4/16/09

Atheism Symbols - Atheist Symbols

Please note that this essay will now be housed in True Freethinker at this link

26 comments:

  1. You know, I never in my life thought I'd hear myself say this, but I agree with Sam Harris. After watching that video, Sam has a point. If atheists hope to get anywhere, they are going to have to come out and try to put a positive spin on their beliefs. All I ever hear from them is about how Christianity/religion sucks. Well, you are certainly entitled to that opinion, but why should I bother coming to your side then? Essentially they can only say all other options are horrible, and we atheists aren't them. At least as a Christian, I can give reasons why my faith is a benefit to me without ever once mentioning atheism. I am beginning to wonder if any atheists can give a good reason to come to their side independent of mentioning anything about religion.

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  2. The anarchist symbol was interesting, but I think the az atheist's symbol is not meant to represent all atheists. If you would actually read up about anarchism, there have even been theistic anarchists and anarchism and atheism are two separate things. I think it's very dishonest saying that all atheists want no order or law, or that it inspires lawlessness. Another fact is that anarchism does not entail lawlessness or a lack of order at all. That's not true in the least. The studies by Phil Zuckerman make that claim obsolete anyway.

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  3. Thanks anon.,
    But I think you are mistaken in that no one, not AZ, not I nor my post, claims that the anarchist symbol is meant to represent all atheists. Thus, there is no dishonesty in the post.
    aDios,
    Mariano .

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  4. What is the symbol for disbelief in the Easter Bunny? I'm just saying......:-)

    Atheists want symbols? What are they a religion?;-)

    BTW that doesn't look like a Flying Spaghetti Monster....that CLEARLY looks like Azathoth!!

    Somebody call the Lovecraft Estate!! Copyright alert!!!

    I'm done good night & God bless!:-)LOL!

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  5. An atheist symbol would be more of a psychological thing than a scientific thing. It's true, the only sure connection between two atheists will be their lack of a belief in a god.

    But, ya know, in my experience, sometimes the only thing similar between two Christians is that they believe in a god.

    The symbol would exist as a way to identify someone who wont try to convert you or condemn you to hell. Where I live (Texas) that's something you have to worry about. Everyone here assumes your Christian, and if you say otherwise out loud it could put you in a bad spot at school, work, or in public. Sort of like how the Christian fish developed as a way to link people who believe in the Christian god in a time where that was dangerous, a symbol here could link people of similar (not the same) mindsets.

    You've got some misconceptions about atheism. Not that I blame you, I'm sure I have some misconceptions about Christianity.

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  6. Deiter of Venice, CAApril 29, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    I think the better word is non-theist. Atheism, as you've described it, does indeed cover many disparate ways of considering the many naturalist ways of seeing life and its origins, i.e. not the result of an effective will of some deity or higher power. Non-theism will always be at a disadvantage to those who see the world in simple binary, black and white, and easily explainable terms.

    Perhaps non-theists, of which I consider myself one, aren't comfortable with institutional dogmatic explanations. Science, at best, is not a dogma but a testable, refutable, and ever-changing continuum of knowledge. Naturalist explanations leave out much of the poetry and purpose that religion provides and maybe that's what makes it such a hard sell for many. Most non-theists aren't interested in changing the way religionists think about religion. What they are very passionate about is having the freedom to have it religion of their lives and the freedom and respect to believe what is in their own best interests. I can't accept the religious explanation: For the way I look at the world and process information, it simply doesn't work for me. You may not agree with that but if you love freedom you should support my privilege to do so. The irreligious want to be acknowledged and accepted both as a presence in society and as a political force. That seems fair enough, doesn't it?

    So, go on with your egoist explanations as to why I'm wrong, it doesn't bother me. Just allow me to be. Not much to ask.

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  7. Heather,
    I am sorry to hear about your difficulties in Texas.
    I empathize as I attest to you that the atheists/agnostics in my family are utterly intolerant of anyone who dares to think differently than they, they even imagine things to get uptight about when there is nothing there--it is very, very unpleasant to experience such militancy and narrow mindedness.

    aDios,
    Mariano .

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  8. People (religious and nonreligious alike) just hapen to like symbols, by and large. There's no point in reading too much into it.

    Sorry to hear about your uptight and intolerant family members. It sounds like you are experiencing the same thing that many (not all, but many) atheists have to go through with their uptight and intolerant family members who use their religion like a club to beat others over the head.

    Perhaps there should be a symbol for tolerance to unite everyone regardless of bbee or nonbelief who is wiling to be a bit more friendly about such things?

    Then again . . . maybe not. A symbol is only aymbol; it's the reality that matters more.

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  9. Amen Brother, A in amen being symbolic for ATHEISM and men in amen translating into all men and women are all created?? atheist, THINK ABOUT IT, Did you believe in god when you were two or three. So? God is a man made idea instilled into our children e.g easter, christmas......... .We are naturally by the law of nature born Atheist, more natural that way. We evolved as a species atheist until we asked ya WHY???? We where born freethinkers until. In other words god is unnatural.

    Going through the family hate thing right now, Well right this minute!!! Just passing through, Bye bye from Drunken Atheist.

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  10. Back again, jesus if he was real and what ever blah blah blah... was born a none believer, Atheist. Born with a blank hard drive.

    Just passing through, Bye bye from Drunken Atheist.

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  11. Commenting on the asterisk - the picture with what you call a "hidden upside down pentagram" is actually just showing that the asterisk can be drawn with one line, similar to a triquetra. The only reason there is a "hidden upside down pentagram" is because Mark Pursey thought five "arms" would be better than the traditional six in that "The odd number of arms means no one is in direct opposition to any other, discouraging... simplistic binary interpretations [good/bad, love/fear etc]." and "Five is a very human/natural number - five fingers, five toes, five senses, five major appendages."

    Not all atheist symbols are an attack on the other peoples beliefs or religious views. As you stated (in your own way), there are many different types of Atheists whether they adopt that title or not, as there are many different types of religions, many different types of believers within each religion, etc. Some believers are harsh with people that do not adhere to all the same beliefs that they themselves do, and some live and let live. Interpretation is great, yet taking something completely out of context is a little off-base.

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  12. Sorry if Ive killed the Blog above,I was Drunk. "ha ha ha" It seemed funny and worthwhile saying at the Time. Now that I look back on it. What dribble. Its true and I admit I shouldn't attack other peoples beliefs, But I have my own personal reasons for that and Ill try to refrain myself from doing it anymore in the future and Its true, If you show absolute disrespect for someone else's view point, Then why should they respect yours. In saying that, Dido for christians or any other faith too. Any way...

    Oh Boy, Doesn't get any better either and No I'm still intoxicated or on drugs, Although I did do some in Aussie. "Yep" anyway, I know this is off the main subject above, But can anyone please tell if Jedi's, yes Jedi's are Atheist or christians? I'm a bit confused as to who they are, I know I don't believe in god, angle's, heaven, jesus or any of the rest. So I guess that makes an Atheist. Not too sure if others interpret "Life Force" as god or not. I believe their is a personal life force with in all of us with out any doubt and even though personally I don't quiet believe in life after death, I have to admit, I believe death is a mystery? Which could interpret as leaning to a more Agnostic. No one really knows what happens at the point of death. Just know I have a absolute disbelief in god, bible.... Be nice to think theirs more without hindering education, science, history, politics..... I didn't realize religious people where threatened Atheists than any other group. Have had my own personal experiences with religious people and thats just a another story. Ive made an effort not to ridicule the religious today and I'll try tomorrow.

    Happy to any comment on this "Thanks"

    Bye bye from Drunken Atheist.

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  13. Hi. My Name Is Aaron Axe Gotty,
    I thought may be a apple in a circular design would be cool and ironic. Eve and the apple of knowledge? God threw adam and eve out because of this. Knowledge making god redundant? Knowledge is like a stake in the hart to god as it is to a vampire. Logic and commonsense "Knowledge" Apple a day, keeps god at bay. Apple for the teacher "knowledge" Newtons apple "Gravity"..."Jesus??" Blah Blah Blah.....
    Just throwing ideas out their.

    Atheist Farewell, Live Long And Prosper.

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  14. Betrand Russell's Celestial teapot makes a nice symbol.

    http://teapots-everywhere.blogspot.com/

    Ernst Nijsten Amsterdam

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  15. It would be nice to live my life without having to acknowledge the existence of religion at all, but everywhere you turn, there it is. One of the primary concepts, in my opinion, is to avoid the need to belong to some kind of a group to measure your net worth. I actually don't need to call myself an atheist or agnostic, I'm just a freethinker, a man of science.
    The church, speaking generically, is nothing more than a big clubhouse, where the religious members come to trade their not-so-secret passwords and gestures, such as kneeling, posing in a praying position, and looking upward to the sky. I really don't care what kooky things people do with their own time and money, as long as it doesn't impact my life in any way. Unfortunately, that's exactly what is happening, since churches are tax-exempt. Here in Los Angeles, property taxes are very high, and anyone not paying their share are infringing on others who have to take up the slack. How much of society is completely wasted supporting pure superstition? How many man-hours and dollars go down the drain before we say, "Enough is enough!" Huge, opluent church buildings take up an entire city block, paying nothing in taxes to support the infrastructure. The sheer magnatude of these businesses is an insult to the rest of us bending under the weight of trying to live within our budgets, with no concessions from the government.
    My beliefs don't cost a cent, either to me, or my neighbor. In some way, maybe it actually saves some money for the common good, since most time is spent on more productive activites.

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  16. Interesting that Mariano made no mention of Bertrand Russell's "Celestial Teapot" in his extensive list of symbols that were much more easily mockable. Mention of it only barely made it in through the diligent post of Ernst Nijsten in his comment, above. Indicative of Mariano having an agenda? I think so.

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  17. Atheist do not need a symbol like religious people. No atheist in their right mind will wear a chain with the atheist symbol or put it on the wall.

    Atheist are people who looked at all the religion in the world and what scientists had to say. Science allowed humans to be where they are today... I am writing on a computer that is hooked to the rest of the world by lots of different means thanks to science. Seated on a chair that allows comfort and productivity at the same time thanks of science. etc... etc...

    The choice of atheist was not hard. Believing in the same intelligent people that gave us all the science we humans have so far or believe what a old book said written years after every events. Lots of other arguments defending atheist belief could be discussed but the topic is still symbol.

    My belief is that individual atheist do not need a symbol. Why have one? Atheist are free from religious control, happy to have figured out who to believe. They are free to put their mind to something else, concentrate on more important things in life and to be at peace. Atheist do not a international official symbol because they do not care to represent their freedom in contrast to the religious incarceration.

    I agree that some groups will try to save others into joining atheisim. Some have felt high self-confidence when they came to a reasonable, educated conclusion. A feeling they try to push on others for the only reason that it "feels good to be smart". Those people will most likely unite and feel the urge of having a symbol to represent themselves. Why not? Have your symbol! (those are some the symbol described above). But remember that most atheist just DO NOT CARE. Why care to have a symbol?

    Now we have the last group of atheist that might require a symbol. This is the only important group. This group will fight for separation of church and religion. This is the group of atheist that is sick of religious principles and values to interfere in making laws on all levels. Take for instance, the millions and millions of dollars spent by christian churches to campaign on anti-gay reform in california last year. Whether or you are for or against gay rights, it is still religion interefering with the state. It happens all the time, abortion, stem cell research etc... These groups of atheist are often supported by atheist because laws should be established on the reasonable needs of people through logical thinking and not be interfered with thousands of year old beliefs that do not apply today.

    My conclusion is simple. Atheist will never have a unified symbol because they do not care to have one. They are above that. Some organizations will have one, the one that wants to help religious people into becoming atheist (other atheist don't care about them, most religious are blind) and the one who will fight against a religious state (often supported by other atheist as it affects their daily life).

    I took the time to explain why atheist do not have a symbol and why they will never have one. They do not care to have one. I hope my opinion will be read with an open-mind. Thank you

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  18. Atheism is not a choice. It is the way your mind works and what you subconsciously believe. You cannot force yourself to believe. There really is no positive to being an outspoken atheist. All you get is ridicule. You tell someone you are atheist and you might as well have said you worship the devil and sacrifice goats on your dining room table.

    Atheism is not accepted by the general population. Atheism is breaking free of the bounds of religion, and realizing what life is. Religion is a crutch for those afraid of death. It is there so the weak minded can live happily thinking if they are good they will die and go to heaven and live happily ever after.

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  19. Every person on this earth should read American Fascists by Chris Hedges. This book will make you very angry and sad at the same time.

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  20. Having to use a symbol for aethism is like needing to have a symbol for those that sleep on their back or pierce their ears. Who would need to declair with a symbol just something that simply is.

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  21. i am atheist and i dont think that religion sucks.
    i just dont understand it. and i am a person of science.

    not all atheists think that religion sucks or is dumb.

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  22. Why would Atheism need a symbol ? Atheist are individuals not a group. Unlike believers we do not need get together and order the masses. We are not a collective. We do not opperate out of fear. Individuals acting individualy without a purpose. I base my life on facts not belief. Facts are much worse then the Bible and do not provide a way out or redemption. Atheist live in the now and believers are the walking dead.

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  23. “However, I would, again, advice caution with a candle as an atheism symbol since it makes me want to say, “Indeed, atheism and the ‘science’ upon which it claims to rely do, in fact, hearken back to quaint Victorian Era concepts of abiogenesis, flies from meat, rats from laundry, cells are gelatinous blobs, universes from nothing or eternal uncaused matter, etc.”

    So, basically, the very ignorance that science has disproven and fanciful ideas that have be displaced by facts and reality is somehow supposed to be a point against science itself and Atheism? Interesting.




    “I think that the hidden upside down pentagram is a nice touch”

    While I am not certain as to what you are attempting to imply here, but I would guess you’re referring to the use of the pentagram as a “satanic” symbol; although it has fairly recently been used as such (and notably pushed by mainstream media to refer to the devil or evil in general), it started off as a much more benign symbol and yes, later as a Christian symbol. The first known use of the pentagram occurred in Mesopotamian writings (circa 3000 B.C. or B.C.E. whichever doesn’t get your knickers in a twist) to serve as a pictogram meaning “corner, angle, nook, or cavity,” typically shown with two points up. It was also used by the Greeks to symbolize the five classical elements- water, earth, fire, air, and idea (or “divine thing”). The Christian uses of the pentagram include the five joys that Mary had of Jesus (Annunciation, Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension, and Assumption), the five wounds of Jesus, or in Mormon temple architecture (specifically the Nauvoo Illinois Temple and Salt Lake Temple). In some interpretations of the Moroccan national flag, the pentagram represents the link between god and man. I could go on about this for a little longer, but I think you get the idea- the use of a symbol with so much connection to religion in general, and Christianity specifically, would seem counter intuitive for a universal symbol to denote Atheism. Oh, and very good points on the subject Danielle :) .

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  24. In general I would agree with Pierre - that most atheist wouldn't care to have a symbol and that some atheist groups might make use of a symbol - the evangelical atheists if you will, and activist atheists.

    But I would argue over the idea that individual atheists "are above that". Living in the bible belt, everyone assumes that I am christian and talks to me like one. I'm starting to crave something that I can have that let's them know to back off. I'd welcome something that would stop their assumptions. What would ward off the christians?

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