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Should you use the word “atheist” to describe yourself even if “Humanist” describes you more thoroughly or “Agnostic” seems more philosophically honest?

David Silverman, President of American Atheists, (obviously) says yes. But it’s not just for self-serving reasons.

YouTuber Alex J. O’Connor (a.k.a. CosmicSkeptic) recently met Silverman and describes the conversation they had on this very topic. He also talks about how Silverman managed to convince him that the “atheist” label should be embraced even if people who fit the description would rather use another term.


YouTube video

There are no doubt atheists who believe the word carries too much stigma or who feel we shouldn’t have to use the word at all (since it’s not like we have a-unicornists). This video rebuts those points and more.

I love the point at the end: “Call yourself an atheist today, so you won’t have to tomorrow.”

(Thanks to Ed for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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