Matt Z wrote:
If someone calls himself a Catholic, most people would consider him a Catholic, even if he's a habitual liar, who steals, cheats on his wife and hasn't been to church in years.
Likewise, if someone calls himself an Atheist, I would generally consider him an atheist, even though he may not be a very good Atheist by your definition.
I've met self-proclaimed Atheists who were anything but rational.
That's not quite the same thing. A better example would be a Catholic that barley believes in god, doesn't believe in the trinity or divinity of christ or the virgin birth. Basically not a Catholic.
I am more of a rationalist/skeptic/secular humanist too, but many people don't know what that means. They know the word atheist though. Even if they might have misconceptions and see it in a bad context. The label fits too since I don't believe. However it is strange to label someone by what they are not. People use the example "non-stamp collector". Plus there is a lot more to it than not believing in god. I don't believe in ghosts, alternative medicine or conspiracy theories either. Plus I'm big on human rights and civil liberties. So that's why I am more of a rationalist/skeptic/secular humanist.
By the way, I am neutral on the rational vs skeptic philosophical argument. I mean the terms only in the more common usage.