The purpose of this thread is to try to identify particular psychological traits and attitudes, if any, that are likely to be more prevalent in atheists than theists, and vice versa. What attitudes of mind, or psychological needs, if any, might push a person to adopt an atheist belief system rather than a theistic one, or vice versa? What psychological traits are apparent or reflected in the ways that atheists and theists discuss God/gods and religion? I start this thread at the invitation of Jan Ardena, who says he is studying the psychology of atheists and has insights to share. Jan himself is a theist. I ask that all members contributing to this thread post respectfully, and provide arguments to back up any claims you might make. Empty insults like "Atheists share the trait of being stupid" will not be tolerated. If you think atheists are likely to be less intelligent than theists, for example, you probably need to make an argument as to why you think that is the case, preferably backed up by appropriate evidence. Another request: this thread is not intended as a discussion of the relative merits or deficiencies of the atheist or theist position. That is, I do not want a debate here about the evidences for or against the existence of God/gods. There's a separate thread where we can discuss evidence for God here: http://www.sciforums.com/threads/evidence-that-god-is-real.161157/ I will leave it up to somebody else to start a thread to discuss any evidence there might be tending to refute the existence of God, if you want to do that. For now, I'm posting this thread in the Religion subforum, but depending on how the discussion goes, it might move to Human Science at some point.