palito_89 (palito_89) wrote in poly_atheism,

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problem with the term "atheism"

why not poly_secularism? as a person who has never had an interest in religion and was brought up entirely without religion (UU doesn't count), i've always balked at defining myself in apposition with theism.

just a thought. carry on.
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Hmmm... I didn't name this community, plus it was originally motivated as a response to the misfired poly_atheists community. But now I've inherited it, and I'd like to keep its focus wide to include any secular and nontheist identities. Though I'm comfortable with the title staying as it is.

I was thinking just that, but wasn't sure how to put it, but you did it just fine there. I was raised in a very religious household but my entire family has now abandoned the church and all forms of religion. I don't know if there's anything divine or supernatural out there, in fact sometimes I think there is, but I'm very uncomfortable with organized religion. That's often conflated with atheism.

However, since this isn't a fundamentalist atheist community, I'm sure there's probably room for our kind in here.
For me, using the word "atheist" is only a part of my self-description. So overall I'm not merely defining myself in terms of what I'm not, I also use other words, such as "secular humanist" to describe the positive beliefs I do have. I describe myself using a moderately long list of such terms, so I'm not just "someone who lacks a belief in a god". Atheism is just one aspect of me.
FWIW, I define my atheism as _abstaining_ from religion ("a-theism" meaning "without religion").

Though I don't balk at opposition to theism. But then I was raised by zealots. *shrug* Perhaps that's why I'd like to see religion become a shadow of what it is now.

I think we should call it poly_apatheism. Because that's what I call MY lack of religion. Now make me community maintainer so I can change it to my whims!
We were going to start that community, but nobody cared enough to go to all the bother.
The community apatheists apparently existed for a while but it died for lack of participation. Mod turned it into a personal journal and then apparently gave up on even that. I find this so terribly fitting.
I'd say they don't have the same meaning.

Secularism would most often refer to a political ideology for a start. One does not need to be atheist to adopt such an ideology either!

According to the dictionary I get this:

Main Entry: sec·u·lar·ism
Pronunciation: 'se-ky&-l&-"ri-z&m
Function: noun
: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations
- sec·u·lar·ist /-rist/ noun
- secularist also sec·u·lar·is·tic /"se-ky&-l&-'ris-tik/ adjective


That again is rather different from atheism as atheists can be religious. We have Buddhist on this group who identifies as atheist for instance.

'Secular', in this context, often means 'referring to the material/worldly'. As you can have atheists who believe in ghosts and the spiritual (just not God) that again makes the two terms non-synonymous.

Ironically, I suppose those that believe in fleshly Gods and physical resurrection rather than 'immortality of the soul' afterlives are 'secular' :oP

Speaking of beliefs, I think that you mean to say "oppositions" rather than apposition.
incorrect. i deliberately used the word "apposition" rather than "opposition." i dislike the use of theism as an explanatory juxtaposition for my particular beliefs, as they have nothing whatsoever to do with theism.

apposition with
opposition </i>to</i>
I think I better understand what you meant.

I try not to get too caught up in labels, especially the labels used by people I associate with. Frankly, I came here for the snarkfest and it could be called poly_gargleblasting for all I care.
well, if my opinion counts at all (I came here for the snark originally and am poly-friendly and philosophically non-monogamous but at the moment anyway I seem fairly a-sexual but anyhow if that's ok hi I'm here) I wouldn't personally align myself with secularism as I am actually very interested in spirituality--just not one that includes a god or gods that appear to me as projections of the human subject (to the degree that is a universal concept--which it's not but it'll do for now) onto an unknowable 'origin' which might itself assume too much about the nature of the universe.

to me, secularism means something fairly specific in relation to spirituality and it's not something I would align myself with and wouldn't seem like the place for discussions relating to spirituality, which is what I'm mostly interested in here. so, depending upon whether this is a group open to non-theistic spiritual discussion, I don't think "secularism" would name it very well.