This is not intended as a strict dichotomy -- grey area is just fine --, but do you view atheism or aspects of atheism as being defined individually or defined as a group? This is about personal perception or ideals, and not describing how you think others perceive atheism.
Remember that the word we were supposed to use for the theists was "supers" though, not sounding derogatory in the least. This was in conscious imitation of "gay/straight" where neither word started out with a bad connotation. To be sure "bright" puts on more airs than "gay" did, and even though "super" also has complimentary connotations, that's probably why most atheists didn't pick up on this.
I just like the term Atheist. It's a foul word in the mouths of the more devout, and we get to be proud of that. This may sound weird coming from a gay guy, but Bright sounds way too gay for me. lol.
Having said that, he's got his value as an attack-dog, and he does succeed in rescuing people from religion when they need it.
His style used to piss me off. It represents a sub-culture (even if the majority) of atheists that I don't like to identify with. I didn't use to like Hitchens, either. But I got over their presentation styles, and learned from the substance of their presentations.
Ironically, the quote that endeared me to Hitchens was his quote about how a particular theist--and I don't even remember who--if given an enema, could fit into a matchbox. I think also that this quote came soon after the theist's death, which made the quote even more effective (for me). I guess I like crude+intellectual humor, that most people need time to think about before getting it. I could so easily and vicariously enjoy picturing those theist faces transitioning from confusion to shock. I would probably even have enjoyed that sense of humor if Hitchens had made that comment about me, given a few days to get over it.
Excellent link! Thank you.
(LOL, I guess I even mis-remembered that remark as a sense of humor instead of a serious attack.)
I found the Fox News video where he said it. He managed to slip it into the interview in the last 5 seconds of it.
And here's the matchbox thing
Fickle father Falwell,
Fucked up faith on which we shan't dwell,
Fleeting death, a final farewell:
Fall well t'ward the gates o' Hell.
I have dedicated seconds of my life to this memorial in respect for his beliefs. I don't think there's a Hell, but Jer did.
I think the one thing we as a group define is who is an atheist. I would say that if you can't for whatever reason affirm that one or more deities exist then, then you are by default an atheist, which seems to be the definition that is most prevalent. I'd also say that one of the traits we tend to exhibit as the group who has assumed the title atheist for themselves is a strong sense of individualism and an appreciation of the natural world.
Other than that, I'd say all bets are off.
I think group-identity as in the sort of destructive bandwagon effect, i.e the madness of crowds, is anathema to an atheistic/scientific mindset.