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):

Percent

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.

3 comments:

Mark said...

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.

Stephen said...

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

Anonymous said...

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?