Hey everyone, this is my first post and I thought this would be a good topic to bring up.

 

So, I actually can't stand the word/label of atheist meaning "without god". I mostly don't like it because it describes a group of people as something that "most" people are not. I dont think that anyone should be described in such a way. What if we started calling black people say, non-whites. or If the majority group of people were actually atheist and we started calling people of faith nondisbelievers, or irrationalists. I dont think they would like those labels, so why should we go on being described as something that other people are not, or described as something that we "lack" that other people "have".

The origin of the word itself was derived from ancient Greece's "atheos" to mean without god. The word was used as a derogatory term used to describe nonbelievers of their time to label the group as unwanted or unfavorable and the term kind of stuck.

I don't know, I like the term rationalist, because we go off of scientific understanding and knowledge. If someone were to walk me to the edge of the world and point down and prove to me that the world was flat, i would believe them, If someone could find an error where a force doesn't have an exactly corresponding ma, i would be inclined to believe them, therefore I think rationally and look at things that are there, not what i would like there to be. That's why i like the term rationalist more than atheist.

 

what do you think?

Views: 472

Tags: Atheist, Derogatory, Linguistics, Rational, Rationalist

Comment by Matthew on September 13, 2011 at 11:17am

I dont know, something about being described as something others are not just kind of bugs me :/ I wasn't aware that theists call themselves rationalists, i figure they just go by the title of their religion <_/p>

Comment by Alice Browne on September 13, 2011 at 11:18am

I think of myself as normal.

Comment by Terrion Bolt on September 13, 2011 at 11:26am

I think of myself as sane. =P

Comment by Matthew on September 13, 2011 at 11:29am

don't get me wrong, i think im normal and sane too. I'm just kind of going by what everyone else calls us :/. Not to mention the name of the website, idunno. im just kind of pointing out the origin of the word and what it means and how it describes people as something that others are not.

aand if i could rephrase, i would edit the "i can't stand" i dont mind it, i just think rationalist is a better word.

Comment by Great Dane on September 13, 2011 at 11:31am

Don't put that much into it - it's just a label describing a certain view that one holds. I am an atheist but I am also a rationalist - therefore I will accept both labels and whatever label you can find that I can associate with. It would be false to reject either of them.

Comment by Kim on September 13, 2011 at 12:09pm

Check out the Brights!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brights_movement

 

It's not a label I use myself, though if someone referred to me in this light (har har), I wouldn't object.  I use multiple, overlapping labels....much like Jim described.

Comment by Nate on September 13, 2011 at 12:24pm

I actually don’t mind the label of atheos, I even like it to a degree.  Atheism pretty much plainly and openly states I think everything dealing with religion is wrong and I want nothing to do with it.  I see where you are coming from, but in a society where labels are everything and 90% of the population believes in a god, there is nothing wrong with stating your stance on your beliefs.   But Atheist really only explains your stance of religion (or lack thereof).  Just because you may call yourself an atheist, that does not define where you stand on all political or social stances.  Its only part of the equation.  Granted the religious will paint a negative mental image of you based only on hearing of your anti-belief, but honestly, fuck em, who cares what they think. ^_^

Comment by Doug Reardon on September 13, 2011 at 12:27pm

I have known many rationalist that believed in god, not the abrahamic god, of course, but something akin to Spinoza's or Einstein's god.

Comment by Dale Headley on September 13, 2011 at 2:42pm

   I enthusiastically accept several labels.

   I identify myself to other people as an A T H E I S T, in the sense of being "without a god belief."  

   I further identify myself as an "A N T I T H E IS T," in the sense that I believe that religion is the most ignorant and self-destructive meme that ever entered the mind and culture of Man, and that we would be better off without it.  For one thing, if there were no religion, wars would be drastically reduced in number.

  I also consider myself a R A T I O N A L I S T, in the sense that I accept NOTHING supernatural.  I find it efficacious to assume that ANYTHING not supported by reason, science, and/or empirical data is bogus.  If you want me to believe something extraordinary, to paraphrase Carl Sagan, all you have to do is present the requisite extraordinary evidence; otherwise, don't bother.

   I consider myself a H U M A N I S T, in the sense that the happiness and welfare of myself and all other human beings should take precedence over the obsequious worship of some judgmental, nondescript evanescence in the ethereal cosmos.

   Finally, I consider myself a B I O E T H I C I S T, in the sense that ALL living organisms deserve equal respect and an equal right to live out a maximal life span within the confines of evolutionary strictures. 

Comment by The Doctor on September 13, 2011 at 4:17pm

I disslike labels myself, as there is usually a negative connotation associated with it, for instance, I am a huge Star Trek fan, also known as a trekkie, the connotation with that is I'm overweight, geeky and have never had a girlfriend.

With the atheist label the negative connotation is we are amoral (whatever that means) and have no morals or care for life.

In both of these instances, I either brake the stereotype myself or know people who do.

The thing with categorising is there is usually some truth behind it, but is generally margenalised into a set mold. I am a fan of Star Trek and I lack the Beleif in the supernatural. If you want to call me an atheist trekkie I suppose that fits. I see the human mind as an onion with multiple layers. That is where my contention with labels lie, they never describe the individual entirely.

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