Home Discussion Forum Are most atheists progeny of the freethinking, hippy generation?

Are most atheists progeny of the freethinking, hippy generation?

Because I have met many liberated atheists who were raised in devoutly religious families. I was talking to an ex-Mormon the other day who couldn’t wait to escape her provincial family life from the time she was very young. I also met a young man recently who was raised in Italy by staunchly Catholic godparents
Does this disprove the common belief many people have about atheists being raised by tree-hugging, pipe-smoking hippies?
Most atheists I meet have names like Bret, Eric, Jeff, Megan, Jennifer and Nicole. I haven’t met too many named Sky, Bean, Apple and Orange.


  1. I decend from a long line of conservative christians. I wish they were hippies. It would have made for a fun childhood.
    Edit: I knew a brother and sister, growing up, named Sky and Cloud. No joke.

  2. Most atheists I know are from religious families and saw through the crap. My family is catholic, and I have a very normal name (Jessica).
    That’d be pretty awesome, though, if my family was made up of hippies.

  3. Atheists come from every walk of life, and quite a few come from religious upbringings. Undoubtedly some are the children of the hippie generation, sure, but not the majority… in any case, there were atheists around long before hippies entered the scene and started dropping acid.

  4. *Climbs down from tree, and drops bong*
    Who you calling tree-hugging pipe-smoking hippie?
    Oh, he-he.
    I was raised by a Christianity family.
    When I told my family of my true nature, they were disappointed, but they accepted me.

  5. I think you need to prove that there is a “common belief many people have about atheists being raised by tree-hugging, pipe-smoking hippies?”
    I haven’t read or heard of such a common belief.

  6. My family does not speak to me. They are neo-con Baptists. The only hippie is my, liberal Christian 72 year old grandmother and in their deep Christian love, they have abandoned her too.

  7. My mom’s a hippie, and I’m pretty sure my dad’s told me he’s smoked pot….
    I have a bumper sticker on my own car that reads: “tree-hugging dirt worshipper.”
    My name is Kelsey
    3/4 ain’t bad…..

  8. My parents were hippies of sorts…the Jamaican kind. But I do know what you’re saying. I think atheists arrive at their point of view through a variety of upbringings.

  9. Most Atheists I know are a proportionately hard core as their parents are religious.
    Hardcore Catholics tend to make for the most adamant of Atheists, where more laid back Methodists tend to lead to laid back Atheists/Agnostics.

  10. if by ‘freethinking’ you mean they feel free to think that everyone who disagrees with them is automatically wrong, no questions asked. 😉

  11. There have been plenty of atheists around since long before the hippy generation. Freethinkers were understood to be the same, pretty much, as atheists. People like George Bernard Shaw, for example……. I don’t think the progeny of the “hippy generation” are any more likely to be atheist than the progeny of anyone else. I’d never heard this as a ‘common belief’ and wonder what made you think that.

  12. Well, both my parents were in the theater, but were actually pretty straight, and kind of boring. I went the opposite way and drove them insane for a few years, and they do seem to be much better now 🙂 My sister and I were given what at the time were very unusual, old Celtic names, I hated mine.
    I think the tree hugging hippie types ended up with pagan and/or wiccan or whatever, kids. Atheists tend to be a bit more common sense and reality based.

  13. my father is a very conservative ignorant bigot and my mother has similar ideas I think, he is the farthest thing from a “freethinker” and a “hippy”
    they we’re far from devoutly religious too thankfully

  14. I come from a long line of free thinking non-conventionalists.
    My paternal grandmother left The Netherlands in 1909 to go study Swedish Massage in Britain … by herself.
    My maternal grandfather was an art teacher and womaniser whose wife was a Montessori teacher.
    I think it’s at least four generation since we were enslaved by any religious propaganda.

  15. I can understand where the premise of free thinking may create the idea that perhaps there is not one vengeful god out to rule your life. I was raised by one agnostic calculus teacher& a methodist special ed teacher . I often ask the methodist how her imaginary friend is doing…….she does not appreciate it at all.

  16. Oh my gosh…my parents were not hippies in any sense of the word. My mother was raised in a staunchly Catholic family, and went to Catholic school her whole life.
    My father was raised in a strict Baptist family. (This marriage caused quite an upset in my fathers family, my mother’s family wasn’t quite so hostile about it.)
    I was raised in both churches, and therefore had quite the thorough religious education.

  17. I’ve never heard a theory that atheists were raised by hippy free-living, nature loving, etc
    My parents are very modest, hard working, highly ethical honest people. They are christian, and I was raised christian, but they taught me to love and be loved, respect and be respected, etc…
    I think most atheists are simply people who probably think a bit too much (according to some), and each has his or her own story.


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