Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
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16-07-2013, 02:36 PM
Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
As you are probably aware, Sam Harris and Neil deGrasse Tyson aren't fond of the atheist label. And they are not alone in that feeling. And though Richard Dawkins proudly wears the atheist label (think the Out Campaign), from reading his books and watching his documentaries I get the impression that he views himself as a scientist much more than as an atheist (his foundation doesn't contain the word "atheism" in its name or mission statement), which is undoubtedly true of Tyson as well. This suggests that Dawkins wishes Harris and Tyson were right, or at least that he did so in 1997.

On the other hand, people like Richard Carrier explicitly argues the opposite. And it is the case that this site, as well as other sites and communities, identify themselves around atheism.

Where do you stand on this issue?

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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16-07-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
I define myself more by being skeptical and requiring evidence before I believe things. That has caused me to be an atheist, but I think the skeptic label is far more important and far-reaching.

Quote:[Dawkins] views himself as a scientist much more than as an atheist
Makes perfect sense to me, since "atheism" doesn't comment on anything but one's stance on the existence of gods. "Scientist" makes more sense,anyway, because he is a person who writes about and teaches about science for a living, it describes his approach to things, etc.
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16-07-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
I'll openly admit to and identify with atheism no problem. However, my source of pride is with the identifier of "Humanist".
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16-07-2013, 05:33 PM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2013 05:38 PM by childeye.)
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
(16-07-2013 02:36 PM)Loki Wrote:  As you are probably aware, Sam Harris and Neil deGrasse Tyson aren't fond of the atheist label. And they are not alone in that feeling. And though Richard Dawkins proudly wears the atheist label (think the Out Campaign), from reading his books and watching his documentaries I get the impression that he views himself as a scientist much more than as an atheist (his foundation doesn't contain the word "atheism" in its name or mission statement), which is undoubtedly true of Tyson as well. This suggests that Dawkins wishes Harris and Tyson were right, or at least that he did so in 1997.

On the other hand, people like Richard Carrier explicitly argues the opposite. And it is the case that this site, as well as other sites and communities, identify themselves around atheism.

Where do you stand on this issue?
I have often said that the term atheism is a fundamental contradiction in it's conception. No offense intended. I believe this is based on a misunderstanding of the term "God". The term is conflated with religion or superstition in atheist thought. However, even the word "nothing" has some meaning in the context of what is.
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16-07-2013, 05:39 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
I'll continue to take pride in being an Atheist as long as people are stupid enough to eat the shit being fed to them from the pulpit.

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16-07-2013, 05:57 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
I side with Sam Harris and NdT. I've said it several times over on this forum. However, I do identify as an Atheist, but will always add how I feel about the term.

I like free-thinker because I was religious up until pretty recently. I am free from doctrine now so I truly do think freely.

Most of all though, I'm a science minded individual. Now maybe someday I'll become an actual scientist lol.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
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16-07-2013, 06:06 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
I don't label myself this way anymore than I label myself a meat-eater, or motocross rider or even a Dad. I am all of those things, but one part of me doesn't define me. So I guess I would align myself more with Harris and the like. Atheism doesn't come up unless I am discussing religion, which is to say, not very often.
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16-07-2013, 06:24 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
I can understand where NdGT is coming from, but on the other hand, I do label myself an atheists. I think it's needed as long as the majority are theists, and more importantly, as long as people automatically assume everyone else is a theist. I mean, I have a couple atheist tshirts, I post atheist crap on my facebook all the time, etc. But I can understand not wanting to call yourself that.

But to clarify, I mean to say that the label "atheist" is not a source of "atheist pride" for me, it's just a descriptive term. If I were to be proud of something, it'd be skepticism or humanism, not atheism.
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16-07-2013, 06:43 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
I don't identify as atheist unless it's assumed or I'm asked directly if I believe in god. I use it only to clarify my position. It's not even a large part of who I am. I'm much more vocal on numerous topics than atheism.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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20-07-2013, 12:37 PM
RE: Atheism as a source of pride/identity vs atheism as a word that shouldn't be needed
(16-07-2013 02:45 PM)amyb Wrote:  [Dawkins] views himself as a scientist much more than as an atheist
Makes perfect sense to me, since "atheism" doesn't comment on anything but one's stance on the existence of gods. "Scientist" makes more sense,anyway, because he is a person who writes about and teaches about science for a living, it describes his approach to things, etc.[/quote]

Let's play Devil here: Doesn't that approach risk to make everything besides science look relatively unimportant?

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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