As atheists, lets make the 'ism' of atheism obsolete

I get really fed up of the word atheism. I do not follow any atheism guide, for none exists, I do not follow any atheism dogma, for none exists, I do not follow any atheism manifesto, for none exists. In essence there really is no such thing as atheism. I am atheistic, I was born and raised without the crap of supernatural belief systems.


In Wiktionary, item 3 places the ism of atheism in a category with "overtones of dogma".


It's up to us atheists to encourage the obsolescence of the word, since it is based on falsities, just as the N word was eventually dropped from most reasonable language. Sometimes language self-corrects as the decades roll along, sometimes language needs a little help. Atheism is pushed upon atheists by the religious majorities of the world with the sole purpose of bad-mouthing us. Let's stop it.


Atheism is nothing, we atheists are by no means homogeneous at all as a group. Most of our character is determined by our upbringing during our formative youth years. Atheists are all over the place philosophically, economically, politically, spiritually (gag), many atheists even chose to not even dump the religious values pushed upon us for 20 centuries.


Edit: To be clearer, my gripe is not with the root of the word, I am absolutely fine with the atheos component... it is the "ism" component, the doctrine, the philosophy, it is an etymological issue.

Views: 904

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

No thanks. Atheism suits me just fine, thank you very much. I find it humorous that you say, in the same breath, "there really is no such thing as atheism. I am atheistic, I was born and raised without the crap of supernatural belief systems." And that's pretty much all I mean by it also. It means theism is bullshit. Whenever the sheeple present themselves as theists, I need not value their opinions right off the bat, because they hold that fantasy is reality and mythology is fact. Atheism simply denies this. And notice that you do not even provide us the favor of an alternative. This is because the alternatives have been deemed even worse than the term "atheist". I don't mind when theists use the word "atheist" as if it were something bad. Insults from such people are as good as compliments. And atheism was not pushed upon me, it was warmly embraced and even sought after as being part of a philosophical mindset which rejects religious beliefs and accepts reason and science. I consider it a badge of honor.

I agree with TNT666. Why should there be a word for someone who doesn't believe something? We don't have words for people who don't believe in bigfoot, or even words for people who don't believe that the world is round (well.. maybe nuts [Charles K. Johnson is  a synonym for nut]). No alternate word is necessary....  I grew up in a non-Secular country learning, from my school teachers, that atheists were devil worshipers and, generally, bad people. I'm the only openly atheist person I know. The stigma attached to the word is heinous.  


And Wanderer, as he said,  the word atheism has nothing to do with science or anything else besides the absence of belief in a god. That's the point the author is making.. that's why the word is unnecessary. 


Sadly, "atheist" will exist until religion isn't such a big deal.. When theists are the minority.

My issue is not with the root of the word, but the "ism". I have no issue with the word atheist, or the adjective atheistic. Ism is about a doctrine, it does not exist.
The -ism in atheism stands for a state of being.

Well, I have to offer this perspective to see how many will agree with me:


There is no word that means "non-believer of big foot" because most people do not believe in a big foot, but most people do believe in a god. To set ourselves apart from the majority, we need a word that people will understand what we stand for. Atheist and atheism are two necessary words for the time being, even though the religious leaders (using their millennia long study of manipulating meanings of words) have put an evil connotation to them.


I say, for the time being, atheist and atheism are necessary. 

Also people don't stake their lives and well-being on the existence of bigfoot.  If the majority of people did, there certainly would be a word for it.


You're disrespecting the real debate by imposing a simplicity that only exists in your mind.

Yes, technically atheism is not a worldview and it's fair enough to want to rid any "ism" associated with the word atheist.

But you're not very perceptive because that's not the real debate. The real debate is about what humanism entails. And, unless you can drop the human out of humanism, you won't be able to drop the infinite interpretations of human nature that are packaged into "ism"s.

So by all means correct people on their misuse of the word atheism, but to stamp out the debate about humanism just because people don't use the correct word smacks of laziness, or wishing to impose your liberal/nihilist values implicitly by shutting down debate, or your wish to avoid the topic because you have no ideas.

I disagree at many levels with Humanism, but that is another debate altogether. Humanists have, for the time being, overtaken atheist forums, but I don't see that as a permanent trend. Humanism, just like other proper 'isms', has a particular 'official' world view. I have known enough religious Humanists in my life time to know that even if one places 'secular' in front of it... it's still an ism that's in tune fundamentally with Christianity.
It's no secret that many atheists find atheism a thoroughly boring topic after a while.

Mark Twain: "Atheists are so boring; all they talk about is God."

Hence, for long-term atheists, atheists forums are defacto humanist forums. The humanist forums are subsequently too quiet because all the atheists are still attached to the word atheism and are hanging out here.

Yes, humanism does tend to have an official doctrine, usually fashionable left-liberal dogma, but I suspect that's only because of the same narrow mindedness in society and politics in general. But I take a general definition of humanism like AC Grayling:

"Humanism... is the view that whatever your ethical system, it derives from your best understanding of human nature and the human condition in the real world."

That opens it up to a wider interpretation than the party line. If humanism is to thrive, and be representative of humans, it will need to open itself up to debate.
I'm deeply offended that humanism has just "human" in it, what if I care about ducks and rabbits. Its an outrage! What you say? The label is the least of our concerns? Can't we just put that small issue of human oppression on hold? :)
"I care" sounds human to me.




Update Your Membership :



Nexus on Social Media:

© 2019   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service