Thanks for the help, but no thanks.

Brian37's picture
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Thanks for the help, but no thanks.

This is another case of good intent but poor execution.

The title of the article does offend me. It implies that we should never call a duck a duck and never be blunt about it.

We don't need a re-branding. We merely need to be treated like individuals. The title implies that placating the emotions of believers is more important than truth. It also implies that there is a right way to be an atheist, and falsely calls atheism a philosophy.

IT IS NOT, the word "atheist" only talks about a position. It says nothing about how one should act or what their political views are as individuals. An atheist can have the same "philosophies" as a Christian. Atheists can be politically correct along with theists while others of both camps can be fans of South Park.


ALSO, the word "Christian" only addresses the god they believe in. It says nothing about political views or philosophy. Christians range from right wing to left wing to socialists to Wal Street anarchists. There are Christians who have never been to prison and people in prison who also believe.

Many Humanists who are atheists would say that the polite approach is better, but that doesn't mean that Hitchens isn't an atheist. Human behavior is an individual thing, not a label thing and we do a disservice to our position trying to put it into a box.

When we start saying that there is only one way to skin a cat and assume that there is one way to do something or one way to present ourselves we are no better in our logic than a theist. If the atheist can accept that humans are to be viewed as individuals, then saying that we need a "re-branding" plays right into the hands of theists who want us to be the polite silent types who can believe what they want as long as we never offend them.

NOR does it give credit to theists who don't take offense to our blasphemy who don't take it personally. It assumes that those who disagree with us are incapable of an intellectual battle. That is not born out at this website which has several theists who duke it out with us without taking it personally.

It is not to say that we should always cuss and say "fuck you" at every turn. It is only to say that we cant always be polite about it. I like the good intent of saying "We are good people" I think a more accurate statement is "We are capable of being good people". But that doesn't make all atheists good by proxy of label anymore than all Christians are good by proxy of label.

I can only be me. It so happens that I am an atheist, but first and foremost I am me. I don't want other atheists telling me what it means to be an atheist. I know what it means, it merely means I don't hold a belief in a god or gods.





"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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kayoubi's picture
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Are you saying that I should

Are you saying that I should make an effort to not say "fuck you" at every turn? Because that's hard. : (

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'