We need to be very clear what we mean by apathy in this context. I suggest we think of it like this: an apathetic atheist is an atheist who has no interest in engaging in any sort of action on behalf of atheism (e.g., promoting atheism, advancing atheist civil rights, opposing anti-atheist bigotry, etc.).
With that out of the way, here are some quick thoughts about why atheists might be apathetic:
- Learned helplessness: I've tried, and it is futile. Nothing I do seems to make a difference.
- Safety: Taking some sort of action would mean "coming out" as an atheist, and that isn't safe for me.
- Insufficient information: I'd like to help, but I honestly don't know what to do.
- Low relevance: It isn't personally relevant or I've got more important things to worry about.
- Identity: Taking action to promote atheism sounds like something religious people would do, and I don't want to be anything like them.
What am I missing? What else have you heard, or what else gets in your way?
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