Are most geeks atheists?

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No one would suggest that most atheists are geeks; that would be a dangerous generalization. It may be fair to suggest, however, that most geeks are atheists, as a few writers as Shuzak.com have recently done. The debate was sparked after an online poll revealed that nearly half of Digg.com users -- whom we may fairly assume are more likely than not to be geeks -- identify themselves as atheists. Trailing far behind, just over a quarter of users identified themselves as Christians, and about 2% were Jews and 2% Muslims. Why is that? Shuzak offered some interesting theories (which, we feel compelled to add, don't necessarily reflect the views and opines of Mental_Floss ... but we sure think they're interesting):

1
Geeks tend to be interested in how the universe works. From the delicate and intricate dance of subatomic particles to the raging of stars thousands of times larger than our Earth, the complexity and beauty of the universe awes many of those geeks who have looked deeply into physics. They are people that collect information almost compulsively and nurture deep understandings of very obscure branches of knowledge. So perhaps problem-loving geeks have a fundamental disconnect with the idea of a Creator; it's just too easy.

2
Geeks tend to shy away from parties. Given the social aspects of religion, a person who does not particularly care about socialization or interpersonal interactions might find some of the allure gone.

3
Someone who has grown up with the notion that he or she is more intelligent than those around wants to get the most satisfaction from that intelligence. The quickest and most reliable way to be rewarded for intelligence is to prove someone else wrong, which tends to establish a sense of superior intelligence. Being constructive, on the other hand, is much less rewarding. Hence, simply having faith in something -- the crucial key to religious experience -- becomes extremely difficult.

What do you think?

April 4, 2007 - 5:00am
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