Atheists SoapBox

A sampling of comments made by individuals on the sign-up sheet and in emails
  • Many atheists do not have a naturalistic worldview and will not be Brights.
  • Many atheists will identify as atheists, and also as Brights.
  • Many atheists will reject the term, bright.

Count me in, I have long hoped for something like this to happen. I have been an atheist for 50 of my 69 years. It's important to remove the perception that atheists are somehow second-class citizens.  Bob, USA

Liked the idea of what you've tried to start here. I used to term myself agnostic, to try and find a term for my beliefs that had fewer and perhaps less harsh preconceived notions surrounding it. I have since then however given up that canard and simply accepted being atheist and what it stands for, with the option of always being convinced of something else if the proof is there. If people don't like the term it is their problem for the most part, and if they want to give me the time to explain away many of their misconceptions, then that's fine. However, if they want to have their preconceived notions, that is their loss of knowledge, not mine. However, it would be interesting to have a commonly accepted term with a more positive air about it and am interested to see what might come of your movement.  Shawn, Canada

We are a couple of elderly Atheists but now are happy to call ourselves one of the Brights!! Rosella and Jim, USA

I have no problem being called an atheist, but if calling ourselves brights can help to mainstream rational thought, then sign me up.  Neal, USA

I am an atheist who is desperate to let the world know that “no religion” is a viable alternative.  Keith, South Africa

I have long been deity-less (an atheist), and have been ridiculed and pushed aside as unenlightened by my family and others… (i am underage)... i have been labeled a tainted soul (even though i don't believe i have a soul, or that there is such a thing). i feel powerless, but have not questioned my views. unless i am proven wrong by empirical evidence, i will not believe supernatural forces. religion breeds prejudice and is a catalyst for war. even pascal's wager cannot tempt me any longer, i have seen the despair caused by these so-called benevolent gods. i have never been part of a movement, and none like this especially. i would be honored to join your ranks, and hopefully we can bring some sense and harmony into humanity.  Anna, USA

I've always been a bit embarrassed about admitting I was an atheist as to admit this is to reject (and therefore take a negative view) of the accepted norm.  However, I'm now fed up with being in the closet and welcome a name that promotes a positive view and one that can be recognised as an alternative voice in civic society.  Phil, UK

I come from India, from a freethinking family, and have had a difficult time understanding the fundamental Christians and other religions in this country. I've said to people that I'm atheist, and get shocking looks and questions like, "Are you a devil worshipper?". I'm glad that people like me can express our views now. Thank you for organizing this wonderful group.  Vi, USA

What a marvelous initiative. I have been an atheist since my early teens and often dismayed by the negativity seemingly implicit in my self-classification. To join with others as Brights -- to assert myself together with others -- was something I didn't dare dream of. I thank Quinion (and Dawkins) for bringing this Bright ray of hope into my day and my life.  Avrum, Canada

Thanks and good luck making this a meme! I would probably be stoned by some of my co-workers if they knew I was an atheist. However, in this time of ever-wider religious conservatism & intolerance in our nation, I am tired of feeling that I need to hide my lack of belief. Sean, USA

Being an atheist and having said so on occasion, I have too often felt the pain of rejection and ostracism when the intolerant and ungrounded fears of 'believers' are confronted by an atheistic idea. This movement offers me a most desirable alternative to the plight of the solitary atheist.  Lawrence, Germany

I have lived in a rural very religious area most of my life but started answering truthfully to anyone who asked about the subject of belief years ago. While I expected backlash there was none. The word eventually got around that I was a nonbeliever and no one shunned me. They just considered me kind of quaint and eccentric. Worrying about the consequences of coming out were much greater than actually proved to be.  Tom USA

Terrible name! But a good idea, so I won't quibble. I'll probably continue to use atheist because that’s what I feel I am, but well done and I hope the new name has the desired effect!  Ben, UK

It's a timely thing you are doing. The world's politicians need to know how many of us do not believe in the supernatural and cannot therefore be led by Gods. I have always called myself an atheist, and have many times been regarded with facial expressions of distaste. I will now call myself a Bright. Thank you. Alice, USA

This is great although it says in the article that when i tell someone im an atheist they walk away which isnt true. im only 12 so kids might not take it as hugley as adults do when I say im an atheist. thanks ive thought about something like this happening for a long time.  Timothy, USA

Coming from a profoundly Christian background, the stigma associated with the word 'atheist' is difficult to overcome. Anything that helps people see the naturalistic world view as an intellectual virtue instead of a rejection of morality, is worthy of support.  Jacob, Canada

In Moscow during the Soviet days, three of us Americans spent an evening with some Russians. Evgenii, doubtless thinking he was saying something I'd be pleased to hear, confided that many Russians believed in God. Coward that I was, I simply assured him that there were many atheists in the United States. I couldn't bring myself to admit that I was one of them, lest the other Americans overhear me and think ill of me. That is a shameful admission but it's also a shameful situation. I'm delighted to align myself with the brights and I will never, ever do that again. Thanks for the good work!  Barbara, USA

I fully support the effort to re-identify atheists and other free thinkers as something cheerful like Brights! For too long I have endured the scathing and repulsed looks of other when I say I am an atheist, as if being such is equivalent to moral degradation. Now, I will tell them something they will simply have to ask more about. Thanks for the movement guys!  Brian, USA

Having been an atheist for the past 17 years(since I was 13) I've suffered the prejudice associated with identifying yourself as a non-beleiver. As well comments and snippets of conversations made by people who were not aware of my non-belief(s) illustrated to me how pervasive and acceptable this discrimination is. We truly are an (in)visible minority who's time is long past due to stand up, be counted and assert the rights that have for too long been denied us. Hear me now and hear me clear----I AM AN ATHEIST AND I AM A BRIGHT!!!  Paul, Canada

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