What We Call Ourselves and What Others Call Us (Updated) April 27, 2009

What We Call Ourselves and What Others Call Us (Updated)

Reader Chiara sent me an updated list based on your suggestions from the previous posting.

There are still a few blank cells in case you can help! Remember, you’re trying to think of words that atheists use to refer to ourselves and what other people use to refer to us.

What We Call Ourselves What Others Call Us
Atheist Amoral
Brights Blasphemers
Cynical Confused
Disbelieving Distrustful
Educated Elitist
Freethinker Fool
God free God damned
Humanist Heathen
Irreligionist Infidel
Jesus deniers Jesus haters
Logical Lecher
M Misanthropic?Materialist
Nonbeliever Non-Ethical
Open Overconfident
Philosophical Pure Evil
Questioning Quixotic/Queer
Religion Free Rude
Scientific Sinner
Truth-seekers Truth-deniers
Unbelieving Unsaved
W Wicked
Zesty Zealot

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Erp

    What we call ourselves:

    M – Monist – “Monism: The doctrine that mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, the same ultimate substance or principle of being.”

  • Max


    Isn’t that a flavor, really? I don’t know…it’s a bit of a stretch, I think.

    Maybe she’s reffering to the taste of babies. Mmmmm….zesty… 😛

    ((Oh, I see, it was from the comments before. But I still dunno about that.))

  • Josh BA

    Maybe it’s just me but ‘materialist’ clearly belongs on the “what we call ourselves” column. I can’t be the only one here proud to be a materialist can I? For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

  • Charles

    K – Knowledgeable

    W – Wise

    X – Xenophile || Xenophobe

    V – Virtuous || Vile

  • M: Mortal, mammalian; E: evolved; V: verifiers

  • I have to strongly disagree with Cynical in Column A. I don’t call myself Cynical at all. And neither do most atheists I know. In fact, I’d call that a negative myth. “Critical thinkers” would be better.

    As for X… how about Xenophilic (loving of the strange) for Column A? I don’t know what for Column B. X-Rated, I suppose… although I am X-rated, and proud of it. (I still think X should be Xylophone in both columns, though. X is always for Xylophone!)

  • And I’d like to echo M for Mortal. That’s inspired.

  • ungullible

    Shouldn’t B=”Baby Eaters” in both columns?

  • Claudio I

    A suggestion:

    K – knowledgeable: intelligent and well informed

    K – knave: a dishonest or unscrupulous man.

    M – mature: having reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional development characteristic of an adult

    M – mistaken: wrong in one’s opinion or judgment

  • Cafeeine

    K-Knowledgeable / Know-it-all

    (While ‘knave’ may fit the description, I have never ever heard it used against atheists.)

  • schism


  • I don’t like heathen being in the “what others call us” column. I know of several atheists and/or agnostics who also call themselves heathen. Yes, sometimes it’s a joking reference to what non-christians have been called in the past, but some of us do, quite seriously identify as heathens. Don’t try to take the word away from us!

  • There’s actually several terms in the right-hand column that I don’t mind being called at all, some even in preference to the left-hand member of the pair. For example: Brights/Blasphemers. I’m one of those on whom the “Bright” meme never took hold — but I’ll readily confess to being a blasphemer, and will cheerfully produce samples of said behaviour on request ;-).

  • In Column B, can V be Venal?

  • Mark in So Cal

    I’m not a big fan of Jesus denier. I think denial implies choice. I dont choose to deny Jesus I just dont have a belief in him as god and see no reason to.

    Maybe Jesus doubter is better since I’m sure we’re all open to evidence.

  • Charles

    W – Wonderful!

    Wacky? (We’re some wacky atheists!)

  • llewelly

    Well. That closes the question. Matt Nisbet is one of them, not one of us. Poor guy.

  • Mikael Høilund

    Others on K: KKK sympathizers.

  • theShaggy

    K – Killers (Baby or otherwise)

  • Heathen? I wouldn’t have said heathen. Properly speaking that refers to polytheists, not atheists. I suspect many of the Heathens I know would be quite put out by this suggestion.

  • Erik

    How about Yahwehless?

  • Vincent

    Knowledgeable : Kookoo
    Mensa Members (hehe), Mainstream, Meticulous, Methodical, Metaphysicists, Meatbags, Materialistic philosophers, Me.
    Voiceless : Vocal, Vile
    Well versed, Wise :
    Xenu haters, : Xenophobes (oh, wait, that’s what we call them), Xmas haters, Xtian bashers

    Drawing a total blank for Y

  • For Z, how about zoonic (derived from animals), or Zendik (an Eastern name for an atheist or unbeliever)?

    Xenodochial (receptive to strangers)/Xenophobic

  • Infinite Monkey

    I think “Lost” is a better term for “What They Call Us”.

  • Peter

    Aw, I’m disappointed. I’d hoped for some statistics.

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