I have had this discussion on other threads and I wanted to get your opinions on what most fellow Atheists consider an "Atheist".
I have always considered an "Atheist" as someone who does not believe in even the possibility of a God/Gods, an afterlife, reincarnation of any kind, energies "living on" or being "transferred to other forms" after death, ghosts/souls, and/or superstitious beliefs.
I have not considered Buddhists atheists as they still believe in "energies" and the sorts; and believe that people who say that they believe in the "possibility" of an afterlife as agnostics or the sorts - I have been an atheist for example since I was 15-16 and maybe an agnostic for a couple of years before then.
For example, I am sure that Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the likes all fit into the aforementioned definition of an "Atheist". So, what do you think?
Does it matter what I think?? IF you hold it truly plausible as an "unknown" if an afterlife exists then I personally don't think that is an atheist but again, who cares what I think? I just want to see what others think on this subject. IT does not mean I don't respect your opinion or think of you as a lesser of a person.
We must remember that meanings of words typically vary across a spectrum of possible interpretations.
For instance, "God" has several meanings according to Merriam-Webster.com:
That certainly seems to be the issue. There's a lot of gray area when it comes to explaining viewpoints and perspectives when relating them to metaphysical implications and things like agnosticsm vs. atheism, etc. I identify myself as an atheist, meaning one without belief of any theological "god" or "creator." A-theist: not a theist.
With that said, my verdict is still out on consciousness and what happens when you die, which I feel is a different debate altogether.
On the same note, I feel that the word "atheist," especially when used by the uninformed, comes across with a certain distaste or misunderstanding as being negative. It has a negative connotation that is, quite unfortunately, misconstrued as something evil or inherently bad.
Richard Dawkins briefly discusses the issue here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6fYcUYXRv0
Thank you to everyone for their comments thus far.
Just a reminder to keep these discussions civil and respectful. There has been a lot of tension in some of the discussions in the community as of late and we wanted to remind everyone to take a breath and keep things positive.