How many of you feel that the label "atheist" is insufficient as a term.  I rather like "skeptic" or "rationalist".  Any other suggestions, and feel free to expand on the problem of labelling in general.

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EDIT:  I must rephrase.  Not insufficient as a term, but rather as a label for a group of people.  To expand on my viewpoint as well, I would like to state that "atheist" really tells you very little about somebody's worldview, what they really value.  By calling ourselves rationalists, for example, it helps us to hold ourselves to a higher standard of thinking and being, with atheism then being a natural quality of a rationalist.
I believe you are trying to do what the Reformation did for religion. Divide a group into smaller, differentiated groups. Some people are of the opinion that diversity is an advantage to the diverse group(s). Others think that diversity breeds discord among the diverse group(s). I believe there is truth in both approaches, but neither is completely correct. What do you think?

Being labeled as an atheist doesn't bother me, I've called myself a skeptic to a few theists but they usually want me to elaborate so they can attempt to challenge my doubts.  Often these conversations come at the most innoportune times, I don't have my bearings straight enough to argue. I think they perceive skeptics as doubters who can be swayed and atheists as actually taking the position of denying their creator and precious Jesus. I'd rather cut to the chase.  I suppose what would appeal to me as a position or label I'd take on outside of atheism is secular.  I would merely take that label however to avoid nasty comments that have been made to me about denying the existence of a deity and not because I actually feel it defines me as a person.

Generally speaking I don't really care what label people give me in that regard ( atheist seems to be the most blunt and honest though, strictly regarding my lack of belief anyways), I guess that skeptic works as well, but that's another part of who I am. All of the non-direct titles ( specifically regarding non-belief anyways) seem to be insufficient themselves. They seem, at least in my opinion, to be used to mask the full force of the decision and while I can see appropriate uses and times to use them as such I don't like it. Also the use of non-direct language seems, to me at least, to be a concession to theists that they have the right to stigmatize us and make us the butt of jokes. I will concede that the word has already be stigmatized, but just as the LGBTQ community is reclaiming the word "queer", I think we need to reclaim the title and remove the negative connotations attached to it. My two cents anyways, what do you all think?
after some thought I realized that this is a bit of an idealistic (and possibly simplistic) view on the subject, in the world as it is today being out and direct about non-belief is often not such a wise idea, so I guess I am left with more questions then I came with.
Indeed man, rationalist or naturalist would be better.Good thought!
"Naturalist" makes me think of a nudist colony. Is it just my smutty mind?
As opposed to supernaturalist I like naturalist as well. I think tho it would bring to mind john jay Audobon or Bear Mgillis.

No one understands the use and abuse of the power of labeling better than the religious. "Secular humanist" sounds so cold and scientific. "Atheist" has negative connotations, as does "non-believer".

I rather like the term "Brights", although a bit elitist. We really need a new monniker, something warm and fuzzy.


I think skeptic is probably a better term, because I would say I was a skeptic first and foremost and that is what lead me to be an atheist. An atheist isn't so much who I am but what stance I have on a particular topic.


That having been said, due to the current society in America (and I would assume in other places as well), I would argue that it is very important for people to embrace the word atheist. Other words such as non-religious, skeptic, or agnostic often give believers the impression that we're unsure of ourselves or just haven't thought much about it. Or maybe we still acknowledge God but simply have doubts or something.


It is important to say "I am an atheist" so that people understand that we really mean it, are confident in this matter, and that we are not afraid of stepping forward and being known. I realize that this isn't how these words ideally should be used, but unfortunately it is how they are perceived, and we need to understand and work with that perception.


Hopefully, there will be a day where being an atheist is considered normal and we can start being more descriptive with terms like skeptic and whatnot. Until then, a Christian's mind automatically translates all of these words to "confused & uncertain."

I think our lack of popularity is something we are simply going to have to live w for now and while it is a bit of s chicken and the egg dilemma that any amount of relabeling isn't going to be it much,help.

People who are mentaly retarded are not going to be admired greatly regardless of their label. It was beamed wrong to refer to them asretards at some point. The acceptable label became challenged, and slow and various things angst almost imedietly these words became insults.

I am proud to be an atheist, naturalist, bright, or whatever. It is not any form of limitation as is being retarded. Imo wearing whatever label we have w/o shame is more likely to improve our image than relabeling.
Atheist is pretty straight forward there are outher lables like naturalist or thiest that describe difrent out looks on secular thought keep in mind it's the cause that counts lables are secondarey 




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