Please answer just this one question (I need hard data.)
A. the disbelief of gods
B. the belief that there are no gods
C. Other (explain.)
Please pass this on to other atheists and give them my email. I'd like to be as thorough as possible here.
Atheism is simply a subset of rationalism. I believe in things for which there is empirical evidence to support.
There is no evidence to support the existence of a god or gods, so I am called atheist. There is no evidence to support the existence of the supernatural, alien visitations, ghosts, big foot ..... so I am a..... those things as well.
I find it alarming we actually have a word to describe the non-belief in invisible god or gods. Is that particular rational stance any different than non belief in sasquach or Santa Clause?
The word atheism is just another example where religion has been given special consideration in society. A rationalist does not believe in any of those superstitious nonsenses. Calling ourselves atheists gives the religious more power than they deserve. How about rationalist? It covers god as well as Santa, Micky Mouse, and Big Foot, and makes no special pleading for a god.
Bob, I like your post. As the years go by, I'm coming to dislike calling myself an atheist. Rationalist is good, but lately, I'm thinking I prefer to be called a scientist.
I'm leaning towards calling myself a scientist because I think more people understand the meaning of that word.
If I call myself a rationalist to a religious person, they will most likely say they are rational also, but they probably will not say they are a scientist. They may say they are scientific, but I can counter that more easily than if they use the word rational. For one thing, most scientists are not religious.
I agree. I've also had a problem with the meaning of the word atheist for quiet a while.
I have a strong feeling this post will ignite another gnosticism, agnosticism, hard/soft atheism debate all over again... haha
C There are no gods.
Ultimately, this is really my attitude. There are no gods, because there is NO EVIDENCE for any form of deity, as surely as there is no evidence for mermaids, fairies (Sookie Stackhouse NOT withstanding!!!) or left-handed zindlefingers. Present credible evidence and a claimant may BEGIN to have a case. That evidence will have to go through the wringer, though, as surely as any other new scientific theory does. If it passes muster, then we have learned something new and indeed very radical in its concept. If it doesn't, then another ill-conceived hypothesis bites the dust.
With only an ancient book and a bunch of unsubstantiated assertions, any claim of the existence of a god is weak tea at best. All the hand-waving done by people like WLC and his fellows is not convincing, either. I hold no belief in gods of any sort, which is why my original answer was "A". Ultimately, though, I have no interest in giving religion any slack at all as regards any of their claims, but this one most of all. Until and unless someone can show me a proper indication that would persuade me otherwise, There Are NO GODS ... PERIOD.
oxford dictionary : 'disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods'.
Personally I think it's impossible for any God or Gods to exist.
B; The belief that there are no gods. This one works best for me, but a revised A is also OK.
A + theist = without + god. That is all the word means. It carries no other baggage other than what humans put on it. Some say atheist is a lack of belief in god. I feel no "lack". Without does not necessarily imply lack, i.e. one is without cancer, not one lacks cancer.
"Atheist +" is without god + a lot of other things, i.e. social consciousness, conscience, environmental concerns, the wealth gap, values definition, stuff like these.
I don't care for euphemisms, they muddy the waters, i.e. abuse renamed discipline. When one softens the language the impact becomes wishy-washy. War becomes an engagement. Torture becomes interrogation.
I like atheism because it is clear, definitive, explicit, simple. When others add meaning to it and express their understanding, often in an accusatory manner, an opportunity opens to discuss what the word means to me and its implications.
I have no interest in converting anyone to atheism; I am interested in getting my understanding into the soundwaves. If I remain silent, I imply agreement.
Yesterday, a thought hit me (ouch!). If atheist means without god, then doesn't that mean everyone in the world is an atheist?
Because there is no god, everyone is without.