We have a winner!

Well, there were several hundred entries to the contest, but it’s time to declare the winner of the autographed hardback first-edition first-printing mint copy of WEIT.  First, a reminder of what I was looking for:

Provide a snappy, one-word name for those atheists who are nonetheless soft on faith (i.e., atheist accommodationists).  You know them — the kind of people, like Michael Ruse,  who say, “I am an atheist, but . . .”.   In other words, the folks who, says Daniel Dennett, have “belief in belief.” That’s a snappy phrase, but it ain’t one word.

RULES:  Contest open for one week, answers on this thread.  Only two submissions per person.  Be clever, as it’s the word I want to use on this website from now on.  PLEASE do not post anything on this thread except your entries.

Almost immediately there were two cute responses, Jesuits (by Darkling) and Unitarians (by blueollie).  Funny, yes, but not good for discussing the problem, as these terms already refer to something else.

Reader Rieux pointed out that Dawkins himself discussed the variety of of accommodationist “I-am-an-atheist but”ers on his website (Screechy Monkey suggested the name “Butters” for this), but Dawkins never came up with a name.

A very popular entry was the suggestion Templetons (Adam M). Sadly, it is inaccurate because many Templetonites are in fact religious, and so don’t fit the bill as atheists. Moving on to the near winners:

RUNNERS UP (in no particular order)

Godlycoddlers (by Kitty’sBitch), also winner of the Most Mellifluous Entry

Placatheists (by Todd Shackleford)

Credophiles (by Thanny). Winner of the Most Pejorative Entry Prize

Betraytheists (Macronencer)

Muzzle-ems (Sigmund) Winner of the Especially Cute Award

But one entry clearly stood out as being not only snappy, but also short, to the point, and clever.  There were several versions with different spellings, but I gave the award to the first entry that was spelled in the proper way.

And that winner is . . . . .

** FAITHEISTS,** contributed by Divalent.

This will be the word that I use from now on, so I expect everyone to learn it.

Divalent, please contact me (a little Googling will produce my email) so that I can get your address.

And thanks to all for your brainpower, which just goes to show that atheists are indeed funnier!

89 Comments

  1. Furcas
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I like it. Do you pronounce the ‘t’?

    • Thorfinn
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Probably only the second one

    • Physicalist
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I’m surprised people are having trouble with the pronunciation. Just put an “F” in front of “atheist.”

      F + atheist = Faitheist

      • dogofman
        Posted July 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Or faith + theist.

        I rest my case.

  2. Anonym
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Where’d you get the ‘e’?

    • CharlesInCharge
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Um, from the word “atheists”?

  3. Ian
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Not to be confused with fey theists. :)

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Or faith theist for that matter.

      I don’t actually like the selected term so much. Because the spelling would suggest it describes som kind of theists rather than atheists.
      But of course, if you want to tag this kind of people as closet theist it would make a point.

      I doubt though that such is the case regarding most of them even.

      • dogofman
        Posted July 19, 2009 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        I Could possibly think of changing my mind if it was spelled fatheists instead. ;o)

  4. Don
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    “Fait-heists”? Yes, you’d pronounce both ‘t’s

  5. Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Anonym: the pronunciation is (I assume) fāthēĭst – the concatenation of “faith” and “atheist”.

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Well.
      The spelling suggest more a concatenation of the words Faith and Theists.

  6. bud
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    “fey theists”
    those who believe tiny fey is a goddess (like me)

    • Forrester McLeod
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Oh! I’m riding in your boat!

    • Posted July 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Tiny Fey?… Tina Fey. Tiny Tina Fey.
      Either way i think she’s a goddess. :)

  7. Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant. Distributed it right away! http://twitter.com/gyokusai/status/2692712757

    ^_^J.

  8. Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    And thanks to all for your brainpower, which just goes to show that atheists are indeed funnier!

    Or at least more self-congratulatory!

    So, now what shall we pick for a snarky moniker for you guys?

    Condescientists?

    Conflationists?

    I’d suggest more, but I want a shot at that next prize.

    • Screechy Monkey
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Well, the faitheists are already using “Militant,” “Fundamentalist,” “Angry,” and numerous other pejoratives. If you guys could settle on just one, that would simplify things a bit.

      • Posted July 17, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        I like “uppity”, myself.

    • Physicalist
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      “Condescientists” is good, but I think I prefer “Uppity” as well.

      • Posted July 17, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        “Uppity” does seem to capture the elitist exclusivism, but it has some unfortunate cultural baggage with it.

        What about superciliatheist?

      • dogofman
        Posted July 19, 2009 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        I know!
        Lots and lots of bagage from all kinds of ‘faiths’ and religions right there.

        Maybe uppityuppity?

    • Ian
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Afaitheists. Duh.

      • dogofman
        Posted July 19, 2009 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Faithapatheists?

        Duh indeed!

    • Grokes
      Posted July 18, 2009 at 4:34 am | Permalink

      Where I occasionally hang out we gathered some of them up into one snappy phrase: Pantomime Fundamental Atheists of the New Evangelical Tribal Militancy.

      Well, maybe not so snappy.

  9. Azkyroth
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Of course, we already have a perfectly good word for some of the most prominent ones: “concern troll.”

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      But then again, there might be “concern trolls” with other ‘concerns’?

    • Microraptor
      Posted April 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      A lot of concern trolls are religious.

  10. Sili
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Of course, now the rest coupla hundred of us will have to buy your book.

  11. Thanny
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Good choice. I suggest my offering be used as a zinger when needed. Though I honestly didn’t see the rhyme until I typed the word out based on the Greek roots as I remembered them.

  12. CharlesInCharge
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    A poor choice considering that fundies are always saying that it takes faith to be an atheist. In fact, the first time I ever heard this used was precisely for that reason.

    This term is preadapted to be used against even the common-sense atheists. I can picture the quote-mine already.

    “…atheists, or as fellow non-believer Jerry Coyne calls them, faitheists…”

    • Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      That was my favorite too. In fact, I was going to post it but was beaten to it.

      I just love this though:

      This will be the word that I use from now on, so I expect everyone to learn it.

      When I use a word, it means precisely what I take it to mean!
      ;-)

  13. James F
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m shocked that it wasn’t “accommodatheists.” A portmanteau containting the favorite term of derision? Seemed like a shoo-in.

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      That was my fav too.

      Kudos!

  14. Neil Schipper
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I have to disagree with this choice. Beyond the fact that people already aren’t sure how to pronounce it, it just doesn’t self-explain or amuse the way several others did. Hate to be a wet blanket, but just sticking with accommodationist seems preferable by comparison. (I’m sensible enough to know my entries didn’t deserve to win.)

    • Ian
      Posted July 18, 2009 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      I don’t much like it either. It’s off-target as a criticism and confusingly similar to “fideist,” which is something else entirely. Godlycoddlers, butters, or Accomodati (cf. Illuminati, “the enlightened ones”) would have been more apt.

      Criticism expressed. As you were…

  15. Kitty'sBitch
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been cast out from the heavens!!
    Mellifluous? Hmm…I can see that.

    Well, I’ve already got the book anyway. This just means I’m gonna corner you one day and make you sign it. Perhaps I’ll make you write a note about not recognizing my genius until it was too late.
    Congrats to all involved. It was fun. I actually liked several of the options that weren’t listed.

  16. macronencer
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    A worthy winner – congratulations!

    I was pleased to see my entry in the runners up, although I thought it was a little awkward.

    It’s a shame “credophiles” was too pejorative (I agree, actually) because etymologically, it was probably the most apt.

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I note that Jerry mis-spelled it as ‘perjorative’.
      A common error, I find.

  17. Notagod
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Accommodationist isn’t so good because science isn’t about accommodating any idea but, finding one correct or best answer. When instructing children regarding how science is practiced, allowing for accommodation is confusing at best.

    I’m not too concerned with christians distorting the meaning, there isn’t anything that they won’t distort.

    Faitheist seems descriptive of what those formally known as accommodationists believe.

    • Mark
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Notagod, their confusion regarding science’s lack of accommodation is one reason why their position is so poorly regarded. The accommodationists are *not* promoting good science when they argue for leaving religion alone. Therefore the term accurately describes what they are about, and what science is not (ignoring for the moment the conflation of science and atheism).

      • Notagod
        Posted July 18, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Mark, your comment isn’t necessarily incorrect but it misses the point. The faitheists (accommodationists) are wanting to include religion within science. The atheists want to leave religion alone, that is, atheists don’t want any mention of religion at all (no christian, no faith, no any other religion, not even atheism) within the public school science classrooms or when discussing science classroom standards. That’s because that stuff isn’t science, which the atheists realize but, the faitheists think it is. Review the past postings by Jerry Coyne on this blog for more accurate and complete information.

      • Mark
        Posted July 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        No, I understand that. My point is two-fold. Firstly, that when someone tries to include religion in science, they are arguing for the *accommodation* of latter to fit the former. The word accurately describes their attitude, regardless of whether or not they’re right. Therefore “accommodationist” is fine. More than that, to those who know what science is about, it highlights the illegitimacy of the accommodationists’ position.

        The second part of my point was implied but easily missed, so I’ll make it explicit. For those who don’t understand what science is about, one simple term isn’t going to change that. It’s our job to educate them on a deeper understanding of science so that they aren’t mislead by people simply calling a particular group of people by a particular name.

      • Notagod
        Posted July 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        More than that, to those who know what science is about, it highlights the illegitimacy of the accommodationists’ position.

        Yes, you are correct however, they aren’t the ones that need to be enlightened. The ones that don’t understand won’t understand the illegitimacy of accommodation in this case.

  18. nick nick bobick
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Still think accomodatheists is better and will be using it in my own minor writings. It is both descriptive and mellifluous.

  19. Daumier
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    When I first read the word “Faitheist” on PZ’s blog, I thought it was referring to those theists who’s only explanation for anything was that they had faith, which everybody knows is just another way of saying they don’t know.

    It also occurred to me that perhaps it was referring to atheists who clung dogmatically to their atheism as if it were a faith, which didn’t make much sense to me considering who it was coming from. The meaning just doesn’t click into place as quickly as it ought to.

    I like the suggestion “accommodatheist”. Although it isn’t as snappy and perhaps doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as faitheist, its meaning is more clear.

  20. KP
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Accomodatheists was my favorite. Faitheists sounds like these people have faith too, whereas I thought the point was that they were athesits who were cool with OTHER people having faith. Oh, well. Faitheists it is…

    • Mark
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Accommodatheist probably works better when one wants to be less disparaging. Faitheist is stronger but also has that questionable connotation. I’ll probably use faitheist only when I want to stick the knife in (to me it seems too much like misrepresentation to use the term for all atheist accommodationists).

  21. Patricia
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Yrrrr! One of the slavering Horde here, armed with brass bosoms and pitchfork. Haul out yer gawdists!

    Wait.

    You didn’t invite us for supper and an orgy?

  22. Wes
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Congrats, Divalent. I’m jealous! :D

  23. Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    recount!

  24. Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    hey, it worked in ohio.

  25. John Morales
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I like it.

  26. articulett
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I like it… atheists who still give lip service to the idea that “faith” is good for something.

  27. DLC
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    The Great and Terrible PZ has commanded my appearance!

    Faithiest… that kinda works.
    Weakkneedpearlclutchingninny is too big a word I guess.

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Hey that one was really funny.

      Just remember that I’m the most athiest of all.
      Because I’ve allways been the most FkukingFaithAthiestThiestestestest.. ever imaginable.
      Go figure!

  28. this person
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    We need a word for spineless, toothless and lacking genitalia. I mean other than accomodationist.

  29. Posted July 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    YAAAARrrr… rrr.. erm… oh.

    Hi. Um. Say… did anyone see a horde around here? Largeish, disorganized, cutlasses in hand, daggers in their teeth, murder in their eyes, a certain garish sense of sartorial style?… They would probably have been screaming ‘Yar’ or somesuch…

    Yeah, about that… Funny thing… See, the Dread Pirate Myers called for this storming ashore thing, and I was in the bathroom at the time, and… well…

    Well, anyway, seein’ as I overheard… Re faitheist, howinhell can anyone not know how to pronounce that? Don’t make me run anyone through, now…

    As to the term itself, it’s okay. Me, I was always partial to ‘Mangy, lubberly, cowardly curs’… But truth is, it did take a while to type. Lessee… ‘Die, ye mangy faitheists, we’ll be escorting ye t’ Davey Jones Locker…’ Hmm…

    Ah, it’s okay. I can get used to it. Anyway. Evening all. (Tips hat.)

  30. Ariel
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I’m impressed. Your own form of the Spanish Inquisition. Watch out for the heretics!!
    You guys aren’t any different than fundies. Just the other side of the same dogmatic coin….

    • blue
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      right, totally man. oh, except for that whole scientific method, empirical, reality based thing. but other than that, yup. just like fundies. you are wise beyond your years!

    • John Morales
      Posted July 17, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Yup, just like the Inquisition, this is our torture chamber…

      • Microraptor
        Posted April 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        Where we torture people by subjecting them to EVIDENCE and LOGIC.

  31. bastion of sass
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Now see here! I understand that you want PZ to send over his whores.

    Well, I never! Minions and sycophants and ass-kissing acolytes and fawning dirty-mouthed fanbois and fangurlz we may be, but we are NOT PZ’s whores! And furthermore…

    What’s that?

    Oh, you wanted PZ to send over his “hordes,” not “whores.”

    Never mind.

  32. Divalent
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Well, it’s flattering to read the accolades, and get an autographed copy of WEIT (I already have a non-autographed copy) but I think the honorable thing for me to do is to pass the honor to the person who should be (IMO) the rightful winner: “Your Name’s Not Bruce?”.

    He listed 5 entries in his original post, with “Faiththeist” as his first, and then later went with his 4th and 5th entries when he discovered the rules limited you to two entries.

    (subsequently others noted that the double “th” was redundant).

    I merely recognized (as did many others) that it was a very good choice and was fortunate to be able to claimed it when he apparently abandoned it. But I didn’t “coyne” the word, and I’ll note that at least one other independently proposed it after “Your Name’s Not Bruce?” posted his (and so would arguably have a better claim if “Your Name’s Not Bruce?” has to be eliminated on this technicality).

    So, “Your Name’s Not Bruce?” really deserves the win (IMO) because he did the creative act (not me). But if he doesn’t show up to claim it and you still need to unload the signed copy of WEIT, I know of any number of good high schools in my state (including a few in Cobb Co, GA) that I would prefer to be the recipient.

    • Posted July 18, 2009 at 3:22 am | Permalink

      That’s a very christian gesture Divalent ;)
      I was pleased to get my ‘Muzzle-ems’ on the final list but I’m not sure how to treat being called “extremely cute” by Jerry Coyne – the last time a figure of authority called me that I immediately resigned from my job. Then again it was no loss – it was a few decades ago, back home in Ireland, and I never really liked being an altar boy anyway.

      • Carl Troein
        Posted July 18, 2009 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        Dear Sigmund,
        It is people like you that make me glad that I am not prone to violently expel my tea.

        Sincerely,
        I

    • Your Name's Not Bruce?
      Posted July 20, 2009 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Thanks Divalent! Sorry it took me so long to acknowledge this, but I only have regular, reliable internet access through the week at my place of work. I didn’t find out about your gesture of generosity, kindness and honesty until Saturday on a public library computer that is rather limited in its capabilities (that system won’t accept my full name!)

      So thank you very much!

  33. Ernie
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    How is this one of the fastest growing posts on WordPress? It’s a pointless made up word about someone who somewhat believes in religion.

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Hey brainie, it’s all about atheists believinging in religion.

      You get the picture?

  34. Free Software
    Posted July 18, 2009 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    what the favor of your blog!

  35. Kyle
    Posted July 18, 2009 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I’d call this an EPIC WIN. XD

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Yeah!
      It would possibly have been. If there really had even been a hint in the word that you were talking about a minority group among atheists and not the majority if not even all of the theists.

      The spelling is an epic mistake.

  36. Posted July 18, 2009 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    faitheist…brilliant!
    deserves the prize

  37. Posted July 18, 2009 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait to see how well it catches on.

  38. Posted July 18, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    As I’ve said above, I love this great new term “faitheists,” even though it sounds a bit derogatory. Oh wait, did I say “even though”? I meant “because”!

    But the term “accomodatheists” is also great, and a bit more civil, and can be deployed for more moderate disputes. (Which means, totally unsuited for the Colgate Twins.)

    I can even imagine using both terms together in contrast, i. e., “faitheists” for those atheists who nevertheless believe in belief, and “accomodatheists” for those who think you have to tiptoe your way around even the most egregious nonsense on stilts in order to not offend anyone. Both can be held simultaneously, but don’t necessarily have to, so to have both terms might come in handy.

    So let’s just go and use our brave new words! As Donald Barthelme wrote in his short story “Report”:

    [“]We have a secret word that, if pronounced, produces multiple fractures in all living things in an area the size of four football fields.”
    “That’s why—”
    “Yes. Some damned fool couldn’t keep his mouth shut. The point is that the whole structure of enemy life is within our power to rend, vitiate, devour, and crush.[”]
    (Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts. New York: Atheneum, 1982. p.61)

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Yes and I who thought that my single contribution with double of possible interpretation and all was really witty:

      ‘Buttatheists’!

      Butt (sic), what do I know? I do though realice I’ve just experiancing a slam dunk defeat on that one.

  39. Posted July 18, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Oy, cut & paste error. That should have been “accommodatheists,” of course.

  40. KevinC
    Posted July 18, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I am the very model of a militant New Faitheist
    I won’t accommodate the dissing of accommodationists
    I frame my science papers to appease the fundamentalists
    Believers Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Calvinist

    I’m very well acquainted with faiths Islamist and Brahmanist
    I’m tolerant of anything but cracker-mocking atheists
    I’ll silence P.Z. Myers Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins too
    And any atheist who likes to criticize religious woo

    And any atheist who likes to criticize religious woo!
    And any atheist who likes to criticize religious woo!
    And any atheist who likes to criticize religious Bible woooooo!

    I am the Jedi Knight who knows the secret things that you should do
    My book will show you how to make believers love the science too
    In short, in matters of communication use my To Do list
    I am the very model of a militant New Faitheist

    • newenglandbob
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Sung to the tune of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, I presume.

  41. Emily
    Posted July 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I think “faitheist” is clever, but I think it could easily be miscontrued as faith + theist, which isn’t the point. I prefer “placatheist”.

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I didn’t see your reply before. Sorry to have usurped on your conclusions. All best.

  42. Jim Sheppeck
    Posted July 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Faitheist was my number 1 pick–great play on words

  43. Gaia sighs...
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    I would like to have seen ‘Gollycoddlers’.

    Seems more inclusive…

  44. dogofman
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    May I suggest a minor change in spelling of the winning contribution?

    If it was spelled ‘fatheists’ rather than ‘faitheists’ it would become more obvious in writing (as this is a written blog), that the word is supposed to describe some kind of atheists and not som kind of theists.

  45. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Oh, I like the contest! And the repartee, especially Sigmund and KevinC.

    About the term catching on, it can happen. But other terms have had difficulties (“brights”) and in fact “accommodationist” was itself one of the winners.

    faitheist := those atheists who are nonetheless soft on faith (i.e., atheist accommodationists). [...] the folks who [...] have “belief in belief.”

    My only problem with this excellent term is that it excludes other nominal atheists who are soft on faith in the sense that they entertain beliefs.

    More precisely philosophical agnostics. You know the ones well, those making an unsupported dogmatic faith claim, a religious statement of the Church of Philosophy/Theology (“science and religion doesn’t conflict”, “science can’t say anything on supernaturalism”, “category error”).

    Falsely masquerading as an _empirical_ atheist position, and thus being a pet peeve of mine. Now there is in all likelihood a great overlap between these two …, um, faitheist, … groups. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they were indistinguishable, as if you believe one thing you can in principle, and in practice often do, believe anything. But in my mind these separate concepts will be conflated.

    Sorry, if faitheist catches on I would have to stick with the old “accommodationist” to make myself clear. “Belief-believer” or more simply and funny “butter” would be feasible variants.

    • dogofman
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I don’t understand what you’re saying.
      How are these philosophical agnostics you’re talking about excluded rom the term new term fatheists?
      Forgive me, faitheism I mean.

  46. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    dogofman, I’m sorry if I’m unclear, ironically in an attempt of making myself clear.

    No, they aren’t excluded, and as I mentioned there is probably a huge overlap to the point that they could be the same group. But there is, in my mind, a meaningful distinction between trying to accommodate religion by perverting factual science and trying to accommodate religion by perverting factual religion.

    The former is what accommodationists at large do when they claim that science should be silent on some factual claims, say the fact that religion in general makes factual claims. And the later is what philosophical agnostics do when they claim that religion doesn’t make factual claims.

  47. Posted July 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    How about those of us who don’t believe in invisible sky fairies but really don’t give a damn what other people believe so long as they keep it out of our living rooms, classrooms and courtrooms?

    ‘I don’t give a damniests’?


14 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] According to the latest terminological developments at Coyne’s blog, atheists who are too soft on the incompatibility issue are henceforth placatheists, betraytheists [...]

  2. [...] A micro mention… I am pathetic…I’ll take whatever “fame” I can get. [...]

  3. [...] We have a winner! Well, there were several hundred entries to the contest, but it’s time to declare the winner of the autographed [...] [...]

  4. [...] (Mein deutsches Pendant war früher da, ätsch!). So lautet der Gewinner eines Wettbewerbs zur Frage. Doch warum sollten wir nun eigentlich mit dem “Glaube an den Glauben” [...]

  5. [...] know this may come across as unusually dickish of me. I understand that. I am not a faithiest, the newly coined term for people of a scientific bent who feel the need to accommodate the [...]

  6. [...] “Faitheists” is a newly coined word for the “I’m an atheist, but …” crowd I referred to in an earlier post — the folks who go beyond merely tolerating religion to actively praising it. I’m not sure the word’s all that great, and it’s certainly subject to misinterpretation (e.g. some people might think it means having faith in atheism or some such nonsense), but it has the advantage of being short and sweet.  (via Pharyngula) (T-shirt pic via Zazzle) [...]

  7. [...] honestly, I find the belief in religious belief by atheists (or, more specifically by “faitheists”) a cynical combination of disingenuousness, indifference to truth, and elitist [...]

  8. [...] a comment » By an ironic turn, atheist biologist Jerry Coyne’s blog contest to find a one word moniker for atheists and agnostics who are “accomodationist” towards [...]

  9. [...] been quite a bit lately about that topic… science and religion. Jerry Coyne started a new term, “faitheist,” to refer to atheists who are, what he considers, overly accommodating to [...]

  10. [...] park domestic dispute proud. The melee eventually culminated, in part, with Coyne holding an open contest on his blog for readers to come up with the most mocking term for those who seek compatibility between science [...]

  11. [...] Instead, some leading scientists are running (quickly) in the opposite direction, holding contests to come up with the most mocking labels for scientists and others willing to engage the faithful. [...]

  12. [...] Chris Stedman, who works for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, is an interfaith activist well known for his coddling of faith, his passive-aggressive hatred of all things Gnu, and for his patronizing essays on how atheists should behave.  His new book, coming out next year, has a title purloined from our own dialogue: [...]

  13. [...] Flanigan, the psychotherapist at the heart of the article, is himself gay and atheist. (Faitheist, as you’ll see.) Me and him aren’t really on the same page. This is him on the dilemma [...]

  14. [...] call him a faithiest would be justified, but that word usually describes the non-religious. There are those who are [...]

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