I get really fed up of the word atheism. I do not follow any atheism guide, for none exists, I do not follow any atheism dogma, for none exists, I do not follow any atheism manifesto, for none exists. In essence there really is no such thing as atheism. I am atheistic, I was born and raised without the crap of supernatural belief systems.
In Wiktionary, item 3 places the ism of atheism in a category with "overtones of dogma".
It's up to us atheists to encourage the obsolescence of the word, since it is based on falsities, just as the N word was eventually dropped from most reasonable language. Sometimes language self-corrects as the decades roll along, sometimes language needs a little help. Atheism is pushed upon atheists by the religious majorities of the world with the sole purpose of bad-mouthing us. Let's stop it.
Atheism is nothing, we atheists are by no means homogeneous at all as a group. Most of our character is determined by our upbringing during our formative youth years. Atheists are all over the place philosophically, economically, politically, spiritually (gag), many atheists even chose to not even dump the religious values pushed upon us for 20 centuries.
Edit: To be clearer, my gripe is not with the root of the word, I am absolutely fine with the atheos component... it is the "ism" component, the doctrine, the philosophy, it is an etymological issue.
I agree with TNT666. Why should there be a word for someone who doesn't believe something? We don't have words for people who don't believe in bigfoot, or even words for people who don't believe that the world is round (well.. maybe nuts [Charles K. Johnson is a synonym for nut]). No alternate word is necessary.... I grew up in a non-Secular country learning, from my school teachers, that atheists were devil worshipers and, generally, bad people. I'm the only openly atheist person I know. The stigma attached to the word is heinous.
And Wanderer, as he said, the word atheism has nothing to do with science or anything else besides the absence of belief in a god. That's the point the author is making.. that's why the word is unnecessary.
Sadly, "atheist" will exist until religion isn't such a big deal.. When theists are the minority.
Well, I have to offer this perspective to see how many will agree with me:
There is no word that means "non-believer of big foot" because most people do not believe in a big foot, but most people do believe in a god. To set ourselves apart from the majority, we need a word that people will understand what we stand for. Atheist and atheism are two necessary words for the time being, even though the religious leaders (using their millennia long study of manipulating meanings of words) have put an evil connotation to them.
I say, for the time being, atheist and atheism are necessary.
You're disrespecting the real debate by imposing a simplicity that only exists in your mind.
Yes, technically atheism is not a worldview and it's fair enough to want to rid any "ism" associated with the word atheist.
But you're not very perceptive because that's not the real debate. The real debate is about what humanism entails. And, unless you can drop the human out of humanism, you won't be able to drop the infinite interpretations of human nature that are packaged into "ism"s.
So by all means correct people on their misuse of the word atheism, but to stamp out the debate about humanism just because people don't use the correct word smacks of laziness, or wishing to impose your liberal/nihilist values implicitly by shutting down debate, or your wish to avoid the topic because you have no ideas.