Does anyone else feel like falling into a category such as "atheist", etc. is a bit annoying? Doesn't having to use a term to define yourself in society feel like buying a shredder because credit card companies sending you junk-mail with your information printed within?

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All the categories we fall in are annoying. The fact that we are categorized at all bugs me, but I try to let it go. Picking battles and so forth. When I hear, "She's a vegetarian." or "Well, you ARE and atheist, you would feel that way." or "You're so disorganized; just like an artist!" that all bugs me. Maybe because of the negative feel it has. I don't tend to fall into stereotypes, so maybe that's it. Anyhow - yeah, it bugs me.
Imagine how thorny it would be trying to define anything, including yourself, without words. Language can be confusing, badly used, meanly used, but it's all we have.
While I realize "atheist" as a word doesn't have that zazzy flash of a great moniker. But I think everyone is missing the boat! If you don't stand up and be counted then groups which ("although you don't like the word" or "I never label myself under any banner other than my own") you actually share ideas with will never become more than the runt in the metaphysical room. How can a group ever achieve change if no one can decide what to call the team? I personally don't care what you call it, but I am it. Now take credit for your intelligence and scientific/skeptical thinking and make it count for something!
I am not a non-entity. Being athiest doesn't mean anything. Being Christian at least mean's your stupid. By virtue of being "athiest", what am I?
We're not in the metaphysical room.
I call myself an Atheist because it succinctly defines my commitment to not accept a mystical, supernatural explanation of the universe or any of its parts. I don't wear jewelry advertising my position nor consider anyone a prophet. And it doesn't define other parts of my life. I also define myself as a teacher, a wood carver, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a liberal....etc. All of those things and more define me - Atheist is one of many.
That people put more meaning into it is not my concern
I think our desire to communicate creates the labels we use.
Have you been ease dropping on me? This is my main argument, I have many labels which I define and choose, so what?
If only we had a yeah, what he/she said and a like button, I would click both for this Jim.
I can bear being called an atheist. What's so frightening about it? Its funny that people run from the term "atheist". People wear their Christianity like a badge, why not atheists? Or even better yet how about not giving a shit? Every person on Earth isn't as they are labelled. They can put you in a category all they want, but in the end of the day, you are still going to be you and no one can say that!
I am bored with being "athiest". That was the point of my starting this discussion. I resent being defined by what I'm not as a result of others having decided they are something. Am I to wear a non-badge by virtue of others wearing its foil?

I don't take myself seriously enough to refer to myself as any term other than Robocop-having-nude-dream-with-no-anxiety-whatsoever-and-I-didn't-buy-this-tequila-how'd-it-get-here-? .
Several key purporters of atheism (Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, and various others) have been trying to get atheists to come out of the closet, stand up, have their vote counted, their opinions heard, and their notions given consideration (preferably with actions). "United we stand, divided we fall" is the truth. Throughout history, people have organized themselves under a banner and worked cooperatively to gain results. As many atheists as there are, we are actually a large minority. Yet, we don't bother to push for like-minded figureheads in positions of power, heading our agendas, or at least organizing ourselves enough to have a collective stance. All of our opponents do.

To expect atheism to ever make progress in the social hierarchy without organizing to an extent would be as hopeless as expecting a rag-tag band of militia members to take on a uniform army. Organization, open speech, and an agenda are the only ways to get anything worked to consider your desires in today's society's structure. If some people don't want to, that is their choice. But they cannot complain when our politicians draft them for a war in the name of "the work of God' or if they begin outlawing certain expressions of speech, or otherwise impeding our rights to freedom of religion (or lack thereof).

There are millions of people in my country (U.S.A) who would love to be active in a cooperative effort to abolish atheists and to take this country over in the name of the Christian god. If we don't actively share our opinions and show them that nothing is wrong with us, and that we look just like they do, and demonstrate through our actions just how we can be benevolent and altruistic without the persuasion of some supernatural incentive, then we will be overridden by the majority rule every time. They're slowly chipping away at the constitution, and people are trading away bits of their freedom for the illusion of security, as the government tries to convince the people that they need it. As Benjamin Franklin said, "People who are willing to trade liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both." Let's stand firm and be counted.
Even many atheists are telling the "New" atheists to be more polite. Many feel that we should avoid threatening Christians, or they will react even more strongly. But when even professing to not believe in a god threatens them, well, we might as well move forward.

Obviously it would be impossible to organize all or even most atheists into a cohesive group. But what I see happening is a lot of different groups, with different agendas, different modes of presenting things, starting to become more prevalent now. Christians are noticing. Some say it's part of the "end times," some say it's the work of the devil, some see it as a reason to double down on their own efforts, and, of course, some will join us.

One thing I do not see happening is atheists deciding to all sit down and shut up.
When I left Christianity, I didn't call myself an atheist for a very long time. It doesn't make logical sense to call myself an atheist any more than an a-SantaClausian. It was pointless semantics, an argument about nothing. I prefer to call myself a man, nothing more, just a man. And if I must adopt a label I prefer "Humanitarian."

But I have found that if I don't apply the atheist label, if I don't make my beliefs clear, Christian friends and family just assume I still believe, or that I will soon return to what I truly believe. So I'm letting 'em know: "I am an ATHEIST! God doesn't exist. If he did, he certainly wouldn't be the anthropomorphic caracature you read of in the Bible, or any other religion. I have no more desire to return to the faith, than to be blind in BOTH EYES! So please, stop telling me you will pray for me."

It gets the point across, so I'm slowly growing fond of the term.

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