jueves, diciembre 11, 2008

Why the label 'atheist' bothers me a little...

A while ago I was talking to some friends and the topic about my position came up and they asked me "What do you believe in?", to which I answered that I don't 'believe', but that I think that evidence should be evaluated and yadda, yadda, yadda (skepticism)... and then, they finished saying "So, you are atheist", to which I responded "I am skeptic, therefore I am atheist". A few months ago, there was a 'Atheist Pride March' (or something around that), and I was telling a contact on "AtheistNexus.org" that the 'Pride March' thing didn't appeal much to me, because being an atheist is the result of my skepticism, and not some other way around (if there was a 'Skeptic Pride March' I would undoubtedly and eagerly join it. ). If there was to be good evidence about the existence of 'god' (however you want to define it/him/her), I see not a reason why I wouldn't change my mind and no longer be an atheist; Of course, I think that such an event is so remotely possible that I don't really worry much about it.

Why don't I like the label of 'Atheist'? Because then I am in the same group as other bunch of people that although are also atheists, I don't want to be in the same room as them, i.e. Raelians or Scientologists; those two are actually atheist groups. Of course, we may argue that when 'we' talk about atheist, we refer particularly to humanist, naturalist, agnostics, skeptics, etc, but if we are truly strict with the definition, then there are a few groups that are atheists but not necessarily the type 'we' would like to gather with.

So, I think that the word 'Atheism' and its derivatives, unfortunately don't do any good for us. How much, do you people think, that the word 'Atheism' has been forced upon us from the outside the 'community' and maybe the 'community' has adopted it just because that is what others refers to us, for better or worse?

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