Why is atheist a bad word? How do we flip this word because I don't think I can (honestly) call myself anything else!

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I actually am starting to really like the term Freeist. I'm not defining myself by what I am not as in atheism. I'm not agreeing to blindly follow any doctrine, sorry but as much as I like John's Orderism at first blush its still imposing an external structure on my beliefs.

I like Freeism because it reverses the nomenclature onto the theist. If they are theists and I am not then I am an Atheist. But if i am a freeist them automatically they are anti Freedom. I really like that distinction.


I like that :), Freeism.  I also agree with it.  It's a paradox to try to get a "free-thinker" to join doctrine.

But the masses WILL be led by something, they would soon collect under a flag (they'll form order out of the chaos, SEE). 

I am openly atheistic in the most religious state outside the Bible Belt.

I also volunteer for the village Public Library, the volunteer Fire Department, with my wife led a charge right after we got here to save our village's Post Office (fighting back two closure studies and a reduced-hours study in one year - a record for any post office) and won.

We volunteer with the city on the rehab of its school, its library, and participate in village life.

This summer, noting the Lutheran Church across the street was open in the middle of the night, I went over with my dog to check it out (the sheriff's office is sixteen miles away). I found the pastor in there in the middle of the night, working on a sermon because she could not sleep. When she asked why I would be interested at all in the security of her church, I responded, "You're my neighbour. I don't want to see the church robbed or vandalised any more than I want to see anyone else here robbed."

Afterwards, the pastor and I were working as a team at the elementary school during the restoration work.

How to make atheist and atheism terms which do not terrify the crap out of your religious neighbours? Show them you are a person and not a baby-eating, church-burning terror.

That's great James Kz!  Our fundie neighbors have said several times that our kids, now 18 and 20, have turned out so well, and they look kind of stymied when they say it.  lol.  You can see they wonder how us heathens did such a good job. :)

I feel a lot of pride with remaining true to my convictions regarding atheism, skepticism, free thought, critical thinking.  It's hard won.  I've had to put up with a lot from religionists.   People can use whatever word they like, for marketing, and social change, and acceptance.  But for me, I stick to "atheist."

Many people from minorities spend decades throwing around the terminologies that they want used to define themselves.  I think discriminated-against people have a right to do that, and it's natural.  Self definition can be liberating.

But for me, I'm atheist.  Proud to say it.

Good for you Sentient Biped!  I love your answer!

After reading the posts in here, and thinking, I must ask, Whatever gave you the idea that "atheist" is a "bad word"?  It never was.... except to the ignorant.

"Shit" is a semi-bad word...and the eff-word; if you ever read the Crank Mail in Freethought Today, you'll see that xians use those words, and worse, when attempting to communicate with an organization that is devoted to defending the First Ammendment.

Makes ya wonder, doesn't it?

I was just reading the crank mail in FFRF's paper last night and laughing.  Most of the haters can't even spell!

The October Crank Mail wasn't as vicious as earlier issues, but what frightens me...sends chills down my spine...is that FT doesn't publish the worst letters and emails.  The threats.  They turn them over to the FBI

And these "writers" don't seem to realize (or care) that their full names and towns are traceable through their e-mails.

If they can't spell, they can't really read, and if they can't comprehend their own language, they can't think.

And they vote.

sk8eycat in the Freethought Today magazine there are many letters and emails they receive that are death threats and laced with all sorts of profanities.

It is scary - very scary.

I guess I never thought it really was a bad word. Except maybe ages ago when I was nominally religious. I started the discussion because I wanted to hear why other people choose to use that word and encourage myself to use it in order to take the "bad-ness" out of it. By now, it has, and I love the word. 

I do not wish to argue whether the word 'Atheist' is a bad word or not. I am an atheist in the accepted sense of the word and have very positive feelings about it. The word "Materialists" has been used since ancient times to describe those who do not believe in the supernatural but believe only in the material world and the natural phenomenon.  The ancient Indian atheist Charvaka and his followers were described as materialists. The word Atheist must be an equivalent word of relatively recent origin. The term "Scientific materialist" is reeally fine but it would still be good to continue to use the word "Materialist" for the sake of simplicity. It is well accepted that every materialist in today's world strongly believes in science.   


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