A Survey of Unbelievers

by Luke Muehlhauser on August 30, 2010 in News

Fred Britton, a researcher for the Center for Inquiry, is conducting an online survey of non-believers as part of the Atheism Rising project. He says:

So far, we’ve had a good response, with over 1700 usable submissions. We’ve got lots of atheists, but we do not have as many agnostics as we would like.

We’d like to ask for your assistance on this project in the following ways:

  1. If you are an agnostic, please do the survey.
  2. If you are acquainted with people you know or think may be agnostics, please make the existence of the project and the URL of the survey known to them.
  3. If you have any suggestions for finding more agnostics, websites, blogs, organizations etc., please send us your suggestions atfwbritton@yahoo.com.
  4. Reposting this request anywhere you think it will be helpful.

You can take the survey here (scroll down and click ‘I agree to participate’). It took me only 10 minutes to complete.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Hanson August 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm

What he needs more than respondents is web designers, that is the worst website this side of the 90s.


Daniel August 31, 2010 at 12:13 am

@Jon: ‘lol’

Agnostics : The Bisexuals of the Theology World?
Do they really exist? If so, do you care? Discuss.


G'DIsraeli August 31, 2010 at 2:04 am

I’m a weak agnostic, tho I find Atheism more plausible. Does this make any sense?


Sabio Lantz August 31, 2010 at 2:39 am

Took it. I love efforts to create taxonomies. Coincidentally, today I put up a post classifying atheists and put Luke on my chart. (I wonder if I was accurate)


lukeprog August 31, 2010 at 4:36 am


It looks about right, though I wish there were more people on the chart to compare to. What program did you use to make the chart?


Sabio August 31, 2010 at 5:16 am

Great, glad I understood you.
I would love more folks on the chart. You know tons of folks, so if you have a moment to offer a few colored-cartesian data points with some names, I would love them !!

Don’t want to leave you sitting alone on the chart too long.


Reginald Selkirk August 31, 2010 at 6:23 am

They don’t define “agnostic.” Does that mean they want people who describe themselves as agnostic, or do they have a definition they’re not showing us?

I maintain that most people who call themselves agnostic are actually also atheists; i.e. it is usually a difference of nomenclature rather than substance.


Sabio August 31, 2010 at 8:32 am

Sorry, Luke, the program is a MAC specific one called “Omnigraffle”. I like its flexibility — I used it for my Buddhism chart and others. But to make this chart took a long time — not the type you are looking for, I imagine.
Still hope you can list a few data points for me! :-)


jelk August 31, 2010 at 9:48 am

some of the questions on the survey were a little silly, like “do you live and act accordingly to your belief system?” How would an agnostic or atheist even answer that question? I’m not sure if it was implying morals or if it extended to worldview involving more than just lack of belief in god.


lukeprog August 31, 2010 at 8:37 pm


My main computer is a Mac. I guess you’re talking about this program, then.


lukeprog August 31, 2010 at 8:39 pm


The problem is that I don’t know the past religiosity of most current public atheists that you have not already named. :(


Sabio Lantz September 1, 2010 at 12:18 am

(1) Yes, that link to Omnigraffle 5.2.3 is correct. Right now I am only using the “Standard” — would love to try the “Pro”.

(2) I thought maybe you’d know other Atheists who where were previous theists. As you can see by my up-dated chart, it is weighted heavily on the top (of course) and especially on the top left (Natural Atheists who are vocal). The hope of the graph is to illustrate the lack of different sorts of voices — one theme of my blog.


consideratheism September 1, 2010 at 2:25 am

Just filled out, thanks for this.


Jeff H September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Luke, the info you have there is not correct.

Fred Britton is not at the University of Waterloo. He is listed on the study as an independent researcher for the Centre for Inquiry. The study is being conducted with James Allan Cheyne, a professor emeritus at UW. Just thought that should be clarified.

(As a psych. student at UW myself, I was confused when the name didn’t ring a bell…)


lukeprog September 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Thanks for the correction, Jeff H!


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