So an argument that I've seen via the theist vs atheist debates (not so much on TA, certainly on YA), is:
"Are you just an atheist, or also an anti-theist?"
Personally, I cannot stand the term "anti-theist", it has so many negative implications about it. It sort of makes one sound like some sort of fascist. I am not anti-theist, in the sense that I don't hate theistic individuals. I don't hate someone just because they happen to have different beliefs to me. Unless they act on those beliefs to discriminate against me due to my sexuality or lack of faith.
However what I do hate however is religion itself, the institution, the doctrine, the holy books. These are corrupt to the core and have brought so much, pain, suffering, corruption to the world; and not to mention the damaging psychological effect it has on the theists themselves.
The way I see is that the theists are the victims who have pretty much had their minds butchered by religion and become at least a little bit deluded and brainwashed. And yes there certainly is an argument to be made that those who converted them in the first place, be it the author of a book, a preacher or even their parents or peers. Those responsible for this conversion are victims too, its a vicious circle of insanity if you will.
Now its safe to say that at least all of the atheists (and possible deists) will agree that religion is a man made concept. Books like the bible were written by men, most likely just to control the masses to do whatever they want. The only people we can really blame for religion (all religions) is the very source of its origins. Human beings while they have had many superstitions from the dawn of time, we are unable to pinpoint the human author of the very first organised religion. The closest we can come up with is Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism and Homer (arguably the founder of Greek Mythology).
Because of these issues, I find it unreasonable to hate theists for being theists, as they are not really responsible for their institutions. Its more rational in my opinion to just hate the institutions and belief systems themselves.
So I'm not an anti-theist, I am however anti-religion or anti-theism (whichever term you prefer)
What are your thoughts and opinions on this?
I do consider myself an anti-theist. I think "anti-theist" sounds bad but everywhere I've ever seen the term, it does not mean, anti- theist-type-people, but rather just means anti-religion. It doesn't even mean anti-theism as much as one might think, because we're not exactly against people's right to believe whatever- we're not pro-thought control. What we feel strongly about is that it's not "fine" for people to believe whatever, because believing false things is detrimental to that individual as well as society. We're not the "Religion is fine, as long as it leaves me alone" type because A) it's not leaving me alone and B) it's hurting the whole world and everyone. We're the types of atheists who have major "beefs", if you will, with all types of religiosity and what religion promotes, condones, and causes. anti-theist looks close to the word "atheist" so maybe that's how it caught on? I have no clue why anyone would pick that word in the first place. but it caught on, and I think as long as you explain that it doesn't mean you're anti- theistic individuals, it's fine to use.
I think the "ist" is referring to us, the anti-the(ism) people. Just like an "atheist" has an "ist" at the end because we're a person into "atheism", "antitheist" has an ist because we're a person into "anti-theism".