Sunday, November 21, 2010

Yep, I'm a Soulless Autistic Atheist

Earlier this year I was in a discussion about autistic people who are atheists. One person was saying that autistic people, no matter how high functioning, are too mentally retarded to "get" deep concepts like God. But another proposed the idea that autistic people, in general, have no souls. Several others jumped on the bandwagon.

I don't believe in souls but I didn't like the way the discussion was going. The statement that they don't think autistic people have souls is dehumanizing because the yahoos saying it do believe in souls. I was horrified to learn people I thought of as friends would believe such a thing, that some human beings are less human than they are. Of course, I "unfriended" those folks.

Why am I writing about this now if it happened earlier this year? Someone else mentioned something similar today so I thought I should record the phenomenon. Has anyone else heard of this or something similar?

I have bumped into quite a few atheists who are on the autism spectrum and I think it is possible that autistic people are slightly more likely to be atheists than people in the general population. But I have as theory as to why that might be. I think most autistic people live in a fact based world and are either unwilling or unable to play along with the pretend game that is religion.


PersonalFailure said...

My guess would be that being on the outside looking in, as the neuroatypical are, makes it easier to question other "in" games, like religion.

I don't really believe in souls, either, but if I have one, autistics do, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm autistic and a atheist.

I do get the need for a soothing space, I have a specific blanket for that ^_^ And some people's spaces are just of the metaphysical variety. I can't explain why my specific blanket grounds me like it does, so I don't expect anyone else to explain why religion works for them.

But I think there's something to that fact-based-world-theory. It doesn't sound all that 'off'.

Heh, a few months ago (I think) I wrote a post about a shaman advocating Soul Retrievals for autistics, 'cause we're broken souls, ya know? And she can fix us by bringing the splintered pieces back together.

Ohhh, the rage I felt.

Anyhow - if you're interested my blog is at that post should still be on the front page.

zilch said...


cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

themaverickjester said...

That's horrible. Hearing something like that would leave me speechless. I've heard people express different opinions about whether animals have souls but never human beings.

I agree with Personal Failure. If there are such things as souls, we all have them.