This is not a particularly deep thread, but it seems to me that the prevalence of 'Atheism' with a capital 'A' is growing. 'Atheism' is a common noun, not a proper noun, so in English it should not normally be capitalized (unless it is at the beginning of a sentence). However, for a time I used to hear people referring to 'Big A Atheism' implying additional values ascribed to the term beyond mere lack of belief.
For those who capitalize, is this just just an odd typing habit, or are you implying something by writing 'Atheism' instead of 'atheism'? If the latter, what is your intended meaning?
For the record, I doesn't matter to me that people use one over the other; it's just a point of curiosity as to why. Personally, I prefer it as a common noun indicating nothing more than one very simple statement of disbelief in deities.
This would not be a problem for e. e. cummings. :)
No mater how you dice it, Atheism is a belief system. It just happens to be one that prioritizes skepticism above belief. Personally, I capitalize Atheism to stress it. To point out to others that, to me, Atheism is just as important as Christianity is to Christians.
A belief does not a system make.
As an atheist, I do think that it's counterintuitive and demonstrably wrong for atheists to say atheism isn't a belief, but at the same time a system implies more than a belief that theism is wrong. A system is...
A set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular" (source)
I don't see a system. Also, you'll find that if every atheist explained what they mean by atheism, you'd here different explanations or definitions but all with one thing in common. No god/God.
No its not. There is only one way to "dice it"; lack of belief.
A lack of belief cannot be a belief, because the belief is nil.
It all goes back to the famous saying "Atheism is a belief, as bald is a hair colour" or "not collecting stamps is a hobby"
If we were to capitalise "atheism" should we do the same to vegetarians, and feminists too?
How about someone atheize capitalism?
@Keith Murphy - If 'we' were to capitalise 'Atheism' should we do the same to Vegetarians and Feminists too?
Yay, now you are getting the idea. If catholics can use a capital C, if islam can use a capital I, I will continue to use a capital A for Atheist, to stand out, in protest, whatever. If you want to be 'real proper', then don't use a capital. Easy really.
I don't care what is 'proper', and that is just me :)
Speech and parts of speech, language, spelling is fluid and evolving every day.