Monday, October 03, 2011

Libertarianism and atheism

I looked at GSS data to see what percentage of right libertarians are atheists. There is no ideal way I know of to isolate this political group. The best I could do was to focus on people who think marijuana should be legalized who also say that they are conservative on a conservative/liberal continuum. Belief in God looks like this (sample size = 3,239):


Doesn't believe 3.0
No way to know 5.9
Some higher power 10.2
Believes sometimes 4.3
Believes but doubts 20.6
Knows God exists 56.1

And among conservatives who don't want pot legalized:

Doesn't believe 1.3
No way to know 2.2
Some higher power 4.8
Believes sometimes 2.9
Believes but doubts 13.2
Knows God exists 79.6

While a higher percent of libertarians have less confidence in God's existence, the vast majority are not atheists.


  1. Three percent of libertarians being atheists seems a little low. I've seen a poll of Liberty magazine readers and a poll taken at a Libertarian party convention that had much higher percentages of atheists among libertarians. In my personal experience, though, most atheists I meet are liberals. I went to a local atheist meeting one time and they all sat around and talked about how much they hated Glen Beck and the tea party movement. Out of about 20 people there, I seemed to be the only non-liberal.

  2. Stephen7:41 PM

    I think libertarian is a signalling word - like liberal and conservative. It signifies something that isn't apparent from its dictionary definition.

  3. Anonymous6:27 AM

    There are definitely more agnostics and atheists in libertarianism than theists but deists are the most prominent. Weren't the founding fathers of America libertarian deists?


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