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Atheist = Sceptic = Freethinker = Secular?

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  • Atheist = Sceptic = Freethinker = Secular?


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Answer #1 | 26/12 2013 13:07
You forgot Scientist, Physicist, etc.
Positive: 100 %
Answer #2 | 26/12 2013 13:08
Sometimes because Atheists do tend to follow those three methods of thought, but it's mostly because the vast majority of hard-line Christians are conservative, and Skepticism, Secularism, and Freethinking are all left-wing methods.
Positive: 66.666666666667 %
Answer #3 | 26/12 2013 13:09
In general, in the western world, anyone who calls themselves an atheist, does tend to be all those things. It's a generalisation. Not exactly a wild one.
Positive: 66.666666666667 %
Answer #4 | 26/12 2013 19:25
An Atheist is one who does not believe in any God.
Positive: 66.666666666667 %
Answer #5 | 27/12 2013 06:02
It sorta has to do with the limitations inherent to the term atheist. The word itself only actually says one thing about a person - that they don't believe any god-claims - so many atheists prefer to use other terms to identify themselves more broadly. Secularism is an obvious one, since if someone doesn't believe any god-claims, they're fairly unlikely to belong to any religion. Skepticism and freethinking are themselves common routes to atheism - the consistent application of either mindset to all subjects must include application to religious claims, and when addressed rationally all god-claims are found wanting. As a result of these (and other) factors, the vast majority of people who specifically identify as skeptics, freethinkers or secularists are also atheist, whether or not they choose to specifically identify as such. Yes, you can be a freethinking, secular skeptic without being an atheist, but only if you deliberately avoid applying your freethinking skepticism to religious claims. But there's one other major factor at play - prejudice. Freethinking and skepticism can both address all sorts of topics, and generally speaking their positions are only seen as contentious to those who promote or benefit from the topics the skeptics and freethinkers challenge. But when their positions challenge religious claims, they're faced with a much bigger demographic of opposition. And the majority of this opposition belong to traditions which encourage open prejudice against "unbelievers", so anyone who challenges religious claims is automatically placed in that category by believers. This seems likely to be why you're so bothered by this conflation - everyone wants to think of themselves as freethinkers (tho this is rarely true), no-one wants to think of themselves as gullible (which is essentially what skepticism tries to address), and the majority of almost everyone's lives are secular, so having these positions conflated with another position which has been culturally demonized (with highly spurious justification) for centuries is troubling for theists. If you drop the prejudice and just see atheism for what it is - a non-affirmative (not even necessarily negative) response to one specific question - then you'll quickly come to understand that this position is merely one that happens to be shared by the majority of freethinkers, skeptics and secularists. The only reason this is an issue is because religious influences are yet again posing a growing threat throughout the world, and atheism just happens to be the central banner under which opposition to this threat is gathering.
Positive: 66.666666666667 %
Answer #6 | 26/12 2013 13:09
= satanist
Positive: 50 %
Answer #7 | 26/12 2013 13:04
Atheism equals reality.
Positive: 50 %

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