1. Richard Stegeman says:

    Yes I think there should be a better word to use than “atheist” simply because it brings up such a reaction. The reaction is essentially to the listeners ASSUMED meaning of the word.

    I would much rather have a clear description of who I am not who I’m Not!
    How about” I’m a “compassionate realist”. “I have an evidence based world view” or “I live in the inquiry of things unproven” or “ I believe that I’m totally responsible for my actions and choices and hold non other than myself responsible for my impact on the world” or” I subscribe to and act out of what science has come to reveal about our world with a willing inquiry about that yet unknown with certainty, and a belief that there is much we do not yet know.

    I know that acting from an attitude of LOVE is usually productive and uplifting whereas without love, as the atmosphere of discourse, little is accomplished or revealed. I hold “living in the inquiry” as the paramount attitude and acting from the evidence based truths as the proper activity. All else, it seems to me, is simply cheer leading for your team (right or wrong) regardless of the truth. It’s not about “winning”. Its about living in the REALITY of this existence. Do we have the courage to know the TRUTH about this world?
    To me, in the vernacular, the Religious dogma is a bad drug. And let me say that LOVE, Tolerance, empathy etc were NOT the creation of any religion. No body owns these things, they are simply truths. We all own them by being human (and any other living thing as well)
    Lets drop “Atheist”. Its not descriptive. It’s a confront!

    • James says:

      Here’s a real quickie to get them to at least talk to you… Try using the word “Carbonist” (As carbon is one of the most abundant element in the universe… Star dust replicator would just be too long I suppose and hydrogenist or heliumonist are just strange to say) to confuse them into talking to you and asking you more about what you are referring to. This way, you can start the conversation nicely without it being a kneejerk reaction from the peanut crowd. Matter of fact, it’s such an easy word to remember and its almost a slap in the face towards the Atheist word, that it actually makes sense to use it.

  2. Jeof says:

    You are one tremendous scum of the earth! Blind idiot! Rat Fink! Blasphemer! pervert! EHH?
    These scurilous reactions are usual to me.
    When i was a “slave” adhering the “slave morality” I was almost always being misinformed about ateheism.
    Evil they proclaimed we are!!
    these pervert must be taught how to thing and not what to think.
    Look how narrow it is.
    I am quite fortunate i had the chance to dig a hole to escape the dark dungeons of christianity.

    I was once shut down when a humble christian shouted publicly that i am an atheist and thus, telling me that i must soon die!

    atheists must be given respect as a atheists respect their beliefs.

  3. Some random dude says:

    Jeof can’t spell, and doesn’t make much sense, either.

    As the son of a preacher man, I feel that I have a rather unique view over the fence, so to speak, and I do realize that there are idiots and assholes on all sides of the existential/philosophical/religious debate. But we should all agree to not be drunk when we argue about these things, for they deserve much more respect than that. And pointing fingers and calling names will never convince a thinking man, and those are the folks we want on our side, what ever side that is.

    So to sum up, Jeof, Shut your pie hole and accept your tiny peter and try to get some use out of it before that stick up your ass causes some real damage.

  4. Irene says:

    at least we won’t scream little baby jesus during sex

    • Teg says:

      Let’s hear it for birth control 🙂
      (I don’t usually cry out anything, and neither have any of my various partners.)

  5. Liv says:

    I think that, yes, the word ‘atheist’ has come to have negative connotations attached to it and perhaps a new might more effective in avoiding heated discussions. However coming from the Christian side of the fence, I have to say that I find the word Christian also has come to have negative connotations with it. While in its essence the word means that we simply follow the teachings of Jesus – who we believe to be the Christ – it seems to have come to mean ‘uneducated bigot republican who has no interest in picking up a book’. All you have to do is watch Family Guy to get this impression – which has quite militant forms of atheism present in its content. And its portrayal, I’m assuming, is the result of having come into contact with militant Christianity. I’m a university student who studies Ancient History and English – I spend most of my “spare” time in the act of reading and enquiry. I guess as a result there is an element of me that feels an affront at the assumption – but I know I can’t personally change an apparently global view of Christians so I generally just try not to react. I don’t know about the people who you’ve met, so I can’t speak for them – but perhaps it is feeling as though this assumption is being made that results in the knee-jerk reaction?
    Maybe the only answer is to not judge people on the other side of the fence based on the “militant” members – because let’s face it. Militant members of Atheism and Christianity do nothing to help the other ‘side’ understand their viewpoint.

    • Teg says:

      I think the negative connotations of “Christian” perhaps have something to do with the way that the most outspoken (or let me be frank: loud) self-proclaimed Christians (you know, the sort who introduce themselves “hi, I’m so-and-so and I’m a Christian,” or “hi, I’m-so-and-so, where do you go to church?”) are extremely bigoted and obnoxious. It’s easy to forget that there are Christians out there who don’t feel a need to shove their beliefs down everybody’s throat, especially since the belligerent type behave as though their extremist, reactionary brand of Christianity is the only “real” sort – like non-fundamentalists aren’t real Christians.

      I don’t recall ever having met a “militant atheist.” Most atheists I know (quite a few) are used to being in the minority and just don’t want to be treated like second-class citizens. Perhaps “defensive” is the word you’re looking for; we certainly have been given ample reason to be.

      I think we just need to keep saying “atheist” and try to get people used to it, until even the bigots and haters don’t find it shocking. The only thing that’s really “new” about the “new atheism” is that it’s out of the closet. It’s nice not to have people assume you’re a Christian all the time. It didn’t used to be like this when I was a kid (which wasn’t even very long ago). I can’t count all the times some supercilious, self-congratulatory has Christian informed me that I was going to go to hell for not worshiping the guy-in-the-sky. (Interestingly, the fundamentalist mob never seemed to have that reaction to Jews, but apparently that was just ignorance, as I discovered when I pointed out that the one Jewish kid in our class didn’t think Jesus was a god, and wanted to know if they thought he was going to hell too.)

  6. Jeannette says:

    Since Atheist is a statement of lack of belief, I have started using Humanist in these situations. It accurately describes my moral baseline with minimal antagonizing. Unless they annoy me, then I am a flaming out atheist…

  7. Ashley says:

    Preach it brother!!! I don’t think we need another term for atheist, we are just A-theists. Non-theists, why should we have to make a perfectly logical and linguistically correct to appease those whom have NO tolerance of respect other’s beliefs. I like what Richard Dawkins says is that he is a “deeply religious non-believer”. Of course the irony that escapes all the hypocrite theists, is that Jesus would love us anyway regardless if we “believe in him” as the savior or not! Why does GOD demand that WE MUST believe in him?? Is the great white,bearded knob-twiddler in the sky that insecure? I know a Christian lady, wonderful woman and she said, “you don’t need religion if you have morality” thank you! clap clap!! I am no longer hiding in the closet about being an atheist, I mean I don’t get offended when my friends start yammering on about “God is so wonderful blah, blah”..Thanks for the post but I think we need to stay strong. OR one alternative to A-theist could be “non-delusional.” I could get on board with that.

  8. Peter Klausler says:

    I describe myself as an apostate, and get even bigger reactions.

    • Teg says:

      Oh that’s a good one, ever had a fatwa declared against you? 🙂 Alas, I can’t claim apostasy b/c I never belonged to a religion in the first place.

  9. Eric says:

    I would argue that because so many people allow religion to play a role in all facets of their lives, sensitivity is required. But respect is undue.

  10. Ara says:

    A Believer & an Atheist both stand at extreme edges…
    Our brain cells are not yet as fully developed to understand the intricacies & mysteries of the universe so far discovered. How can one categorically state one view or the other? How can we preach one philosophy as truth, when we are all tiny specs of consciousness in this vast universe.

    I am satisfied with calling myself a born-again agnostic. Because at the end of the day that’s all we are. We lack the ‘knowledge’ to know the realities, so stay humble and deal only with concepts that you truly understand and know…

  11. Kairologic says:

    “Religious” freedoms for people of ALL faiths – even Deism, science, and atheism – NOW! http://kairologic.blogspot.com/2011/05/entheogens-as-sacraments.html

  12. Marta says:

    I have no problem with calling myself Atheist. If someone gets upset, that’s THEIR problem.

  13. Ara says:

    Marta, you are an extremist… plain & simple.

    • ashley says:

      ARA- your comment is judgemental and sactimonius. Marta can call herself an athiest if she wants it’s nothing that has to be hidden away in a closet somewhere. I think your’re on the wrong forum if heckling people is your goal.

      You judging Marta for her views like that makes YOU an extrememist, not her!

    • ashley says:

      ARA- your comment to Marta is so ironic- she can call herself an athiest it’s her perogitve. YOU are the extremeist here. The fact is there is NO evidence that a GOD exists no person has to beleive in: a fairy living under the ground, a flying spaghetti monster, the loch ness monster, etc….anymore than a “higher power” that controls the millions of unviverses so for you to judge others is uncalled for. “Judge, lest ye be Judged”

      • Ara says:

        Ashley, you missed my point. BTW, I love flying spaghetti monsters…

        • ashley says:

          ARA- what was your point again? That we really don’t know if there is a GOD as religous people beleive in and talk to, pray to, think it directs and affects their lives….The idea of GOD is a sole figment of ones imagination. So how, since our primitive brains are so limited, could me “make up ” the GOD that is more intelligent than we are?? We made him, not the other way around. I totally get what you mean being about being an agnostic: anythings possible, but the probality for GOD’s existance as we humans can calculate with our primitive brain are like statiscally insignificant. BTW, you might find this funny, a study just revealed that christians have smaller brains than non-beleivers. I found this headline to be HILARIOUS. Hoeever, I don’t know the sample they picked or if they purposefully looked for the dumbest people they could find or what other vairables they used ( I didn’t read the arcticle, I was laughing too hard) the study could have been biased…as I digress,I don’t beleive all Christians are uneducated rubes, I know and love some very intelligent ones. So being agnostice I can totally get with that, but please don’t put your opinion on me tht because I am an A-theist, that I’m an extremist. I’m not the one going around issuing fatwas, killing doctors, killing, killing killing and opressing in the name of GOD. Thanks ARA. It just offended me that you saw fit to call Marta an “extremist” when you know nothing about they way she lives her life. I’m sure she doesn’t need me to stick up for her, I was projecting because I got mad lol…LOL have great day ARA …ashley

  14. Teg says:

    Frank, I understand your good intentions, but this whole attitude is messed up dude. We’re the ones who are harassed, bullied, discriminated against…and it’s our own fault for daring simply to call ourselves (truthfully) atheists? No thanks, if you want to be closeted that’s your “issue,” but I’m not going to accept the blame for the bad behaviour of religious bigots (in my experience mostly Christians – here in the USA, Muslims tend to sympathise with us, since it’s hard to decide which of us the wingnuts hate more).

    • Marta says:

      I agree, Teg.

      Don’t understand why atheists have to be “in the closet”
      I’ve never actually been bullied, but some people have said incredibly condescending and.or downright stupid things.

      such as: “Oh, you really believe in God, you just don’t realize it.”

      and –my favorite– “If you don’t believe in God, why aren’t you murdering and stealing?” That one just made me shake my head and walk away. Imagine being the kind of person who feels that the only reason NOT to commit crimes is fear of a deity. Boggles the mind…

  15. Ara says:

    Quit your petty bickering & rejoice people. Because the future of humanity is rapidly becoming a non-believer one.

    • Teg says:

      Nonbelievers are still a small minority (although there are a lot of closeted “culture Christians,” MINOs, etc.), but OTOH, we are the fastest-growing “religious category” or whatever in much of the world and probably overall. Unfortunately this is mainly in wealthy countries where most people are well off, not so much in developing countries and places where there is a steep gradient between rich & poor.

      For those who prefer “agnostic,” perhaps believing that it sounds more “tolerant”/”respectful” (i.e. politically correct): there’s no reason you should feel a need to acknowledge that you aren’t absolutely 100% certain about something. The burden of proof is on the one who is making the affirmative claim: don’t let yourself be fooled into accepting the typical theist assumption that you are obliged to *disprove* the existence of gods or other supernatural entities. (See Dawkins’s fairy analogy.)

  16. Teg says:

    I have this fear that if there are indeed sentient beings in other parts of the galaxy who are scientifically advanced enough to have achieved interstellar travel, they’ll take one look at humanity and laugh their [body part that probably has no equivalent in any human language]s off when, in the process of learning human language so that they can communicate with us, they discover that we are *so* primitive that we actually require a separate word for “someone who doesn’t believe the universe was created by a magical super-being.”

  17. Josephine says:

    Sort of like twisting words like pretzels, example misunderstanding the words, you have nice tits, misconstrued as hassling instead of wisely listened to as a compliment. Only Lucifer could manipulate ladies minds like that. Satan told us to jail men and coerce them to needlessly apologize for complimenting a lady’s cleavage,rear and her bust. Satan wanted us to profane the Bible by misquoting Isaiah 29:21 to justify to dehumanizing men by caging them because they stare at women and their bosoms,cleavage or rearends and to immaturely complain when men even whistle. They will consign themselves to hell for calling whistling,staring and compliments socalled hassling. Women love to unremorsefully harass men with lies about their actions and compliments.

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