Pharyngula

Feeding the right-wing nightmare

Take a look at this promising poll at Daily Kos. This informal and unscientific survey of the netroots seems to be showing that a third of the readers are utterly godless, and that if you toss in the agnostics, freethinkers have got a clear majority. I anxiously await the hysterics from the wingnuts, who will be horrified at all the heretics and apostates and damned infidels lurking on the Left, with their forked tails twitching and their horns filed to sharp, pointy tips.

Maybe we need to start agitating for a godless caucus at Yearly Kos—or even a panel on standing up for secularism, and how this is a good result.

Comments

  1. #1 Brian X
    February 6, 2007

    Uh, I don’t think the Daily Kos is even remotely representative of the Internet at large. I can’t imagine that a self-selecting sample from what is, by its very nature, one of the most liberal US politics sites on the Web would really be representative of anything except its own readership.

  2. #2 Alex
    February 6, 2007

    Filing my horns….I get it!….what a great idea!! Thanks PZ!!

  3. #3 notthedroids
    February 6, 2007

    Opt-in internet polls are wrong for so many reasons.

  4. #4 Zbu
    February 6, 2007

    I’ll back that. The Kos readers are a bit on the panicky side, but I’m sure most of them are skeptics and atheists.

  5. #5 Millimeter Wave
    February 6, 2007

    Brian,
    PZ stated that it was an indicator of the netroots, not the Internet. I interpret that to be pretty much the same as what you’re saying.

  6. #6 ChemBob
    February 6, 2007

    I’m glad to be able to count myself among the godless infidels in the Kos poll. I occasionally get into a bit of strife debating with the religious folk on Kos re: religion, evolution, etc., but it is nice to have so much support there when such disagreements arise. It has been my observation, albeit with no statistical backup, that the logic of the worshipful on Kos tends to be somewhat muddier than that of the atheists (although perhaps I’m biased). Not a surprising result I suppose.

  7. #7 Raul
    February 6, 2007

    Godless DailyKos reader reporting.

  8. #8 J-Dog
    February 6, 2007

    If there really WERE a god, he would NOT allow Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell or the DI to exist. The fact that they do, totally invalidates the god concept.

    HTH

  9. #9 crunchyfrog
    February 6, 2007

    Ummm, not so fast there PZ. “Those attacking religion” were recently advised to “shut their f—ing pie holes” on Daily Kos. Dawkins and Harris are regularly bashed there, and you, PZ, have also been singled out for criticism regarding your stance on Barack Obama.

    Despite the fact that there may be a sizeable population of godless Kossacks, there’s little support for those that dare speak out, even among the infidels themselves.

  10. #10 DSM
    February 6, 2007

    Man, you are dense, PZ. You’d get similar results on the Democrat Underground website. (In fact, a similar poll done a few months back showed just that.) Daily Kos is a haven for the farthest left of the far left and that demographic is populated by a large number of atheists, agnostics and other assorted nuts. It’s like looking at an informal poll on Free Republic and marveling at how many Christians are there.

  11. #11 Steve LaBonne
    February 6, 2007

    Daily Kos is a haven for the farthest left of the far left

    An assertion which could only be made by somebody so far out in right field that home plate is just a rumor…

  12. #12 George
    February 6, 2007

    I’m willing to bet the results would be worse for Fire Dog Lake. Some of the contributors there believe in ghosts, spirit communication, and heaven. Everybody swallows it.

  13. #13 DSM
    February 6, 2007

    An assertion which could only be made by somebody so far out in right field that home plate is just a rumor…

    A statement which could only be made by someone who thinks the far left is “centrist.”

  14. #14 cleek
    February 6, 2007

    Daily Kos is a haven for the farthest left of the far left

    really, um, No. DKos is, intentionally, very partisan. but the politics there (at least on the front page) are hardly “far left”. there’s a lot of room to the left of DKos.

  15. #15 Aureola Nominee, FCD
    February 6, 2007

    Since when the United States have anything resembling a “far left”?

  16. #16 bpower
    February 6, 2007

    I love this option. “Exists, and used to intervene in earthly/human events, but never does anymore”.
    Its like god spent 1000s of year intervening all over the shop and one day he says to himself “You know what? F*** this! Let them sort it out, I’m moving to Florida”.

  17. #17 natural cynic
    February 6, 2007

    crunchyfrog: Despite the fact that there may be a sizeable population of godless Kossacks, there’s little support for those that dare speak out, even among the infidels themselves.

    This speaks to the fear of backlash, hence the desire for stealth. Which is better – direct conflict with theism or quieter methods?

  18. #18 stogoe
    February 6, 2007

    I laugh at the notion that DailyKos is far-left. Young, enthusiastic, tech-savvy, yes, but they’re Democratic, not liberal.

    I know how much a politically engaged public scares you people, DSM, but it’s okay. Your dirt nap will come soon enough, and then there won’t be anything left of you to worry. For now, try not to be so terrified of everything.

  19. #19 crunchyfrog
    February 6, 2007

    natural cynic: since non-believers rate as one of the most distrusted and unliked segments of the population, I would suggest that the stealth approach and “quieter” methods, are clearly not working.

    We’re getting the backlash irrespective of whether we speak our minds or not. There’s nothing to suggest that “quieter methods” will have any effect other than to reinforce the status quo.

    These posts discuss further:

    http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com/2006/12/culpability-of-moderates.html
    http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com/2006/05/militant-atheists.html

  20. #20 Millimeter Wave
    February 6, 2007

    If there really WERE a god, he would NOT allow Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell or the DI to exist. The fact that they do, totally invalidates the god concept.

    Ah yes, but the fact that Keith Richards is still alive is a miracle, thereby proving that God does exist. And then, of course, by his own logic, he doesn’t…

  21. #21 Cyde Weys
    February 6, 2007

    I saw that poll and was pretty amazed by it (like you were, apparently). The majority of Kossacks don’t believe in God? Amazing! I guess I don’t have to feel like a minority anymore whenever that silly Pastordan does his online “sermons”.

  22. #22 thorby
    February 6, 2007

    I’m also one of the godless in that poll, and I have spoken up forcefully several times concerning my atheism and my outright skepticism (like the guy making claims for homeopathy and cancer). I have never been asked to shut up or been troll rated while at Kos.

    And as for far left at Kos???? Nope. I’m a centrist on most issues except for the enviroment and the grip of the religious on the right (and especially the Republican party).

    Thorby

  23. #23 Graculus
    February 6, 2007

    Daily Kos is a haven for the farthest left of the far left

    HahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahaha….

    You have no *idea* what the “far left” looks like, the US has spent so much time in Rightwingnutistan.

    The “far left” is nowhere nmear the Democratic Party, which looks centrist to the RoTW. Even the leftmost Kossacks (that I have seen) are merely somewhat leftish.

  24. #24 JJR
    February 6, 2007

    >Since when the United States have anything resembling a “far >left”?

    …Probably not since Eugene Victor Debs last ran for president.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Debs

    –JJR

  25. #25 Aureola Nominee, FCD
    February 6, 2007

    JJR: my point exactly.

  26. #26 Castaa
    February 6, 2007

    Through just my own personal anecdotal observations on the web, I’ve suspected the young socially liberal demographic in America is *significantly* secular.

    But I would not have guessed it would be anywhere near this high. My initial reaction is that someone is running a script and boosting the atheistic numbers. (Maybe a Republican operative!! ;-)

  27. #27 BlueIndependent
    February 6, 2007

    DKos is most assuredly NOT far left. DSM likes to assure himself that they are to validate the weaknesses in his own views. Comparing DKos to FreeRepublic, which is neither free nor republic, is absurd on its face.

    DKos has more level-headed debate with a wider range of participants than any other political site of any stripe anywhere. What you can witness at DKos is much closer to how America *SHOULD* be talking/debating/discussing/acting and thinking, rather than how it is or has been since 2001.

  28. #28 Mena
    February 6, 2007

    For DSM and anyone else who is stuck in a time warp and thinks that Vietnam and/or leftist militias like the Weathermen are still relevant.

  29. #29 Dawn O'Day
    February 6, 2007

    from a marketing / framing standpoint “godless” is a loser. it implies that we’re all missing something… i prefer rationalist or something like that.

  30. #30 freelunch
    February 7, 2007

    As another of the godless Kossacks, I too was pleasantly surprised at the number of skeptics. I also don’t find the environment too bad for religion discussion. I generally enjoy discussions that have Pastordan in them — it’s the sports ones that can get heated.

  31. #31 RickD
    February 7, 2007

    I also filled out that poll. I would consider myself “godless” by any standard, but I chose option #10 (essentially ‘none of the above’) because I thought the wording for the godless options was incorrect. I thought the full-blown atheist option corresponds to what’s known as a “strong atheist” position which actively asserts that there is no God and indeed nothing outside this universe. I think this conclusion overreaches. For me, atheism is more a statement about epistomology than about metaphysics. The agnostic choice is even more noxious, as it uses the phrase “devout agnostic”, which is utterly silly.

    If you add the godless and agnostic categories together, and keep in mind that “other” will include some godless, then the sum total is more than 2/3 of the respondents.