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.

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@Kris

I asked a simple question and you've become evasive because you haven't a leg to stand on.  Please cite the passage where Christianity declared all of their gods to be one and then named that new entity?

If your friend's heritage is Serbian, then you are correct Kris.

We are similar to Russians, and most other Slavic nations in this regard. Saša is Sasha, and the full name would be Alexandar (Alexander in English).

The Serbian word for god is the same as the Russian 'Бог'.

Heather is also right, God is not the name, it is a title similar to Emperor, or King. Just a title given to signify the power and status of the deity. Sadly theists seem to forget that, and saying "God damnit" for example, is not using his name in vain, rather his title.

"Heather is also right, God is not the name, it is a title similar to Emperor, or King."

To be clear, I am not asserting that this deity's name is 'God'. What I stated initially was "an assigned placeholder name", or you could say appellation, if you'd like. This is the same function as 'title'.

"Saša is Sasha, and the full name would be Alexandar (Alexander in English)."

On a belated side note, thanks for the clarification on the Serbian namesakes.

Evasive? I am explaining legitimate mechanics of naming and nicknames across languages.

There is no need for a Biblical reference; this is how modern day Christians refer to their god. The convention is well-established. Your inquiry has no relevance.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/God

Oxford agrees. Capital for a proper noun.

Yes, evasive - they have never named their deities by a single name except by usurping a universal concept in every language through their missionary work.  Yahweh, Jesus, Holy Spirit were never proclaimed to be one and then named anything.

Our language has been usurped, centuries ago, when the existence of Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the only entity constituting a deity was just a 'given'.  It's like 'In god we trust' - tradition does not validate the invasion of one faith into the foundations of a culture not based on that faith.

It's not a proper noun.

I wasn't being evasive: I just don't acknowledge the argument. It's a nonsensical position in relation to mine. The first time through, I actually just glossed it realizing it had no relevance and didn't warrant addressing.

You are trying to make a point on theological legitimacy as if it has some bearing on grammar. It doesn't. The contemporary usage acts, grammatically, as a proper noun. I couldn't give a fuck if Christians should or should not do this as a point of philosophical consistency -- they do it, and this is the grammatical way to represent that behaviour. They use the term to refer to a unique entity and only that entity. They are not referring to an instance of gods, but rather one specific god in using the term 'God'. That's what a proper noun is. We've already established that proper nouns can be named from common nouns and that variants can exist for the exact same entity across languages. I don't need to approve of the motive for doing so to accept the legitimacy of the practice.

To be honest though, the existence of a capitalized version creates a point of distinction which actually prevents the word from being 'usurped' in English at least. The term 'god' is largely left free for use because the designation 'God' is separate. If someone else wants to call a different god 'God', they can go nuts for all I care.

Don't capitalize it if you don't want. I don't particularly care, but that is a non-standard variant which makes a philosophical statement and has nothing to do with proper grammar. 'God' is an established proper noun.

Reductio ad absurdium.

Please, do explain.

"I just don't acknowledge the argument. It's a nonsensical position in relation to mine. The first time through, I actually just glossed it realizing it had no relevance and didn't warrant addressing."

If you don't want to address it, then don't - discussion over.

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