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Re: Re: [humanism-174] Atheists "invade" CPAC

From: Glen
Sent on: Thursday, February 27, 2014 1:18 PM
Being somewhat libertarian leaning myself, I must object to some of the recent generalizations about libertarians, especially the suggestion that most value "tradition" over fairness and justice.  I myself place fairness and justice far above tradition. In the specific case of the "War on Christmas", I don't think it's fair to assume that if someone is OK with religious/Christimas displays on public property, for example that they are trying to promote Christianity or overrate "tradition." I think many libertarians (and others) would just argue that as long as no tax dollars are used, and people of other religions are allowed to make similar expressions or displays, it a just matter of freedom and not getting one's underwear in a bunch unnecessarily. After all, the Constitution forbids not just the establishment of a religion, but guarantees the free expression of it.  And even many atheists and agnostics enjoy their Christmas tree and such. So insisting that we call it a "holiday" tree or always say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christimas" except in private seems a little over the top, and the type of thing that fosters the idea that atheists are unnecessarily hostile or antagonistic at times.
    At any rate, this got me thinking about whether there are any widespread symbols of atheism or "non-belief" that might be used without having inherently negative connotations, and could say, be placed next to religious holiday symbols. I think the Darwin fish is too specific to the origins debate), and old "pagan" symbols too evocative of dark or satanic notions.  When I Googled the question I was surprised to find that this has been discussed quite a bit before, and that at least one website proposes a specific symbol:
Of course one problem is that it might tend to give the false impression that all atheists or other non-believers are monolithic in their beliefs, when there is some diversity of views even on the question of God-- from those who insist there is no God or anything supernatural, to those who simply have no positive belief in them, to those who just do not know or think it can be known. The latter would fit more with the term "agnostic," leading to the question of whether the symbol would encompass that.  So I'm not sure if having (or publicly displaying) such a symbol would be helpful or not. It seems to tie into the recent discussions of whether a non-believer "church" (or whatever one would call it) would be a good idea or not.

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