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The Autism Spectrum and Views on Divinity

November 8, 2007

As to whether people on the autism spectrum are more likely to be atheists, agnostics, etc., it would require the use of social surveys (most likely with a stratified random sample, i.e., separate random samples for autists and NTs) to resolve this issue. I do, however, find the explanation that those on the spectrum have difficulties in connecting with a divine being to be questionable.

As a sociologist of religion, I might argue, for instance, that religion, for most people, is an intensely social experience. The majority of people develop their religious convictions in the context of a religious community.

Since people on the spectrum generally have, to varying degrees, difficulties in picking up on the nonverbal cues of others, they may not be as likely to derive the same sorts of benefits from religious community as do many NTs. Hence, they may be more prone to become atheists, agnostics, etc.

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