J. R. Malloy writes
> Using the tern "non-theist" provides (at least) the opportunity to explain
> yourself further. The word "atheist" pushes the wrong button, eliciting yet
> anothr automatic robotic reaction.
Perhaps you don't say it as disarmingly as I do :-)
No, seriously, isn't it true that after you explain what you
mean by "non-theist" that they think to himself, "oh, he's
I will grant that "non-theist", or even the old reliable "I am
not religious" is perhaps more polite. For some people, it
definitely WILL be more polite, because they take the "A" word
as a slap in the face. Well, this is a case where plain-speaking
trumps excess politeness, if you ask me. People should simply
get used to the idea that a lot of people are atheists.
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