Agnostic.com

15 4

Possibly alarming statistic about agnostic.com membership

I did a quick count of our our members: out of 200 male members, I counted about 12 as non-white or about 6%. Out of 200 female members, I counted about 4 as non-white or about 2%. Finally, there were less than 40 trans-men and less than 40 trans-women listed on this site...of the less than 80 trans population with photos, only one trans-woman was non-white

This was a purely visual count so that prompted this poll and what I think is an alarming statistic about this site and atheists and agnostics in general. 😮

POLL FOR MEN (46 current responses)
MEN ONLY: What is your race/ethnic origin?

POLL FOR WOMEN (54 current responses)
WOMEN ONLY: What is your race/ethnic origin?

I will keep an update on the number of responses for each and would ask that we use this thread as a discussion forum for both while using each individual thread for either.

TheMiddleWay 8 June 1

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15 comments

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1

I can't remember ever meeting a black atheist or agnostic. Maybe it's just that many black people see no point in expressing an opinion about something as abstract and removed from their lives as the existence of a deity when expressing no opinion begs no trouble, while if they did express an opinion maybe some white folks would call the police on them for being both agnostic and black on a sunny day.

A few people have expressed that idea and I think it has merit, that because minorities already have their fair share of discrimination, then they don't want to invite more discrimination by being public with their unbelief.

In effect, this is an example of "majority privilege" for given that the majority does not undergo discrimination on the level of a minority, they are more free to express their unbelief and deal with the ensuing discrimination; in effect, being in the majority gives you the privilege to express more things than a minority could.

2

I thought a little more about this survey. There's bound to be a bias in this website. There's a bias in history.
Caucasian missionaries and conquerors were responsible for the spread of the two largest religions, Christianity and Islam. For that matter many of the others too!
Don't really know what that means but the more I think about it the more I am curious to understand the meaning.

As was I. And as the first step in testing a hypothesis, namely "does said bias exist and to want extent, I thought it valid to ask a poll.

Very telling that a community that prides itself on evidence and testing hypothesis with data would be so resistant to evidence and data about itself, eh? 😉

@TheMiddleWay I would like to admit some initial negative reaction to the survey. But after that I realized that if it was effective it might provide genuine insight. A questioning and curious mind is how I got to being agnostic and eventually atheist to begin with. It seemed like a reasonable question.

I don't think that you are going to get accurate results though. People are clearly offended, though I understand and disagree. That is going to skew your data and it will be difficult to tell how much even if you generally know what direction it is skewed.

@CK-One
Agreed. I learned more about this community (or to be fair, some of it's members) from their commentary than the poll. 😉

0

I'm wondering why this question touched a nerve. Does it expose a truth? It doesn't single anyone out. It is anonymous. I think that says something in itself.

I'm also wondering about educational levels. I wonder if the lack of diversity could be driven by education inequalities. I think that this survey is a worthy query based on the backlash alone.

4

Why so pre-concerned about race and or diversity? The only commonality here is agnostic tendencies, why would you expect some equal dispersion amongst all groups to emerge with only that as a requisite factor and a host of other unknown factors influencing that total, like did they ever hear of it or are they even interested, or do they think it is strictly for dating, or, or, or . . .

"Why so pre-concerned about race and or diversity?"
Because I'm interested in what all demographics have to say about agnosticism, not just one.

And if the site is inadvertently only attracting one demographic, then maybe there is something all of us interested in promoting diversity of thought and experience, members and admin alike, can do to get more demographics, more experiences, more voices in here than just the one majority voice.

@TheMiddleWay I am interested in having anyone interested in discourse, discourse.
However in such a scenario your talking about the "how, where and why" of people being attracted to this particular site.
A site for a minority of the human population (Atheists and Agnostics)
AND, seeking within said minority population the demographics of a further minority population, those that joined this site
AND, then seeking within that subset to see if it is diverse
By definition it is not likley to be, because of all that narrowing.

Even so, if you want to try and gauge if this population matches some other population so that equal representation is had, what population are you using to compare to?
Atheists, Agnostics, the USA, China?

I am all for diverse voices, I am not even sure how you get good data to determine where we are or where you might want to go in the goal you seem to be seeking.

Are you coming away with an unwelcome feeling?
I assume the world is White Dominant unless I am travelling outside the White Man's world.

@Davesnothere
" I am not even sure how you get good data to determine where we are or where you might want to go in the goal you seem to be seeking."
Gathering evidence from a community that prides itself on a strict adherence to evidence seemed like a good idea. Didn't expect people to be so much against gathering demographic data.

"Are you coming away with an unwelcome feeling?"
I've no feelings one way or the other. I didn't do this because I was feeling unwelcome. I did this because I noticed an anecdotal trend in the demographic content, formed a hypothesis on the demographic content, and then set out to gather data on the content

@TheMiddleWay not against it, not even sure how you would get it or that it would be the least bit valid as some kind of representation of Agnostics.
All it could possible represent is Agnostics who actually found a particular website, and the sheer number of things figurng into that equation seems very high.

When is there not an anecdotal trend for things in America to be White or more White if your not inside another microculture?

@Davesnothere
"All it could possible represent is Agnostics who actually found a particular website"
Indeed. And that is a possible issue: what are the targeting demographics of the algorithms that FB uses to promote the site there for example. If it is the case that it's targeting mostly or predominantly majority demographics, then that would explain why there is a (potential) skew in the demographics.

"When is there not an anecdotal trend for things in America to be White or more White if your not inside another microculture?"
Given that whites are the majority, it is to be expected that they be the majority here as well. That is not what alarmed me.
What alarmed me was that upon my gross visual survey, it seemed that over 94% of people on this site where white. That's more than just a trend. That means that this site almost exclusively represents the atheist/agnostic views of one demographic while advertently or inadvertently not representing other demographic views.

Another gross data point is that there is a minority group called "Minority Heathens" in this site. With me included, it has only 10 members. That is also possibly alarming. 😮

[agnostic.com]

@TheMiddleWay " what are the targeting demographics of the algorithms that FB uses to promote the site there for example" beyond money?
and similar things joined or liked?
They would consider that proprietary and that is part of why I am not on FB anymore.

"What alarmed me was that upon my gross visual survey, it seemed that over 94% of people on this site where white. That's more than just a trend."
Sadly I have found this to be similar all over the net as well. Just think abpout the promnent voices, how many ethinic faces came instantly to mind vs old white guys?
There are some (and have always been some), but in my experience unless white folks actually take the time and effort to see and hear ethinic cultural voices, they won't often, because the media chases dollars and people follow trends. so they feed them what sells quick.

For instance, outside the hood and/or ethnic culture, I cannot think of any white folks I know who know who Hopsin is
The reality that he made a rather groundshaking Athiest rap a few years back got no tred in any media I saw, outside of black, urban, hip hop culture, where it caused those folks who embrace the AMC type of mindset to face those who do not.

While only 10 members might be alarming, it might also be that some folks see this as a place where they shed religious ideas, and feel free to discuss or vent or what have you on that front. Then do not want that in the race issue (even though they are entwinned in my veiw), simply because they see one as active or political and the other in a different light.

For anyone who did not hear this

@Davesnothere
Your example of Hopsin is great because I've seen SO many threads on atheist music in counter-distinction to religious music... what would it sound like... why doesn't it catch on... and Hopsin has NEVER come up and yet is a great example.

As I replied to another above, a reason that is making a lot of sense (though it need not be THE reason or even A correct reason) is that:

"A few people have expressed that idea and I think it has merit, that because minorities already have their fair share of discrimination, then they don't want to invite more discrimination by being public with their unbelief.

In effect, this is an example of "majority privilege" for given that the majority does not undergo discrimination on the level of a minority, they are more free to express their unbelief and deal with the ensuing discrimination; in effect, being in the majority gives you the privilege to express more things than a minority could."

1

Less labels, please, can we just treat each other as PEOPLE? Find counting "colors" rather odd.....

But when there is only one type of "people" that people count as people, then we aren't treating all people as people... just the people that are like "my" people.

That is all I'm exploring: do the viewpoints on this site represent all demographics or just one demographic. If all, then all is good. If only one, then maybe we can do something to widen the demographic.

@TheMiddleWay Do you think or expect that any site expresses every viewpoint?

@Davesnothere
Not every, but not just one either. 😉

@TheMiddleWay More is better

1

Yes. I feel... this in my bones...

Sadoi Level 7 June 2, 2018
1

Wow, I did not realize how much backlash was born of this post until I read through this thread. I haven't had much time to get to a.com as of the last few days.

I find it odd, just from my own observation, that it does seem minorities seemed more apt and comfortable with sharing Our ethnicities.

I didn't even think Twice about responding and even commenting on the thread about my literal lineage, thus taking myself Off the anonymous list.

I am more concerned about that than I am how many white there are verses non-whites. I guess I didn't see it as a big deal, personally speaking. I am Proud of my ethnic background so I enjoy sharing that information when asked, which is often since I am one of those "What the Hell Is She" looking creatures. hahaha

Sadoi Level 7 June 2, 2018
2

Okay, I can see where you are going and it is interesting.

I also have some interesting experiences with my life having grown up in both California and Hawai'i.

Many of my hispanic friends believe in God. Even the ones that are criminal and ruthless. The one and Only thing they fear is the judgment of God. It is the same with a number of my African American friends. They are often the same in their beliefs as my hispanic friends. Then you have the anomaly of the Filipino/Filipina, Asians that are also devoutly Catholic or Christian... and many Polynesians I know are also religious. Same with many Native American friends I have.

I think perhaps it isn't Just advertisements. I believe it is also based on the fact that many people of a non-white background have a strong Religious/God based background.

I am one of the only agnostics in my Asian family. Most are Buddhist or Christian. And my French family is Atheist. Surprise! Surprise! haha

Sadoi Level 7 June 2, 2018
3

Everyone is welcome. The rest is up to everyone else.

Everyone that we invite is welcome. But if the invitations are only sent to one segment of the population, the other segment won't even know there's a party going on here. 😉

Maybe I'm confused (totally possible) but I wasn't invited. I found the site and thought it would be interesting to meet like minded people.

@kc_anthony Same here. I just happened to stumble upon this place while searching 'agnostic'.

@TheMiddleWay

If you want to be disturbed with inequality on the site, I suggest you start with the toxic masculinity and misogyny.

I have never seen one instance of any ethnic or religious disrespect on here. Everyone is equally invited via the ads. There are fewer black and Latino nonbelievers, but I believe that may be largely attributed to culture, not discrimination.

@kc_anthony
The "invite" was a more of a metaphor but it does have some substance to it.

If you found the site through FB, as many of us did, then depending on how the FB algorithm chooses to spread the advertisement of the site (or how Admin also choose) then you might have been invited by virtue of some statistic FB has on you sending targeted ads to you.

@hemingwaykitten
Not about respect or disrespect but representation. If in fact this site in 94%+ white, then that is grossly disproportionate with not only general white populations but also the narrower atheistic population.

There are many reasons why this can be but without (trying) to gather data first it's hard to have an educated conversation on the topic.

"Everyone is equally invited via the ads. "
How do you know? I'm not sure either of us are privvy to how the ads are targeted.

"There are fewer black and Latino nonbelievers,"
True, but in proportion and in the USA, only 68% of nones are white and the rest none white. So if on this site 94%+ of nones are white, that is grossly disproportionate. Granted that is only the USA but regardless, it's instructive to know that the viewpoints in this do not represent a wide demographic but a narrow one.

@CrazyQuilter
That could very well be a factor. My only intent is to try to gather data before jumping to conclusions. Unfortunately, most of the responses to my poll have been people jumping to conclusions about why I'm gathering data! LOL

@CrazyQuilter
It's why I pretexted it with "possibly" alarming not just alarming... I saw what could be a possibility but wanted to gather data if it was a reality

@TheMiddleWay

I understand the colors and cultures are not proportionate, but unless you're writing a thesis I believe you're making a mountain out of a molehill. As a white woman I know I can publicly be a nonbeliever and the heathens here have my back.

In Latino and black families, there is more baggage psychologically if you differ from the religious norm. It's similar to the resistance of black churches against LGBT persons, and pressure in Latino faimilies to have a priest in the family. Those expectations do not figure into acceptance by white families quite as much. Religion is something which has kept minority communities together like glue. There is more to lose if you are black or Latino and come out agnostic or atheist as religion represents a social bond which can be a large part of your life. You can't exactly easily run out to get validation of your worth as a nonbeliever in black or Latino communities, because there are fewer nonbelievers in those communities. There are enough white nonbelievers that we don't have as much trouble finding each other and the fear of losing our family and friends is not as heightened.

@hemingwaykitten
"In Latino and black families, there is more baggage psychologically if you differ from the religious norm."
Are there studies to back up this assertion? I hear a lot of white people making this claim but no actual latinos or blacks.

And as a latino myself whose lived in the south of the USA and the Bible Belt, I see little difference in how my family handles religion with how other white families handle religion.

To be clear, I'm not saying that it isn't this way. My anecdotal evidence that it isn't this way and yours that it is is just that: anecdotal, which is why I ask if there are any studies outside of us to give evidence one way or the other.

"Religion is something which has kept minority communities together like glue."
I agree but would draw your attention to the south and the bible belt, two areas with large white populations where religion is an integral part of their sense of community and identity.

@TheMiddleWay

Your method of researching a.com's lack of diversity is ADMITTEDLY not scientific, so don't expect the rest of us to run around citing sources for you.

We don't know. We are giving our opinions and reasoning. We all got here somehow and most of us are accepting of whoever wants to us or NOT us.

You expecting the rest of us to believe there is a problem is tantamount to baiting. ASK the if you need to know there aren't a perfect percentage of blacks and Latinos on here.

Yeah, it's pushback. No LOL. Your assertions are annoying AF. Go the rest of the name list through 35K and MAYBE you might have a case. An n# of 400 is not worth all this.

@hemingwaykitten
"Your method of researching a.com's lack of diversity is ADMITTEDLY not scientific, so don't expect the rest of us to run around citing sources for you."
My method of visual inspection is unscientific.
My proposing a hypothesis and then gathering data via a poll is very scientific.

But that is not the point to my question: if you present views on latinos and blacks in terms of their religiosity but that is only based on your experience with latinos and blacks while not being latino or black, that is one form of anecdotal evidence and that is unscientific. The same as my views on latinos and blacks being a latino is another form of anecdotal evidence and equally unscientific.

All I'm asking is that if you claim, quote: ""In Latino and black families, there is more baggage psychologically if you differ from the religious norm." if that is an opinion you have based on your experience as a non-latino and non-black or if you can back that up with surveys or studies that rely on a lot more than our two anecdotal experiences.

You go on to say that that is "We are giving our opinions and reasoning." and that's fine. But then what about my opinions and reasoning? Why is you giving your opinions and reasoning as a white person commenting on latinos ok but my giving my opinions and reasoning as a latino commenting on latinos worthy of push back?

"You expecting the rest of us to believe there is a problem is tantamount to baiting."
I have no such expectation. I clearly stated this as POSSIBLY and I clearly wanted to gather more data than just my visual inspection by way of a male and female poll. I'm not baiting you. There is no baiting, merely gathering of data to see IF there is a problem.

"Go the rest of the name list through 35K and MAYBE you might have a case. An n# of 400 is not worth all this."
Are you familiar with the n>30 rule in statistics? If so, you'd know that 400 is ample sample size to draw a conclusion. But I didn't draw a conclusion, see? I merely used that as a hypothesis that I wanted to test. And not test by a visual inspection which we both agree is unscientific but the same way the US government does it: by a questionnaire using the exact same categories as in the polls I created.

3

Ok. Gathering from your responses here, as opposed to the poll posts, you should reach out to admin and inquire about how they advertise.

I don't have Facebook or any other social media but know that there are black atheist Twitter and FB pages. I'm not sure about other ethnicities. The goal would be to let them know that this is a friendly place for them to join.

Agreed. I wanted to see if I could gather data first to go to Admin with. Yet, as you saw, getting data from a group of people that are all about "evidence based beliefs" proved rather difficult. It may not be a problem but the community seems very much opposed to even exploring the idea without having to jump through many hoops (as, I'm sorry to say, I did with you as well) 😟

@TheMiddleWay

Honestly, I think that some of polls here come off as "intrusive" and, as open as we are to discuss the variety of topics posted, members (and really speaking for myself only) may be tired of them or feel like it's a scam (information gathering).

Just a thought.

I would just approach admin with your, and like mine above, ideas about reaching out to specific groups.

@Bierbasstard
I agree with your assessment of it being viewed intrusive.
But that would only explain why people wouldn't want to participate.
I mean nobody is forcing anyone to answer.

The active push back I've gotten however is a whole other thing!
I mean I get that you feel it's intrusive but others do not and so many trying to shut down my attempts to gather data on the community took me by surprise TBH.

@TheMiddleWay
I'll have to check out the comments. I only made mine that led to our conversations.

Poles that are funny, hobbyish, restaurant review related, etc... are taken as relatively harmless.

Polls about sex. politics, race, etc... are seen as information gathering or baiting, hence the push back.

@Bierbasstard
God forbid a site about rational thinking be into information gathering!
Especially when that information is anonymous! 😮

Honestly, the comments where as informative as much as the poll was for if a minority like myself tries to see if there is a under-representation problem and get's this much push back, then any sense of who this community really represents will be impossible. 😟

3

I need a special classification, I don't identify as white or non white.

6

Then go advertise the site.

I do.
But there is only so much one latino can do! LOL

3

What exactly is the nature of your alarm?

Pew places 78% of all atheists as white compared to 66% of the general us population being white.

My quick count of 400 people placed that number at over 90% for this site.

Because that count was visual and can't be trusted, I wanted to create a poll to find out how people self identified on this site to get better data as it were.

The alarm comes as the answer to this question: are minorities like myself under-represented on this site and among atheists and agnostics in general?.

@TheMiddleWay I don't know of any way this site is filtering members. One possible way is where they advertise, and another is when they remove someone for being offensive. I don't know if they are abused, and I have no evidence of it. I expect the site to be fair, but should be reported to the Admin if not.

Have you tried Google for % agnostic by parents religion. Probably get nothing, but it's worth a shot. It is an AI.

@EdEarl
The way the site is advertised on FB could focus more on whites than minorities.
OR it could be that more whites want to join than minorities.
OR it could be that minorities don't feel welcome.
OR
OR
OR

I don't have answers, which is why I gather data! 🙂

@TheMiddleWay That's good. It seems data will be difficult to collect.

@TheMiddleWay

This is not gathering data. This posting a general question to a site which by your own assertion is 94% white and questioning you got the results you did.

Can you really not see that could be taken as offensive? Especially after so many have put forth theories that you immediately shut down? Go do your own homework.

@hemingwaykitten
"This is not gathering data."
This is no different than how the US government gathers data, by asking this same question. So it's most assuredly gathering data.

"Especially after so many have put forth theories that you immediately shut down?"
Please provide an example of where I have done this for I don't remember shutting any theory down of why this may or may not be a problem.

"Can you really not see that could be taken as offensive? "
No more than being asked this question in every single job application in the US is offensive, no.

After all, there is no one forcing you to answer the question and over 100 people answered without complaint but maybe less than 10 people complained, the vast majority of complaints coming from people belonging to the majority demographic I might add? It seems that the minority demographic has no problem with this poll but the majority demographic does... an unintended but interesting result of this action. 😉

@hemingwaykitten
"you are implictly accusing your so-called 94% of discrimination "
I am doing nothing of the sort. That is your projection, your interpretation; not my intent, not my words, and not my language. You've no evidence to that effect because it's simply not true.

"I'm done trying to help you."
You kinda have to start before you claim you are done. 😉

All you, and many others, have done is dismissed my attempts at getting an understanding of this sites demographics. If you are not interested in that question, then great! No worries! Don't answer! Don't participate!
But don't try to shut down those of us that are interested in this question by injecting your own bias, preconceptions, and misplaced anger into the conversation.

"Since you give no creedence to anyone's theory or opinion,"
You keep making that claim and yet, like your accusations of discrimination, you have no evidence to prove your claim because they are patently untrue.

And all this misplaced anger because I had the GALL to ask "What is the demographic of this community?". How DARE I ask that question? What a jerk! smh

2

WHat is the point you are trying to make ?

Not a point, a question: are minorities like myself under-represented on this site and among atheists and agnostics in general?.

@TheMiddleWay from what I have read over the years minorities are under represented in atheism as a whole . It's been suggested that as there are still problems with racism adding another problem as being shunned from your family for being an athiest is to much of a step for some . Not only that in other countries where whites are e minoroties being an athiest can cost you your life. The other thing you have missed out is that a lot of attests reside in the UK yet on this site we are a minority so it may have something to do with advertising.

@Simon1
Yeah. The Pew survey showed that 78% of teh general USA population was white atheists/agnostics compared to a general population of 66% just white.

However, when I did my cursory 400 person visual survey and came up with 94% white here, I thought I'd dig deeper to see if that was really the case!

And yes again to advertising. I thought that might be the case but wanted to see if that 94% was real before I brought it up to Admin.

6

It's simple. Get the word of agnostic.com out to more, as you call us, "non whites"

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