I don't mean to keep posting about the Nexus, but there's a part of the text that's currently at the top of every page that bugs me:

"We hold a naturalistic worldview.
We are free from mysticism and the supernatural.
We put no trust in superstitions and we seek no miracles."

While I'm sure that applies to a good number of atheists, agnostics, brights,
freethinkers, humanists and skeptics here and elsewhere, it shouldn't be used as a blanket statement to represent the whole, since it doesn't apply to the whole. There are plenty of the above people who do believe in the mysticism, the supernatural and superstitions. Simply not believing in any gods doesn't nullify belief in those other things.

I don't happen to believe in them, but I'd imagine it would seem rather strange and unfair for those atheists and freethinkers who do to have themselves lumped into a category which doesn't apply to them, especially by other atheists and freethinkers. It's akin to theists calling all atheists devil-worshipping baby-eaters, just phrased a bit more nicely.

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Tags: generalizing

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Comment by 5ive on August 14, 2008 at 12:16pm
So then, how about a friend of mine who definitely hold no belief in gods, yet has a deep belief in reincarnation? I vote reincarnation as supernatural and superstitious, yet she is very much an atheist...
While I would love the definition of atheist to include the things listed at the top of the nexus' pages, it currently only means a lack of belief in gods.
At the same time, if this little blurb a the top of the page oesnt describe you, then let other know if you feel the need and leave it at that. chances are that description covers the vast majority of people here.
Comment by Ratnat on August 14, 2008 at 12:07pm
Would you agree that all infants are atheists under that definition?

Historically, the term atheist was used to identify those that rejected the beliefs rather than just simply lacked belief. Logically, one cannot reject something unless it is defined and gods can only be defined through theologies or theogonies.(as Hesiod called them.)
Comment by Sage on August 14, 2008 at 11:21am
But rarely would someone describe his/herself as an "atheist" if they have some other belief system that is more relevant to them. If people are "spiritual" they may be atheistic, but they'd most likely label themselves as "spiritual" than "atheist". If they believe in Buddhism they'd label themselves "buddhist".

I do see your point, but I just find it highly unlikely that people who do consider themselves "spiritual" or believe in supernatural occurrences would be looking to join a community such as this.

However, I do prefer a shorter, more inclusive description, as well.
Comment by Steve on August 14, 2008 at 11:05am
Atheism doesn't say anything about theology. It's just a rejection god belief.

Theism: a belief in gods
Atheism: a lack of a belief in gods

That's all there is to it. Anything "extra" is separate, even if it seems to go along with what most atheists think.
Comment by Ratnat on August 14, 2008 at 10:58am
IMO, atheism has more to do with not believing in the various theologies rather than just not believing in gods. Take deism for example...Deists believe in a creator yet reject all theologies and supernaturalism. They are freethinkers.
Comment by Steve on August 14, 2008 at 10:20am
Buddhists are atheists, but they believe in reincarnation and karma. Scientologists are also atheists, but they believe that the souls of aliens inhabit people.

Not believing in gods doesn't require being rational.
Comment by Ratnat on August 14, 2008 at 10:12am
Can you give an example of how a rational person can also believe in the supernatural? Mysticism, superstition and the belief in the supernatural belong in the theistic realm, not ours.IMO

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