December 8, 2009

Why are There So Few Atheist/Agnostic Philosophers of Religion?

The results of a survey of the opinions of professional philosophers on philosophical topics were released today, and Trent Dougherty has some interesting discussion of some philosophy of religion numbers at The Prosblogion. I was recently bemoaning the scarcity of atheist/agnostic philosophers of religion. The survey numbers back me up: among philosophy faculty at top English-speaking universities, only 14.6% said they "accept" or "lean toward" theism. However, among faculty whose main area of specialization is philosophy of religion, that number was 72.3%.

Now, it's hardly surprising that atheists and agnostics don't feel the desire to dedicate their entire careers to investigating religious claims, and so aren't very likely to have this as their primary AOS. I can hardly fault them for that. I wish, though, that they would post numbers for AOCs. They did collect that data, so perhaps they will release it in the future. Another thing that would be interesting to know is what these people believed before they began to study philosophy.

Posted by Kenny at December 8, 2009 9:05 PM
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