I asked a question 'Are most skeptics atheists?' and within minutes it was closed,locked and deleted as it had a religion tag(i didn't have enough reputation to create a new tag) and atheism does not mean pertain to religion since religion is a cultural system and a religion can be atheistic or non-atheistic. Also There is this question 'Are most terrorists Muslim?' it is basically same 'Are most [insert group here] [insert group here]?'

2 Answers 2


The term skeptic is too vague. What's the test that you use to decide whether people are skeptic?

  • Is it about believing claims that someone tells you. If Alice tells you that Bob and Carol have an affair is a skeptic less likely to believe Alice claims?

  • Is it about a willingness to update your beliefs when you are faced with new evidence?

  • Is it about whether people self identify as being skeptics?

  • Is it about people who attend physical skeptic meetings?

  • Can a person who believes that brushing his tooth is important without having seen any peer viewed studies that support his habit be a skeptic? Especially when the person advocates that every medical intervention should be backed up by placebo-blind trial.

  • Can a person who believes in the invisible hand of the market be a skeptic?

  • Does it matter whether a person acts on his beliefs or whether he just uses the beliefs to rationalize his actions?

  • Are AGW-skeptics skeptics?

A good answer for your question would have to solve the semantic struggle. Such semantic discussions are offtopic.

  • 1
    anyone who only accepts a thing as right through the null hypothesis that is, everything is false until proven true through strong, verifiable evidence.
    – Lincity
    Apr 21, 2011 at 13:55
  • If the word skeptic is too vague for you, try and have the site renamed first.
    – apoorv020
    Apr 21, 2011 at 14:53
  • 3
    @Alaukik: According to that definition that are no skeptics. Every human being who lives on this earth believes a lot of stuff for which they don't have proper evidence.
    – Christian
    Apr 21, 2011 at 15:30
  • 4
    @apoorv020: This isn't a website for people who are skeptics. It's a website for practicing skeptic inquiry of claims.
    – Christian
    Apr 21, 2011 at 15:32
  • @Christian how can you say that? i don't believe in anything with proper evidence .
    – Lincity
    Apr 22, 2011 at 18:03
  • You can't go farther than "I think therefore I am" without making a jump of faith. You don't have any evidence that shows that you aren't a boltzmann brain that floats happily in space. You don't have evidence that you aren't in some sort of matrix like simulation. When it comes to those questions you have to take a leap of faith. On what base of evidence do you make decisions about whether to brush your teeth? If you haven't heard of controlled study that showed efficiency, why are you doing it? There are also millions of beliefs about simple facts. Most won't have proper evidence.
    – Christian
    Apr 22, 2011 at 19:29
  • @Christian: I was at a talk by Hans Moravec once. He expected artificial intelligence to leapfrog real intelligence in the not-too-distant future, and our intelligences would be simulated in multiple runs. If this is actually possible, and happens, then the odds are very great that we're in a simulation right now. Apr 23, 2011 at 2:09
  • @David: I know. That's why it's a good example. Most people take the leap of faith and believe that we don't live in a simulation. Even those who speak about the theoretical possibility usually don't accept the consequences about the belief. The creator of the simulation would be for all intents and purposes a god of our world.
    – Christian
    Apr 23, 2011 at 10:56

I think Christian gives some good reasons as to why answering that question would be difficult or impossible compared to, say, the Muslim/terrorist question.

But if that doesn't work for you, just read the FAQ:

Skeptics is about applying skepticism — it's for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read. It is not for philosophical discussions about skepticism itself.

This isn't some kaffeeklatsch for discussing the tenets of Skepticism or Atheism as a belief system, movement, etc. It's "for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read".

Did you hear or read that most skeptics are atheists? Who made that claim, and who were they referring to by "skeptics"? What were they referring to by "atheists"? Such information when asking a question is fundamental to the purpose of this site, and you didn't provide any of it. The result was a sophomoric philosophical question, discussion-fodder and troll-bait. And so it was rightly dispatched as such.

Please see also: Posting etiquette

  • I heard it from my friend that most skeptics are atheists (he was a atheist himself). i am therefore researching for evidence behind the claim and not discussing the tenats of Skeptism or Atheism .
    – Lincity
    Apr 22, 2011 at 4:46
  • @Alaukik: you're back to the question of what "skeptic" means. Is this group composed of people who self-identify as big-S Skeptics, people who attempt to apply skepticism to all aspects of their daily lives, folks who take a skeptical view of religion, folks who are only occasionally or selectively skeptical...? You run the risk of allowing answers that simply define both skeptics and atheists in terms that are either equivalent or so general as to make correlation meaningless. Again: a question of philosophy.
    – Shog9
    Apr 22, 2011 at 17:55
  • anyone who only accepts a thing as right through the null hypothesis that is, everything is false until proven true through strong, verifiable evidence. if i give this in the question will it be acceptable .
    – Lincity
    Apr 22, 2011 at 18:04
  • @Alaukik: how do you identify a person who abides by that philosophy?
    – Shog9
    Apr 22, 2011 at 18:57

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