"Why don't you just call yourself an atheist?"

by slimboyfat 46 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • DarioKehl
    I proudly identify as an atheist. Are we to assume by the OP that this is something to be ashamed of or to shy away from? Because I'm not and I don't.
  • slimboyfat
    This thread is not about atheism it's about Derrida. Sorry for the confusion. ;-)
  • OneEyedJoe

    I don't get what everyone's problem is with "labels." That's what words are for, they label things.

    We don't have labels for people who don't believe in unicorns.

    This is a false equivalency, because to my knowledge there is no label for someone who believes in unicorns. There are general terms like delusional or insane for instance, but if you want to use that as a label for unicorn believers then one might argue that a label for people who don't believe in unicorns is simply "sane." We live in a world where there are names for people who believe in one or more deities, so why wouldn't there be a word for those who don't? If we frequently encountered people who believed in unicorns we'd likely have a word for it and a word for those who don't believe.

    It doesn't seem ridiculous or oppressive or whatever that I be expected to indicate that I'm an atheist when discussing related topics with someone - it's a quick, simple way to give a general idea of my stance. If someone then makes assumptions that are not supported by that broad description, what do I care? If they don't want to be wrong, they'll ask for clarification. If they don't mind being wrong then they'll probably live by their assumptions and I'm no worse off for it. Everyone thinks they're a rational thinker or a skeptic or whatever. So saying that doesn't necessarily tell someone much about you. Saying you're an atheist indicates much more in this case.

    In short - I just don't get the fuss about labels, maybe someone can explain it to me. I get why someone might avoid labels that are of insufficient resolution to meaningfully capture some aspect of yourself (i.e. if someone who is a transgender female is attracted to other females, I can understand a hesitancy to identify as either gay or straight) but the label "atheist" is pretty straight forward especially in the context that it takes for most of us here. And, indeed, there are many other words to describe succinctly what one's theistic leanings are that one doesn't have to rely on either being labeled atheist or theist.

  • slimboyfat

    Unicorns are also a false analogy because belief in a deity is pretty much universal across all human cultures. Unicorns are specific to a particular mythology. A comparison between the two demonstrates pretty shallow thinking. Ditto the trite points often made about spaghetti monsters and flying chocolate teapots or whatever.

    Derrida talked about negative theology. You don't get a negative unicornology. God is an absence of things. If we think about him and call him into existence.

  • Giordano
    I am most comfortable calling myself a non believer. An Atheist is too confining, to limited to express how I feel about religions and beliefs.
  • Finkelstein
    Being a self avowed atheist is openly liberating because it opens the possibility to all ideological concepts even one pertaining to spiritualism.
  • cofty
    it opens the possibility to all ideological concepts even one pertaining to spiritualism

    Which kind of makes my point.

    Saying you are an atheist tells us practically nothing about your commitment to rational thinking

  • slimboyfat
    I am attracted to pantheism, I don't mind admitting it.
  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions


    Actually, it wasn't directed at you at all. Just a "rule of thumb."

    I love Hume too!

    Maybe I should have been more precise. . . .

    Continental philosophers (e.g. Derrida) tend to raise more questions than they answer.

    Analytic philosophers (e.g. Hume's descendants) tend to answer more questions than they raise.

    And then there's a bunch who "overlap" (hate to use that term!)

    That is my sweeping generalization about philosophers.

  • slimboyfat

    Indeed BofC, Zizek often states that philosophy is not about finding solutions, it's about making sure we are asking the right questions in the first place.


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