I don’t like that red, upper case “A” that so many people wear on their web and social media presence as some kind of skeptical badge of honour. But, the atheist tag has just too much baggage (thank you Prof Dawkins and others) and implies too much about one’s philosophy that might not apply.
Moreover, critics of atheism and the so-called “atheist movement” (generally those who simply believe in at least one more god than any true atheist) will commonly complain that most atheists are agnostics or some such. There is also a backlash against the term that seems to imply that atheism itself is a belief system, a religion even. Atheism, of course, is as much a belief system or religion as not going for a jog is a form of exercise or eating a bacon butty is a type of vegetarianism, irrespecive of what the non-skeptics and religious claim. Other analogies: “bald” is a hair colour, “off” is a TV channel…
The problem that many skeptics, rationalists, realists, the scientifically minded, have with religion, it seems, is the division between themselves and their search for truth that uses an evidence-based understanding of reality (observations that are reproducible and testable against the theory that explains them) as opposed to the religious who may simply believe and do not need any evidence (other than the words in ancient books or certain feelings). They have faith. If evidence were available to support the existence of a god, then the rationalists would have to update their theory of reality and subsume that evidence into it. That’s how science works.
So, rather than plastering that inflammatory red atheist-A on a website, how about something more a little more diplomatic that gets the message across just the same? A badge that does not exclude new evidence, but simply takes nothing on faith…
If the graphic catches your imagination feel free to modify and use it on your site.
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via Sciencebase – Science, Snaps, Songs http://j.mp/1qyoRae