Atheism symbols

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American Atheists
Atheist Nate Phelps spoke at the 2009 American Atheists convention.[1] The atomic symbol of the American Atheists organization is in the background.

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement), Title: Nate Phelps AAC00 (a very brave man)

Atheism symbols refer to the particular marks that represent atheism. Atheism has several different symbols it uses to represent itself. Although atheist PZ Myers has argued that it is inevitable that a "designated symbol of some sort is eventually going to come up from grass roots and become popular..", atheist François Tremblay in his essay "Herding Cats: Why Atheism Will Lose" argues that concerted agreement/action is often very difficult to achieve in the atheist community which would argue against a designated and universal atheism symbol occurring over a long period of time.[2][3] In 2008, a list of 120 atheism symbols was compiled.[4]

Contents

Darwin Fish

One of the most frequently seen symbols that atheists use is the "Darwin fish". The Darwin fish is a perversion of the Ichthys, a famous symbol associated with Christianity and Jesus, and is often associated with evolution and anti-creationism. It is often seen as a cynical attack on Christianity.

Atomic Symbol

The atomic symbol was developed by the American Atheists in 1963 and represents the belief that human progress can best be achieved through the scientific method and rational, open inquiry. The symbol has not gained wide acceptance due to its association with hazardous nuclear waste, nuclear bombs and hazardous radiation.

"Empty Set"

The empty set symbol, ∅, was originally suggested by Wayne Otero and was derived from a letter in the Norwegian and Danish alphabet. It asserts the idea that there is no God and shows the obvious spiritual emptiness of atheists. A zero is another similar symbol that's been used.

Given the significant number of prominent atheists who have weight issues and given the evidence indicating that atheism is a causal factor for obesity (see: Atheism and obesity), a contributor to Shockofgod's blog quipped that cheesecake is an excellent symbol for atheism.[5]

Scarlet Script "A"

This atheist symbol which is a red, italicized "A", is the symbol for atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins's "OUT campaign" and was picked at the Atheist Alliance International convention in Washington DC as symbol for atheism for a poster.[6] Christian apologist Ken Ammi writes: "Obviously, this "A" refers to atheism and yet, has been correlated with "the scarlet letter" in reference to the "A" that was placed on the front of the clothing of adulterers in Puritan communities in places such as Boston. The claim is that just as adultery, and hence the adulterer, were stigmatized atheists have been stigmatized."[7] The atheist Dr. Sam Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[8] The Scarlet Script "A" campaign attempts to eliminate religion in politics and schools.

Invisible Pink Unicorn

The Invisible Pink Unicorn is not an official symbol of atheism, but many atheists claim that the existence of God can be likened to the existence of invisible pink unicorns. Atheists engage in denialism and often try to suppress the abundant evidence for the existence of God and for Christianity (see: Arguments for the existence of God and Evidence for Christianity and Atheism and deception).

A strain of this, where Atheists bring up Santa Claus instead, has been noted by popular apologist, Shockofgod, who coined the term Santa syndrome to describe this irrational behaviour.

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Notes

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