Atheism – still a dirty word?

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Discussion by: twiikeri

There's something I've been wondering for a while. Here in Finland the polls show that only half of Finnish people believe in a deity, and half don't. Still, only 21% say they're atheist.

I can understand why the religious find the word atheist negative, but why do the non-religious? Maybe some people think that one must claim to be 100% sure of the non-existence of gods to be atheist. And on a local level, since Finns have lived beside and fought wars against the Russians, the word "atheist" may still sound like "communist" to some. I don't believe in God but I don't consider myself an atheist because …

What sort of explanations have you heard? Any theories on this one?

48 COMMENTS

  1. I believe many people think that being an atheist means “believing that Yahweh doesn’t exist” .
    It means “not believing in any god”, for lack of evidence.

    Thought you can never say for sure that something doesn’t exist, even so called agnostics know very well if they believe (or not) in Yahweh, Thor or Zeus.

  2. The Finns have, to say the least, suffered long and greatly from the Russians, and I can well believe that the word “atheist” may still sound like “communist” to some. Even in the U.S. the two words were often–still are–spoken together: “The Communistic-Atheistic Threat.” And it was 1954, at the heart of that perceived threat, that the Congress felt they needed to insert “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Question: When you say that “communist” and “atheist” sound alike to some, is that in English or in Finnish?

    • In reply to #2 by 78rpm:

      Question: When you say that “communist” and “atheist” sound alike to some, is that in English or in Finnish?

      Well in Finnish communist is “kommunisti” and atheist is “ateisti”. Hence, whatever phonetic similarities there are between the words they are equally similar in English as in Finnish. Although I find it a quite far-fetched that Finns in general would associate these two words with each other. Perhaps some old folks, but not in general.

    • In reply to #2 by 78rpm:

      The Finns have, to say the least, suffered long and greatly from the Russians, and I can well believe that the word “atheist” may still sound like “communist” to some. Even in the U.S. the two words were often–still are–spoken together: “The Communistic-Atheistic Threat.” And it was 1954, at th…
      Seems like some people hear the word atheist as communist on any language (in finnish they don´t sound alike ateisti and kommunisti, but older people seem to regard them as one and the same). I´ve even heard my grandpa say “when we fought the atheists….” Hopefully the connection between these ideas will be forgotten with time.

  3. I’ve never heard someone say I don’t believe in god, but I’m not an atheist. I have heard many times, from people who I am sure are atheists, that they are agnostic or spiritual. Sometimes they want to avoid offending family, sometimes they just haven’t come to terms with their own belief, but it generally is a form of minor cowardice.

    • I would take issue with calling a distaste for the term “atheist” minor cowardice. Even RD himself concedes that the term “atheist” is technically incorrect, or at a minimum disingenuous:

      “Well, technically, you cannot be any more than an agnostic. But I am as agnostic about God as I am about fairies and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You cannot actually disprove the existence of God. Therefore, to be a positive atheist is not technically possible.”

      I would agree that it’s minor cowardice to completely shield your beliefs or tendencies when asked directly. I tend towards atheism or hard agnosticism at a minimum but prefer E.O. Wilson’s term “provisional deism” because as explained by him it makes more sense:

      “I tend to believe that religious dogma is a consequence of evolution. Religious belief and the firm adherence to it—and the intense dislike of apostates, people who abandon it—has a very important biologic origin, probably through natural selection, namely the cohesion of the group and the persuasion of people to be more altruistic. So in my view, most dogmas concerning the creation are myths of creation and are not believable. They’re just different from one religion to another.” “When the question comes up, ‘If it’s not true, why does practically everybody believe in God?’ the answer is that it’s true in a Darwinian sense. That is, it provides cohesion, it provides personal peace and rites of passage, and it promotes altruism, which are all invaluable and necessary for the survival of human societies.” When it comes to whether he personally believes in God, Wilson says he’s “willing to consider the possibility of an ultimate cause. But we haven’t really come close to grasping what that might be.”

      In reply to #3 by canadian_right:

      I’ve never heard someone say I don’t believe in god, but I’m not an atheist. I have heard many times, from people who I am sure are atheists, that they are agnostic or spiritual. Sometimes they want to avoid offending family, sometimes they just haven’t come to terms with their own belief, but it ge…

      • In reply to #5 by Steven007:

        Even RD himself concedes that the term “atheist” is technically incorrect, or at a minimum disingenuous:

        No matter how many times the obvious has been pointed out, these misconceptions still prevail. Atheism is simply the opposite of theism. So what is theism? It’s almost exclusively defined as BELIEF in a god or gods. Hence, atheism is to not BELIEVE in a god or gods. It’s not defined as the act of KNOWING that a gods don’t exist. Get it?

        Agnosticism on the other hand is a matter of epistemology. Or in other words, whether we can gain knowledge about something or not. From a rational point of view, agnostics are atheists because if you can’t gain knowledge about gods you have no good reasons to believe in gods. Of course, even religious people use this term. Their point of view is that we can’t use science or perhaps even reason to demonstrate the existence of god. To believe in god is a spiritual matter. Believers have an inner feeling that god exists or that they’ve been touched by god. Technically, a person who has no opinion about the existence of gods or thinks that the probability is 0.5 could call themselves agnostics. But, that would first be a completely irrational position to take. Second, very few people mean that when they call themselves agnostic. It’s largely been transformed into this vague idea that you don’t believe that gods exist, but you aren’t really sure. In most instances, the term agnostic is completely unnecessary and is only used as a cop-out by people who don’t want to offend others by calling themselves atheists.

        I understand that meaning of words change and we just have to live with that. In this case though, it’s mainly due to ignorance and sloppiness. As I’ve pointed out several times I’m no fan of the term atheist. But, using the term agnostic in combination with the term atheist just makes things worse. Either stop using the term atheist altogether (in which case the term agnostic becomes pointless too), or be coherent. These two terms always go hand in hand. The term agnostic (when used the way sloppy cowards use it today) only makes sense when compared or associated with the term atheist. Hence, every time someone points out that they are agnostic because they are not completely sure whether gods exist or not we should ask them whether they believe gods exist or not. If the answer is no, then they are atheists. Period!

        • Your argument seems to be with RD since I was directly quoting him from an interview. I do not disagree with your general treatise. It’s all semantics anyhow. But it’s semantics, as we’ve seen in another recently posted piece, that resonates more in countries such as the US than in many of the enlightened European countries.

          In reply to #9 by Nunbeliever:

          In reply to #5 by Steven007:

          Even RD himself concedes that the term “atheist” is technically incorrect, or at a minimum disingenuous:

          No matter how many times the obvious has been pointed out, these misconceptions still prevail. Atheism is simply the opposite of theism. So what is theism? It’s alm…

          • In reply to #10 by Steven007:

            Your argument seems to be with RD since I was directly quoting him from an interview.

            Well, not really. Yes, I think Richard Dawkins is at times lending credence to this sloppy definition of agnosticism but it does not seem to be an important issue to him. The only times I’ve ever heard him discuss this issue is when confronted with the misconception that all atheists claim to know with absolute certainty that there are no gods.

            My argument is more with the this phenomenon in general. A good indicator that a term is too vague to be meaningful and even counter-productive is when you need a range of sub-categories to make sense of the original term. Hence, we are now not only talking about agnosticism, by weak and strong agnosticism, apathetic or pragmatic agnosticism or even theistic and atheistic agnosticism. In much the same way the term atheism is often divided into sub-categories like positive or negative atheism (strong or weak). I actually found a website that listed 17 forms of atheism: agnostic atheist, gnostic atheist, negative atheist, positive atheist, broad atheist, narrow atheist, unfriendly atheist, friendly atheist, indifferent atheist, closet atheist, open atheist, passive atheist, evangelical atheist, militant atheist, religious atheist, non-religious atheist.

            All, this to describe a term that really just means that you don’t believe in gods. I mean, what is there more to explain? Most of these sub-categories are quite absurd, and only reflect the fact that atheism is a term that no one seem to be satisfied with or really like. Yes, I’m an atheist but… (fill in the blank)

          • No argument here. My original beef was with the accusation (by another poster) of minor cowardice ascribed to those who aren’t in love with the term atheist. You admit to not being a fan of the term either. I will tell anyone to their face what I believe and don’t believe. So the word coward has no relevance and is instead unnecessarily inflammatory.

            In reply to #11 by Nunbeliever:

            In reply to #10 by Steven007:

            Your argument seems to be with RD since I was directly quoting him from an interview.

            Well, not really. Yes, I think Richard Dawkins is at times lending credence to this sloppy definition of agnosticism but it does not seem to be an important issue to him. The only ti…

        • In reply to #9 by Nunbeliever:

          In reply to #5 by Steven007:

          Even RD himself concedes that the term “atheist” is technically incorrect, or at a minimum disingenuous:

          No matter how many times the obvious has been pointed out, these misconceptions still prevail. Atheism is simply the opposite of theism. So what is theism? It’s alm…
          Terkkuja vaan.
          Indeed, one needn´t to disprove gods to be an atheist, since the word only describes ones views in the matter, not the accuracy of or evidence on those views.

      • In reply to #5 by Steven007:

        I would take issue with calling a distaste for the term “atheist” minor cowardice. Even RD himself concedes that the term “atheist” is technically incorrect, or at a minimum disingenuous:

        “Well, technically, you cannot be any more than an agnostic. But I am as agnostic about God as I am about fair…

        I’ve always thought atheism was the belief that there are no gods, not the belief you have proved there are no gods. I’m as confident there are no gods as I’m confident there are no garden fairies.

        • Duly noted. See my conversation with Nunbeliever above for more context concerning the origin of my beef.

          In reply to #25 by canadian_right:

          In reply to #5 by Steven007:

          I would take issue with calling a distaste for the term “atheist” minor cowardice. Even RD himself concedes that the term “atheist” is technically incorrect, or at a minimum disingenuous:

          “Well, technically, you cannot be any more than an agnostic. But I am as agnosti…

      • In reply to #5 by Steven007:

        I would take issue with calling a distaste for the term “atheist” minor cowardice. Even RD himself concedes that the term “atheist” is technically incorrect, or at a minimum disingenuous:

        “Well, technically, you cannot be any more than an agnostic. But I am as agnostic about God as I am about fair…
        Of course, there are no 100% things. For example, I ma linguist and all languages can be subdivided into Synthetic (word order in the sentence does not matter) and Analytic (it does matter). My native language is closer to the first, but not 100%, because change of word order can add some nuance; but English is closer to the second, but again, it is not 100% analytic. BUT this subdivision is still retained, because it provides some information.

    • In reply to #3 by canadian_right:

      but it generally is a form of minor cowardice.

      I look forward to the day when I can be as forthright in real life as I am when commenting on this site. The day hasn’t arrived yet and may not in my lifetime, though I live in hope. The only way forward is greater solidarity within the group and none of this namby-pamby agnostic stuff.

      My hope lies with those under thirty. They seem to have no trouble in stating their exact position. Perhaps this is a function of where I live. I wouldn’t place great hope in small-town America.

      • In reply to #16 by Nitya:

        I look forward to the day when I can be as forthright in real life as I am when commenting on this site. The day hasn’t arrived yet and may not in my lifetime, though I live in hope.

        I find that very sad. I am fortunate to live in a secular country where no one cares whether you are an atheist or not. The fact that atheists in USA risk losing their friends and families due to something as mundane as not believing in a specific set of fairy tales just breaks my heart. It’s so tragic to think about all the families and lives that’s been shattered completely in vain. Just because the religious will rather excommunicate their own children than face their own mortality and other fears. It may not be of much comfort, but remember that the believers are the ones who in the end are imprisoned. By their own minds.

        • In reply to #17 by Nunbeliever:

          In reply to #16 by Nitya:

          I think we’re much closer to your end if the scale than that of the US though we’re not there yet. There are other factors that come into play as well. I hate to reprise the old gender argument, but it’s far more socially acceptable for a male to be open about his atheism, or so it seems. It’s more challenging if you’re a female in your post-work years.
          It also depends on the group in which you’re socializing at the time. When I was teaching, being surroundedby teachers at work and away from work, there was a different atmosphere. Subjects such as religion and politics were open for discussion. These days opportunities for this sort of discussion are limited to specific groups. Even then, it pays to be mindful of the prevailing climate if acceptance. It could be perceived as saying that the believers in the group are fools!

    • In reply to #3 by canadian_right:

      I’ve never heard someone say I don’t believe in god, but I’m not an atheist. I have heard many times, from people who I am sure are atheists, that they are agnostic or spiritual. Sometimes they want to avoid offending family, sometimes they just haven’t come to terms with their own belief, but it ge…

      To me non belief is binary. There are only two states, belief or non belief I don’t understand these shades on non belief.

    • In reply to #4 by Bob Springsteen:

      Why does the term “atheism” even exist? We do not have words for people who do not believe in the existence of the Loch Ness Monster or the Abominable Snowman.
      The word atheism wouldn´t exist without religion, same as the word healthy wouldn´t exist without sickness. I truly believe there will be a time, when one won´t have to label him-/herself as an atheist, but since theism seems to be to norm in todays world, such labels are still needed.

  4. Terveisiä Suomesta. Kiva nähdä maanmies näillä sivustoilla.

    Although half of the population claim to hold some kind of belief in a deity or some supernatural force, Finland is nonetheless a very secular country. Few people go regularly (if ever) to church or claim to be religious. My experience is that atheism is pretty much a non-issue in Finland. Usually if people find out that I’m an atheist, the response is usually that people could not care less. I think the main reason why so few non-believers define themselves as atheists is because they regard the whole term as very intellectual and not really meaningful. In other words, they don’t really know what it means to be an atheist. The people I know who label themselves as atheists are usually intellectuals who are interested in philosophy and science in general. In other words, individuals who call themselves atheists tend to be quite conscious about their beliefs and non-beliefs.

    I guess, most people don’t really look at life through an intellectual lens and hence perhaps find the the term atheist a bit strange and unfamiliar. The fact that Finland is a very secular country probably contributes to this phenomenon. In religious countries like USA there seems to be a bigger need for non-believers to actively take a stand against religious beliefs and institutions.

    In Finland, religion is rarely discussed in public. Religious people are in general considered a bit weird. People generally regard religion as a private matter, and it might seem a bit absurd to use the term atheist in your everyday life. To be honest, I rarely use the term either. Simply because there’s no need to. I am rarely confronted by believers or forced to take a stand against religion. In most cases I don’t even know whether the people I meet are religious or not. Hence, I think many people simply don’t see the reason why they should adopt this term. I mean, the term only really makes sense when discussing religion and belief in gods. Since that rarely happens in Finland, the term might just seem unnecessary or even absurd. In other words, since wearing your religious beliefs on your sleeve is considered a bit weird and inappropriate wearing your non-beliefs on your sleeve might also seem a bit strange and absurd.

  5. “Atheist”, “agnostic”, “non-believer”, “anti-theist”, – frankly I get bored with the whole nitpicking that goes on over these words and others.

    I’m happy not to believe in any God or gods, nor the supernatural, and I’m also happy to be be regarded as a materialist.

    I must say I found Helsinki to be a pretty laid back place, but I did think the locals smoked too much, especially as it was February with the harbour frozen over and everyone had to be inside somewhere most of the time.

    For a short while, I lived in San Francisco, true not the Bible belt, but people were more interested in my star sign, than my religion, or lack of it. Of course I always lied about my star sign just to see what bollocks they would then invent !

  6. As Richard Dawkins said in a public debate, he is a-theist in the same way that he is a-fairyist and a-unicornist (as the evidence for these characters is the same, i.e. zero). I’m all of the above things although I do, Bob Springsteen, cling to the hope that that the Loch Ness Monster exists !! :)

  7. Whichever epistemological definition of atheism you prefer, it seems like the term “atheism”, at least in many countries, is still commonly associated with anti-theism. Anti-theists are the ones most likely to use the label “atheist”, are the ones most likely to be promote its use, and are the most likely to get upset when someone resists the “atheist” label. Those who do resist it typically do so because they don’t want to be considered an anti-theist, even if they don’t believe in any gods.

    • In reply to #20 by SelfAwarePatterns:

      Whichever epistemological definition of atheism you prefer, it seems like the term “atheism”, at least in many countries, is still commonly associated with anti-theism. Anti-theists are the ones most likely to use the label “atheist”, are the ones most likely to be promote its use, and are the most…

      I don’t think that’s really true, unless you just mean that the people who want to slander atheism say that. I haven’t seen any polling data that show the majority of atheists in most nations identify as being anti-theists nor that the majority of people see them that way. I think on the contrary most atheists don’t care much either way about theists and most theists feel the same. It’s only the extremists on both sides that claim taking a position one way means you have to start hating everyone that disagrees with you.

      • In reply to #21 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #20 by SelfAwarePatterns:

        Whichever epistemological definition of atheism you prefer, it seems like the term “atheism”, at least in many countries, is still commonly associated with anti-theism. Anti-theists are the ones most likely to use the label “atheist”, are the ones most likely…

        “Anti” doesn’t mean “hating”. It just means “against”. An anti-theist is simply opposed to the idea of theism, by contrast with an atheist who doesn’t have any problem with theism. For instance, Dawkins is an anti-theist because he publicly criticizes the god hypothesis, and Daniel Dennett is an anti-theist because he’s criticized theism and other religious beliefs. And SelfAwarePatterns has a point: the stereotypes of explicit atheists in many parts of the media are almost always based on “angry anti-theist” portrayals. “God’s Not Dead”, the movie Herb Silverman reviewed recently, is an obvious example.

  8. in my experience (in the UK) people don’t like the word because it identifies them as something. so many are brought up with no religion the term isn’t really needed but I think these days it’s become more tarnished by the global backlash. everyone can bash an atheist without being called a bigot. all that pent up rage because it’s unPC to be sexist, racist or homophobic has a new acceptable target and I think nowadays it has political undertones. these days if you identify yourself as one it must follow you hate religious people.

    ironically I, like many others I’m sure, was fervently anti-religion long before I used the term atheist for myself. still, the dirtier the word becomes, the happier I am to use it on myself

    • In reply to #23 by SaganTheCat:

      in my experience (in the UK) people don’t like the word because it identifies them as something. so many are brought up with no religion the term isn’t really needed but I think these days it’s become more tarnished by the global backlash. everyone can bash an atheist without being called a bigot. a…

      My experience is very different. I think people are more comfortable labelling themselves as an atheist in the UK than they were twenty years ago. When I was at uni I knew very few people who would say they are atheists but now I know dozens. Also, in public life we seem to have many more self proclaimed atheists including many actors, scientists and even high level politicians (both the leader of the opposition and the deputy prime minister). If the word was so tarnished I don’t think this would be the case.

      I think many more use the word agnostic because they know theists find it less challenging. It suggests doubt rather than certainty (I’m talking public perception of the word). Many theists don’t even like the thought that their friends and family disbelieve something they consider of such importance.

      I was looking at councils guide to religions yesterday and took interest in the tiny paragraph about Atheism, as opposed to pages about the large religions.
      It defined Atheism as “People who believe in atheism are called atheists. ” Slightly odd phrasing – a tautology surely, or an attempt to make it sound like a faith based belief.
      “Atheism is the absence of belief in any Gods or spiritual beings. Atheists do not base the existence of the universe on a belief in God. Atheists also believe humans can devise their own moral codes to live their life by and do not need God or scriptures in order to do this. ” – Good thats short and too the point, but then …
      “People may choose to be atheists because religion does not interest them or religion may not seem relevant to their lives.”
      What why would you be interested in worshipping a being you thought didn’t exist? This last sentence I think was there to make it seem like religion is great and atheists are just to lazy to get involved. But also I think not to offend those who are religious with the realization that the reason they are now in minority as more and more people just don’t believe what they believe any more.

      • In reply to #24 by mr_DNA:

        In reply to #23 by SaganTheCat:

        “People who believe in atheism are called atheists.

        oh dear!

        I think you can file that under “not even wrong”. no doubt written by someone of faith but I hate these constant arguments that atheism is a religion or in some way equal to all other belief systems. Atheists make a point of arguing against this view because it’s wrong. theists make a point of arguing for it because atheists think it’s wrong not because they think it’s right. in truth the last thing any theist wants is to find atheim holds the same rights and benefits as their religion

        i’m almost tempted to say let’s call their bluff

  9. The main medium to control people and reality is to control words.If you can control the meaning of words, than you can control people that use that words. There is a sentence in Genesis I think that goes like this:”In the beginning there was a word, and that word was from god, and the god was the word”. (sorry I don not remember exactly), it shows that it is imperative to rule people through meanings of word, and who think otherwise is a traitor. I sometimes feel uncomfortable when people say for me that I am an atheist. This is a label that politicians and religious people have invented for labeling me (or us nonbelievers) in order to manipulate. I just don’t believe in god. I am not religious person. Americans and all politicians of the world need to brainwash their nation in order to manipulate them. They are not going to give freedom to a nation, their job is to control people. Control it through words (ideas). We are guilty for allowing it. American have brainwashed their people with that word “communism” as something bad and dark. I am not sure that Americans know what that word actually means. Words are not irrelevant, they are constructed in order to manipulate people. Naming objects they become easily manipulative. I do not like when someone tell me that I am an atheist because I find it to be an aggressive act and a form of abuse. I will not let them manipulate me!

    • In reply to #29 by Modesti:

      The main medium to control people and reality is to control words.If you can control the meaning of words, than you can control people that use that words. There is a sentence in Genesis I think that goes like this:”In the beginning there was a word, and that word was from god, and the god was the w…

      I think it’s actually the Gospel of John you are thinking of not Genesis:

       In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      The Gospel of John was written later than the other three and reflects different influences. It’s one of the few bits of the official New Testament that reflects the influence of the Gnostics, who in turn were probably influenced as much by Plato and Neoplatonists as by Jewish mysticism. Many of the other Gnostic gospels and other texts were really out there and deemed too subversive by the emerging Catholic leaders of the new church.

      But getting to your main point, it’s a common idea, especially in the Humanities, the old “Eskimoes have a hundred words for snow” idea but many people who actually study language scientifically such as Steven Pinker don’t agree with it. For starters Eskimoes actually don’t have a hundred words for snow, they have a few more words than other languages — not surprising — but nothing close to 100. Also, the data we have about language evolution and use mostly contradicts the hypothesis. What we find instead is that there are striking uniformities across languages and that what seems to matter are the ideas behind the words not so much the words themselves. Steven Pinker goes into this in detail in The Blank Slate and The Language Insitinct.

  10. I think, you are right about both. I live in Latvia and bulk of people associate Atheism with Soviet Union (occupant state in our case), allthough I can only agree that Soviet Union was atheistic only because belief in supernatural was replaced by belief in the Leaders.
    And about percents, it is also correct, because, at least here, many have problems with words of Latin and Greek orgin….
    At least, I suppose in your language it is not possible to change one letter in the word “Atheist” and get somebody closely associated with toilets.

  11. I have read tomes of words by both atheists and believers. I find many Religious people are loathe to enter into dialogue about their
    beliefs. Self-centredness and one-track minds comes to thought. At least Richard Dawking, whilst having a doubt, is open about
    his feelings, but I would have felt happier if he was 100% sure.. Does he ever feel doiubt in his words ?

  12. Twiikeri,
    Your good note is already answering the question. Those who don’t admit (openly) are most likely afraid of being branded with the horrible events (past or present). The only way to change this is to educate people and openly stand for your beliefs, so more people realize that communism and atheism are not the same. We are full of branding and connecting, and mostly right to do so, but not always. Shall any of the words, e.g. Boxing, Homosexual, Polygamy, Tattoos etc. have connections to an overall negative judgement? If ‘yes’. is it based on facts or mainly on what other also think?

  13. The GOSPEL TRUTH – The greatest sin on Earth was when God presented ‘his children’ with the option to do bad things. This temptation
    has been,and still is, the instigator of ALL sin on Earth. Pious people, as young people, have been impregnated with the ‘good god’
    dogma over generations and now it is hereditary. Denying the young of the natural right to freedom of thought and choice and being
    consigned to an Ivory Tower. Catholic Sin in God’s Backyard – The Vatican – is the lowest point. Sexually abusing youngsters by
    thousands of Priests and poisoning their innocent minds is hypocritical. Also the unlawful laundering of Church Funds by THE
    VATICAN BANK for the purpose of tax evasion, and being run by a Catholic Cardinal is another disgrace to the frocked. In both cases
    they have been reprieved to walk the streets with incarceraton, They call this – Church Protectionism for the Catholic Heirarchy.
    Us ordinary mortals would have been put away and qiite rightly so – as in the Stuart Hall case. To HELL with religious imagination
    and symbolism, leave your Ivory Towers ,holy ones’ and absorb the TRUE factors on Earth today Edward Wilcock (86)

    • In reply to #40 by Edward Wilcock:

      The GOSPEL TRUTH – The greatest sin on Earth was when God presented ‘his children’ with the option to do bad things. This temptation
      has been,and still is, the instigator of ALL sin on Earth. Pious people, as young people, have been impregnated with the ‘good god’
      dogma over generations and now it…

  14. I believe that feminism is ultimately a product of atheistic culture, and that the only way to cure us of it is a paradigm shift. What I have in mind is a variation of memetic theory… a school of thought that comes under the topic of semiotics.

    The ultimate test of a successful paradigm is its ability to provide real-world solutions to real-world problems. My posts on AVFM do not specifically spell out semiotic or cybernetic or systems-theoretical principles, but they are there, always informing me of the interweaved layers of meaning that are ultimately bound together into a cultural whole. There is a paradigm-shift in the making. In this spirit, I provide my latest contribution:
    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-violence/the-misandry-behind-misogyny/

    As you could imagine, these ideas are heretical to the Church of the Establishment and its followers:
    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/dont-let-them-silence-us-international-conference-on-mens-issues/

    History repeats. Does it, or what?

  15. Why do I need a label? I believe in reality, what I see, observe and can learn to make a judgement for myself. I’m a decent chap and enjoy helping others. Why do I have to have a label such as Atheist, Humanist..etc..etc – do I have to be part of a club like the religious folk do?

    I would call myself…. a realist :-)

  16. I respect Atheists and Agnostics.

    First I don´t know any Atheist Country -even Communists have a belief.
    Second, why do Atheists write about God all the time? what Authority do they have if they never had the experience of God or Religion yet they have interest? like Nietszche or Marx or Freud?

    I dont find the word Atheist negative, I have atheist friends, but I think most people want to be sure they believe in something like them, and also atheism I think has been related to Scientific, and I think that´s also a negative stereotype as not all atheists are great scientists neither objective, as not all religious people are not good scientists. Mendel was a Monk, the father of Genetics!, Einstein spoke about God, a great Pantheist and Scientist, Darwin was a Christian too but then converted. Galileo, Netwon had beliefs too.

    We need to separate personal beliefs from the object we study I think, with or without God, with or without Religion we must remain I think neutral in Science and let those prejudices away, but that doesn´t mean that scientist can´t believe in anything or anyone.

    I see a tendency of more atheist young people (I am 36 years and a Teacher) and I see students with more doubts -as anyone has- I don´t believe as a Religious Person that I own the truth neither that I have the hole truth, I respect all for what they believe, but I see tendency in young students to have atheist views rather than religious ones, and I think it would be fair to think we must teach both sides of the coin.

    Sorry about my english, I am from México.

    • FRANCISCO X Jul 19, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      I respect Atheists and Agnostics.

      First I don´t know any Atheist Country -even Communists have a belief.

      Communist ideology is a belief. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods or an understanding of the lack of evidence for gods.

      Second, why do Atheists write about God all the time?

      They don’t! They write about the damaging effects of god-delusions and imposition of dogmas.

      what Authority do they have if they never had the experience of God or Religion yet they have interest?

      Many atheists were religious before they matured mentally to reject supernatural beliefs, so are well informed on their earlier religions.

      if they never had the experience of God

      You seem to have the mistaken view that the religious people of the world all believe in one god. This is simply wrong. Hindus for example believe in many gods. Some Buddhists believe in none! While those who do believe in one god, certainly don’t all believe in the same one, or the same version of a god.

  17. Now, don´t we have also false beliefs in Science?

    I don´t find “false beliefs” just in Religion -we have many false beliefs or myths today but also I believe in truths in Religion- Science with mistakes and errors is also full of false beliefs don´t we?

    • FRANCISCO X Jul 19, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Now, don´t we have also false beliefs in Science?

      When scientists make mistakes, other scientists expose the errors when they retest the experiments and observations.

      I don´t find “false beliefs” just in Religion -we have many false beliefs or myths today

      There are indeed many false beliefs today. AntiVaxers, fortune-tellers, Moon-Landing conspiracy theorists, UFO nuts etc. They all use confirmation bias and wishful thinking instead of evidenced logic.

      but also I believe in truths in Religion-

      The faithful believe in the “truths” of the religion they were indoctrinated in and dismiss other conflicting religions as wrong. Atheists look at objective evidence and for religions it is simply missing.

      Science with mistakes and errors is also full of false beliefs

      That is simply wrong!
      Scientific methodology is the best system we have for establishing how reality works. It grades the probability of the level of supporting evidence for its claims. – (False and debunked, Speculation, hypothesis, theory, laws.)

      Unlike religions, once a false view has been proved false using evidence from repeat testing, science dumps it and moves on, whereas religions just keep on asserting long-held falsehoods and adding new ones using unevidenced “faith-thinking”> Science uses objective evidence and independent testing, to falsify or reconfirm or refine earlier work.
      Nobody using science, simply says “This is true beyond testing, because we say so”, or “because some ancient book says so”!

  18. ATHEIST/ATHEISM is the worst word in the world. IT WILL NEVER MAKE CHANGE. And that idiotic logo that reminds [A]narchy.
    Imagine you enter an atheist club. Youll see all kinds of people. And everyone is not neccessary good.(there are satanists, anarchists … everyone unser one roof) Im strictly disgusted with this idea.
    I dont understang why Dawkins is so hard pushing this term. It sholud be HUMANISM ALL THE WAY!
    Can you imagine a headline “In year 2100 the whole Earth is governed by Atheism”. Makes no sense.

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