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.
I'm enjoying reading the comments on this discussion. It's very thought provoking.
It strikes me as VERY ODD to even have to explain our atheist position -it's dumb.
It's like saying...
NO, I don't believe there is a 2nd invisible sun in the sky.
And NO, I don't want to buy your 2nd invisible sun sun-screen so that I may avoid the horrible death by invisible skin cancer.
-but when you're the minority (sane), and a direct threat to their cherished world view = instant bad guy.
You might make to much sense to them.
It's a bad word because we have this ignorant notion that all morals come from the Abrahamic God.. or a specific religion which in the past has been a great way to dehumanize people but nowadays it's archaic. People don't need a God or any belief in the supernatural to be inherently good. It boggles my mind and frightens me when I speak to people who think without their God people would be raping and pillaging in the streets. This should make us worry more about them than the other way around. We also get compared to atheistic dictators of the 20th century like they killed people solely because they don't believe in a higher power.
Mainly though I think our existence makes them consistently question their own beliefs which they detest most of all. What point of life is there without immortality? /sigh
Very good reply Tyler. I agree.
In fact - Xtians are not all that "moral" to me. I think they behave badly.