I recently heard a discussion on christian radio about a person calling him or herself and atheist. The gist is that to call yourself what is essentially a negative, discounts your ethos. People in sobriety do not call themselves "non-drunks" but the more positive and self-affirming "sober". So, the question is, what do you call yourself and why? Personally, I refer to myself as an Evangelical Atheist because I am actively expressing my position and am always willing to join a religious conversation to expound the Atheist point of view. My wife, on the other hand, prefers nontheist. Whether there is a god or not, she could hardly care less and gives neither side any thought.
Atheist. And, thanks for asking.
"amytheist", no belief in myths of any kind.
It gets people to ask me to explain then I roll out the "do you believe in..." by the time we get to god I say the standard you disbelieve the same minus one. Makes them think about it and that's all you can really expect is to provoke thought.
Before I say I'm an atheist I usually say I'm a "Reductive Physicalist" which normally requires further descriptions and probably cannot be said of atheists across the board. However, the way in which you view the mind/body issue is generally going to be a good start on whether or not you believe in a god.
I go by the label "atheist" most of the time because it gets to the generality of my position, but that label bugs me. The simple negation of the claim of theism seems to validate the theistic claim. I often wonder what the label would be if the term "theist" was as nonsensical as "xylist." If we humans had no concept of god(s), theism, and religion, then what would we label ourselves as?
We would probably generalize our opinions and worldly outlook. In this instance, I would label myself as a "Antimaterialistic, Semi-nihilistic, Rational Libertarian." That label, while being long, explains my opinions on most public and personal issues.
Brandon, I appreciate a dislike of the term Atheist because it seems to embolden theism. But it's a word. Words change meenings through time, as in the case of the word condesend. It was a positive expression at one time. But now we all know what it means.
Since we all live in a world stoked with belief in gods, atheist gets to the point of where we stand. If we stand for our conclusions about gods via the term atheist its negative connection will fade. We will take over the term and define it in our own way, like the homosexual community has done with "gay". Since I would bet the majority of atheists have arived at that perspective because of reason and evidence, it may become a more precise term, one that describes a person who rejects gods particularly because no evidence has been found which supports theistic claims.
I say I am an atheist. I feel it conveys the most meaning to the people I talk to about my lack of religion. I get the point that it is essentially a negative, which has its own humor when applied to other things, like "non-stamp collector."
You see other arenas where the opposing sides use only affirmative titles, for example pro-life vs. pro-choice. I would guess that using the terms rationalist or freethinker put a more positive spin on the subject, but I don't think those titles are as clear to the general public as the term atheist. It would be great if the terms "rational" and "rationalist" came to clearly mean the opposite of titles such as "religious" and "believer".
Are you a believer? No, I'm rational.
Problem is, every believer of religion feels they ARE being rational, when that clearly is not the case!
i typically say that i am nothing, but if pressed for a worldview or philosophy i will admit to being a humanist. then i will spend the next ten minutes explaining what a humanist is and that while i identify with the term atheist, it tells you nothing about me besides a lack of belief in skybullies.
Atheist, anti-theist, humanist. Yeah, I know, it's a lot, but it gives a person a good idea of what I think.
I really hate social distinctions as they just tend to divide. To me atheism shouldn't even be an (ism) I just lack the beleife in the super natural plain and simple.