I’ve realised I prefer not to call myself an atheist. It seems like strange word. A word for something you don’t believe in. I don’t believe in unicorns but there’s no word for that, or pretty much anything else I don’t believe in. 

Instead of calling myself an atheist I’d rather call myself a person of reason. 

Plus what hits harder when someone asks if you believe in god, replying "No, I'm an atheist." OR "No. I'm a man/woman of reason".

(Though I do realise 'atheist' is a little sexier and easier to google.)

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But if they must come out of the closet to share, I might listen for a few minutes before I find some reason to leave. Sadly it is mostly a monologue.

i agree; i have no desire to get in a fight with someone that will not use reason, just "faith".  It serves no purpose what so ever. Closed minded people are not my problem, period.

Strega:

I could not find my original post concerning a requested input for Pascal's Wager. I made a rather serious error with that post. I mentioned that for the logic proof, one is looking for a place where all the premises are 'F' and the conclusion 'T'. This is wrong.

The premises would be 'T', while the conclusion 'F'.

Teach me to post without having lunch.

James

I almost agree with you on this (indeed I have agreed with this stance in the past) but I do recognize other positions in which a negative prefix is used to denote dissent: antiwar, antigun, anticolonialism, anti-choice, anti-government, etc. "Atheism" and "anti-theism" are different terms and meanings, so if you want to use that, ok no argument there. But "atheist" and "non-religious" are almost literally the same meaning so what's the point of using separate terms there?

Also, if you're going to take issue because atheism is the default position, then the religious are technically "pro-theism/t" and I would refuse to call them pro-anything other than bullshitters. I'm much more comfortable saying I'm an atheist than I am saying they're protheists.
And a word with more relevance that uses the negative prefix, a-gnostic. But who is against the use of agnostic to describe not knowing something?

I understand where you are coming from but I do think the term atheist is quite useful.  When discussing religious beliefs, often belief in a deity is involved, or assumed to be involved.  I start off identifying as atheist, to set the ground work, then move on to terms like realist, naturalist, and humanist.  Is there a word that includes all of these concepts...that would save time?  I've never felt it necessary to identify as anti-theist or anti-religious...since that's how most theists misconstrue atheism.

Having read the majority of comments, I fond myself on the fence. For some using the word "atheist" is like name calling (for them), because they see the non-believer as a lesser (evidence in US politics). Alternatively, using atheist to describe our position is accurate. However, I don't like the socio-cultural condescension that others derive from calling "me" and atheist. I prefer to take that way from them, despite it only being their perception.

So, the alternative that I use in general is "critical thinker". It suggests rigor of thought, careful and conscientious consideration, and the utilization of intellect. "Free thinker" is slightly ambiguous, "rational person" implies reasonable or calm (anyone can do that), "non-religious" sounds wishy-washy tha could mean a "believer" just not aligned with religion.

In the end atheist is fine, but if I'm not familiar with the persons I'm engaging then critical thinker is better for communicating my social posture.

Your Spock like analysis of the terminology is what drives theists crazy. The position of theism is a lazy one for most religious types. They will spend more time researching what new vehicle to buy next rather than looking into the foundation of their own belief system. To be content with their "Mom and Dad told me so it's so" attitude instead of asking the really hard questions is lazy and irresponsible intellectually. Critical thought is not a four letter word.

Martin Luther- "Reason is the enemy of the church."

If someone asks you if you believe in god, you can reply "do I look like a moron?"

 I believe in gravity. I don't have a title due to that belief.  This is because their aren't enough non believers in gravity to warrant clarification.

Yes, but if you have any experience with some of the more fringe UFO folks, you might start looking for a handle.

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