Atheism-label avoider

In atheism terminology, atheism-label avoider, or an “atheism-avoiding label mindset”, e.g. Jennifer Hecht in 2003, refers to someone, generally in the deconversion state, in going from theism to atheism, that does not believe in god, but “does not like to say so”, as Napoleon Bonaparte put things (see: Napoleon Laplace anecdote) in his interviews of the leading scientists of France in the 1800s, per general social unrest that public atheism avowal brings to the fore, first and foremost being family and friend social bonding change dynamics, secondly public social dynamic changes, and thirdly, in some cases, public danger worries (e.g. Martinus Veltman, 2004).

Atheism label avoiders will tend to used “implicit atheism” in communications and writings, and publicly used neutral, socially non-offensive, alternative terms, such as: secular, naturalist, humanist, none (or non-believer), among others evasive labels.

The following are related quotes:

“How comes it, then, that Laplace was an atheist? At the Institute neither he nor Monge, nor Berthollet, nor Lagrange believed in god. But they do not like to say so.”
Napoleon Bonaparte (c.1814), dialogue with Gaspard Gourgaud [1]

“We are living in a totally ridiculous world. We have all kinds of things from horoscopes to Zen Buddhism to faith healers to religions to what have you. The whole world around us is full of nonsense, baloney, big speak and what have you. The fact that I'm busy in science has little or nothing to do with religion. In fact, I protect myself, I don't want to have to do with religion. Because once I start with that, I don't know where it will end. But probably I will be burned or shot or something in the end. I don't want anything to do with it. I talk about things I can observe and other things I can predict and for the rest you can have it.”
Martinus Veltman (2004) interview (Ѻ) with Harold Kroto (quote, 10:05-) (Ѻ)

“Initially after writing my book Doubt, I avoided the atheist label, saying only that I did not believe in god. After some reflection, I realized I needed to defend what I truly believe. I now call myself an ‘atheist’, and proudly.”
— Jennifer Hecht (2013), “The Last Taboo” (Ѻ)

See also
Embarrassed to be an atheist

1. Gourgard, Gaspard. (1904). The Talks of Napoleon at St. Helena with General Baron Gourgaud: together with the Journal Kept by Gourgard on Their Journey from Waterloo to St. Helena (translated, and with notes, by Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer, author of France in the Nineteenth Century) (ch. 17: Religion, pgs. 270-81). A.C. McClurg & Co.

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