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Is there a difference between a fundamentalist theist and a fundamentalist atheist?

Somehow, "I'm right, you're wrong, no room for discussion" seems to apply to both.

EDITED TO ADD: To clarify, it's more about atheists or agnostics who harshly criticize other atheists or agnostics who don't think like them and don't accept that there are differences among non-believers. Sometimes they sound like fundamentalists.

bleurowz 8 Nov 27

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Difference::: YES. One is WRONG, and one is RIGHTeous.

I think your answer makes my point.

@bleurowz Yes! But i am not goading you to be more militant than you are.

And, those of us who believe strongly that there is nothing to believe are merely attempting to rally the troops.

THE WAR is getting ever hotter. Religious ":rights" are being granted to "the religion of pieces."

I am an agnostic, atheist, anti-theist. I think i got it covered. You?

@Jacar I'm not militant. I'll speak out against anyone who is outwardly belligerent or feels they are justified in controlling or forcing others to think or be like them. But other than that, I believe in live and let live. Being righteous to me is futile. I'm an agnostic and a humanist: I don't believe in a higher power because I haven't seen proof one way or the other, but I allow others to believe as they please as long as they are not hurting anyone or imposing their beliefs on anyone else. I don't consider if someone is good or bad by their faith or non-faith, but if they are decent human beings.

We need the militants. We are in danger. We need fighters.

You asked a question about the difference between believers and non-believers behaving the same.

They are attacking us. Us responding in kind does NOT make us the same as them, no matter the apparent similarity.

They started this. Our responses should not be compared to their stupidity. To do so provides them quarter for response.

So, please, understand, your question compares stuff that is not comparable. There is not a comparison with stupid and enlightenment.


It is not possible to be a fundamentalist Atheist, that is an oxymoron. There are no fundamentals of atheism for any atheist to adhere to.

I suspect you are conflating fundamentalist religious ideology with political anti theistic ideology.

Yeah, we went through all this. []

That's sorta like saying only white people can be racist.

@Jacar Not really, its a problem with lables, what one means by atheist and another means by atheist
AND what one means by fundamentalist as well.

AS I use those terms, it is an oxymoron, a square circle in language, makes no damn sense at all.

A fundamentalist is a person who follows a set of religious proscriptions they see as fundamental to their belief set.

What belief set could an atheist be fundamentaly following? Atheism has no tenets, it is not a thing. So it is not possible to follow a non thing.

From the link you gave
"Therefore fundamentalist atheism is, at best, a distortion of the accepted definition of fundamentalism."

Someone calling someone like Hitch an Atheist Fundamentalist" is missing the point that Atheism is not a counter thing to theism, it is its lack. Hitch would be much better described as an Anti-Theistic Atheist, a non believer standing firn against religion on political and social grounds.



Thank you Victoria, "snarl word." I would say some of us are anti-theists. Lets get rid of the religious wording and put some real action behind our words.


One of them finds it more fun to be completely mental


Maybe this will clear things up for you. []

Thank you.


This is a great question and while I understand the quick"no" responses, I think you raise a great point. Atheists can mirror similar mindsets, emotional habits, and thinking patterns to those of religious fundamentalists. We share similar meat-computers after all. As a former religious person I am careful to grow in the way I process info, view others etc to be sure I didn't just swap one unhealthy way of thinking for another.

Thank you. Yeah, I'm very mindful of that. It's easy to go from one absolutist way of thinking to another. To deal with uncertainty and differences is way more scary. That's been my own journey.


No such thing as a "fundamentalist" atheist. There is no atheist dogma.

Then if there is no dogma, there should be no reason for another atheist to be harshly critical of you if you don't think like them. No dogma, no reason to tell another atheist or agnostic that they're wrong.

@bleurowz You'll get no argument from me.


Labels labels. I just don't believe in bullshit, others can believe in whatever the fuck they want to believe it doesn't bother me. Only if you try to convince me that bullshit isn't bullshit then approach me at your own risk.


Not even close

Between an atheist and a theist, yes, not close. But please see my clarification. There are atheists who are harshly critical to other atheists or agnostics who think differently, and sometimes they sound like fundamentalists.

@bleurowz usually trolls or people damaged by thesist


Fundamental atheist? Do they condemn agnostics with curses like "You will live in a purgatory of indecision" What tosh

To clarify, it's more about atheists who harshly criticize other atheists who don't think like them and don't accept that there are differences among non-believers. Sometimes they sound like fundamentalists.

@bleurowz One one side you have - no god / what you see is what you get vs I don't know there may be more things in heaven and earth etc.. It is not fundamentalist for the former to ask the latter for sources and proofs. If none are forthcoming and the latter condemned, that is not doctrinaire. It is reasonable.

@273kelvin But here you're arguing for absolute proof. My feeling is there are too many things that are beyond our comprehension or knowledge right now to give us absolute proof of everything. But should that make me wrong? That doesn't mean I believe in a higher power.

@bleurowz There once was thought to be a substance known as the ether. It was considered as the only way that the light spectrum could travel through the vacuum of space. Then we discovered that light had a very tiny amount of mass and the ether was discarded as a theory because it was not detectable in any way and no longer served any purpose. No one is now wasting any good drinking time arguing for the possibility of it still being there. That is not to say that there is no discussion of other possible substances that may or may not exist, like dark matter or energy. But they may or may not help explain certain phenomena.
An atheist looks at the subject the same way as the ether. It cannot be detected and serves no purpose - why are we talking about its possibility of existence? If agnostics could produce some reasoning that would shorten the odds of any kind of supernatural being or (for want of a better word) spookiness, then we would listen. In the meantime, then sure there may well be a planet out there that has seas of perfect martinis but let's just concentrate on making a good one here and talk about something else.

@273kelvin If there's more to our existence here, we'll find out sooner or later. Or not. I just keep it in the back of my mind that there are things we still don't know and we're still discovering all the time.

@bleurowz For sure there is a vast amount that we do not know. However, can we not close the book on the whole god thing and oil some hinges that are actually squeaking? Quantum physics throws out far more interesting and weird ideas that deserve to be discussed rather than possible deities.

@273kelvin I don't believe in a deity. But my feeling is there's stuff that exists beyond anything we can fathom.

@bleurowz Exactly! The operative word there is "feeling". noun; emotional state or reaction. idea or belief, especially a vague or irrational one. "he had the feeling that he was being watched" A word so close to "faith" that it is no wonder that rationalists like myself dismiss it.
I may "feel" lucky but unless I can back it up with hard cash won on games of chance or bedroom conquests. There is little point in talking about it.

@273kelvin I also think that way. Because I see evidence as new things we could never have previously imagined have been discovered all the time. At some point we my reach our limit. But that doesn't mean we will reach the limit. The reality is we will never know beyond our comprehension.

@bleurowz, Of course, we live in an exciting age of new discoveries and ideas. But these came about from cold hard reasoning, scientific research, and hard work. Yes, for every answer we get, we find an exponential amount of new questions. The chances of mankind ever getting to the end of these is very slim indeed.
However, this does not bode well for metaphysical spiritual. The wonders that you speak of were discovered by reason, for the most part in laboratories and universities, not on a ouija board. Why abandon reason when it has brought us thus far, for the superstition that put us in the dark ages?

@273kelvin I'm not abandoning reason. I'm just saying there's way more we don't know.

@bleurowz I agree but we are not going to find any answers in tarot cards

@273kelvin Oh, agreed.


There’s a sense in which all theists and all atheists are fundamentalists, in that the god they do or don’t believe in is a fundamentalist god - a literal god. No one “believes in” or “disbelieves in” a metaphorical god. Metaphorical gods are just figures of speech, and I’ve yet to hear an argument over whether figures of speech exist.

But more to your point, yes, fundamentalism is fundamentalism, no matter where you find it.

skado Level 9 Nov 28, 2019

Thank you.

In the sense that I’m talking about (and I’m not claiming it’s the only viable sense) it’s a rejection of non-evidentiary claims until you start calling yourself an afairieist. Then you’re a fundamentalist.

@Athena @skado Even Richard Dawkins allowed for differences in non-belief: []

What makes it seem emphatic to you? More emphatic than say, “No... no it’s not.”?

Fundamentalism isn't just a belief firmly held or emphatically stated. We are in agreement about that. I'm totally convinced the Earth is spherical. That doesn't make me or you a fundamentalist.

Fundamentalism is religious literalism plus ideological entrenchment.

My original comment starts off... "There's a sense in which...". Later, I try to clarify: "(and I’m not claiming it’s the only viable sense)". I'm not saying your use of the word is wrong; I'm just saying it isn't the only right way to use it.

The word can describe a belief held, or it can refer to a category. If a person is asked to fill out a form, for example, that has a blank for religion, and multiple choices include atheism... that doesn't mean atheism qualifies as a religion. It just means that atheism is what goes in that space religion would otherwise occupy, categorically.

So I'm not saying that an absence of belief, in itself, is descriptively fundamentalist. I'm saying that the thing, in this case a literal god, whether believed in or not, is categorically fundamentalist.

Religious literalism is the assumption that scripture is referring to a literal god. Theists believe that god exists. Atheists do not believe it exists. But they both carry the assumption that the scripture is referring to a literal god, so they are both literalists. And to the extent either of them are firmly entrenched in their assumptions, they are fundamentalists as well.

Religious non-literalists have existed for thousands of years, and though a minority, are well documented. But I have yet to encounter an atheist who didn't take God to be a literal being, even if one not believed in. Without a literal god to disbelieve in, atheism has no reason to exist.


It is not so much that some atheists are adamant about their religious opinions as that they have associated beliefs about the nature of reality that they guard with religious zeal, and often they aren’t even aware of their beliefs.

It is the physicalist/reductionist philosophy, steeped in scientism. NO one truly understands this reality in which we find ourselves, and to cling to that failed philosophy is no different than clinging to some religious dogma.

I agree completely. I don't believe in a higher power, but I also don't believe all our questions about our existence have been answered and I don't know if they ever will be.


You kinda need a doctrine to follow to be a fundamentalist. Strictly follow the fundamentals.
No doctrine for atheists, like herding cats. Extremist works though eg extreme ideology.

@powder @NoPlanetB Well, if that's the case, there's absolutely no reason why I or any other atheist or agnostic should be harshly criticized by other atheists if I don't think like them. No doctrine? No excuse to get your panties in a bunch.

@bleurowz extreme views are extreme views, whatever flavour. Perhaps in an atheist's favour those views are based on reality, what they sense, rather than doctrine.


The bottomline is this, theists believe in things that don't exist.
Atheists don't believe in delusions, and all gods are delusions.

I admit that I can be rather adamant about that.
Then again, I'm not advocating that people who don't (dis)believe be killed.
Btw, I'm also an anti-theist, and I absolutely do believe that all religion is evil.
So, there's that.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


I know that. I'm more focusing on those who feel their way is the only way. I've been harshly criticized by atheists if I don't think exactly like them.

@bleurowz Yeah, I'd be telling those particular people that they can fuck right off.
When people don't get called on stuff like that, they think it's okay.

But I like your arguments even if you come on strong! 🙂

@bleurowz Thanks. I believe that life is short, get to the point.

@KKGator You have strong opinions, but you have a sense of respect. I like that.


I hope so. Otherwise what purpose is there in living?

That is of course "Pascals Wager". And there are a lot more logical angles than that one: []

Of course there's a difference between atheists and theists, thank goodness! I'm focusing more on anyone who feels their way is the only way. I've been criticized by some atheists if I don't think exactly like them.

@bleurowz Obviously, and unfortunately, a mindset based in one rational idea, does not propagate to a reasonable set of civilized behaviors.

And yet, we need the militant atheists. The war against the religionists, especially the islamers, requires strong opposition to their tyranny.

Just wish they would not attempt to each their own.

@Jacar Yes, violent extremists need to be immobilized, and extremists of any kind held accountable. Just wish some of the non-believers would stop bashing their own.


A good perspective for it, as a tool: Babies are born atheists. Are they "fundamentalists"?

their mothers are obviously fecundamentalists lol


Fundamentalists are made, not born. Anyone can become one if they feel their way is the only way.

Except that they’re not.


@bleurowz Fundamentalist and 'of strong opinion' are not the same thing. Both are needed.


No difference at all except they each use a different shade of sun glasses to hide from the glare of reality.

Yeah. Thanks. I think you see what I'm getting at.


Wtf? Atheists can't be fundamentalists. There is no atheist bible. There are no atheist tenents or commandments. Atheism is simply lack of belief in a deity. Are there assholes and insufferable douchebags that call themselves atheists? Yes there are. But, there is no inner circle and no fundamentalists.

Fundamentalism isn't limited to religion though. It includes anyone who believes that their way is the only way. I've also seen some atheists be very critical of other non-believers who aren't atheist enough.

@bleurowz that actually isn't the definition of fundamentalism, and yes, it actually does have to be about religion. stubbornness isn't fundamentalism, even if the two coexist very nicely.


@bleurowz they may be annoyed by stupidity, I am myself. I have never heard an atheist be "holier than thou,", I would call them on it!

@bleurowz My understanding is that fundamentalism, at the very least, requires rules to follow. Are you talking about gnostic atheists vs agnostic atheists? Who gets to decide what proper atheisting is? We have no leader or pope to look to.

@OldMetalHead I concur, see comment posted.

@genessa @NoPlanetB That is one definition. It's been attributed to religion because that's where it's most prominent. But someone can be a fundamentalist anything, if they feel their way is the only way and others are wrong.

@AnneWimsey Oh, I've gotten some harsh criticism from some atheists because I don't think the same way they do!

@OldMetalHead Yes. Probably more like that. But they act like fundamentalists, as if there are rules.

@bleurowz you make up your own definition? okay, good luck getting everyone else to accept your definition. I don't.


@genessa No, I don't: "While the term fundamentalism is generally used when referring to a religious position, the etymology of the word in standard English defines it as 'necessary base or core; of central importance'. Richard Dawkins clarified his use of the word as 'atheists who cannot accept the religious position of others'"



I appreciate that even Dawkins questions and recognizes that their are differences even among non-believers.


the major difference is that there is no such thing as a fundamentalist atheist. that's a silly concept. and there are stubborn people all over, no matter what category you choose, be it religion/lack thereof or carrots vs. potatoes. but fundie theists work hard not for their own rights, or the rights of others, but AGAINST the rights of others, and i don't see that as a defining characteristic of atheists, no matter how stubborn.


I don't know, I've experienced otherwise. There are definitely not nearly the same number of people, but with nearly as much wrath and intensity.

@bleurowz so how small or large is your sample? mine is pretty darned large but i have not done a national survey lol.


@bleurowz No. Just no.

a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.

@genessa Does it matter how large? I've experienced harsh criticism from some aetheists who think that their way is the only way. Fundamentalist thinking doesn't just apply to religion.

@OldMetalHead Fundamentalist thinking doesn't just apply to religion. It's been attributed to religion because that's where it's most prominent. But it applies when someone thinks their way is the only way and everyone else is wrong.

@bleurowz yes the size of the sample does matter, because if you generalize you need a large sample. that is basic. meanwhile, it's a silly concept anyway, as i said, because you are using the concept of my way or the highway as the definition of fundamentalism, and that isn't the definition at all. true fundies can be very stubborn but the two words are not synonyms. fundamentalism has, as has been noted, to do with the literal interpretation of one's religious texts and stories. fundies believe the snake spoke, for example. they may or may not be stubborn in their belief, they may or may not be stubborn regarding YOUR nonbelief in their belief, but their stubbornness isn't what makes them fundies. their literality is. atheists don't HAVE holy texts. being adamant that there are no gods doesn't make an atheist a fundamentalist. you are incorrect that fundamentalism is not only applicable to religion. it actually is.


@genessa Ah, I see. You're right, I'm wrong. I rest my case. If there are no rules and no texts, then why are we having this argument? 🙂

@bleurowz so anyone who disagrees with you is a fundie? That's almost as funny as the perennial "you missed my point." sometimes the other person IS right. I didn't make up the definition of fundamentalist. So it's not me being right. It's me knowing when a word is being misused. You may rest your case if you like. It's sure better than pressing it, as you have no case.


@genessa I absolutely do: "While the term fundamentalism is generally used when referring to a religious position, the etymology of the word in standard English defines it as 'necessary base or core; of central importance'. Richard Dawkins clarified his use of the word as 'atheists who cannot accept the religious position of others'."


@bleurowz So even Dawkins uses it in a religious context. Ha.


@genessa Yes. And it also has a non-religious definition as well.

@bleurowz Whatever. You will insist that no matter what anyone says, and yet accuse everyone ELSE of thhink9ng they are always right. What a bore.


@genessa Oh, you're too funny.

@genessa You may be right, you may not be. I'm just going to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and leave it at that.

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