Happy Atheist Forum

But I LIKE the word "atheist"...

But I LIKE the word "atheist"...
« on: October 03, 2007, 04:57:27 PM »
This is a transcript of a speech made by Sam Harris at the Atheist Alliance conference.  He proposes we don't call ourselves atheists, secularists, humanists, etc., but rather just do nothing, live by example, fly "under the radar," etc.  But we HAVE done that and look what happened.

What do you think?

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfa ... heism.html
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by rlrose328 »
**Kerri**
The Rogue Atheist Scrapbooker
Come visit me on Facebook!


Whitney

  • *****
  • 7358
  • Gender: Female
  • Mysteriously Absent - Like God
    • http://fellowshipoffreethought.org
(No subject)
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 02:12:44 AM »
From the transcript
Quote
The problem is that the concept of atheism imposes upon us a false burden of remaining fixated on people’s beliefs about God and remaining even-handed in our treatment of religion. But we shouldn’t be fixated, and we shouldn’t be even-handed. In fact, we should be quick to point out the differences among religions, for two reasons:

I didn't know that the concept of being an atheist required us to not be able to think rationally about the obvious differences between various religious beliefs and in turn treat them all as equally idiotic.  

I think he is also forgetting that not so very long ago militant Christians were bombing abortion clinics and has he seen Jesus Camp?  Although some Muslims are far worse these days, there is nothing wrong with using Militant Islamic groups as a tool to get Christians to realize their religion can be utilized for bad as well.

I can kinda see his point of not using the word atheist...it does have a lot of predjudice associated with it.  However, why not secular, humanist, freethinker, etc?  And why can't we live our lives morally and freely as atheists to help to erase prejudices associated with the term?

Quote
Because to be consistent as atheists we must oppose, or seem to oppose, all faith claims equally.

Sam, why?  Maybe this guy doesn't understand what athiest really means.

Quote
Another problem with calling ourselves “atheists” is that every religious person thinks he has a knockdown argument against atheism. We’ve all heard these arguments, and we are going to keep hearing them as long as we insist upon calling ourselves “atheists. Arguments like: atheists can’t prove that God doesn’t exist; atheists are claiming to know there is no God, and this is the most arrogant claim of all.


Okay...so I decide to choose not to use a proper word to define my views towards the belief in god when discussing religion with someone....don't you think they will use the term atheist even if I were to insist that I'm not an athiest and that I just don't believe in a god?  No matter what we call ourselve we will meet the same tired out arguments.  Maybe we need to figure out ways to answer them that are easier for religious people to understand/accept.


Thats what I think.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Whitney »

(No subject)
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2007, 02:29:48 AM »
Quote from: "laetusatheos"
Okay...so I decide to choose not to use a proper word to define my views towards the belief in god when discussing religion with someone....don't you think they will use the term atheist even if I were to insist that I'm not an athiest and that I just don't believe in a god?  No matter what we call ourselve we will meet the same tired out arguments.  Maybe we need to figure out ways to answer them that are easier for religious people to understand/accept.


Thats what I think.


This is where I stand... we can call ourselves woodpulp, it still means we don't believe in god.  Atheist is JUST a word, and a good one at that.  I don't care if believers have a problem with it... it's what I am.  I am happy to answer all of those stupid questions the bring up over and over because I never tire of explaining there is no evidence of a god.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by rlrose328 »
**Kerri**
The Rogue Atheist Scrapbooker
Come visit me on Facebook!


(No subject)
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2007, 02:26:03 AM »
I have no problem with the word "atheist".  Just because religious people have been raised to associate atheism with evil doesn't mean WE need to change what we call ourselves.  Atheist simply means without belief in a god or gods.  That describes me.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by User192021 »

Tom62

  • *****
  • 4769
  • Gender: Male
(No subject)
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2007, 09:08:30 AM »
May be would should call each other non-believers or heritics. That gives the moslims a reason to blow us up and the christians to burn us :lol:.
Changing words because people don't like them is stupid. I hate this political correctness movement where every word is put on a scale and books get banned from schools because it contains words that only a tiny  minority could eventually find it offending (like nigger in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" of Mark Twain) .
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Tom62 »
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

(No subject)
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2007, 06:36:46 AM »
i dont necessarrilly like the word becuase of the fact that it is a label put on us by society that says what we dont believe which is retarded because the same should be done with bigfootist, toothfairyist, leprochaunists, etc.... We dont label ourselves by what we dont believe in because its kind of pointless. I still use the word and call myself one when people ask just because honestly  its easier to say than explain it the way i did. It leaves more time for better debating, lol.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Eclecticsaturn »

(No subject)
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2007, 04:08:09 AM »
Quote from: "Eclecticsaturn"
I still use the word and call myself one when people ask just because honestly  its easier to say than explain it the way i did. It leaves more time for better debating, lol.

I think this is the right approach.  Even if you don't like the word "atheist", you're probably better off not making a fuss about it when having a conversation with a theist.  Nothing will make atheists look more petty and pedantic than arguing over the word "atheist" before the conversation even gets to the real issue.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by User192021 »

SteveS

  • ****
  • 1367
(No subject)
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2007, 05:52:48 AM »
Good commentary all on Sam's thing-a-ma-jig.  And you're all right - as soon as you say "I don't believe in god" the religious will call you an atheist anyway.  As long as you qualify what you mean by the word -- what's the problem?

In a mixed company where people may be horrified, repulsed, or whatever by outing myself as an atheist, I simply say "I'm not religious".  If they ask if I believe in god I say "no".  Usually, if they're uncomfortable with the topic, they drop it.  Otherwise, I try to discuss politely.  Usually seems to work....
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by SteveS »