Afairyism, Aunicornism, and Ateapotism

First of all, let us bow our heads in prayer for the mighty lord Google.

Now that that’s out of the way, the topic of the day: a-anythingism. In today’s world, most people will assume others to be religious in some way. People argue against the use of the word “atheist” because it is defining people by what they aren’t, rather than what they are. You don’t see all that many afairyists, aunicornists, or ateapotists. Still, among these, only the aunicornists are wrong, because unicorns are too awesome not to exist.

In a perfect world, people would not assume anything about each other. The problem is that it’s not a perfect world, and they do. If nothing is said, people will tend to assume that you’re a mildly religious, typical middle American.

The issue is what is the best way to go about preventing assumptions about a person’s religion. By identifying yourself as an atheist, you raise awareness of atheism and help to prevent such assumptions. I believe we need to keep calling ourselves atheists for some time. Other words for atheist work as well, but what better way to say “I don’t believe in god” than a word with that definition?



8 responses to this post.

  1. Hello rdthrawn. Nice to have an art-aficionado around here. 😉

    It’s a tough one. I’ve been describing myself as a Bright to friends for a while now, occasionally as an atheist. (Everyone please stop throwing things)

    I find explaining the Bright credo of believing in the natural world always gets nods, and sometimes not believing the supernatural; but the name often gets in the way. People don’t latch onto Dennett’s term “supers” they always come up with “dims” and are insulted.

    Describing myself as an atheist often gets a knee-jerk assumption from people that I am not passionate about being alive. “Would you pray if you were i an airplane about to crash?” I’ve actually gotten that old tired question.

    What to call outselves does matter, as it is easier to have a more unified front. But I’m floundering with it as are many people. On Facebook, I list “A Bright, a skeptic, an atheist, a secular humanist”. I could’ve added more.

  2. Posted by Rowan on June 10, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I think the fact I love life so much is why I am an atheist (that, and the I did science in high school), because nature is so much more amazing than anything anything we have come up with so far.

    “assume that you’re a mildly religious, typical middle American..” Unless you are not from America 😛 It is interesting to see peoples perceptions of society change. While in America it is the norm and social ‘obligation’ to be religious in some form, I would say here in Australia it seems to me that Atheism is the new ‘cool’, showing are ‘rebellious’ and all that. To show this, the other day I was talking to a girl about religion, and she said she was an atheist, and I told her so was I, and went on a bit about the ridiculousness of god, when she suddenly stopped me, and said “..wait, I believe in god!”. I think so was trying to say non organised religious, however the term atheist is thrown around here so much, people don’t know what it even means sometimes (it is even worse for agnostics).
    I think with the rapid expansions in science we will hopefully see a change in the norm of religious belief, however in some countries (yes, I am frowning at you America), science is being suppressed. When the majority finally lie on the rational side,maybe then we can call atheists ‘people’, however for now, we need a differentiating label, so we can easily communicate our outlook on life.

  3. Posted by Kelly on June 10, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    I never understood that weird response people have, that atheists must not appreciate life and the world- Seems to me, if you don’t believe in “a better place” after death, and this life becomes all you have- that you’d appreciate it a whole lot more. At least I do, and I can’t figure out why so many people think I have less appreciation for existence because I don’t believe in a big man in the clouds.

  4. I agree, Kelly. I’m not going to suddenly turn into a homicidal maniac upon hearing irrefutable proof against the existance of an afterlife.

    I don’t go around labelling myself Atheist because it’s a non-issue with me. Kind of like how I don’t go around labelling myself White or Female. Who cares? I am what I am. You can feel free to ask – I’ll be honest with you. But if it’s off-topic, I’m just not going to bring it up all the time.

  5. I used the A-word today. I told some kids my own age that I don’t have a religion.

    “Then what do you do if you don’t have a religion?” they asked.

    I enjoy life just as much, if not more than they do.

  6. So you don’t believe in teapots?

    Interestingly enough I used to think that most Americans weren’t religious (or atleast not in the same way I am).

    Some of the people at my church think atheists are creepy, which shows how well the American view of atheists is going.

  7. Ateapotism refers to an analogy Bertrand Russell once made to refute people who say “well, you can’t DISPROVE god’s existence.”

    Imagine there’s a teapot orbitting the sun somewhere between Earth and Mars. It’s too small for our telescopes on Earth to possibly be able to find it so you can’t be sure whether or not it’s there. If somebody were to insist on saying that there were a teapot with no evidence, we’d assume they were loonies.

    But, if in our society there were books written about the celestial teapot, parents passed on stories to their children about the celestial teapot, and everybody assumed it existed, then a person who suggested that there wasn’t a celestial teapot would be considered a loony.

  8. I prefer atheist. Bright is arrogant and provocative.

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