Episode 200 - Researching Atheism in America: Benefits and Disadvantages, Part I
March 26, 2014
Part One of a two-part presentation on the rise of the study of atheism as a phenomenon in its own right among social scientists.
On October 18, 2013, the Center for Inquiry-Transnational at Amherst, New York, presented a talk by researcher Christopher Silver titled “Researching Atheism in America: Benefits and Disadvantages.”
Social scientists studying religion have recently gained interest in studying the demographics and psychological correlates of atheism as a topic in its own right. What does it mean to study the absence of faith? Is the absence of faith an ontological position, much like a personal affirmation of faith? How do the sociological and psychological perspectives intersect within the study of atheism? This presentation explores the difficulties that researchers face in researching atheism and other types of nonbelief.
Christopher Silver received his masters of research psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a masters in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and a doctorate of Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, seeking a second doctoral degree in research psychology.
Dr. Silver is introduced by Tom Flynn, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism and editor of Free Inquiry magazine.