notes: which ‘atheism’?

I can think of at least three different uses of the word atheist: one of which is from antiquity and is a pure accusation; one which is absurdly specific, so practically meaningless; and one which is nearly synonymous with a contemporary use of the word “Humanism”.

Atheism as a concept or body of ideas has a paradoxical aspect in that it only grows when religious hegemony intensifies. There are as many kinds of atheism as hegemonies from which people try to extract themselves. That is to say there is a Catholic atheism which is distinct from Islamic atheism which is distinct from Mormon atheism. Each shares a fundamental doubt of a cult’s claims, but that cult’s particular arrogation creates, in turn, a particular kind of seizing back of personal authority.

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5 thoughts on “notes: which ‘atheism’?”

    1. Well, Mr. Bach, you can take the dictionary approach, but you must then throw out all references in literature and law and ignore the force of history. Even with that out of the way, you must also then begin to wonder what gods you are rejecting when no one is pressing one upon you.

      1. There’s the same amount of evidence to support the existence of all gods throughout history: zero. And I’m not sure where you live, but here in the US, religious activists are very much trying to press their beliefs on everyone.

      2. I cannot help but agree. And thanks for that assertion, but I am not sure how that affects the analysis of atheism as a mode of thought.

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