THE VARIETIES OF IRRELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

 

A QUESTIONNAIRE

 

 

Thanks for taking time to respond to these questions.  Note that there are no “correct” answers we are looking for and your responses to this questionnaire will be kept strictly confidential.  Also, please feel free to provide as much information as you’d like.  In other words, we encourage you to provide specific examples in your responses, recount stories from your past, and go into as much detail as necessary to give us a thorough understanding of your experience.  We’re more than happy to read all of this because we want to provide the most detailed and most balanced snapshot of American atheists that we possibly can.  Thanks again for helping us to do this.

 

Background Questions:

 

1.     Were you raised atheist or did you have a religious upbringing of some sort?

 

2.     If raised religious – When and why did you become an atheist?  What was this transition from religion like for you, for your family, etc.?  Was this a quick transition or a slow one?  Was it easy for you or difficult?

 

3.     If raised atheist – Have you ever been drawn to religion at any point in your life?  Why or why not?

 

Thinking About Atheism:

 

1.     Do you identify yourself as an atheist?  If so, what does being an atheist mean to you?  Also, how does it feel to be an atheist . . . optimistic / pessimistic, hopeful / cynical, happy / sad, connected to / isolated from other people, etc.?

 

2.     Why do you think most people in the United States believe in God, practice some form of religion, and do not identify themselves as atheists?

 

3.     Do most people who know you – family, friends, co-workers, etc. – also know that you’re an atheist?  Why or why not?

 

4.     Are most of your friends atheists?  Why or why not?

 

5.     Have you ever been treated differently by people because you’re an atheist?  If so, please describe this in detail.

 

Thinking About Religion:

 

1.     Overall, would you say that other people’s belief in God is a good thing, a bad thing or something you’re indifferent about?  Why?

 

2.     Overall, would you say that organized religion is a good thing, a bad thing or something you’re indifferent about?  Why?

 

3.     If not a religious person, do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?  Why or why not?

 

Living as an Atheist:

 

1.     Many people say that belief in God provides a foundation for their morality.  As an atheist, on what do you base your morality?  How do you decide what things are good or bad, whether you’re behaving rightly or wrongly, etc.?

 

2.     Many people consider belief in God and religious practice to be essential for raising well-rounded children with a connection to a tradition that helps them to see meaning in the world.  What’s your opinion about this viewpoint?

 

3.     For many people, belief in God provides an explanation of how the world came into existence and why we’re here.  As an atheist, do you have answers or insights pertaining to these questions?  If so, what are they?

 

4.     For many people, belief in God provides hope or comfort with respect to suffering in the world and to the inevitability of death.  As an atheist, how do you come to terms with these things?

 

Conclusion: No questionnaire could possibly cover all dimensions of this topic.  So, do you have any additional information or any further reflection that could help us to understand your experience as an atheist better?  If so, please feel free to add this now.

 

 

Thanks again.  Your perspective is very important to us.

THE VARIETIES OF IRRELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

 

A QUESTIONNAIRE

 

 

Thanks for taking time to respond to these questions.  Note that there are no “correct” answers we are looking for and your responses to this questionnaire will be kept strictly confidential.  Also, please feel free to provide as much information as you’d like.  In other words, we encourage you to provide specific examples in your responses, recount stories from your past, and go into as much detail as necessary to give us a thorough understanding of your experience.  We’re more than happy to read all of this because we want to provide the most detailed and most balanced snapshot of American atheists that we possibly can.  Thanks again for helping us to do this.

 

Background Questions:

 

1.     Were you raised atheist or did you have a religious upbringing of some sort?

 

2.     If raised religious – When and why did you become an atheist?  What was this transition from religion like for you, for your family, etc.?  Was this a quick transition or a slow one?  Was it easy for you or difficult?

 

3.     If raised atheist – Have you ever been drawn to religion at any point in your life?  Why or why not?

 

Thinking About Atheism:

 

1.     Do you identify yourself as an atheist?  If so, what does being an atheist mean to you?  Also, how does it feel to be an atheist . . . optimistic / pessimistic, hopeful / cynical, happy / sad, connected to / isolated from other people, etc.?

 

2.     Why do you think most people in the United States believe in God, practice some form of religion, and do not identify themselves as atheists?

 

3.     Do most people who know you – family, friends, co-workers, etc. – also know that you’re an atheist?  Why or why not?

 

4.     Are most of your friends atheists?  Why or why not?

 

5.     Have you ever been treated differently by people because you’re an atheist?  If so, please describe this in detail.

 

Thinking About Religion:

 

1.     Overall, would you say that other people’s belief in God is a good thing, a bad thing or something you’re indifferent about?  Why?

 

2.     Overall, would you say that organized religion is a good thing, a bad thing or something you’re indifferent about?  Why?

 

3.     If not a religious person, do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?  Why or why not?

 

Living as an Atheist:

 

1.     Many people say that belief in God provides a foundation for their morality.  As an atheist, on what do you base your morality?  How do you decide what things are good or bad, whether you’re behaving rightly or wrongly, etc.?

 

2.     Many people consider belief in God and religious practice to be essential for raising well-rounded children with a connection to a tradition that helps them to see meaning in the world.  What’s your opinion about this viewpoint?

 

3.     For many people, belief in God provides an explanation of how the world came into existence and why we’re here.  As an atheist, do you have answers or insights pertaining to these questions?  If so, what are they?

 

4.     For many people, belief in God provides hope or comfort with respect to suffering in the world and to the inevitability of death.  As an atheist, how do you come to terms with these things?

 

Conclusion: No questionnaire could possibly cover all dimensions of this topic.  So, do you have any additional information or any further reflection that could help us to understand your experience as an atheist better?  If so, please feel free to add this now.

 

 

Thanks again.  Your perspective is very important to us.

THE VARIETIES OF IRRELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

 

A QUESTIONNAIRE

 

 

Thanks for taking time to respond to these questions.  Note that there are no “correct” answers we are looking for and your responses to this questionnaire will be kept strictly confidential.  Also, please feel free to provide as much information as you’d like.  In other words, we encourage you to provide specific examples in your responses, recount stories from your past, and go into as much detail as necessary to give us a thorough understanding of your experience.  We’re more than happy to read all of this because we want to provide the most detailed and most balanced snapshot of American atheists that we possibly can.  Thanks again for helping us to do this.

 

Background Questions:

 

1.     Were you raised atheist or did you have a religious upbringing of some sort?

 

2.     If raised religious – When and why did you become an atheist?  What was this transition from religion like for you, for your family, etc.?  Was this a quick transition or a slow one?  Was it easy for you or difficult?

 

3.     If raised atheist – Have you ever been drawn to religion at any point in your life?  Why or why not?

 

Thinking About Atheism:

 

1.     Do you identify yourself as an atheist?  If so, what does being an atheist mean to you?  Also, how does it feel to be an atheist . . . optimistic / pessimistic, hopeful / cynical, happy / sad, connected to / isolated from other people, etc.?

 

2.     Why do you think most people in the United States believe in God, practice some form of religion, and do not identify themselves as atheists?

 

3.     Do most people who know you – family, friends, co-workers, etc. – also know that you’re an atheist?  Why or why not?

 

4.     Are most of your friends atheists?  Why or why not?

 

5.     Have you ever been treated differently by people because you’re an atheist?  If so, please describe this in detail.

 

Thinking About Religion:

 

1.     Overall, would you say that other people’s belief in God is a good thing, a bad thing or something you’re indifferent about?  Why?

 

2.     Overall, would you say that organized religion is a good thing, a bad thing or something you’re indifferent about?  Why?

 

3.     If not a religious person, do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?  Why or why not?

 

Living as an Atheist:

 

1.     Many people say that belief in God provides a foundation for their morality.  As an atheist, on what do you base your morality?  How do you decide what things are good or bad, whether you’re behaving rightly or wrongly, etc.?

 

2.     Many people consider belief in God and religious practice to be essential for raising well-rounded children with a connection to a tradition that helps them to see meaning in the world.  What’s your opinion about this viewpoint?

 

3.     For many people, belief in God provides an explanation of how the world came into existence and why we’re here.  As an atheist, do you have answers or insights pertaining to these questions?  If so, what are they?

 

4.     For many people, belief in God provides hope or comfort with respect to suffering in the world and to the inevitability of death.  As an atheist, how do you come to terms with these things?

 

Conclusion: No questionnaire could possibly cover all dimensions of this topic.  So, do you have any additional information or any further reflection that could help us to understand your experience as an atheist better?  If so, please feel free to add this now.

 

 

Thanks again.  Your perspective is very important to us.