Columbia Atheists Message Board › Apostate questionnaire

Apostate questionnaire

Carla B.
Columbia, MO
Post #: 25
From the AAIIMG news group:

Phil Zuckerman wrote "Society without God", and is a researcher at Pitzer college. He is doing research on those who have been apostates from religion, and are now secular. Even if you did not have much religion at all, or stay with it long, he would like to know why. Return this survey to him by March 1 to be included. His email is included in the text of this document.

Phil Zuckerman <>

He would like this to be forwarded to all secular and freethinking organizations and news lists.

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Questionnaire on Apostasy

My name is Phil Zuckerman and I am a professor at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. I am currently doing research for a book on apostates – that is, people who were once religious, or were raised religious, but are no longer. In short, I am interested in how and why people lose their faith and/or reject religion. If you were raised in a secular household and have been secular all your life, this survey isn’t for you. But if you were religious at some point in your life – even if only as a child – I welcome your responses to the questions below.

Please return your completed questionnaire to: Questionnaires must be e-mailed to me by March 1, 2010 to be included in my study. Feel free to pass this questionnaire on to any friends, family members, or associates who were once religious, or were raised religious, but are no longer. Your responses are confidential (I won’t even record your name) and your completed questionnaire will not be shared with anyone or any organization.

Thank you for your time!

1. Tell me about the religiosity of your mother? Was she a believer? Active in organized religious activities? Or was your mother perhaps secular?

2. Tell me about the religiosity of your father? Was he a believer? Active in organized religious activities? Or was your father perhaps secular?

3. What religious tradition were you raised in?

4. How religious were you as a child? A strong believer? Active in organized religious activities?

5. Was your loss of faith or rejection of religion somewhat of a long, gradual process, or was it fairly quick?

6. At what age were you when you knew for certain that religion just wasn’t for you? That is, how old were you when your loss of faith and/or rejection of religion was complete?

7. What actually caused your loss of faith and/or your rejection of religion? How do you explain it? What were the underlying reasons?

8. How do you identify today? What label(s) or designation(s) would best describe your orientation? (For example, “secular humanist,” “atheist,” etc.)

9. If you have children, how have you raised them in terms of religion -- or the lack thereof?

10. If you have read any of the recent best-sellers by the so-called “New Atheists” such as Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, etc. – did you read these book after you had already stopped being religious, or did you read these books while you were still religious?

11. Are you affiliated (either actively or even marginally) with any secular group? If so, please name:

You age:
Your gender:
How do you define yourself racially or ethnically:
Where were you raised (city and state):
Highest education level completed:
Political party affiliation/identification:
Annual household income:

Please feel free to write anything else you’d like to about your loss of faith and/or rejection of religion here:

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