Godless Living

Living a fulfilled life without God

Atheist Label Revisited

One of my last blog posts on my former blog was about the use of the label “atheist” and whether it was necessary or not.  I mentioned that I felt like it was sometimes necessary to distinguish one’s views on the existence of God, but that a person is much more than just an atheist.  I talked about how using this label often led to arguments about the existence of God that I thought were often distracting.  I argued that there are more important issues in the world that moderate followers of faith likely agree with us on.  I think there are moderates that agree that there should be a separation of church and state, that pedophiles in the Catholic church should be prosecuted, that stem cell research is beneficial, etc.  I worried that using this label distracted us from things we agreed on… and then I went and created a new blog called “Godless Living.”  Seems divisive, but let me explain.

Regarding the labels, I intentionally steered away from one of the more common non-theistic labels, but I also didn’t want to pick something so vague that no one would be interested.  The name was intentional.  The fact remains that people will continue to use labels.  Assumptions are made when people say they’re Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Atheist, or Agnostic.  I frequently encounter assumptions about myself when people find out that I’m “not religious” or “don’t go to church” or even “atheist”.  Regardless of attempts to avoid labels, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck… you know… it’s a duck.  People start making assumptions when I say I’m not religious.  So I’m on a mission to do my part in helping to remove the stigma from all “godless” labels.  I want people to understand that there’s no moral or ethical deficiency in “godlessness.”  We’re just like everyone else with varying degrees of morality, ethics, etc.  The label says nothing about those things.  Our life does.  So while I dislike labels as much as the next guy, the reality is that people place you there whether you openly use them or not.  When I say I’m “not religious” I’ll be placed in one of the “godless” labels.  I just want that to be okay.  I have kids being raised in a secular home and they shouldn’t have to feel weird about that.  I long for a day when there’s much less stigma associated with these labels.


2 comments on “Atheist Label Revisited

  1. Larry Frees III
    January 27, 2012

    Labels in general can be divisive by nature, and I don’t thing humans will ever be able to completely suppress our survival driven need to pre-judge. If it looks like a stray dog, acts like a stray dog, am I going to risk my personal safety to get close enough to see if it has any tags? In most cases not. While most moderates may (and I know more then a few) give way to admitting they don’t have a problem with gays, or with stem cell research, they still won’t let go of silly superstitions about an after life. As an adult, I feel the need to fly the flag, and wear THEIR label for ME with a sense of determined pride. But I do totally know what you’re saying! Thanks for sharing!

  2. godlessliving
    January 27, 2012

    Thanks for commenting! I think being proud of your atheism is important… it helped me come to terms when it when i finally could just admit it out loud. Thanks for reading!


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This entry was posted on January 26, 2012 by in Agnosticism, Atheism, Freethought, Humanism, Secularism.
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