Atheist

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Beebub
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Atheist

Post by Beebub » Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:40 pm

Hi,

I don't like the term. I know it's probably the easiest way to desribe myself or the easiest way for me to communicate my religious beliefs or lack thereof but I still don't like it. It's a label, worse it's someone else's label for me. It suggests that there is something to believe in, it's just that I choose not to. I read a great quote, the end of which and it's author I forget which said 'How can I not believe in something which doesn't exist?'

I suppose I could run with Humanist, but haven't investigated hard enough to see if I would fully subscribe to Humanism or not. Has anyone come up with a term they prefer? I like 'worm fodderer' but that just takes too much explaination (i.e. I'll be nothing more than worm fodder when I die).
Last edited by Beebub on Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
nozzferrahhtoo
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Re: Atheist

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:48 pm

I am also a little uncomfortable labeling myself by what I am not, rather than by what I am. I use "atheist" merely as a term of convenience when I have to, I really don't personally identify with it however.

"Secularist" does the trick for me. That says enough.
Beebub
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Re: Atheist

Post by Beebub » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:11 pm

Yes, I suppose that's not bad either except if you take Secularism to mean the assertion the Church and State should be entirely separate isn't it possible to be a Secularist and believe in God?
smiffy
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Re: Atheist

Post by smiffy » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:23 pm

Beebub wrote:Yes, I suppose that's not bad either except if you take Secularism to mean the assertion the Church and State should be entirely separate isn't it possible to be a Secularist and believe in God?
That's true. Similarly, it's also possible in theory (although unlikely) to be an atheist while supporting a strong role for the Church in society, which is similar to the position of Leo Strauss and his followers.

I wouldn't get too wound up about labels, be it atheist, secularist or whatever. You could always just say to anyone who asks that you have no religious belief, and leave it at that.
Atheism is a religion the same way that NOT collecting stamps is a hobby - Scott Adams
Feardorcha
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Re: Atheist

Post by Feardorcha » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:24 pm

I think we are stuck with the word and if we use it enough it will become more acceptable. How many people are even aware of its Latin root? (Apart from the ex-Jesuits on this website) :lol:
I have atheist friends who are always inventing non-religious salutations in Irish but these phrases are part of most languages and when you say 'goodbye' are you really saying 'god bide with thee' or whatever it once meant?
There is a crowd of school-teachers in California (where else) who call themsleves 'brights' instead of atheists. Best of luck to them. Me? I'm an atheist.
Beebub
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Re: Atheist

Post by Beebub » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:55 pm

Yes me too. I'm just curious to see if anyone has come up with a better phrase. 'Brights'?? You can keep that one. I'm not an ex-Jesuit but I was Jesuit educated. Maybe that's why I don't like the term?? :D
jamesrandi
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Re: Atheist

Post by jamesrandi » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:20 pm

Its always awkward when any single word is used to define a persons entire belief system, be it atheist, christian, capitalist, socialist, etcetera.

I suppose we just have to live with it. Single word explanations are going to mean as many things as there are people to hear them. Thats life.

I happen to be an atheist anarchist. I know what that means to me. I assume it will mean something different to each one of you.

But I can live with that. :)
Globi
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Re: Atheist

Post by Globi » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:21 pm

What about "Rationalist"?
Beebub
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Re: Atheist

Post by Beebub » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:52 pm

Yeah, that's not bad either except it too would need to be explained. It could sound like a bit of cult! I'll have to stick to Atheist I suppose.
smiffy
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Re: Atheist

Post by smiffy » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:50 pm

Globi wrote:What about "Rationalist"?
That runs the risk of confusion with the philosophical term Rationalist, which is a very different thing.
Atheism is a religion the same way that NOT collecting stamps is a hobby - Scott Adams
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