Can my title please be changed to Freethinking Antitheist

I can upon a quote from Christopher Hitchens:

“I am not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion I do not wish, as some sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful affirmed was actually the case.”

That is more like me than anything I have seen, so I humbly request that my title please be changed to Freethinking Antitheist.

Patrick honest to goodness after our dialog yesterday where you were all big on “free will is an illusion” I half expected you to ask that the “freethinking” part of your title be changed.


I don’t think free will is an illusion. Free will is more complicated than that.
I was thinking of deleting the Freethinking part of my title but I realize that I can change my views so I want to keep it.

Let’s continue the discussion on Free Will. The science of it is really interesting.


Ill think about it. Give me a couple days, k? Let @Revealed_Cosmology explain how it comes off.

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ok, do great today!

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@Patrick shoot, I believe in calling a person what they want to be called. I’m inclined to figure out how to change it today so long as it happens before I go out on the pipeline route and lose all cell service and internet.

I even agree with Dr. T that the term is more honest in what some actually feel than the re-engineered definition of “atheist” that they crab-walked to once they realized how tough to rationally defend the original position was. An atheist used to be someone who maintained that there is no God or gods. Then it became “a lack of belief in God or gods” because they could rationally defend what they said they believed better than they could defend the idea that there was no God.

So while I am all for you calling yourself what you want, I do warn you that this term describes a position which is not possible to rationally defend. That may or may not mean that much to you, given your expressed unwillingness to be bound by reason and your complex views on whether freewill is an illusion. Basically I want to respect you as a person and your desire to be called what you want, but in this case I don’t find the position attached to that label respectable because I can’t see how it can be defended rationally. And that’s going to come up if you go that route. If not by me then others here.

Just something for you to think about. And I do advise you mull it over for a day before another label change. Then let us know what you want to do…

Thanks, I will think about it also. I do have a concern that being antitheist somehow takes away from being a humanist. I don’t want to harm people in any way. If their faith actually helps them through the tough times in their day, it becomes a force for good in their lives. I am not against that at all. I guess I am against the institutions of religion, the priesthoods, the doctrines and dogma. What title can express that?

“Free from Religion”

Not enough as I talk with local pastors who say that they want to be free from religion.

“Free from God” then if you don’t mind being provocative, and I know you don’t.

“Anti-religious freethinker”

Don’t positives work better with communication? Pro-Justice?

@patrick how would you combine the anti religion identity with respect for me, and desire to see peaceful science grow. You find a way to juxtapose those things and you have a winner.

Patrick quoted Christopher Hitchens:

Yet, Hitchens clearly wasn’t against all theists because he was good friends with Dr. Francis Collins, an M.D. as well as world famous Ph.D. scientist known for his Human Genome Project work, and Collins was at his bedside and providing medical expertise as Hitchens lay dying of cancer.

I generally try to avoid terms which appear to vilify individual people instead of their ideas with which I disagree. For example, I strongly disagree with a lot of the misinformed and unnecessarily inflammatory rhetoric of Richard Dawkins—but I’m certainly not “anti-Dawkins” nor am I an “anti-atheist.”

I suppose many see value in provocative titles and self-descriptions. I prefer to go in another direction whenever possible.

I did not know this. Thank you very much for this. My respect for Dr. Collins has never been higher.

I agree. I don’t want to be titled anti-anything. Opened mindedness and being a thoughtful human being like Dr. Collins is the high road to take.

Dr. Swamidass, please leave my title as is. And thanks for creating a place where people can learn new things about THEMSELVES.


Mutual friends have told me that Dr. Collins actually spent a great number of hours with Hitchens during his final months. He also spent a lot of time going over medical records and the frequent lab tests looking for ways to tweak the treatments. I understand that he was basically considered a part of the medical team and was regularly involved in their consultations. So this was no casual care and involvement. He spoke of Hitchens as a friend.

(1) All of the “institutions of religion”? Does that include the hospitals, orphanages, medical schools, and universities?

(2) As to “the priesthoods”, as an evangelical (and this is true of many other Protestant Christians as well, obviously), I affirm “the priesthood of all believers”, the idea that all Christ-follows are called out to be anointed priests:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1Peter 2:9

So I am certainly a part of the priesthood of all believers.

(3) As to being against “the doctrines and dogmas”, does that include those concerning love for all persons and “blessed are the peacemakers”—and many other similar teachings of Jesus?

Considering how many fundamentalist and evangelical pastors I know who adamantly maintain “Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with Jesus.”, they often speak of their wanting to be free from religion in their living out their faith. Of course, I don’t speak in such terms. I consider it playing games with language. And James 1:27 commends and defines “pure religion.”

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

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“Freethinking Peace Seeker?”


Some. I am against local Catholic hospitals in the way that they handle women’s healthcare issues. Also against Christian foster homes not letting same sex couples to adopt.

2 posts were split to a new topic: Why do some Christians claim that following Jesus is not a religion?