What is it?

I currently view it as 1) an option for theists to consider, and 2) as a way to help mobilize separation of church and state movements.

When I first identified myself as an atheist, it was due to the "last straw" of GWB's pandering to the religious right, which I'm quite certain is what also enabled our knee-jerk invasion of Iraq; the righteous Cheney, et al kabal. Now look at the power of religion, as in ISIS! And the forced closings in some states of abortion providers. (On the positive side, there are the emboldened politicians like Cruz and Huckabee nudging Republican primaries into unwinnable general election outcomes. Yay, partial payback for Naderism screwing up Gore's effort to pilot our course in world events!)

Really, what is the purpose of Atheism? Let's realize there is no official purpose, so it's really up to each of us individuals out there claiming the name.

Views: 116

Comment by Unseen on May 23, 2015 at 11:42am

Oh yeah, but be careful not to make atheism reveal itself to be a belief.

Comment by Derik LeMay on May 23, 2015 at 2:21pm

There is no purpose to being an atheist. Official or otherwise. I don't believe in any gods. End of story.

Comment by Mo Trauen on May 24, 2015 at 1:49pm

The purpose of atheism is to stand in juxtaposition to theism.  It is simply the opposite concept.  I would prefer to live in a world where both terms were taught in high school history class as part of a long and thoroughly settled debate (where sanity won, of course).  But, that is not the world I live in.  As long as the fantasies of theism are taken the least bit seriously, we will need the opposite concept to define the debate.

Comment by matt.clerke on May 25, 2015 at 7:41pm

1) an option for theists to consider

Yes. Or rather, it is a label denoting the lack of theism.

2) as a way to help mobilize separation of church and state movements.

No. That's secularism. Most atheists are probably secularists, but I bet we could find at least one who isn't.

it's really up to each of us individuals out there claiming the name.

I really don't like this line of thinking. Please don't redefine words. Atheist means literally: a(not) theist. If you want to attach a different meaning to it, you might have better luck attaching a different(or additional) label(s) to yourself.

Comment by Pope Beanie on May 25, 2015 at 8:45pm

No. That's secularism.

Granted, yeah. But I'm sure TA still adds to the motivation of secularism. Your clarification isn't incorrect, thanks.

I really don't like this line of thinking. Please don't redefine words.

I admit I'm not the best communicator. What was on my mind was what people who identify themselves as atheists think their purpose is when identifying themselves as atheists. I don't mean to define atheism per a dictionary standard, so maybe I should have clarified with a term something like "atheist identity". I also assume that "purpose" is by personal definition, not to be imposed on anyone. Each person has their own ideas or stories, which don't necessarily threaten existing standard definitions.

Comment by Unseen on May 26, 2015 at 12:05am

Atheism has a purpose the instant it becomes a cause, something to fight on behalf of. 

Comment by Davis Goodman on May 26, 2015 at 1:37am

Atheism has no purpose. In the most broadest sense...it is a stance on the question as to whether God exists or not. In its most direct and clearest meaning...it is the rejection of the statement "A singular sky-God exists". 

If you want to make more out of it...you are better to take on an ideology. There are many to choose from:

  • New Atheism
  • Secular Humanism (this is the closest to what you discuss in this thread)
  • Rationalism
  • Naturalism
  • Trans-humanism
  • Brights movement
  • Free-thinkers
  • Universalism
  • Radical-skepticism

As you've seen with our recent thinkatheist friend...an atheist can easily believe in Spirits. An atheist can also have no problem with the conflation of church and state. An atheist can even be anti-science. 

There is no purpose to an -ism in which the only thing every member has in common is the rejection of a statement.

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