What Does Atheism Symbolize To You?

Please add your two cents. I'd rather do a poll but this will have to do.
What does Atheism mean to you?
How would you symbolize it? How does being an atheist affect you and your life?
If you could pick on thing to represent atheism, what would it be and why?

Looking forward to LOTS of answers! Please comment!

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Comment by Neece on August 17, 2008 at 1:26pm
Sounds good, Mark. Thanks very much.
Comment by Mark on August 16, 2008 at 6:54pm
Pretty similar to Dan.

For me atheism is all aspects of my life which are influenced by my lack of belief in God. It's a perspective which can't be separated from many other aspects of my self, such as my humanistic and naturalistic beliefs. It's a core part of my self, but it's so intricately connected to other core parts that it's impossible to isolate.

But I don't really identify strongly with atheism. To me atheism is a corollary of my other beliefs. I understand that the scientific method is the best we currently have for learning about reality, and that the concept of falsifiability means that any theory which can't be tested is academically interesting at best, but doesn't have any impact on my daily life. Because of this it's impossible for me to live my life as if God exists.
Comment by Neece on August 13, 2008 at 2:33pm
Thanks, Colleen, I agree. Atheism is about freedom. And I'm happier too, without the crushing guilt and fear of that awful bully looking down on me and finding me unworthy all the damned time. Life is much better as a godless heathen! LOLZ!
Comment by Agent Chaos on August 13, 2008 at 2:28pm
Atheism for me is freedom. Freedom from all the religious nonsense, superstitions and the supernatural. Freedom from depression. When I was a religious human I was very sad. I was always questioning the beliefs. I guess you could say I was a skeptic then. Since I decided to keep it real, and drop the whole religion thing. No more depression and anxiety.
Comment by Neece on August 13, 2008 at 11:49am
Thanks again Rosa, yeah, I joined the Brights.
Comment by Rosa on August 13, 2008 at 9:29am
I just saw you're already a member of the brights...awesome :)
Comment by Rosa on August 13, 2008 at 9:26am
"I do have to say, it would be nice if there were a POSITIVE word for atheist, as it's actually a negative."

Well, there's a positive word for atheist, "bright". I like it, it conveys an air of superiority, but what the hell I like being insolent. ;)
Comment by Neece on August 12, 2008 at 2:26pm
Dan: Thanks so much for commenting. I agree with you as well. I also agree with Sam Harris that the word atheist has a stigma to it that is less than pleasant. But overall, I'm quite happy to be among the few that wear that badge. And yes, I think you can call yourself spiritual if you like.
I do have to say, it would be nice if there were a POSITIVE word for atheist, as it's actually a negative. But that's just semantics, I guess.
Rosa, I agree. Plain common sensical rational thought. Very concisely stated. Thanks muchly.
Comment by Rosa on August 12, 2008 at 9:33am
For me, atheism is just the normal outcome of plain rational thought. It means I'm not letting silly superstition rule my life.
Comment by Dan on August 12, 2008 at 9:13am
Wow, what an open-ended question. I have a love/hate relationship with the word atheist. I love the fact that I am an atheist and what this has done for me personally. The shedding of my past beliefs in God has given me a level of freedom of thought, and release from the fear of a controlling power and concepts like heaven and hell. It has made me stronger, spiritually, if I can still use that word. It has made me appreciate every single day of life on this earth.

Yet the word atheist, as Sam Harris has pointed out, carries with it a stigma and baggage that at times I dislike. Yes, I don't believe in God, but I don't believe in ghosts, spirits, or the devil or anything supernatural, so I am a naturalist. I also believe in the power of knowledge and science and not the myth of religion, so I am a secularist. I work towards helping others and the environment...I am a humanist. Since I study all these areas and philosophy, I am a free-thinker.

Still, at my core and really at the core of all these names, is the fact that I am an atheist. While it may not encompass or adequately describe my philosophies or beliefs, it is the word that I will stand behind and wear proudly.



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