it’s about how certain you are in yourself, surely? I do not eat meat or fish, so I’m a vegetarian. I do not believe in a higher authority of any kind, so I’m an atheist.

    Being told I’m not a hardcore atheist because I don’t attempt to change someone’s mind about their choices is exactly the kind of evangelical bullshit that made me reject organised religion and eventually become an atheist to start with!

    1. I was raised Methodist; hence, my shout-out for Methodism’s tolerance. 🙂

      Of course, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and Francis Asbury would probably think most Methodists today are debauched and debased. And by their standards, they are. Methodism has the reputation of being one of the more liberal branches of Protestantism, when the Wesleys were rather strict in their behavior and practice. Hence, the term “Methodism” – they were methodical in their practice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *