Who is the Atheist Census?
Here’s a strange thing. An atheist census, run by… well I don’t know. There’s no name or organizational affiliation mentioned. The terms and conditions are very detailed though, very corporate, which makes me very, very curious who these people are. If you agree to their terms you’re agreeing to be bound by certain laws in Alberta, Canada. That’s the most solid information I’ve found so far.
The site is well designed, with slick animated graphs that, frustratingly, don’t show any actual numbers. I have issues with some of the questions, for example the “Irreligion” question has the following answers:
- Atheist Agnostic
- Buddhist Atheist
It seems far more sensible to me to remove “Atheist Agnostic” and make the question “Check all that apply”. (After a lot of thought, I finally went with humanist because that’s more important to my identity than any beliefs and I’m not a very good rationalist.) There’s a similar problem with the “Religion Raised In” question, in that it’s quite possible to be raised in multiple religions. And the gender binary lives on, only Male or Female are available.
There’s a very weird feeling to the site. It has no personal touch at all, pretty graphs that aren’t very useful, a clause requiring arbitration in any legal dispute unless you’re violating their copyright, and requires email validation before your data will be counted. There’s a definite corporate feeling to it, which seems very strange to me after getting used to the people at FreeThoughtBlogs as the voices of modern atheists.
I sent an email asking some questions to the site, if I get any answers I’ll post them here.