Recently, when editing my profile, I noticed a strange forbidden icon demanding that I pledge allegiance to something called nontheism.  I had to check it off lest I be denied a working "Save" button on the page.  I've been nervous about the atheist label for some time now, often using "freethinker" and even, early into my enlightenment, "agnostic."  (Actually, I had been reading T. H. Huxley, "Darwin's Bulldog," who practically coined the word.)  But on the other hand, I dislike euphemisms intensely. 

A euphemism often serves in the same was as the word, "because," or for that other horror show, "but," the latter making a liar of all that precedes it.  Someone once said that the very fact we need language presupposes its inutility.  So I am nervous now about "nontheist."  I hope the management does not mind it if I refer to myself as a non-believer, as that is the best umbrella for all of us.  I love its Luntzian quality.  Luntz had a hand in creation of the braying jackass of a term, "pro-life."  How nifty, since it implies that if you are pro-abortion, you are pro-death.  So if I refer to myself as a "non-believer" I imply I am not a member of that class that eschews "critical thinking" for blind obedience to dogma.  A non-believer is not one who subverts on Sunday reason for the mindless rote repetition of meaningless drivel.  Or on Friday nights and Saturdays, the rantings of the desert warlord gods.

At least the prostrations toward Mecca provide a bit of exercise for those of us who are on a diet.

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I don't mind calling myself a nontheist.  All it says to me is that I don't believe in some kind of entity organizing the universe.  I think it's wise not to require people to call themselves an atheist, since that would mean less variety in who signs up.  I went to a local atheist group for awhile and the people had more the stereotypical atheist views there. 

Excluding actual promotion of theism seems to make for an interesting and friendly site. 

Careful, you might convert some fence-straddlers.  The spectrum is broad, indeed, which is why one of the best books "on atheism" is entitled, simply, Doubt.




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