(consider this a formal attempt at spurring discussion within the group :) )

I know a handful of people whom are atheists yet don't feel the need to 'adopt' (if you will) the title. Overall it's just not important enough to identify themselves as godless. There's a school of thought that suggests the entire concept of an atheist identity is nonsense, as we don't tend to place tags on people for a 'lack of' stance.

Yet there are a number of us to whom it is important. We're vocal, proud and not afraid to say so.

Any thoughts on this? Is it important (or even necessary) to you to identify yourself as godless? Why so?


I feel that it is important, possibly more so as an American. The country seems to be leaning more and more into a religious right while those of us that are on the other side of the fence are at risk of being ignored or possibly chastised en large. I see it as a way of standing up for what I do believe, not overstating what I don't.

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Replies to This Discussion

I agree, the title is important. We seem to be a pretty diverse bunch and without a unifying factor, we have no identity as group.
Agreed, 100%.

It's so obvious to us yet so many theists don't seem to get it.
All too many do get it, I think. That is part of why the word is so demonized. I mean, god forbid, what if atheists became unified and organized?!?!?
We'd kill each other in the process? :P

I think the word is demonized, perhaps, from a lack of understand...or a lack of caring to understand in certain circles.

While things here in Minnesota seem somewhat 'forward' thinking I know there's a number of places where they'd rather just see heathens like us locked away for reprogramming or hunted like witches.

I do agree that one of the strongest points of atheism is the general lack of order. Rigid structures are only as strong as the weakest link yet mash up a mound of jello and it just makes smaller mounds of jello :)
"I think the word is demonized, perhaps, from a lack of understand...or a lack of caring to understand in certain circles."

To clarify my thoughts; I think the lack of understanding is caused by, and fed by those whose agendas are far more reaching then saving a few souls. Those mischaracterizations are continually propagated by the naive, the ignorant, and the intolerant.
"Those mischaracterizations are continually propagated by the naive, the ignorant, and the intolerant."

That's more or less my point too, just not quite as eloquent.

They'll take it at face value without bothering to actually learn about what they're being fed. Those with agendas full well know what is going on but they also know that those whom listen to them will take whatever they say as the truth.
I think I just summed up all of religion in one sentence...
I'll add that I think that the term Atheist is very useful because it is a clear statement that everyone can identify. Yes, there are strong negative associations but I don't see how that can be avoided. The other terms, secular humanist, bright, etc need definitions for most of the people we run into. When I tell people that I am an atheist, I never get asked "What does that mean?"

It's a good conversation starter, I promise. Not all the conversations are friendly, but people don't have to guess about me when it comes to religion.
Hi, Hessenroots

I just found this group (and probably my atheist identity as well) and I have to say that I guess I'm one who doesn't feel the need to identify myself. I've thought about it quite a lot, but never discussed it with anyone.

I must also say that at the time of your original posting I was ever more fearful of the religious right and may have been more agreeable to your own position. But today (well, actually since Nov 4), I'm feeling that we have real prospects for intellectual freedom, again.

Doug
What drives me whacky is that so many people think that "atheist" means "has no doubt" that God doesn't exist, "how can they be so sure of themselves", "close-minded". While "agnostics" are like "open-minded" atheists who question the existence of God.

Why is it that we are "two worded"? What other belief is there where there is one word for "absolutely sure" and another word for "not so sure"? We don't divide Christians into say "Christians" (meaning has no doubt) and "ChristAgnostics" meaning sometimes questions their religion.

I'm so sick of being asked which I am. (I usually say atheist - that I don't believe in God but I'm not 100% sure).

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