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The A Word


MagickMonkey
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Various people have problems with the word, atheist. While the word doesn’t carry the stigma it once did, it still has negative feelings attached to it. Of course, it’s no surprise that the term inspires no positive feelings among christians or any other carriers of mind parasites. But fuck what they think. What surprises me is that those who are atheists seem to dislike the term.

 

Some people say they do not like labels. Well guess what? Every noun is a label. Without labels, we have no usable language. This criticism is frankly vague. It really usually just means one doesn’t like a particular word, and one can’t fully articulate why. It’s ok not to like a word, but we must have labels. Labels are only bad when poorly applied.

Some dislike the word because they think it does not apply to them. The word, atheist simply means a non-theist. Agnostics may not like this meaning of the word, because it includes them as a class of atheist. Those who simply lack a belief in god or gods may want to distinguish themselves from those who believe there are no gods. However, the word antitheist describes the latter just perfectly. Rather than reject the term, atheist, agnostics should simply distinguish themselves from antitheists.

Some people dislike the word because they don’t want to be defined by labels. But being an atheist doesn’t define anyone. The definition that defines the word atheist simply applies to many people. It describes what an atheist happens to be, not what an atheist must be. It does not mean atheists have to act a certain way. It doesn’t mean atheists can’t accept new evidence that causes them to become theists. It doesn’t mean atheists have to be bitter and angry, nor does it prevent them from being bitter and angry. Even if others may wrongly infer things about atheists because they are atheists, that doesn’t mean the term doesn’t apply. Why should we let the ignorance of others cause us to dislike the term?

Some atheists dislike the term because they think that it is silly that there is a term for people who lack a belief in god. There is the nonstampcollector who makes fun of the fact that there aren’t special words for people who don’t have certain hobbies. I can see the logic in this criticism. But while those who do not collect stamps are not special simply by virtue of the fact that they do not collect stamps, atheists ARE special. We are the clear minority. In a time when the norm is for the vast majority of adults to have their minds infected with parasitic religious memes, being free from such infection IS special. While being free from religion may be the norm in the future, for the time being, we rise above the rest. Because we are so special, we deserve our own word to describe us. Those of us who are atheists should proudly embrace the term.

I am an atheist, and I am FSM-damned fucking proud of it. *The mighty godless monkey beats his chest like a gorilla*

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Isn't an antitheist someone who doesn't *want* there to be a god?

 

Eh, you sort of contradict yourself here by saying it doesnt have to define anybody or impose expectations and then saying we're special. The latter paragraph infers that atheists are pioneers who are advancing the human story. There have always been atheists, so what does being special infer for us now? What does being free of the mind virus call us to do, if we should be proud?

 

Social progression under the label just gets saddled down with things like moral relativism, naturalism, et al.

 

Another point … I forget who said it, but someone said it's like if the Harry Potter books spouted a major world religion ages from now, and anyone who didn't believe in magic was called a muggle. To some people, it's like using their identity to give credence to an utterly stupid idea, as though how you answered the question of accepting it necessitated a name for you. I can just understand this on a base level as an ex-C, but for people who have never believed and just didn't want to be bothered with the whole mess, I would think that sentiment is very strong.

 

Don't think I'm just picking apart your post because I don't agree with any of it; I'm thrilled to call myself an atheist. But it's mostly for whatever rebel noteriety the term still has. And just that tells me it's not that clean of a term and in some ways maybe shouldn't be.

 

'Atheist' is what we are, but to convey that our minds aren't contminated by religion I would go with 'skeptic.'

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The term is invented by theists but the definitions vary so much that the label itself no longer bears any resemblance to the dictionary definition.

 

I suggest we use SoS (Spawn of Satan) as in the minds of the woos, we are "deceived" by their other imaginary friend teh debbul.

 

The labeling is merely an attempt of the religious to group atheism in the same camp as a religious belief yet despite the fact we have no international allegiance to a group organization, it makes them feel vindicated in their stupid beliefs.

 

The real issue is the idea we are free thinkers and do not conform to a group think mentality and hence being out of the mainstream, we are seen as misfits to their society.

 

What really pisses them off, we have science on our side as we expect them to adhere to irrefutable proofs for their gods and they can never offer anything other than anecdotal "evidence"

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Like there aren't thousands of different mind viruses we buy lock stock and barrel. LIke christianity is the only stupid thing we ever thought., or still think.

 

 

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Isn't an antitheist someone who doesn't *want* there to be a god?

 

To me, an antitheist is someone who specifically denies the existence of god. I suppose I might be misusing this term.

 

 

Eh, you sort of contradict yourself here by saying it doesnt have to define anybody or impose expectations and then saying we're special.

 

 

There's no contradiction here. We're not special because we have a special term. Atheist describes who we are, but it doesn't place restrictions on who we are or can be. We're not confined by it. We can choose to be something other than what the term describes. For an atheist, accepting the term when it does describe you doesn't mean you can't decide to be something else. The term isn't a trap.

 

The latter paragraph infers that atheists are pioneers who are advancing the human story. There have always been atheists, so what does being special infer for us now?

 

There have always been people who have above average intelligence. Does that mean geniuses aren't special today? There have always been people who have had exceptional athletic ability. Does that mean exceptional athletes aren't special today? Being an atheist implies that one has the mental fortitude to either be immune to religious memes or to have overcome them after infection. Most people, even a lot of very intelligent people, lack this strength. Granted, this is a general implication that doesn't necessarily apply to specific atheists. Obviously, there are non-theistic religions and simple minded atheists who under different circumstances might easily be infected with a religious meme.

 

What does being free of the mind virus call us to do, if we should be proud?

 

Social progression under the label just gets saddled down with things like moral relativism, naturalism, et al.

 

I wasn't really implying anything about social progression, though one can maybe take that angle. We should be proud of having the mental strength to either keep ourselves free of religious mind viruses from the start, or for having freed ourself of such viruses post infection. That's not a trivial accomplishment.

 

Another point … I forget who said it, but someone said it's like if the Harry Potter books spouted a major world religion ages from now, and anyone who didn't believe in magic was called a muggle. To some people, it's like using their identity to give credence to an utterly stupid idea, as though how you answered the question of accepting it necessitated a name for you. I can just understand this on a base level as an ex-C, but for people who have never believed and just didn't want to be bothered with the whole mess, I would think that sentiment is very strong.

 

I can understand your point, but like it or not, atheism is the exception, not the rule. If someone doesn't want to be bothered with the whole mess, they are free to stay out of the debate. That doesn't mean the term doesn't apply or isn't useful.

 

Don't think I'm just picking apart your post because I don't agree with any of it; I'm thrilled to call myself an atheist. But it's mostly for whatever rebel noteriety the term still has. And just that tells me it's not that clean of a term and in some ways maybe shouldn't be.

 

'Atheist' is what we are, but to convey that our minds aren't contminated by religion I would go with 'skeptic.'

 

Skepticism is a trait that allows many (or probably most, is that a safe assumption?) to be atheists. In many ways, the two go hand in hand. But I don't see either term being a good general replacement for the other. Also, I there was a time before my deconversion when I was a skeptic but not an atheist. I started asking myself tough questions and was no longer willing to accept the bs answers that I had been taught, but I still believed there was a god. I'm sure there are similar contexts in which one might be a skeptic but not an atheist.

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The term is invented by theists but the definitions vary so much that the label itself no longer bears any resemblance to the dictionary definition.

 

I remember looking for definitions in various dictionaries, and seeing basically the same lame regurgitation (in some cases, verbatim) in each one. I really do not care who invented the term. The term "Big Bang Theory" was invented by Fred Hoyle, someone who rejected the theory. Still, it's a great name for the theory. Historically, it has been used in a variety of ways, even to describe "heretics" who were very much theists. But based on the words roots, a theism, I think defining atheists as simply non-theists makes the most sense.

 

I suggest we use SoS (Spawn of Satan) as in the minds of the woos, we are "deceived" by their other imaginary friend teh debbul.

 

That's an interesting possibility. ;)

 

The labeling is merely an attempt of the religious to group atheism in the same camp as a religious belief yet despite the fact we have no international allegiance to a group organization, it makes them feel vindicated in their stupid beliefs.

 

And Hoyle intended the term Big Bang to make light of the theory he opposed. Screw their intentions.

 

The real issue is the idea we are free thinkers and do not conform to a group think mentality and hence being out of the mainstream, we are seen as misfits to their society.

 

What really pisses them off, we have science on our side as we expect them to adhere to irrefutable proofs for their gods and they can never offer anything other than anecdotal "evidence"

 

All reasons to be proud. It warms my heart. :)

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Like there aren't thousands of different mind viruses we buy lock stock and barrel. LIke christianity is the only stupid thing we ever thought., or still think.

 

 

 

Well, I did refer to religious memes in general and not just christianity. But yeah, there are non-religious mind memes that infect peoples minds, though I believe the religious ones are generally the worst. I don't have the stats to prove it, but I'd bet that Atheists in general are more likely than the average person to be free of various non-religious mind memes.

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Like there aren't thousands of different mind viruses we buy lock stock and barrel. LIke christianity is the only stupid thing we ever thought., or still think.

 

 

 

Well, I did refer to religious memes in general and not just christianity. But yeah, there are non-religious mind memes that infect peoples minds, though I believe the religious ones are generally the worst. I don't have the stats to prove it, but I'd bet that Atheists in general are more likely than the average person to be free of various non-religious mind memes.

 

 

Shame about that head stuck up their ass meme though :P Never ceases to amaze me how people think religious memes are any more ridiculous than any others........

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Like there aren't thousands of different mind viruses we buy lock stock and barrel. LIke christianity is the only stupid thing we ever thought., or still think.

 

 

 

Well, I did refer to religious memes in general and not just christianity. But yeah, there are non-religious mind memes that infect peoples minds, though I believe the religious ones are generally the worst. I don't have the stats to prove it, but I'd bet that Atheists in general are more likely than the average person to be free of various non-religious mind memes.

 

 

Shame about that head stuck up their ass meme though :P Never ceases to amaze me how people think religious memes are any more ridiculous than any others........

 

Since you don't hump the leg of science like I do, I'll excuse your ignorance. :grin:

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Like there aren't thousands of different mind viruses we buy lock stock and barrel. LIke christianity is the only stupid thing we ever thought., or still think.

 

 

 

Well, I did refer to religious memes in general and not just christianity. But yeah, there are non-religious mind memes that infect peoples minds, though I believe the religious ones are generally the worst. I don't have the stats to prove it, but I'd bet that Atheists in general are more likely than the average person to be free of various non-religious mind memes.

 

 

Shame about that head stuck up their ass meme though :P Never ceases to amaze me how people think religious memes are any more ridiculous than any others........

 

Since you don't hump the leg of science like I do, I'll excuse your ignorance. :grin:

 

So you are extending the normal condescension you normally reserve for religion people to all of those who don't hump the leg of science? Im glad I live in Australia where we are not so far up ourselves we have stopped seeing actual daylight :) One day I will have go take a serious look at the shit they teach youthere to actually get you to believe your own bullshit so totally. :P Who needs religious memes when those self importance ones seem to be working so well for you

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i like the word "atheist" for it sounds intilectual but so does theologian, so you know.....:scratch:

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Like there aren't thousands of different mind viruses we buy lock stock and barrel. LIke christianity is the only stupid thing we ever thought., or still think.

 

 

 

Well, I did refer to religious memes in general and not just christianity. But yeah, there are non-religious mind memes that infect peoples minds, though I believe the religious ones are generally the worst. I don't have the stats to prove it, but I'd bet that Atheists in general are more likely than the average person to be free of various non-religious mind memes.

 

 

Shame about that head stuck up their ass meme though :P Never ceases to amaze me how people think religious memes are any more ridiculous than any others........

 

Since you don't hump the leg of science like I do, I'll excuse your ignorance. :grin:

 

So you are extending the normal condescension you normally reserve for religion people to all of those who don't hump the leg of science? Im glad I live in Australia where we are not so far up ourselves we have stopped seeing actual daylight :) One day I will have go take a serious look at the shit they teach youthere to actually get you to believe your own bullshit so totally. :P Who needs religious memes when those self importance ones seem to be working so well for you

 

I certainly think I'm important. Hehe

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Like there aren't thousands of different mind viruses we buy lock stock and barrel. LIke christianity is the only stupid thing we ever thought., or still think.

 

 

 

Well, I did refer to religious memes in general and not just christianity. But yeah, there are non-religious mind memes that infect peoples minds, though I believe the religious ones are generally the worst. I don't have the stats to prove it, but I'd bet that Atheists in general are more likely than the average person to be free of various non-religious mind memes.

 

 

Shame about that head stuck up their ass meme though :P Never ceases to amaze me how people think religious memes are any more ridiculous than any others........

 

Since you don't hump the leg of science like I do, I'll excuse your ignorance. :grin:

 

So you are extending the normal condescension you normally reserve for religion people to all of those who don't hump the leg of science? Im glad I live in Australia where we are not so far up ourselves we have stopped seeing actual daylight :) One day I will have go take a serious look at the shit they teach youthere to actually get you to believe your own bullshit so totally. :P Who needs religious memes when those self importance ones seem to be working so well for you

 

I certainly think I'm important. Hehe

 

 

We KNOW.

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