Symbols, Acronyms,
And Slogans
David and Will

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Some have asked about symbols or acronyms for the atheistic movement. We would be willing to begin a move to solicit entries for a catchy symbol for atheism that intuitively describes what it symbolizes -- to be immediately placed into the public domain.

 

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David writes:

Will writes:

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Cliff Responds:

We certainly would be less likely to use a symbol to validate our views or an acronym to summarize our postion. Symbols and acronyms and slogans are an easy way to get a point across (the Christian IXOYE [fish] is an acronym from the second century and the Roman Catholic IHS, a contraction, literally means "Jeez"), but people tend to accept, uncritically, particularly catchy slogans.

Here is the symbol for the organization American Atheists:

It is a trademark owned by that organization and symbolizing it (although some have been known to use it in a pinch).

The American Humanists Association uses the this humanized letter "H":

American Humanists Association logo

Again, this is the trademark for their organization. Also, Humanism is a variety of atheism, a subset of atheism, and does not represent the views of all atheists.

The punk-era rock group Bad Religion popularized this symbol, which is more anti-Christian than it is atheistic.

Logo fo punk-rock band Bad Religion

Along those lines, the website for American Atheists Magazine uses similar symbols, all "anti-" in their tone.

American Atheists' anti-relition symbols

A very popular symbol that many atheists use is the DARWIN Amphibian, a spoof on the JESUS fish:

DARWIN Amphibian

Again, this symbol is specific to evolution and to anti-Christian sentiments, and is not specific to atheism proper.

Annie Laurie Gaylor says that the pansy (the flower) has long been the symbol of Freethought.

The only acronym that I use (and it's probably just me) comes from (among other places) an old Peter Gabriel song, DIY (Do It Yourself).

I know of no other symbols ralated to atheism. If someone submits a catchy symbol that is specific only to atheism and intuitively suggests what it symbolizes, I would be the first to try to popularize it.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
P.O. Box 16811
Portland, OR 97292
http://www.PositiveAtheism.org/
editor@positiveatheism.org

   "As soon as you're born
    They make you feel small..."
           -- John Lennon (1940-1980)

  "Changes take place, not independent of
   man's will, but on account of man's wills.
   Civilization has progressed by man's
   interference with material conditions."
            -- Gora (1902-1975)

  "The legitimate powers of government extend
   to such acts only as are injurious to others.
            -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

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Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.