Asked in AtheismDefinitions
What does A mean in atheist?
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January 19, 2011 11:50AM
The word "A" in Atheist means "not". In other words if Theists means belief in a god or gods, an atheist (non-theist) does not share this type of belief.
The letter "A" is also used by atheists as a symbol they are atheists.
Generally, it is also red, making an allusion to Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter," in which a woman had to wear a large, red "A" on her clothing to identify her as an adulteress, and was shunned as such.
This is not to say that atheists are adulterers, but more as a comparison that both the character in "The Scarlet Letter" and atheists are unfairly persecuted for their "crimes" which are only against religion.
The A stands for "absence", and theism is the belief of at least one deity.
Atheism essentially means the Absence of Theism.