What The Hell is an Atheist?

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Michael Cole's picture
What The Hell is an Atheist?

First I want to apo. apolo, apologize... if this topic isn't new! I AM new to this site...
What the hell is an atheist? I HATE the term. It tries to define me in terms of what I'M NOT! So, I don't believe in god. Well, I don;t believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny either! I think we need a new way to present ourselves to the world out there (NO, not the BRIGHTS, which is extraordinarily ARROGANT, misconceived, and plainly DUMB!)
What do I mean when I say I'm an atheist?? What I really want to say here, is that I have looked at the world out there, and that I have seen no evidence WHATSOEVER of any kind of god, or any kind of "funny things going on"'.
What did I find? Well, I found quite a few things that science successfully explained (at least, roughly). I also found MANY, MANY things that science hasn't a clue how to deal with...
I accept that. I realize that our brains are not necessarily optimized to understand that "whole world out there". Actually, I accept the fact that, even our very distant descendants, 1 million years from now, will STILL not be able to "understand " it all How could they??? We can't even understand our own mathematics (Goedel) or BASIC physics (Heisenberg).
After all, we are part of the system we're trying to understand. So, it's no wonder we can't REALLY get to the crux of the matter.
Now, what do we do given all that uncertainty? I can take it, but, given the present state of human's evolution, most don't seem able to do so...
(Just my humble thoughts... Sorry, if I offend some...)

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Sky Pilot's picture
During the religious wars

During the religious wars between the French Catholics and the French Protestants the Catholics used the word "atheist" as a curse word to describe the Protestants.

ZeffD's picture
I agree with you most of what

I agree with you most of what you wrote, Bluecloud and welcome to the forum here. I would just make a couple of points.

Bluecloud: "(NO, not the BRIGHTS, which is extraordinarily ARROGANT, misconceived, and plainly DUMB!)"

Arguably calling someone dumb when you mean stupid is politically incorrect at best and insensitive to people who are dumb (not stupid) at worst. Had you met any Brights before calling them "arrogant" and do you know anything about the origins of the name? It doesn't mean "I'm bright" as a mindful approach might have anticipated. They are a positive movement and very thoughtful people in my experience. I suppose I am one though I haven't attended a meeting for a long time.

The name (from wiki): Paul Geisert, who coined the term bright and co-founded the Bright [capital letter B] movement is a one-time Chicago biology teacher, professor, entrepreneur, writer, he co-developed learning materials. In deciding to attend the "Godless Americans March on Washington" in 2002, Geisert disliked the label "godless" as he saw it as synonymous with evil, he thought this would alienate the public. He sought a new, positive word that might become well-accepted and improve the image of those who didn't believe in the supernatural, in the same way that the term "gay" did. A few weeks later, Geisert came up with the noun "Bright", after brainstorming lots of ideas... Unquote. (In wiki brights is spelt lower case but that is a translation error, from the German language).

So it was intended to be an improvement on "godless" and was accepted as nobody wanted to dampen the enthusiasm of those who favoured it. There has since been much regret expressed at the choice of name exactly because of the assumptions (like "they're arrogant") made by people about them. Retracting or rebranding has so far proved impossible.

The most important context I would offer is that non-believer organisations are many: humanists, Freethinkers, non-believer and (perhaps) Brights are my favourite ones as they don't refer to religion or other superstitions at all. They are all positive ways to define oneself (if Brights is unfortunately misleading). We should be careful of denigrating organisations of non-believers who we might favour less. Secularists and atheist groups for instance are terms only required because of religion is still so widespread. Arguably, they are getting obsolete in societies like the UK where religionists are now in the minority...
At this rate, soon, most Brits will not believe in any god(s) at all. Almost all Brits currently do have doubts or are looked on as a bit extremist.

So I don't knock other groups unnecessarily because it doesn't help anything or anyone and I suppose it invites similar abuse of me.

MCDennis's picture
Atheist: Someone who does

Atheist: Someone who does not believe in the god claims other tell them

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