Not even an atheist

Don’t believe in a God, but I do not answer to any tag like Atheist. Religion is rather like a hobby or pasttime, except some of those who practise it are so ‘mad’ that they believe they should force their values on the rest of us. If you don’t follow a sport like football are you are an afootballist? No, simply not interested! So why do we who are not into a religion have to assume some badge, if we do then we elevate religious beliefs to a more credible position than they deserve.

And another along the same lines…

Don’t know what’s so special about not worrying about weird outlandish things that it has even a separate name? I noticed that the label “religious” is not preferred by them but they take it as some kind of default that needs no name because everybody is like that anyway. Sorry but the “default” position is childhood, parents, powerlessness. Not that.

Add, hopefully, scientific morality taught be grown-ups when necessary.

I have received many e-mails from people who think that the word “atheist” should be avoided (or should not exist) because they think that having a word for lack of belief grants special status to religious thought. My feeling is that since the area of thought we refer to as “religion” exists and is discussed, there is nothing wrong with having words to describe people’s position on religion.

It’s true that we don’t have a word for someone who is not interested in football, but being not interested in football isn’t a position generally considered within the context of a discussion of football. Atheism, on the other hand, is a specific philosophical position with respect to religion, perhaps in the same way that “skeptic” is a specific philosophical position with respect to the supernatural.

This may be a trivial point, but English has many words that refer to a negative state of belief or behavior. For example, apolitical, amoral, anarchy, and apathy.

Posted on October 8, 2008 at 8:47 am by ideclare · Permalink
In: Misc

6 Responses

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  1. Written by godlovesyou
    on October 8, 2008 at 2:29 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. Christians are instructed to give the Good News to all…and that includes atheists.

    I entered a website that said by having done so that meant that I was an atheist. I, of course, am not an atheist. I entered to tell you of God’s love for you.

    Are you familiar with John 3: 16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

    You might want to study the New Testament of the Christian faith in depth sometime–especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There is a lot of love and truth to be found there.

    God bless you.

  2. Written by Ian Andreas Miller
    on October 8, 2008 at 10:09 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    “If you don’t follow a sport like football are you are an afootballist? No, simply not interested!”

    Ah, but as soon as footballists start going around telling afootballists that they are going to hell, that there are no afootballists in foxholes, that afootballists can’t be moral people because afootballism has no objective moral foundation, that afootballists may after all be moral despite the fact that afootballism has no objective moral foundation, that afootballists are arrogant because they don’t believe in anything greater than themselves, that footballists don’t have enough faith to be afootballists because it takes more faith to refuse to believe the reality of footballism, that the greatest atrocities of the 21st century were committed in the name of afootballism by afootballists… then the analogy would make sense.

  3. Written by mark
    on October 13, 2008 at 6:58 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Religion -> implies (not always though) belief in a deity. Therefore, if atheism is the absense of belief an a deity, and religion encompasses all belief systems, then the analogy to sport would not be afootballist.

    The best analogy would be that footballists are trying to force everyone to play football; including baseballists and golfists, and there’s a group of people called asportists who aren’t drawn to football, or any other sport for that matter, who just want to be left alone.

  4. Written by Rory
    on November 3, 2008 at 10:35 am
    Reply · Permalink

    I’d like to point out that “scientific morality” doesn’t exist. Science does not address subjects of value and merit, nor is science a rhetorical tool or stance. Morality is a value laden rhetorical activity, it is the action of espousing certain values and standards and arguing for and against those one chooses to assert or deny. Science is a way to figure out how we can do things with the world around us, nothing more. Mind you that this is a fantastic and amazing purpose, but please remember, Science will not answer all of your questions.

  5. Written by Chris
    on December 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    I don’t think the point was that the word is inherently “bad,” but rather, the existence of the notion of atheism is unnecessary. Take political correctness, as an example. You can come up with any word you like for someone of color that doesn’t happen to be offensive at that point in time, but it still supports Said’s creation of the “other,” regardless of offense. Ultimately, someone who has a darker shade of skin is still just another person on the planet, just as people who don’t give theisms any mind are just another person on the planet. Call it whatever you like, if you must, but the distinction doesn’t necessarily need to be made.

  6. Written by Trish
    on January 28, 2009 at 10:39 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    It’s been a strange progression in my family concerning religion. My mom was raised a Catholic and I’m not sure what my father’s beliefs were. My sister and I had to go to Sunday school when we were very young. It was a terrifying experience for me and I focused on death ALOT, crying myself to sleep at night. I was never comfortable with religion from very early on, and as the years went by I realized that I could not, and would not, embrace it. My mother, after attending college and learning more about other theories on how we came to be, took a year to reflect and realize she was an atheist. I’ve never pushed my beliefs on my own children, who are all grown, but they, too, do not believe in God. I just told them my feelings, but let them attend church with friends and allowed them to explore their own feelings about it. They came to their own conclusions on their own. My sister, however, is Muslim, but that is more from a need to belong somewhere than the religion itself. Anyway, I’ve always respected others’ points of view, but it seems if I am pulled into a “discussion” on religion, those who are believers in God want to immediately dismiss my feelings and push theirs on me. The respect goes only one way. I have an open mind, but there is not one shred of evidence of a higher power to convince me to even consider it. If God himself decided to come down and talk to me personally, I might be compelled to believe in him. He hasn’t, so I don’t. Let me tell you about a horrific event that happened a few years ago that I will never forget. Out of that tragedy, people still come up with some ridiculous reason for why it happened. I live in Missouri. In Kansas there was a freak flood that ran over a highway with no history of flooding, at least not to this degree. Water poured violently over the highway, sweeping away one of those concrete walls that was set up between opposing lanes. It took with it an SUV with a family of five…mom, dad, and four adopted children, all very young. The father was the only survivor. What really struck me was the plate they had on the front of their SUV (Kansas only requires a rear plate, so some people put whatever they want on the front). It said “GOD IS MY PILOT”. The surviving father still had a strong faith in God after he lost his entire family and was on t.v. many times to talk about how it was God’s plan and all that. It made me sick. Why is it that the absolute worst thing can happen to you and yet God is still good? I’ve also heard more times than I can stand “God never gives you more than you can handle”. Tell that to all those who commit suicide each year, or those who suddenly snap and kill their co-workers because they just got fired. If I dare bring up these issues, I get a defensive reaction, rather than a logical sounding reason. I do, however, believe in ghosts, to use a simplified term, due to my own personal experiences with them. I do not expect others to believe in them if they have not had similar experiences. However, most believers in God will readily dismiss my belief in ghosts, despite their own belief in Jesus rising from the grave. There is so much hypocrisy out there that it just boggles my mind when so many are blind to it. I know what I believe, I am very sensitive and respectful of the belief of others, but often I don’t get that sensitivity and respect from those with opposing beliefs. Religion, to me, can be very dangerous because of how some interpret it. I have nothing to interpret. I use my conscience to make my own decisions and to guide how I interact with others. Frankly, I think I’m much more caring, sensitive, and accepting of and for others than most religious people I know…I know I may be rambling, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get all this off my chest. It just seems that this is a good forum for that because I don’t detect fanaticism I’ve found on other sites. Respectful communication is a good thing. Okay, I’ll shut up now :)

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