Why is atheist a bad word? How do we flip this word because I don't think I can (honestly) call myself anything else!

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sk8eycat in the Freethought Today magazine there are many letters and emails they receive that are death threats and laced with all sorts of profanities.

It is scary - very scary.

I guess I never thought it really was a bad word. Except maybe ages ago when I was nominally religious. I started the discussion because I wanted to hear why other people choose to use that word and encourage myself to use it in order to take the "bad-ness" out of it. By now, it has, and I love the word. 

I do not wish to argue whether the word 'Atheist' is a bad word or not. I am an atheist in the accepted sense of the word and have very positive feelings about it. The word "Materialists" has been used since ancient times to describe those who do not believe in the supernatural but believe only in the material world and the natural phenomenon.  The ancient Indian atheist Charvaka and his followers were described as materialists. The word Atheist must be an equivalent word of relatively recent origin. The term "Scientific materialist" is reeally fine but it would still be good to continue to use the word "Materialist" for the sake of simplicity. It is well accepted that every materialist in today's world strongly believes in science.   

I proclaim myself atheist proudly.. I have every right to be proud of who I am despite theocratic bullying or social ignorance. At the end of the day all that really matters is truly knowing who you are, and being ok with that :))

I'm enjoying reading the comments on this discussion. It's very thought provoking.

It strikes me as VERY ODD to even have to explain our atheist position -it's dumb.

It's like saying...
NO, I don't believe there is a 2nd invisible sun in the sky.
And NO, I don't want to buy your 2nd invisible sun sun-screen so that I may avoid the horrible death by invisible skin cancer.

-but when you're the minority (sane), and a direct threat to their cherished world view = instant bad guy.

You might make to much sense to them.

Very good reply Tyler. I agree.

In fact - Xtians are not all that "moral" to me. I think they behave badly.

Agreed. Especially your 2nd point. Human nature at it's finest, disdain towards that which we are ignorant.

Naturalist seems to work well for me.

I keep toying with "non-theist," but it has the ring of "you are trying to fake me out, when you are really an atheist."

I really want to be called the Anti-Christ, but that doesn't work very well either.

I am old enough now that I may try "Reprobate," that has a certain ring to it.

"Reprobate" rocks!  Maybe I'll use that too!

Atheist is not a bad word! I am completely an anti-theist atheist. I don't understand the tendency to want to use a "softer" word, or a euphemism like the Brights. The more of us who "come out", the less stigmatized the word "atheist" will be.

That could NOT happen soon enough for me!




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