What is the role of skepticism in atheism? Is it sufficiently important that we should seek to be skeptical of our own ideas, or is it enough just to be skeptical of others' ideas? Some atheists believe that certain ideas (e.g., components of their preferred ideology) are beyond questioning; other atheists perceive this as hypocritical and argue that we ought to question all ideas to evaluate their merit.

For many atheists, including this one, skepticism is how we arrived at atheism. My skepticism was what brought me to atheism and not the other way around. I have met many atheists with a similar experience, but this is far from a universal experience among atheists. For some of us, skepticism was key; for others, it was irrelevant. If we are going to make any sense of this question, we need to acknowledge our diversity here at the outset. The role skepticism played in bringing people to atheism is widely variable across atheists.

I did not have Atheism+ in mind when I added this question to the list; I had another group of people in mind. The people I had in mind were the many atheists who believe in ghosts, "Bigfoot" creatures, alien abductions, ESP, and/or other phenomena we might describe as paranormal. I have been surprised again and again at just how many atheists I have encountered who report believing in such things. But far more telling is that many of them seek to defend these things in some of the same ways religious believers attempt to defend the entities in which they believe. I am less surprised now, and that is mostly because I have learned that skepticism does not play much of a role for some atheists in what they believe.