Should Atheists Wear Their Non-Belief?

Should Atheists Wear Their Non Belief

Recently, a new trend has cropped up among the atheist population: wearing necklaces and other jewelry symbolizing their non-belief. Just as people of other religious faiths have done, atheists have now begun wearing physical items to announce to the world that they do not believe in God. Should atheists wear their non-belief?

For years, some Christians have adorned themselves with the cross to let others know their belief system, and also perhaps as a matter of personal fashion and reminder of their faith. Some atheists are convinced that there is no God, but traditionally they did not have a symbol to wear and some might have been frightened to do so because of the discrimination and oppression atheists have long faced in the U.S. and around the world. In some countries, atheists are routinely murdered for their non-belief.

In American society it is generally acceptable to question a person’s beliefs as long as a person’s religion is not disparaged. Many atheists feel that religion has “taken over” U.S. society and yet, they state, when an atheist proclaims there is no such thing as God, some who believe in God begin claiming that there is a “war on religion.” The donning of an atheist symbol by non-believers may result in an uptick in this sentiment, which is something a person should consider when pondering whether to wear his or her beliefs on his or her sleeve (or in this case, around the neck.)

Do today’s atheists have a duty to question the beliefs of those who follow scripture, or should atheists take the approach of “live and let live?” Wearing a necklace with an atheist symbol can and will start the conversation and perhaps even a debate about atheists beliefs, but is it necessary to do so? Should atheists wear their non-belief?

Some claim that the more outspoken an atheist is about his or her views, the less confrontational those views will feel and the more accepted they will become. Others say that by being outspoken and wearing such symbols, the atheist would be pushing his or her beliefs on other people in the same way that some in the religious community do.

There are several symbols available online that atheists have been trying to popularize in their community: the Flying Spaghetti Monster necklace, an A with a circle around it, the Darwin fish with legs and Richard Dawkins’ scarlet A. An atheist can find these and more in specialty shops or on the internet, and because some atheists are open-minded, there is not just one idea of what the symbol should be. The atheist of today is free to find the symbol that best fits him or her, be it the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

That is because atheists do not have one resource from which to formulate their personal beliefs; they look at all science, learn from educated men and women and get their information from research. Most atheists understand that they do not know everything and that things they believe today could be disproved tomorrow.

Atheists have no book to which they are tied; rather, they get their code of behavior from the elegant idea of cohesive societies, which rely on morality to function properly. They generally treat people the way they would like to be treated because that is a good way to live, not because they will be punished if they do not act in a moral manner.

Should atheists wear their non-belief? As with any decision, it comes down to personal choice. Some feel that wearing an atheist symbol is an important step toward acceptance and tolerance while others feel it is no different than the prosletyzing they themselves abhor. There are others who feel that belief should be private across the board no matter to which religious faith a person belongs. An argument can be made on either side; it is up to each individual how far he or she wants to take their lack of belief and to what degree he or she feels it defines him or her as a person.

Opinion By: Rebecca Savastio


The Blaze

23 Responses to "Should Atheists Wear Their Non-Belief?"

  1. Bill Haines   July 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

    “Isn’t that generally the atheist way?”

    There is no ‘atheist way’. Apart from our lack of belief in deity, we’re *extremely* diverse.

  2. Bill Haines   July 10, 2014 at 7:23 am

    “Ms. Savastio buys into the fallacy that atheists have some particular responsibility for displaying their chosen icons. That is regrettable.”

    No responsibility per se, but if one also is concerned about the bigotry we sometimes face in society and politics, wearing such symbols is one way of opposing it. Easy to rail about ‘those damned atheists’ but not so easy when it’s obvious some of them are your acquaintances, co-workers, customers, neighbors, relatives and friends.

  3. Bill Haines   July 10, 2014 at 7:17 am

    “atheism is not a faith it is lack of belief in anything and churches and symbols violate everything i stand for.”

    Um, no, atheism is lack of belief in deity, specifically. And *standing* for something is a symbolic act, so will you now disappear in a puff of logic? 😉

    “the ones attending these ‘churches’ and wearing symbols are simply children playing at being atheists”

    Atheism being simply lack of belief in deity, playfulness about that lack (including parodies of churches) is irrelevant to it. Stating otherwise as you’re doing here, and insulting those who indulge in such comedy, are signs of the very sort of dogmatism you claim to eschew. People like you are the reason religious people claim atheism is a religion. You might want to think about that.

  4. Dan Jennings   July 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    It’s up to the individuals freedom of expression.

  5. Edmund Metheny   June 30, 2014 at 6:17 am

    So the upshot of the article is – “If you want to, then yes. If you don’t want to, then no.”

    Astounding conclusion,

    • Paul Jackson   June 30, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Isn’t that generally the atheist way?

  6. Rick Levy   June 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I think that it’s fine to wear it if one is inclined to wear jewelry in the first place. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it just for the sake of doing it. Also I think that for those who do display such symbols, it’s a subltle way of “tweaking” those theists with religious jewelry.

  7. lancejz   June 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    What about T-shirts? Why must it be a necklace? Though I do wear my three inch wide chaos symbol proudly.
    This article is not that well written, and it is a rather stupid question. That is my opinion. These are the bad points, “For years Xains have been” Uh they mean centuries. “War on religion” now they are quoting Faux Noise. “That is because atheists do not have one resource from which to formulate their personal beliefs” I think you mean non-beliefs. I don’t want to believe, I want to know. Beliefs implies it is just something one thinks for whatever reason, including wishful thinking.

  8. Beth Purkhiser   June 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Atheists should share their non-belief in proportion to how much the society in which they live is affected by religion.

    • Dave Mann   June 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      “Share non-belief in proportion” Huh? What agency should I consult in order to determine how much my freedom of speech should be self-suppressed? Blimy. Freedom of speech is inalienable.

  9. Adele Fromtexas   June 27, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Yes of course 🙂 Freedom of expression and pride. Unlike ‘christians’ who also force religion on students, government, soceity and event… a simple Atheist jewely statement or tattoo is most tasteful.

  10. Kevin Bengtson   June 27, 2014 at 8:17 am

    That Flying Spaghetti Monster necklace is awesome!

  11. Ann Carlisle   June 27, 2014 at 7:44 am

    It’s just jewelry

  12. steve   June 27, 2014 at 7:07 am

    I wear a bronze Thor’s Hammer pendant even though I am a atheist. I don’t believe in Norse mythology, and I don’t think that there ever really was a Thor. I just like the way it looks.

  13. Ayla Hunter   June 26, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    If a christiancan waear a cross then we can wear a letter ‘A’ or a FSM. If they dislike that, then they’re hypocrites. Wear your necklaces with pride!

  14. cecilia FXX   June 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I love the FSM necklace!
    That would be the main reason to wear it. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of it.

  15. Tom Bresnahan   June 26, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Everyone, at least in the US and at least in principle, has the right to express their opinion. My opinion of Ms. Savastio’s opinion is that it’s sloppy. There is no reason for atheists’ selection of ‘none’ as a religious belief to have any less legitimacy than any given flavor of “Faith”, just as choosing ‘none’ for salad dressing is any less legitimate than French, vinaigrette, Thousand Island or Bleu cheese. To be sure, there are pragmatic considerations to displaying icons of non-belief in areas with high percentages of narrow-minded people, but in principle a Flying Spaghetti Monster necklace is no more challenging to a Crucifix necklace than a Star of David necklace is. Ms. Savastio buys into the fallacy that atheists have some particular responsibility for displaying their chosen icons. That is regrettable.

  16. Matt McDowall   June 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Should we have to wear our non belief and be vocal? The short answer is No we shouldn’t. We as a society don’t go around advertising our lack of belief in goblins, fairies or the Loch Ness so why religion?

    The questions should be addressed as “Why do we feel the need too?” or some of us anyway.

    That is simply answered. Because of the harmful effect (intellectually & socially) of religion in our society. It has done some good in which cannot be denied, but now it is a burden forged out of ignorance and superstitious thought from our ancestors.

    As Betrand Russell famously said, and i paraphrase – “mankind could be on the cusp on a golden age but first we must slay the dragon in which guards the gates, this dragon is religion”.

  17. falc1526   June 26, 2014 at 8:20 am

    just stupid and representative of all that is wrong with the me’ers. atheism is not a faith it is lack of belief in anything and churches and symbols violate everything i stand for. the ones attending these “churches” and wearing symbols are simply children playing at being atheists

  18. motherunit420   June 26, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Wearing a symbol is in no way “pushing” my beliefs on others. Knocking on doors, pressing tracts into the hands of people on the street, voting for candidates that want to tear down the wall of separation… THAT’S pushing.

  19. Danielle   June 26, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I agree I want to start a secular commune. If religious people can get special treatment we should too

  20. Mike Barkley   June 25, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Yes we should not only wear a symbol but also have “churches” that we can attend.

  21. Michele   June 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I totally agree with you, Rebecca.


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