Two opposite responses:
1) I tire quickly of posts in which people define certain words precisely and often at length.
2) I regain my patience when I realize that those words once had power in the posters' lives and they are freeing themselves from that power.
For me, 12 years in the Catholic schools I went to destroyed the word "spiritual" and I tell people I don't use it. I don't tell them that not using the word is one of the ways I remain free.
I have no problem with the "theist" in "atheist" but I accept that others might have a problem with it and need to refer to themselves differently.
Sorry if my post was too lengthy. I am an atheist, and have always been one. I was brought up with the opportunity to be CofE if I chose but chose not to.
Atheism is not the same for everyone, and I don't think it should be. I have seen attempts made on here to centralise but it seems incongruous to me.
I was interested to see what other people thought.
I can't remember who said it but it seems that the others, that is, theists, especially Christians, try to define us from their point of view. When I communicate with theists I usually try to speak in first person, I being the only person for whom I feel I can speak. I know many atheists are similar to me in many ways but it's not a given.
I do not believe there is a god, but I do not necessarily assert that there is no god. Many theists assume all atheists are strong atheists whose stance is the latter. I think it is good to clear things up for them, but mostly I find they don't give a rat's ass. A smart evangelist would, I think, well, leave us alone. An almost-smart one might try to convince the strong atheist that there is the possibility of a god existing before demanding he or she submit to Jesus or burning in Hell forever.
I understand what you are saying about attempts to centralize atheism, and I agree that it is like herding cats as someone else said. However, if we do not want too be walked all over politically we need to speak up, in numbers. I would rather define that big "A" myself than be branded by it by ignorant others.
That's a fair point Dianne, like the reclamation of words by some groups that have previously been used in a derogatory way to refer to them.
I'm a strong atheist but not intentionally confrontational. If people want to believe in Father Christmas, that's their choice. It really becomes an issue for me when people talk about teaching creationism, from whichever religion, alongside science as if it were based on facts rather than just a traditional faery story....or any other way in which baseless fantasies are portrayed as truths without any evidence whatsoever.
I'd say many, maybe even most, atheists have at this experience in common. Which is a feeling akin to be a racial minority X in an environment of all Majority A. If you suddenly see a racial minority Y, with whom you have nothing in common, you at least can share that feeling of being the racial minority, and of thinking that at least in this setting, you may be the only one. And you are often happy to see the other guy.
Other than that, we are a very disparate lot.
As for what I preach... Um, safety around heavy electrical equipment, for a start, but by doing so, I certainly don't expect every other atheist to do likewise. And more than any theist ever really expects every other theist to handle snakes during a church service...
In the UK now you meet someone new and they are most likely to be atheistic, though not necessarily outspokenly so. From what Americans have posted on here (and Brits living in the US), it sounds like that isn't so in the US.I'm reading with interest the post on "Discrimination Against Atheists?"
Thanks for the advice on electrical equipment...I shall try to take it on board. Note to self, don't fix the electrical pump on a jacuzzi while standing in 2 inches of water without ensuring you are electrically isolated. The screwdriver having a plastic handle is no protection when your index finger is resting on the metal shaft!
What I am going to say is not related to your exact delima, but my brother once read a warning on a chain saw that said..."Do not stop with hands, (and here is the kicker) or genitals" ha ha ha
I wonder how they actually figured out that they had to include that in there. For legal purposes at the very minimum.
I'm having more fun thinking of how they found out that stopping it with your genitals was a no no. lol.
Hehe I can just picture a couple of rednecks with a chai....you get it.
Sometimes you see something SO specific that you just know it actually happened to someone.
For example if they ever do an MRI of your skull they will Xray it first to make sure there are no metal flecks inside your eyeballs.
That's just a gut wrenching thought. I have worked grinding or cutting metal for most of my jobs. Many an itchy eye. I could only imagine what would happen. LOL. Shudder to think. Oww.
Well right just like on www.dumblasw.com one said it is illegal to molest an ALLIGATOR in Alabama or somewhere
I presume that's supposed to read www.dumblaws.com