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types of secular atheism

Modern secular atheism, like all other configurations of human thought, is not monolithic. It comes in a number of shades and varieties, deriving most probably from individual personal preferences and tendencies.

philosophical atheists: For these atheists, non-belief in a spiritual dimension or divine beings is just an intellectual position without any emotional investment. The individual has thought about the different explanations of the universe and human nature and concluded that the only rational position is that there is no God. It is just one idea included in a complex intellectual universe of ideas which forms their personal life perspectives.

spiritual atheists: They are strongly opposed to all religions which believe in the concept of a Supreme Being who is an all-powerful, all-knowing Person, who created the universe and rules it by sending people to heaven or hell after death. But while they reject everything related to the theistic religions, they are comfortable with the philosophical spirituality of religions such as Buddhism and Taoism. Their focus is not so much in eradicating theistic religion as it is in pursuing a non-theistic spirituality in their life.

social atheists: These are people who have grown up as atheists and accept that world-view as normal and reliable. They are suspicious of religionists and their views, but haven't really given it a lot of thought, just accept atheism as what is right. They view religion as an odd curiosity, but are not familiar with any religious ideas or beliefs.

live-and-let-live atheists: They feel atheism is the world-view most meaningful for their life but they recognize that others use other views to find meaning in life. They're not out to convince anyone of anything and often have warm mutually rewarding friendships with others of various religious traditions. The differences in belief don't bother them.

anti-religious atheists: They are reacting against the abuses perpetrated by religions and religious institutions. They see only ignorance, superstition, arrogance and social domination in all religious beliefs and thought. Although they usually lump all religions together as religion per se, they are usually only familiar with and reacting to popular conservative and fundamentalist American Christianities. They are radically opposed to anything relating to religion,

This form of atheism is strongly focused on a set of ideas, beliefs, and thought to which they are adamantly opposed. This would include ideas of spirit, afterlife, or any non-physical realities. They are often heavily emotionally invested in their belief system and have a tendency to want to convert others to the truth as they see it, to argue for their ideas and to seek out others of similar views to join in active communities of mutual support.

not exclusive categories
These are not exclusive categories; any particular individual can have elements of more than one type of atheistic perspective. And there may be those who would characterize themself differently than any of these ways.

The anti-religious atheists get the most attention and are the most publicly strident. They are similar in this way to the fundamentalist of the various religions. Other types of atheists might get annoyed with religious ideas from time to time, but have no particular single-focus agenda for radically changing society and the world.

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