Do you think of atheism simply as a word that defines a lack of belief in god???

Or is it much more to you?... A (movement) dedicated to stopping ignorance, oppression and bigotry by theists???

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There was nothing pre- about my judgement. It was based on my firsthand experience. You could call it postjudice ;)

I just disagree with a lot of what is "accepted philosophy" - for example I consider concepts and ideas to be "imaginary" which is the opposite of "real". Real things exist and imaginary things do not. This is why they're called "imaginary"... "imagine", "imagination"... all words we associate with non-existence. Kids can use their imagination, but they know what they imagine is NOT REAL.
Things exist, they occupy space and have mass.

Concepts, ideas, thoughts, imagination... does not.
Wow, that's a pretty restrictive definition of 'things' and 'existence'.

Do photons exist?
Does gravity exist?
Does pain exist?
- photons have a tiny mass so they do exist.
- gravity does not exist (it's a phenomenon) but the 2 masses exist
- pain does not exist. it is imaginary, and can be controlled with the mind.

It may be restrictive, but such is reality.

If "pain" exists because you feel it, then I guess you'd also say "God exists" because many people claim to feel that.
...gravity does not exist (it's a phenomenon) but the 2 masses exist

This is what the search for the Higgs is about, according to modern scientific understanding, all forces have a particle that is associated with them. The particle that accounts for mass vanish long ago sometime just after the big bang, if I remember right.

The collider in Cern is going to smash photons together and try and recreate some higgs bosons for a brief instance, they will never them directly, but they will (maybe?) see the energy decay and particle trails that get left behind.

Gravity and mass exist, we rely on the very fact of that when physics come into question. We might not know why they exist, at least not yet. That is a different question however.
David wrote: - photons have a tiny mass so they do exist.

Which kind of mass are you talking about? Without any qualifier, I assume it to be rest mass. Then, according to your views, photons indeed don't exist:

Quoted from Wikipedia:
The fundamental nature of the photon is believed to be understood theoretically; the prevailing Standard Model predicts that the photon is a gauge boson of spin 1, without mass (at rest) and without charge, that results from a local U(1) gauge symmetry and mediates the electromagnetic interaction. However, physicists continue to check for discrepancies between experiment and the Standard Model predictions, in the hope of finding clues to physics beyond the Standard Model. In particular, experimental physicists continue to set ever better upper limits on the charge and mass of the photon; a non-zero value for either parameter would be a serious violation of the Standard Model. However, all experimental data hitherto are consistent with the photon having zero charge and mass.

See also here and there.
"How to you view Atheism?"
In full colour high definition 3D with surround sound.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Atheism to me is simply a word for the lack of a belief in a god.
I have no expectations for how fellow Atheists will act or think beyond that.
We are ultimately free to chose who we are.

We're all on an equal playing field... no shepherds or sheep... just people.
I'm seeing lots of great replies here!!! Thanks everyone!!!
The way I see it, atheism is the result of a cleaving of the population. In it's broadest sense it is nothing more than a lack of belief in any theistic principles. In this sense it is as sterile a concept as male/female. Sadly, the cleaving does not afford as large a piece of the pie as many other social divisions do!

When somebody says they are an atheist I can only make one assessment. They have no theistic beliefs (unless you consider lack of belief a belief). For so many years the term was used as a catch all for anyone who did not uphold the moral fabric of the established church. Thankfully the ill perceived notion of our morality is losing its stranglehold on the general public. Many people are actually seeing atheism as viable position.

Just as any other large scale slice of the population, atheists are as diverse in morals, ethics, politics, philosophy... and any other descriptive term you can imagine. Some of us are professors and some of us are criminals! The one thing we share is an attitude toward theism.
Atheism is a reaction to theism. The fitting and proper reaction. But it's a reaction just the same. Atheism in and of itself supplies no useful philosophy. It's a starting point.
Wouldn't metaphysical naturalism be a better term for what you're describing, Don?
Agreed. I was pondering this: Is atheism a consequence of a naturalistic worldview or is naturalism a philosophy resulting from atheism?




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