As a hypothetical experiment, assume you are an alien conversant in human languages and you observe -

* A bunch of pentacostals.

* Skepticcat's favourite Zeitgeist loon, astro-theologist Jordan Maxwell holding a seminar.

* Loyal Korean Workers' Party members that believe Kim Jong-Il shot an impressive 38 under par (with 11 holes-in-one) in his first and only game of golf.

* Any gathering of ufo freaks, homeopaths or chrystal healers.

* Any gathering of 9/11 truthers and government internment camp loons.

As an alien, you are blissfully unaware of the religions, political leaders, cultural memes or fads of the time. Aside from the idiosyncrasies of ritual, would these people be otherwise distinguishable from one another ? I think not. If they are, how so ? And if they are not, it renders the perennial argument about Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot et al being atheists to vindicate theism moot.

I think it is mulling over this for too long that begins to explain my unease with the term "atheism", because it is a label that can include any of the above (except pentacostals). I don't like it. Hence my preference for "Cynic" - rejection of god(s) is just the first step on the long path of rejecting stupidity altogether.

Your thoughts ?

Tags: believers, faith, gnomes, illuminati, loons, nutjobs, of, quacks, theists, zurich

Views: 68

Replies to This Discussion

Skeptic (Sceptic) plus atheist. I think that encompasses the rejection of the nonsense above and embraces critical thinking. I'm certainly a cynic, but I don't think one needs to be in order to reject the above.
How about "lune" as in "lunatic" ? I guess that would upset Moon groupies.
I would go with "cynical atheist". I would not want to drop the label "Atheist". Regardless of what we call ourselves , xties , fundies, and whackjobs of ALL stripes will still call us Atheist. And I have to admit Iv come to enjoy the reaction it gets from people. Quite the conversation starter.
Cynic, freethinker, bright, skeptic...all apply, but Atheist is the term I have embraced. I was thinking we could call ourselves" Felchers ", after my favorite Nexus guru, what do ya think????
Oh dear, the things you find in google -

I have missed you and the whole wonderful crew Felch! Thanks brother.
I'd heard of this, but thought it was some weird hypothetical sex act along the same lines as "dirty Sanchez", etc. This is a new age thing?! (I can't understand the explanatory sentence too well.) First ear candling, then colonics, and now this?!
My preference for term is "Critical Thinker" but I still like to embrace "Atheist" because it's more defiant and in-your-face, even offensive, to the religious types.
I also like the defiance of the word atheist, but felch has a valid point that comes up over and over again. It reminds me of someone who calls herself a "logical vegan" (she wears wool, eats honey, garlic, onions...). I like that term. It distinguishes her from the "lunies".
Sacha - please educate me! Are garlic and onions not acceptably vegan? Why?
It's a ridiculous concept. I'll email you or PM me. I don't want to derail.
There are a lot of different Buddhists and many are not vegetarian, but the reason I've heard is that it the "life" of the plant.
Other plants besides onions and garlic are also killed for food. There is such a thing as "fruitarian", b/c eating fruit doesn't kill the plant.


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