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Old 04-08-2013, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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I think it's because of the following:

If you have seventeen Christians in a room who know all the other sixteen people in the room are Christians, until one of them brings up religion, they'll probably think of each other as atheists.

Atheist means human, but without the religion. That's how they'll more likely than not view one another. They'll try to predict one another's thoughts and feelings by thinking about the other Christians as if they had no religion.

Therefore, when an atheist comes amongst them and says, "I'm an atheist," they'll think, No you're not. We're the atheists. You're the only one who desires to draw attention away from your humanity with a title at this time.

Note that the word atheist will likely not be the title they will specifically use in their minds. The title instead might be Christian. It might be human. Both terms mean the same thing as atheist in this context though.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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Keep in mind that's probably why many people, atheists included, dislike the term atheist. People dislike atheists for vastly different reasons.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:56 PM
 
Location: The land where cats rule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I think it's because of the following:

If you have seventeen Christians in a room who know all the other sixteen people in the room are Christians, until one of them brings up religion, they'll probably think of each other as atheists.

Atheist means human, but without the religion. That's how they'll more likely than not view one another. They'll try to predict one another's thoughts and feelings by thinking about the other Christians as if they had no religion.

Therefore, when an atheist comes amongst them and says, "I'm an atheist," they'll think, No you're not. We're the atheists. You're the only one who desires to draw attention away from your humanity with a title at this time.

Note that the word atheist will likely not be the title they will specifically use in their minds. The title instead might be Christian. It might be human. Both terms mean the same thing as atheist in this context though.
And the research you have done to reach this conclusion?
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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Originally Posted by Arjay51 View Post
And the research you have done to reach this conclusion?
What makes you think I did any research? Why would you assume such a thing?
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:24 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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I think it's an historical artifact more than anything else. In the past, atheists were viewed as immoral, hedonistic and anti-religion.

This notion has survived in some form to the present day, even though it's no longer relevant or true.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:55 PM
 
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Default Why do people dislike the term atheist?

Sam Harris dislikes it because it is silly. He says no one would go around calling themselves an "a-Astrologist" or an "a-Unicornist" . . . and so on.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Sam Harris dislikes it because it is silly. He says no one would go around calling themselves an "a-Astrologist" or an "a-Unicornist" . . . and so on.
My thinking runs along the above line. Atheist is one of those words which only exists as a negative, defining someone who is rejecting theist explanations. This bothers me because A) It hints that the theist position is the proper default position and the burden of proof is not upon those asserting this position, but upon its apostates to disprove. and B) It is defining me not by what I am, but what I am not.

What I am is someone without the conceit that I have the answers to the operations of the cosmos. What I am is someone whose reactions to the explanations being advanced by the spiritually inclined, range from bemusement at eccentricity to appalled by stupidity.

Does "atheist" cover that? "Befuddled contempt" might be more accurate.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I think it's an historical artifact more than anything else. In the past, atheists were viewed as immoral, hedonistic and anti-religion.

This notion has survived in some form to the present day, even though it's no longer relevant or true.
Yes, I have no idea what the OP is talking about but what you're saying is on target. Atheism, communism, hedonism, all sort of got lumped together in a sort of miasma of wickedness and self centeredness that otherized everyone with different views so that they could be marginalized and hated without actually having to have any actual understanding of what was being reacted against.

Fortunately as society has become more heterogenous, more and more Christians have contact with perfectly reasonable and good people who turn out to, by gosh, be unbelievers, and they tend to relax and quit acting like you have a third eye and a tail just because you believe differently.

The other day I went to the local Farmer's market and purchased some food from an Amish gentleman in a long beard. He didn't seem to feel any need to check me out regarding my beliefs before taking my money. Nor did I care that he probably believes at some level that I am terribly worldly because I use telephones and drive cars and have indoor plumbing. We had common ground sufficient for our interaction and there was no reason for feelings of ickiness. If I get to chatting with this fellow in months to come and eventually he finds out I'm an unbeliever I don't think it will matter. Now I grant you that the Amish have a long tradition of trading with us "English" for the simple reason that it's necessary for their survival, their communities are not self sufficient enough to get along without it.

But Fundamentalists have much greater numbers in areas where they are concentrated, such as the Bible belt, and have the luxury of creating ideological ghettoes for themselves. But this is changing in the same way that totalitarian governments have difficulty these days keeping their people in a bubble, and these changes are all good.

Last edited by mordant; 04-08-2013 at 06:43 PM..
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
4,429 posts, read 5,668,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I think it's an historical artifact more than anything else. In the past, atheists were viewed as immoral, hedonistic and anti-religion.

This notion has survived in some form to the present day, even though it's no longer relevant or true.
Yep. That's pretty much right.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:22 PM
 
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For some, usually the believer, it carries boogieman baggage. It is silly and like Sam Harris says, it's needless. In my opinion, only the religious should carry a moniker. Either you're a believer, or you're not; with not being the norm.
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