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"Atheism": Label vs Enable

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Published on May 1, 2012

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We disagree and talk past each other a lot when it comes to the definition of atheism, even though it's pretty clear what is meant by the word, and I think this happens because there are two separate issues being discussed as if they were the same.

What atheism actually means and how you want to present yourself in public are different things, and trying to have atheism redefined to fit your preferred public label is like insisting that everyone else call brown "purple" just because you like it better that way.

You may have legitimate reasons to eschew the label of "atheist" in public, but that doesn't mean you get to redefine what the word means just so you can be called something else. I understand not wanting to have to lie and I understand not wanting to be discriminated against but you're going to have to pick one or the other, because redefining a word just to suit your purposes is simply Not Okay™.

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