I think it is unfair and incorrect to generalise about atheists. eg/ Some religious apologists allege atheists are nihilistic, or more likely to use drugs or more likely to be immoral and other various slurs.
Atheism is one non-belief – albeit a fundamental non-belief. An atheist simply rejects the existence of God. But an atheist may not even believe in primacy of existence.
Over a couple of years I have noticed generalisations about atheists being made by religious apologists and recently I have made some comments on various blogs as to my concerns about doing this:
For example, today I posted a comment on Cattalaxy (see here for full discussion) and I wanted to record a short excerpt here on my blog:
“Atheism tells you little about a person’s ideology apart from one non-belief. ie: It doesn’t tell you what they actually do believe. On the other hand, you can draw conclusions about religious people’s ideology eg/ ALL religious people necessarily believe in primacy of consciousness at metaphysical level, belief in a power higher than the individual, acceptance of faith as valid epistemology, altruistic moral code. Or on a more superficial levels you can also draw conclusions eg/ Virtually ALL Christians celebrate Christmas. You can’t do this with atheists.
A good example, I know at least three atheists who believe in ghosts. ie: they do not reject the supernatural realm as I do.
Update 16/4/10: Over at Paul McKeever’s blog Paul conicidentally has a related post on why he doesn’t like to call himself an atheist. He writes:
“Paul McKeever is not an atheist. One cannot be identified by what one is not. And, no, atheism did not “cause” communism. A zero cannot “cause” anything.”
“To clarify: I’m not an aSanta-ist either.”