Contest!

o.k., time to unload another autographed copy of WEIT, made out to the lucky winner of this contest:

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.

303 Comments

  1. Darkling
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Blands

  2. Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Jesuits

  3. Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    athebeliefist = an atheist who has have “belief in belief”

    • Dominic Nardi
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      I just noticed the typo. Here is the corrected version:

      athebeliefist = an atheist who has a “belief in belief,” i.e. an atheist who is soft on faith

      pronounced (ae-the-be-leef-ist)

  4. DevonR
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    My own sad portmanteau:

    Accommodatheist

    It’s not particularly slick, so I’ll try and think of another one later.

    • Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Just what I was going to suggest, but DevonR beat me to it. I like this one even if it is a bit obvious.

      • Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        I like this one as well. This has my vote.

    • Veronica Abbass
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      DevonR

      “Accommodatheist” is very slick; it just rolls off the tongue.

      I vote for “Accommodatheist.”

    • Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I thought of this one, too. Makes sense.

  5. Bruce Budris
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Moonies. No wait, that means something else…..

    • DagoRed
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Oh Damn, I hate cross posting moments!

      • Michael K Gray
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:25 am | Permalink

        Well, don’t do it then! 😉

  6. DagoRed
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I got my two entries here:

    Mooneys

    or (my favorite)

    asstheists

    (the last not only being true, but it also works as a bad pun on the “…atheist, but…” position too)

    • dogofman
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:25 am | Permalink

      Well I was just about to suggest ‘buttatheist’ for the same reason. 😉

  7. Ian
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my two comments’ -worth:

    Feytheists

    Accomodeists

    • Lump
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Wellwishers

  8. Your Name's Not Bruce?
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Several possibilities come to mind (or at least my mind). Here goes;

    Faiththeists

    Naytheists

    Praytheists

    Atheiesques

    Atheioids

    • DevonR
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      I really like Faitheists. I don’t think you need the ‘th’ repeated twice though.

      • dogofman
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:29 am | Permalink

        But ‘Faitheist’ dosn’t in any way imply that it’s about atheists. It actually seem to imply theists with faith. How novel is that idea?

  9. Screechy Monkey
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I sometimes call them “Atheist Butters,” but since you’re forcing me to go with one word:

    Butters.

    It helps that their “gosh, fellers, can’t we all just get along” rhetoric sounds a lot like the South Park character.

    • Rieux
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      I like this one a lot.

      Don’t know if the clear Dawkins connection is a plus or a minus.

  10. Dave C
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    NOMAlogists. In verb form: NOMAlogize.

  11. Your Name's Not Bruce?
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Ooops! Reading-to-the-end-of-the-rules fail. I missed the two submissions per person bit. Rats! now I have to narrow it down. Okay, Cardinal Biggles,my two chief weapons are;

    Atheiesques

    Atheioids

    • Divalent
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Well, since you abandoned the one I liked the most:

      I’ll take “Faitheist”.

      I’ll also propose a variant: “profaitheist”.

      • Physicalist
        Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        I was thinking “Faitheist” as well. They obviously don’t think they have objective reasons for being atheist (or those reasons could be offered to the religious). So *their* atheism is apparently a form of faith (but mine isn’t).

  12. Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Fidephiles, maybe?

  13. Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    (To expound: Fides, faith, of course, should be pronounced “fee-de”; thus apart from suggesting an unhealthy love of faith, in British English it will rhyme with “pedophile”.)

    • MadScientist
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      You’re mixing Latin and Greek! That’s almost as big a sin as mixing creationism and science – that will be 100 years of listening to Sarah Palin speeches for you!

  14. macronencer
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    OK, I’ll have a go…

    Greytheists/Graytheists

    Betraytheists

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:27 am | Permalink

      I take singular objection to your proposition!

    • Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      “Betraytheists” LOL! Judatheists?

  15. Norman Hall
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    They are not “believers” (obviously); but they are “beliefers” (or “beliefists”).

  16. Malus
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    BEASTS = Biblical Evolutionary AtheiSTS

  17. Kitty'sBitch
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    My first thought was Atepids.

  18. Paul
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be straightforward and go with “believists”.

    My backup would be Wagerists, as everyone of the type I’ve experienced seems to be inclined to not want to rule out religion in case they’re wrong. Better to leave the option of faith open so they won’t feel silly when they convert on their deathbed, when they finally give in fully to Pascal’s Wager. I think that’s more implicatory than you’re aiming for, though 🙂

    • bric
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      Ha! Just what I was going to say. Or, as they are clearly conflicted and in two minds – schizoatheists

      • Posted July 11, 2009 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        I like “believists”. It’s kind of punchy, and the meaning is transparent.

  19. Oded
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    My favorite is one proposed by Dawkins, but it is much longer than one word – “I’m an atheist butheads”. Like Faithheads for regular believers.

    Maybe just
    Butheads
    Atheist Butheads

  20. Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Half Waytheist

    • Will Rubenstein
      Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      I really like this one

  21. KyleF
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Compatheist.

    Derived from the Late Latin word ‘compati’ (compatible); which meant “to suffer with”.

  22. Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Toleratheists:
    to connote the lack of aspiration to be petty toward, insult, or shut out believers… Downside is that it contains “atheists” – which is pretty much beside the point. (since it is supposed to be a position on philosophy of science, not religion).

    Methodologicals: to connote the focus on science as a method rather than a philosophical system.

    Anyone want to lay odds on whether either of these two terms will actually win? I’d lay them mighty long.

    • Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      A note in favor of my entries, and others who will bear the nomenclature – it can be a point of courtesy and respect to refer to people by the names they recognize.

      Of course, I understand you guys don’t much care for the term “new atheists” that seems to have attached itself to you…

      I guess we could use “insufferable self-righteous antagonistic unreflective pricks” for just about everyone involved in either side of this debate, but it’s kind of a mouthful.

  23. Posted July 10, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    “Sympathizers” comes to mind, and “apologizers” (sort of like apologists, and referring to the “atheist, but” portrayal (which may not be accurate)).

    Whether they’re clever or not I don’t know, really more like serious entries.

    “Sympathizers” might trouble some as McCarthyist, yet I’d think we could put that nonsense behind us 20 years (or so) after the fall of the Berlin wall.

    To be sure, you might even call me those terms, because I do care about the sociology of this matter, and getting along sometimes means not saying everything that might be “true.” I’m not Ruse, though (I wouldn’t say many of the things he’s said), and I wanted to join the contest regardless.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

    • Posted July 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Following up on that if I were using one word I’d be tempted by Protheists, but a weakness in that is that implies an opposition to antitheists rather then atheists. Much as I like Fatheists (a variant on one above) or Templetons (see below), I’d rather use a word that doesn’t automatically mean someone taking the position is a jerk rather than mistaken.

      Of course that doesn’t stop some people being jerks, but those would be the militant Protheists. 😉

  24. lalligood
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I would like to propose:

    suitchangers

    As in they change their beliefs to suit their need (or for an audience).

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:29 am | Permalink

      …Except that they don’t!

  25. Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Somethists

    Actually a shorter word than the translated “Somethingism” that is being used in the Dutch language for some years now. see; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ietsism

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:29 am | Permalink

      I like this one!

  26. Kitty'sBitch
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t want to post my second attempt so soon, in case something clever popped in my head later, but then I realised that I’m really not that clever so the chances are slim. How about this one.

    Godlycoddlers

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:32 am | Permalink

      I like that one too!

  27. Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Dims.

    Geddit?

  28. CharlesInCharge
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    1. athommodationists

    I’ll try to think of another before the week is out.

  29. hazur
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    How about ‘hesitheist’, hesitant toward theists.
    Second option ‘reluctheist’ (I think you have the idea).
    Cheers.

  30. Geoff
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Compromiserlies

    or

    Traitorists

  31. DavidM
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Peritheists

    or

    Credulists

  32. Thugalicious
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Ashamthiests.

  33. Adam M.
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    fuzzies

  34. Adam M.
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Templetons

    • bsk
      Posted July 14, 2009 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      You win the internet. There’s no contest.

  35. Stephen
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    sycotheist

    The OED has an interesting etymology for sycophant – the insulting gesture of “making a fig” or to an obscene alternate meaning for ‘sykon’ as c**t.

  36. Stu Brown
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Cowherds, they put themselves forward as
    the minders of the sacred cows.

    or second submission:

    Minders, in that they presume to filter
    and frame science to appease.

  37. Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    “Weaklings” and “Panderers” come to mind.

  38. John H.
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    *sigh* I’ve probably been guilty of being one of those “faitheists,” but that’s lately changed as I hear more and more incorrect and downright unkind things said about nonbelievers. When an xtian friend of mine complained “I wish those damn atheists would shut up” I had to tell him that they’re only words–how could they possibly affect his faith? Of course, my question was rhetorical.

    Call the soft ones among us what you will. I can live with that, I suppose, but if religionists want us to shut up, they have to do the same. Mooney, et al, are WAY off base, IMHO.

  39. Michael Heath
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Appeaseists. (Appeasers and Atheists)

  40. TorgoGuy
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Atheaser

    A portmanteau of “appeaser” and “atheist.”

    It’s good because the accomodationists are atheists who are trying to appease theists. It’s also good because “appease” often has a negative connotation to it, implying that you don’t want to be in this category of people.

    It’s bad because someone who hasn’t seen the word probably would need it explained (it isn’t immediately obvious.) I like it nonetheless.

  41. AlexY
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Theophiles.

  42. Alan P
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Immediate thought is “oxymoronist”

  43. eugyppius
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Creedists.

  44. eugyppius
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Tepids.

  45. Flaffer
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I am going Onomatopoetic: squishes.

  46. Sili
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    They’re usually called “fideists”, I think – they have faith in faith as mentioned upthread. The “Atheist Butts” are nice too (but of course two words – even if they’re by Dawkypoo).

    My entry (I really want that book): err-theists

    Or for you rhotic types: uhhhh-theists.

    • Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      No, a fideist is something else. It’s someone who thinks it’s epistemically legitimate, in at least some circumstances, to believe on the basis of faith. The sort of people we’re talking about don’t necessarily go that far. They’re usually more into sheer political expediency.

      • Sili
        Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        I see. Thanks. That’ll learn me to not spout off about stuff I don’t know (for now …).

        It’s good that there are always smart people around to correct me.

      • Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        political expediency.

        Defined as allowing fideists their own epistemological standards instead of insisting that they adopt mine.

  47. itz
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    KUSCHELATHEIST
    That’s their german name.

    Kuscheln = cuddle/snuggle

  48. jfatz
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Christians have “apologetics” who wiggle and worm their way around them inconvenient “facts” and “logical fallacies” to attempt to keep their faith unsullied, and it appears to me that accommodationists do much the same thing, trying to wiggle and worm “well, we may be atheists, BUT…” in order to never offend any single offhand belief anyone else might have.

    So… “apologetists?”

    If you’d like a harder edge, I’m keen on “spineletheists.”

  49. TorgoGuy
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Second submission (just a variation on my first one)

    Appeaseists

    I like this one even better because, in context, it doesn’t have to be explained to figure out what is meant.

    • Michael Heath
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      See comment #39 – I beat you to that word. I agree it’s an obvious choice and was somewhat surprised someone didn’t beat me to it.

      In the meantime Ed Brayton coined his own word for another phenomena, Loonisphere: http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/07/coining_a_new_term_the_loonisp.php

      • TorgoGuy
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        You’re right. Sorry about that! Consider that entry withdrawn.

        I hope you win, since that means that Coyne agrees with my (our) assessment that it is appeasement.

      • TorgoGuy
        Posted July 13, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        I figured out what happened–I just got back to the computer where I submitted the suggestion from, and it said I would have been comment #37, but you (and several others must have still be awaiting moderation). My first comment, which ended up immediately after yours was listed as being #34, instead of its current #40…

        I still like Appeaseists, but looking through the other entries I also like Todd’s (#66) Placatheist.

      • Aj
        Posted July 14, 2009 at 5:37 am | Permalink

        If belief in God seems like a respectable idea to you and it’s those who agree with PZ Myers you can’t stand.

        You’re an aPZist

  50. Araujo
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    deismfriendly

    • Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      That would be me! I actually have nothing against deists (who believe in some kind of non-interfering Creator). It’s the particular doctrines of the actual religions that are hard to reconcile with the scientific picture of the world. Deists don’t subscribe to any such doctrines, and they don’t usually try to impose a religious morality.

  51. Curt
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    “faitheist”

  52. Jonathon
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    The accommodationists seem to have a much more post-modern take on epistemology than the New Atheists, so might they be Post-Atheists?

    A second try is syntheists.

    I really liked Faiththeists from above (#8), but think it works better as Faitheists.

    • Jonathon
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Just a note on syntheists, if it’s not obvious… I thought “syn” was a more appropriate prefix (meaning “together”) than “a” (meaning “not”), since they seem to be more concerned about making nice with theists than opposing them.

      • Your Name's Not Bruce?
        Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        I took it as “synthetic” atheist.

  53. Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Grima

    (wwormtongue)

  54. Mark Clervi
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Rodneys (or Rodnies)

    Rodneist

    as in Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?”

  55. Musicmancz
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I thought of “Templetons”, or some other variation, as in John Templeton.

  56. Dan L.
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    metatheist: the metatheist, like the theist, argues that theism constitutes a valid context for the search for truth. However, the metatheist, like the atheist, does not believe that any truths so derived are, in fact, true.

    metagnostic: even more confused than the metatheist, the metagnostic is uncertain whether God exists, and is furthermore unsure of his uncertainty. This paradoxically causes the metagnostic to be absolutely certain that no one can be both certain and correct. Thus, the common complaint about the “new atheists” and all their gosh-darned confidence.

  57. Dan L.
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Incidentally, I would consider each pair of possible pronunciations acceptable.

    (meta-theist vs met-atheist, meta-gnostic vs. met-agnostic)

  58. Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    “Shushers”

    \d

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:35 am | Permalink

      Excellent!

      • Michael K Gray
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:36 am | Permalink

        (It reminds me of the Shakers, a sect who died out as a direct result of their dogma)

  59. SnowyOwl
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Maybeatheists

  60. Anders
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I didnt bother to read all, hope these arent taken:

    Maytheists
    (atheists that may be a little theistic after all)

    Theistas
    (atheists that put theism first, and the a later)

  61. ennui
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Homo respectus (damn! not one word)

    Respectacles

    Epistimutts

    • MadScientist
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      How’s the epistimutt work? epistulam = the letter (which is why the “epistles” have titles like “letter of Paul to the Corinthians”)

      • ennui
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        damn again! that should have been Epistemutts, as in epistemology. I think that I like NutterButters even better, though.

  62. Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    For my second suggestion (after theophiles, above): Opiatheists — those who think that THEY can handle atheism, but apparently think that the masses need the opium of religion. Let us not forget the condescension implicit in their position.

  63. Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Er, after fidephiles, above. It’s clearly not a thinking day today. My suggestions are (1) fidephile (2) opiatheist.

  64. Gary
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Believatarians

    Like Unitarians, but different.

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:38 am | Permalink

      Or, like the Breatharians, totally bonkers.
      (Or dead)

  65. Scote
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm…

    “Agnosticators”

    …though perhaps the neologism isn’t strong enough in its implication…

    So, though it isn’t a neologism, I’d simply say…

    “Appeasers”

  66. Todd Shackelford
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    How about:

    Placatheist (as in “placate”)
    Conciliatheist (as in “conciliate”)

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:39 am | Permalink

      I like “Placatheist” a lot.

  67. Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Damn, but competition is fierce around here.

    • Grant N
      Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Only way to keep mental swords sharp!
      Clang ’em together regularly.

  68. bsk
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Wrong.

  69. Andrew Sinnott
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    First try:

    Sympatheists. I’ll give it more thinking for the next one.

  70. Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Ambiguists – meaning a bit like Dennett’s “murkies”.

    But I like “Credulists” best, as it encapsulates ideas like gulliblity, naïvity and lacking skepticism.

  71. Andrew Sinnott
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Theistic Evolutionists: Thevolutionists!

  72. Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Is it just me seeing this, or is Jonathon’s “syntheist” post moving *down* the list, somehow? My last post (#64) was written in response to it, but Jonathon’s post is now #69, *after* mine!

    I mention this in case position enters into judging, and in case “syntheist” wins the day.

    • Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Yep, my last comment (was #72) slotted in above others I was reading. Strange.

  73. Kyle
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Gobbledegoofs

    Aholics

  74. valleyyellowdog
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    brainfarts

  75. bsk
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    I also noticed the weird shifting of Jonathon’s post…

  76. Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I like “appeasers”. I realise that the, well, appeasers consider this to be inflammatory, but I’m not sure I should worry too much about that. These people are typically prepared to hand over a huge amount of territory to religion without a fight (here, you can be authoritative about the whole supernatural world (whose existence we won’t deny), about morality, and the meaning of life).

  77. Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    “Godlycoddlers” is such a great word! Love it. Thanks KB.

    Other excellent words that roll off the tongue (and aren’t to clever for their own good) are “Faitheists” and “Fidephiles”. The both rhyme nicely with associated words.

    Credulists is quite good, but maybe a bit plain.

    My vote and money is on the sublime put-down of “Templetons”. It coins a new noun with great new meaning, tars the John Templeton Foundation with the same brush, and ends in ‘ton’, like simpleton. It’s perfect!

  78. Hempenstein
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Commathist – a slight contraction of the obvious that rolls off the tongue easily, and particularly lends itself to hurling with a pejorative sneer (which, after all, is the purpose of the “New” prefix – Godless Atheist must have been losing its punch, besides being redundant. And, it also rhymes with comminist (Southern dialect for any who don’t recognize it), which adds a nice Back At Ya touch.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      FWIW & for those who have noted the shifting order, right now I’m 74, having somehow come in above at least a couple with earlier timestamps. This isn’t the only odd thing on the site today – I expect this post will drop to a slightly larger number when the server re-sorts things.

  79. Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    How about
    Nomatheists (after NOMA)
    Soyatheists (since Soy can emulate milk or meat products)

  80. Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Ruseists.

    I think Michael Ruse deserves to have an ism name after him. He’ll be ecstatic.

    Or an amalgam: Rutheists.

    • Wes
      Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      I like the eponymous use of Ruse’s name, but “Ruseists” is a little clunky.

      Why not just call them “Ruses”? That way you get the double entendre.

      And making sophistical arguments about how since science doesn’t know everything, that makes it okay to believe anything, could be called “pulling a Ruse” or “Rusing the issue” or something like that.

      Or we could just call them masturbatheists, and refer to desperate attempts to coddle religious believers and act like their beliefs might be true as “masturbatheism”.

      • Grant N
        Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        For masturbatheists, you would need to be “hard on” something, I thought we were talking about being “soft on faith”. See post #180 below. Cheers!

  81. Leigh Jackson
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Atheunuch? (pronounced aythee-oonuk)

    • Leigh Jackson
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      And my second is the Lites: polite atheists; atheist-lite.

  82. madamX
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    enabler

  83. Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Well wouldn’t Dennett’s classifications work here? “Bright” like “gay”, an upbeat word to mean rationalist, “super” as the opposite, for theists, who believe in the supernatural, and he uses the word “murky” for people who have a soft spot for the mysterious. I prefer “misty” for the obvious reason! It even sounds like a word they’d like.

    So that’s my one suggestion. “Misty”, a word for those who like to dwell in the misty area between stark rationalism and pig-headed theism. There’ve been plenty of good suggestions from others, I’ll leave it at that.

  84. JefriL
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Atheisn’ts

    With a nod to Terry Pratchett, who coined “charisn’tma” to describe Corporal Nobby Nobbs.

  85. whyevolutionistrue
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I think the reordering must occur because I have to manually approve the first post of anyone who has never posted before, and I do that only when I check email. Everyone else’s posts go through automatically.

  86. Abbie
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Stagnostic

  87. Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    and the winner might be …. flaccidites.

  88. Zorr
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I have seen it here a few times already in the comments as an entry but it is the one I use as well…

    “beliefers” – defined as those people who have an actual need to believe in something regardless of its reality

  89. Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    got one! You can’t use Moonies, but surely, you can use…

    Mooninites.

    I can’t believe no one else suggested this. The term obviously signifies people who follow the “mooney doctrine”, but they are also the annoying, self-absorbed cartoon villains from the popular Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

    The Mooninites are absolutely convinced that they are more sophisticated than everyone on earth, and whenever anyone disagrees with them about how badass they are, the Mooninites dismiss it as evidence of how primitive earth people are.

    Best of all, the two Mooninites have to “come together” (sound familiar?) to form their ultimate weapon, a “quad laser”. Problem is, they are two dimensional, and their quad laser is built for a two-dimensional world.

    They say “Ignignokt: No one can defeat the Quad Laser. Err: Jumping is useless.” Without realizing that anyone can just step to the side.

    Some other select Mooninite Quotes

    “We don’t listen to people who don’t like us.” -Ignignokt

    “Let’s leave this primitive rock because there’s nothing but cavemen here.” -Ignignokt

    “Well for one thing, the moon has one third less gravity than your earth, I don’t know if you can understand that, but our vertical leap is beyond all measurement.” -Ignignokt

    Ignignokt: “Is your ego satisfied?” Err: “Damn no!”

    • Posted July 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Also, Mooninites only “come together” with other Mooninites when they form their easily-avoided quad laser. (And, of course, they think their two-dimensional quad laser blast is unstoppable.)

  90. benjdm
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Shaytheists:

    Because they are shy about their own atheism

    and

    because they tell atheists who are not shy to ‘shhhh!’

  91. Abbie
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Glaubenglaubes

  92. benjdm
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Non-entry is going to be Stale Atheists.

    Second entry…hmmm….

    Hushists

  93. Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    “Gaytheist.” And I don’t mean “gay” in that awesome dick sucking sort of way. More in that happy, jolly, everything must me happy and jolly or the world crumbles, sort of “gay” way.

    • bric
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      As an awesome dick sucker, no, we don’t want them by association. But thanks for the plug.

      • CW
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:51 am | Permalink

        What does awesome modify in that sentence…

        Nevermind, off topic.

  94. Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Backseaters (or, long-form: backseat atheists). Like back seat drivers. They keep telling us how to drive the debate, but we’re the ones doing all the work driving it.

    Eggshellers (or eggshell atheists). They want us to walk on eggshells to avoid hurting the fragile egos of the goddists.

  95. Malus
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Nadaist (from the spanish Nada=Nothing. Not to be confused with the Colombian literary movement from the 60s “Nadaismo”)…the only problem with nadaist is the connection with nothingism and nihilism….

  96. Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Vichy Atheists!

  97. kanootcha
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Allaytheists

    Allay meaning to reduce in intensity or severity or make quiet.

  98. blue
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Mehtheists
    Fauxtheists

  99. Posted July 10, 2009 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Unitarians? 🙂

    theiablers? (theist enablers)

    BTW, I don’t need another copy of the book; I am on page 165 and am really enjoying it!

  100. Posted July 10, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Dhimmiists.

  101. newenglandbob
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Framists – Mooney’s old nonsense.

    Whackadoodles

    • Physicalist
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, it is a continuation of the framing nonsense. (“We’re not so interested in reasoning, argumentation, accuracy — what we really need is glitter and spin.”)

      “Framers” sounds better than “framists”, I think.

  102. benjdm
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    My first entry got lost somewhere, so I’ll re-post it:

    Shaytheists –

    Shy about their own atheism

    Shhh! to others about atheism

  103. MadScientist
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Damn, I was thinking “agnotheist” – people who claim to be atheist but also claim that they cannot know anything about the mythical world and therefore must accept rather than challenge mysticism. Unfortunately the word is already taken.

    What about a “sindeodonist” (sine deus, without a god + donato, he gave) – someone without a god but who believes in giving (or giving in) to god. Render to Cesar what is Cesar’s! Just remember that God demands the larger portion of your earthly possessions.

  104. Doug
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Phonies

    Paratheists

  105. gregl
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Lametheist

  106. Scott
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Lots of good tries in the above, but all so far have missed the obvious:

    Hypocrits

  107. Posted July 10, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    The intended referents are not really atheists. Would they be better named as (if the rules allow hyphenated words):

    (1) Neo-theist

    just as they rename atheists as New Atheists;
    or

    (2) Pseudo-atheist

    if you want to keep up appearances of disbelief?

  108. Thanny
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    credophiles?

  109. CW
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I’ll offer: Obfuscatheists

  110. SourBlaze
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    My term is “selloutheists.” Or “sellout” for short. 🙂

  111. Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Liberals.

  112. conspofone
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    2faceist

  113. santitafarella
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Professor Coyne:

    Since you’re obviously talking about people like me, maybe it would be nice to let people like me name ourselves.

    I wouldn’t mind, for example, being called an empatheist. It blends the words “empathy” and “atheist” perfectly and is not inherently derogatory or dismissive.

    An empatheist is an atheist or agnostic who, in disputes, tries to walk in the shoes of others and tries to stay open and empathetic to points of view different from his or her own (and not treat the world in Manichean terms). An empathiest is a person, in short, who has absorbed liberalism and atheism in a way that makes him or her in favor of social pluralism. He or she doesn’t want a world without religion, but a world that speaks from diverse points of view.

    An empatheist believes that a society that speaks many religious languages is better than one that speaks only one language (such as monotheism or monoatheism).

    Camus was an empatheist. He famously told a group of Christians that he thought it was important for Christians to stay Christians and speak from their tradition, even as he spoke from the vantage of his lack of faith. He wanted dialogue and alliance with reasonable religionists, not combat.

    Barack Obama is almost certainly some sort of empatheist.

    The Berkeley philosopher, Richard Rorty, was an atheist, and I don’t believe he would have been offended to be called an empatheist.

    Empatheism is a way of being in the world that blends atheism and pragmatic liberalism. It’s vaguely secular, but doesn’t want to rhetorically go after the juggler of moderate or liberal religionists. An empatheist tries to see what’s good in religion, not just what’s bad. An empatheist recognizes that there is an ontological mystery that empiricism cannot quite reach, and that religion, in its diversity, attempts to approach. The gestures of religion the empatheist does not scorn, but understands.

    —Santi

    • foolfodder
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:54 am | Permalink

      “He or she doesn’t want a world without religion, but a world that speaks from diverse points of view.”

      Including the point of view that science and religion is incompatible? If yes, presumably you’d disagree with Mooney that people like Coyne should hush up a bit about their opinion?

      • Leigh Jackson
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        There’s wishy-washy liberalism – cant (not Kant) – and then there’s the liberalism that dares to speak its name. Yes, by all means let’s attempt to understand where someone is coming from but if we believe they are wrong or not wrong but indulging in cant then let’s speak out loud and strong. Let those who want to believe that God is behind evolution do so, but scientific institutions should not appear to endorse the view that because some scientists share this belief this means that science is or can be compatible with religion.

        Personal philosophical or religious positions are just that. Let’s all express them freely, but let’s not have the AAAS et al expressing a view ex cathedra.

    • santitafarella
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      foolfodder:

      An empatheist is someone not personally inclined to go after religion’s juggler. I’m okay with a world where others do this rhetorical work (Dawkins, Coyne etc). I like these guys. I read them. I think about what they have to say. I’m just always going to be the kind of guy who looks for complexity, nuance, and middle ground. I think you need all kinds of rhetorical strategies at work in the world. Truth comes from lots of viewpoints contending, including empathic ones. Bulldogs and mellow dogs make for a more interesting world. I just hope that Coyne doesn’t pick a term for people like me that is dismissive and contemptuous.

      —Santi

    • ennui
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Santi’s Kitchen

      Start with the filling/feeling of existential angst and despair; Roll it all up in the stale tortilla of ontological mystery; Slather generously with metaphorical poetry salsa. Bake at room temperature for decades in the ‘be nice’ oven; Slam it into the gaps of scientific knowledge; Enjoy. Serves no one.

      The above is parody, but it seems to me that you are missing a great opportunity to improve this world, now and in the future, by resigning yourself to current levels and forms of religiosity.

      • santitafarella
        Posted July 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        eenui:

        Your recipe analogy is clever. I laughed. But I really think that an atheism that is not in touch with the irony of its own positions (and not just the positions of religion) is not really an atheism engaging in fully critical thinking. Empatheists like myself, by critiquing atheism from within, are important to have in a movement (lest group-think becomes the norm). Atheism should be characterized by rigorous self-criticism, not just criticism directed outward. This is why I think it is a mistake to find a derogatory word for people like me. It’s like having a bad word for your own immune system.

        —Santi

      • Posted July 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Atheism should be characterized by rigorous self-criticism, not just criticism directed outward.

        Can you look up the word “atheist” for me and, using the definition, defend this sentence?

        I’ll save you the time. You can’t, and you are educated enough to know it.

        Atheists are, in the real world, *all sorts of things*, but nothing is implied in our shared lack of belief in deities
        that would direct us towards any world view. There are, in short, as many characteristics” to atheism as there are atheists.

        You can see this in the fact that some want accommodation with theists, some don’t, and some (who aren’t involved in or concerned with science) don’t care one way or the other.

        You can also see it in the fact that I’m a secular humanist, but that many (maybe most) atheists are not. Secular humanism is *not* an emergent property of atheism.

        Now, you *could* say to me – as a secular humanist, you should be characterized by self-criticism, not just criticism outward. You would be right. I am. And, that said, I feel more than comfortable *also* directing criticism outward.

        I may at times even use mockery to make a point or to help someone see something in themselves that I find silly… rather than treating it like it has value.

      • santitafarella
        Posted July 13, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        John Evo:

        It might be comforting to you personally to say: “Nothing is implied in our shared lack of belief in deities
        that would direct us towards any world view.” But it’s not true. Atheism sets you in a very definite relation to the chessboard of the world, and so necessarily offers you a different set of moves than theism. For example, atheism has to commit you to a very definite range of views concerning the ontological mystery surrounding the beginning of the universe. It has to be non-teleological. Atheism is not just disbelief in gods, it’s disbelief in the idea of God or gods writ large, which cancels options for seeing the world in teleological terms. Thus the laws of physics have to have just happened or evolved. They must have a material explanation. Also, to be an atheist means that you believe that everything that exists is in this one universe (or our universe is part of a multiverse). In any case, there is just one big thing, and it consists (crudely) of atoms and the void. These are some of the commitments entailed in calling yourself an atheist. You are committed to explaining all phenomenon in the terms of naturalism within a singular closed system (however you define the universe).

        In terms of ethics, you are also committed to a certain limited range of moves that most intellectuals find leads to either some brand of nihilism or existentialism or evolutionary psychology justification.

        When somebody says “I’m an atheist” you may not be able to guess their politics, but you can be pretty clear on the intellectual moves that they are most likely to make in regards to metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

        —Santi

      • CW
        Posted July 13, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        “When somebody says “I’m an atheist” you may not be able to guess their politics, but you can be pretty clear on the intellectual moves that they are most likely to make in regards to metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.”

        Nonsense. As an atheist I could be a strictly rational Humanist, a devout Buddhist, a woo-loving pomo New-Ager or a nihilistic anthropophagic serial killer.

        The only thing my atheism tells you is that I don’t believe in a god or gods. It doesn’t tell you why, you don’t know how I arrived at that lack of belief, nor what it implies or suggests to me. You’ve decided, apparently, that all atheists are “rational atheists”. Not so.

  114. Michael K Gray
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Only 2 submissions?
    What do I get for a knock-out?

    1) Theopratt *1
    2) Liarbator
    2) Bendoverer
    2) Fableenabler
    2) Tetrahippocrit *2
    ______________
    *1 May only be meaningful to British Commonwealth readers.
    *2 An obscure Greek reference to the Four Horsemen.

  115. Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Ignorstics?

  116. Jogga
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Hotels (because they’ll put up (with) anyone) 😉

  117. Aj
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Athei-ish

  118. Mike Barnes
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    A term from 1980’s British political history, now completely redundant (hence could be re-used in a new context):

    The ‘Wets’

    These were originally old style Tories who thought Mrs Thatcher’s Conservatism too fervent. The term summed up their lack of courage rather well.

  119. Sgt Skepper
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Dulls (as opposed to brights)

    or maybe

    Theothisers (god sympathisers)

  120. Ovyt
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    I like to think of accomodationists as akin to Sisyphus — they work this task up the hill in order to make an evolutionary point, only to lose all that progress the moment they concede any room for theism.

    So how about: Sisyphists.

    You can call them Sissies for short, which drops the portmaneau in favor of a double-entendre.

  121. Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    From what I read above “templetons” is certainly my favorite.

    I’ll give it a try with the two allowed entries here:

    PRatheists, for “Public Relations atheists”

    The second one a little bit more obscure:
    proscienligious; scienligion/scienligious is the obvious contraction of science & religion, a neologism I use since 2005 (is it always neo?) to describe the JTF’s and JTF’s minions efforts to regain some of the lost credibility/respectability of religion by associating it with science, whatever the need of redefining both terms are. Proscienligious thus for those that don’t clearly oppose the efforts to “muddy waters”.
    A double hit, scienligious for the templetons (I really like this one, more and more) and proscienligious for those who passively support their misdeeds.

  122. dogofman
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    ‘Accommodatheists’.My second suggestion. The firts was ‘Buttatheists’.
    I hope I haven’t stolen anybody elses suggestions.

    • dogofman
      Posted July 11, 2009 at 4:21 am | Permalink

      ‘Accommodatheists’ is indeed already taken by DevonR early in the thread. So I take back that suggestion.

  123. Posted July 11, 2009 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Athe-esques.

  124. Flea
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The templetons are out there. Beware and remember that “to templetonize is never nice”.

  125. Paul Phoenix
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    ‘Nevilles’ after Neville Chamberlain who was accused of having tried to reach an accommodation with Hitler.

  126. Paul Phoenix
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Ok, Nevilles is too harsh! Perhaps just ‘teapotters’ after Russel’s celestial tea device that we can’t prove *doesn’t* exist?

  127. Dave B.
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Faith-huggers.

  128. Guppygeek
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Nondenialists

    Nondeniers (shorter is better but harder to pronounce)

  129. Kevin
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Since hedging their bets makes them walk funny owing to having provided a crack for the wedge creationists,

    Hedgywedgie

  130. Screechy Monkey
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    For my second entry, I think I’ll go with:

    Godnosers. In their efforts to suck up to theists, they can’t help but get a little God on their noses.

  131. DavidWillB
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Pascalists.

  132. Graham
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Theodationists
    Commies

  133. John D Stackpole
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Incredoists

  134. randallpink
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    fAketheists

    Hedgetheists…hedgeiists…hedgists.

    I want the book, and I like fAketheists, but I think Praytheists is probably best.

    Also, religiolous or religulous (I guess Bill Maher would win).

  135. Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Atheish

    or

    Closetatheist

  136. tfteacher
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    morons

  137. Malus
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Evotheists

  138. Dave B.
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just realized the source of resonance in my suggestion of “faith-hugger”. It has an echo of the Alien “Face-Hugger”, injecting its accommodationist poison into the healthy thoracic cavity of science.

    I want that book!

  139. Posted July 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    On thesame lines as the earlier suggestion of shushers……

    Muzzle-em’s?

  140. Posted July 11, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    @ Dave B.

    While I tossed a few into the pile myself, I will admit that none of them were “Top 5” material, while I certainly have Faith-huggers in there!

    Unfortunately for you, I’m not on the committee.

    @ Sigmund

    Muzzle-Em’s is funny too. Goddamn you people are creative.

  141. MadScientist
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    OK, for my second entry:

    “homeopatheist”: the more you dilute atheism the stronger you claim it to be.

    • Kitty'sBitch
      Posted July 12, 2009 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      That’s fantastic!

      • articulett
        Posted July 13, 2009 at 12:00 am | Permalink

        ’tis!

    • Posted July 12, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      I like this.

    • col381
      Posted July 14, 2009 at 3:52 am | Permalink

      Oh, definitely – this has got to be the winner. It’s witty, nicely critical and has a genuine representative meaning.

    • Grant N
      Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Like this one. Should come in close second to one of mine. I’m keen on getting Jerry’s autograph myself. #180

    • Will Rubenstein
      Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Chamberlainfidels

  142. araujo
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    phylotheistic

  143. araujo
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    correction: I meant “philotheistic”.

  144. Smith
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    UNFAITHFUL (used as a noun, of course)

    It has two meanings:

    1. not the faithfuls, including athiests

    2. those who are dishonest, inaccurate, always moving the goalpost, refusing to confront the arguments put on the table, resorting to other dirty tricks, etc.

  145. Michael Heath
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Athepeasists

    Submitted to me by democommie, who hangs out in Ed Brayton’s “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” .

  146. genecutter
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Blenders

    Spooners (as in, a spoonful of Jesus . . .

  147. Bruce Gorton
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    My entry:

    AthiToms

    • CW
      Posted July 12, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      My first thought was that these folks are Uncle Tom Atheists (which is what I’ve been calling them when I rail about them to my partner) but I couldn’t quite make a word out of it.

  148. Posted July 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Oreos? Atheist on the outside, but the creamy filling is pure theist.

  149. larynx
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    How about
    Mollifytheist

  150. Anatoli
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    To quote one of the greats, doublethinkers.
    Or doublethinks, if you so prefer.

  151. mrcreosote
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Faithiests

  152. mrcreosote
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Faitheists – check spelling next time

  153. Neil Schipper
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    My entries:

    tiptoefarian

    atheistettante

    I tip my hat to these previous entries:

    beliefist
    templeton
    placatheist
    godlycoddler
    muzzle-em
    homeopatheist

    It’s a little troubling that some folks here don’t understand that we’re not discussing people who accept theistic evolution or are agnostics.

    We’re talking about people who self-describe as atheist, have a pro-science activist urge, use their real names, and for various reasons (empathy, patience, realism, tactics) oppose emphasizing the implausibility or wrongness of theistic beliefs in the competition for political influence. Please get the distinction.

  154. Red Dragon
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Intersectuals

  155. articulett
    Posted July 12, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I call ’em “atheist-butts”, because of the phrase, “I’m an atheist, but…”

  156. Pale Ale
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Speaks Often Falsifying The Compatibility Of Creationism, Kooks & Science.

  157. Ray Moscow
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    How about “Faitheists”?

    (if not already taken).

    Raymond

  158. Posted July 13, 2009 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    OK, scratch my 1st entry, this one’s MUCH more appropriate:

    The ‘Pew Atheists’.

  159. Neil
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Abatheists.

    Abating atheists.

  160. Guy
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Faytheist

    “Sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late”

    Greytheist.

  161. Posted July 13, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Well, my “faitheists” entry was already taken early on.

    How about “Caspertarians” — friendly to ghosts?

    Or “NevilleChamberlainists”?

  162. ennui
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    breaking the contest rules again for one more…

    Beknights

  163. Posted July 13, 2009 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    In search of a cheap joke:

    Antidennettists- those who are
    antidennettic by not believing in God but believing in the belief of God

    or perhaps

    Ruseialites – belonging to the school of Ruse

  164. Bigkneedgal
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Atheweenies

  165. Dave B.
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This is my second submission. (I hope hyphenated words are OK. If not, remove the hyphen.)

    “faith-fetishist”

    ——

    fetish : something regarded with irrational reverence.

  166. Ian
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    NOMAniacs

  167. Ian
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I like Kitty’sBitch’s suggestion, “Godlycoddlers,” but “God-coddlers” is snappier.

    • Kitty'sBitch
      Posted July 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Ian
      I was actually working from mollycoddle, so I went with Godly.
      I think it adds a cute factor that makes it more condescending.
      Kind of a verbal pat on the head.

      • Ian
        Posted July 13, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Ah, see what you mean.

        I retract my bastardization and submit godnobbing/godnobber.

    • Posted July 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      I actually almost replied to Ian earlier today to explain that one. I like it too! I have to admit there are several good ones that I could be happy with. Some really creative ideas in this thread. Yours is a definite “top 5” and I’ll be happy if you win.

  168. DavidWillB
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Second submission:

    Faithtool.

    I don’t think I need to explain why…

    • Dave B.
      Posted July 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      “Faithtool”. Nice one. Tools is what they are. They act in the interests of religious memes, but at a distance. It’s the memetic Extended Phenotype. The Long Reach of the Meme indeed!

      • Posted July 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Using “meme” & “phenotype” in the same paragraph…

        Just to bring you up to date, “meme” now refers to a trend on the internet, and little else.

        I hate to tell you there’s no Santa Claus, but the proposal that “memetics” could describe the flow of cultural thought in a way similar to genetics with biological information was not borne out by fact.

        It was an interesting hypothesis on the part of Dawkins, but one that eventually bore no fruit.

      • Dave B.
        Posted July 13, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        My. Aren’t we clever!

  169. Scote
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’ve used up my two official entries, but I thought I’d throw an unofficial entry into the mix:

    Submissives.

    Those who want scientists to tip toe around the faithful are like abused spouses tip toeing around their abusers. Mooney, Nisbet et al want scientists to act like those abused spouses and not do anything that might trigger the wrath of their abusers. I think we can do better than acting as though we all have Battered Scientist Syndrome.

  170. Sgt Skepper
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    The more I think about it, the more ‘theothisers’ just sounds right!

  171. Posted July 13, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    My entries:

    DEAF (acronym for “Deluded Evolutionist Accomodating Faith”) Can be used as adjective or noun, and carries the obvious secondary meaning that they just don’t listen to other (or their own) arguments against accomodationism very well.

    Zaphodists (or Zaphists if you like it shorter) Named for Zaphod Beeblebrox, two-headed denizen of HHGTTG. I was looking for some two-headed, mythological creature to depict their two-headed faith/science view of the world, and came across Zaphod in my internet searches. I thought he fit the bill nicely with a tip of the cap to our friend, Douglas Adams.

  172. El Schwalmo
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Agnostic

    (the same position each atheist able to reason, e.g. Dawkins or Russell, holds).

    It would be better to coin a pejorative term for militant atheists.

  173. Keith J Barry
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Invertebrathiests due to their spinelessness.

  174. Evolution SWAT
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Squishies

    Because they are so sensitive to what the new atheists say. Also, once an atheist says something they think is slightly rude, that becomes more important than the truth of the statement, or why it is deserved. Also, a squishy person would be a sensitive person, and if you poked them, it would leave a mark there for a while, just like a soft sponge.

  175. Dominic Nardi
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Another suggestion:

    “Scientheist”

    This gets at the inherent contradiction in the “belief in belief” mindset, since there is an element of rationalist (e.g. “scientific”) and religious/believer (“theist”). Hence, science + theism = scientheist.

  176. Posted July 13, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Credophile.

    Actually, the NT word for faith, as in “*the* faith”, is ‘pistis’, so perhaps Pistophile?

  177. Wilson
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    My first thought was ‘beliefists’, and I see that has already been suggested (I suspect the winning entry is among the first 50 attempts).

    Frankly, since there don’t seem to be any religious people who go on and on about wanting to accommodate science and atheism (“Come on, my religious brethren – we know they’re wrong, but it alienates the scientists to say so!”), it seems to me that ‘accomodationist’ itself, without the ‘atheist’ modifier is not at all ambiguous.

  178. Hdsjhfj
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Pacifiers

    Desperately silencing others to manufacture a sham peace. (This label cuts both ways—we come off as immature and loud. Maybe it’s good to have a label that cuts both ways.)

  179. Posted July 14, 2009 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Theismists.

  180. Grant N
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    1. From contest description:
    “Provide a snappy, one-word name for those atheists who are nonetheless soft on faith”, as opposed, I suppose, to those who are hard on faith (we all know good examples). I particularly favor ‘hard ons’ for reasons obvious to species propagation and more enjoyable, well, you know. ‘Soft ons’ are by contrast, generally undesirable for the above tasks. Essentially a useless condition, save for when a male wishes to empty the morning bladder. Therefore, submission one is derived thus:

    “soft on” + “atheist” = sofatheist

    (Also, sofa is like couch and if, in this case, theist is potatoe… generally lazy form of either).

    2. PZ used a great word recently.
    From Wikipedia:
    Tergiversation refers to the evasion of straightforward action or clear-cut statement. Alternatively, it can refer to the desertion of a cause, position, party, or faith. Its verb form is tergiversate.

    The word “tergiversation” originates from the Latin word tergiversatio, a noun corresponding to the deponent verb tergiversari, which means “to turn one’s back, to be evasive”. Tergiversari is a composite of tergum, meaning “back,” and versare, the frequentative of vertere, meaning “to turn.”

    Therefore, submission two:

    “tergum” + “atheist” = tergatheist

    Like a “back-sliding” atheist.

    Thanks for your consideration.
    Good luck to all. Lots of great stuff here.

  181. Saul Wences
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I’d call them “Coma-NOVAs”

    It sounds cool, and Mooney does exhibit that “lack of response to stimuli” (refuses to hear or respond to criticism), that a person in a coma has.

    Accomodationist arguments are rather boring and so when you hear and read the same banal statements over and over again, it does kinda induce a coma.

  182. Sherlock
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Centrationists.

    According to Alfred Piaget’s theory of child development, children in the pre-operational stage of development display a characteristic mode of thought (among others), called centration. This is the tendency to focus on one aspect of a situation while neglecting others.

    For example, if you show a typical four year old two glasses each containing equal volumes of liquid, (s)he will claim that there is more liquid in whichever glass is taller. This occurs even if you start off with containers of equal size and shape, and pour the liquid from one of these into a taller glass right in front of their eyes. Similarly, if you have two rows of coins, both containing equal numbers of coins, and ask a child which row contains more, then they will say that the row in which the coins have more space between them has more.

    I think this is something analagous to the way accomodationists think. Someone like Eugenie Scott will focus on the fact that, for example, there are good scientists and otherwise smart people (e.g. Francis Collins) that also are deeply religious… therefore religion and science are compatible. However, they ignore the fact that it is possible for people to hold contradictory beliefs! Even smart people.

    So, just as pouring liquid into a taller glass does not mean it now has more liquid inside of it, pointing to an accomplished but religious scientist does not mean religion and science are compatible. In both cases these erroneous conclusions are arrived at because these people are failing to decenter – to think about different aspects of a situation at one time.

    Plus I like how “centrationists” rolls off the tongue. It’s also provocatively similar to a word that describes people who employ even more erroneous forms of reasoning…

  183. Dan B
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    My 2 terms:
    1. Squares
    2. Foilists (or Foyalists)

    I think we could reappropriate the term “square” for them. No one really uses it for nerd anymore but it’s appealing because it does still have the negative connotation. But the main reason for it is because they are trying to fit a “square peg in a round hole” as the saying goes. Thus, they are “squares.”

    Another term for them could be “foilist.” You could also spell it “foyalist” to give a more obvious connection to the loyalist Americans who sided with the divine-right monarchy rather than the revolutionary (and largely secular) patriots. Other reasons for the term (either spelling) come from Hamlet. Shakespeare writes, “I’ll be your foil, Laertes: in mine ignorance.” So in their ignorance, trying to unnecessarily accommodate religion into science, they are truly neutral scientists’ foils. Lastly, foilist/foyalist works for them because according to the dictionary foil has these fitting definitions: 1. To prevent from being successful; thwart.
    2. To obscure or confuse (a trail or scent) so as to evade pursuers.

    Thoughts?

  184. Leslie
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    1) deistsdeisn’ts (day ist day isn’ts)

    2) psuedatheists

  185. Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    2nd submission.

    NOMidiots.

    Or is that TOO pejorative?

  186. articulett
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I think I like “godlycoddler” the best so far… because that’s what they are doing (coddling the godly) and it sounds rhymey and silly.

    (But I want to win a signed book so I hope there is another contest soon.)

  187. nick nick bobick
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I immediately thought “accomodatheists” upon reading the post 5 minutes ago (sorry, I’ve been busy). Soon saw it was one of the first suggested and it has my vote.

    So instead I will suggest my own bastardized portmanteau of “moonbeams” based on Mooney and Kirshbaum, the currently most ridiculously vocal accomodatheists.

    • articulett
      Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      moonbaums…(moon-bombs) *tee-hee*

  188. Leslie Ann Keller
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    biatheist

  189. Michael Fugate
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I am not able to post from my other account for some reason…

    I would suggest accommandos.

  190. Mike Barnes
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    If my first suggestion was:

    Wets

    my second is inspired by Ophelia Benson’s to-the-point questions for Mooney and his ilk:

    Placators

    Looking forward to seeing what wins…

  191. Veronica Abbass
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Wafflers

    Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Waffle
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffle_(speech)

  192. Leslie Ann Keller
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Second Entry:

    Godswingers

  193. Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Condescensionists- condescension, after all, lies at the heart of what they’re doing.

  194. Colin
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “accomodesiacs”

    “flip-flops”

  195. Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    We don’t need to invent new words for them, there are a few good ones already in the English language.

    Spaniel.

    Lackey.

    Courtier.

    Stooge.

    Personally, I’d go with spaniel — it carries that hint of obsequious mindless devotion that’s so appropriate.

  196. Dofang
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    “Uncle Chris” – derived from Uncle Tom and Chris Money.

    Mean, I suppose, but delicious.

  197. Jim Sheppeck
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    spoontheists (for spooning with theists in a loving embrace)

    conciliatheists

    5.5ers (out of 7 on the Dawkins atheist scale of non-belief)

    accomodatards (A-com-o-DAY-tards)

    pseudotheists

    deistophiles

  198. Blaine
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Goddlers (god coddlers), loontheists (loon atheists).

  199. scotth
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Appathy + theists = Appatheists

  200. Joey Bryan
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    how about naysatheists

  201. Joey Bryan
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    or as my second pick, fully giving XKCD.com its due,

    Sheepleists

  202. Brian English
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Fidelophage (faith eater)?
    Fidelophile (faith lover)?

  203. Mike G
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    2 entries…

    Antiskeptics

    Dogmanauts

  204. Vassmer
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    First choice:

    Godmallows

    (A variant of a soft squishy marshmallow with a deity for good measure.)

    Second choice:

    Accommodeists or ADs for shorts:

    (The name speaks for itself)

  205. Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Entry 1:
    complaisants

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/complaisant

    I like to pronounce it sorta Frenchy :p

  206. Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Entry 2:
    genuflectors

    http://dictionary.reference.com/dic?q=genuflect&search=search

    (I considered “deferentialists”, but that’s too nice)

  207. Posted July 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Just for fun, here are my favorites by others, roughly in order:

    placators (Mike Barnes, #191)

    Templetons (Musicmancz, #55)

    accomodatheists (DevonR), believists
    (Paul, #18)

    Sissyphists (Ovyt, #121) — not bad considering the “Sisyphean task” of reconciling science & religion
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sisyphus

    atheoids (Your Name’s Not Bruce?, #8) & invertebrathiests (Keith J Barry, #174) — since they’re like atheists but fail

    godlycoddlers / godcoddlers (Kitty’sBitch, #26), godnosers (Screechy Monkey, #131)

  208. Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Also:
    The Accomodati

    (just thought of it; too goofy not to add)

    • Kitty'sBitch
      Posted July 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Nice!

  209. Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “Caveatheists”

    Blends atheist with “caveat” (as in “I’m an atheist, but…”) and “cave” (as in caving to religiosity).

    I leave pronunciation up to others!

  210. rasmus
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    compabilitists

  211. rasmus
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    or faith-istas, ala colbert

  212. Ian
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    (Sorry, I’m just too anal-retentive not to clarify my above submission.)

    “Godnobber” is derived from the innocuous “hobnob,” though overtones of “knob” and “goober” make it *suspiciously* insulting. I thinking here of those atheists who “associate familiarly” as it were, lending unwarranted credibility by virtue of their involvement. Co-editing a creationist book, for example, is godnobbing. Michael Ruse is a godnobber.

    Maybe too far afield of what you’re looking for, but it seems like a useful pejorative.

  213. Scote
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Non official entry:

    Epistemological Communists.

    –based on erv’s “Intellectual Communists”.

  214. jay
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    collaboratheists
    compatophiles

  215. Chris
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Sanctophonious

  216. Chris
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Genudefector

  217. Phrogge
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    My first ideas also immediately occurred to many others. “Faitheists” fits the bill nicely and succinctly, but I quite liked the suggestions of “placatheist” and “homeopatheist.”

    How about “athy-faithy” / “athy-faithies”?

  218. Sigmund
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    I love “The Accomodati”
    How about a term associated with the fact that they are sophisticated atheists defending sophisticated believers?
    Lets just call them sophists.

  219. hillbilly78
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Cogdissophiles – those who have a soft spot for people that can hold contradictory religious and scientific views in their head (derived from cognitive dissonance).

    Credofides – loosely means to believe in belief (from the Latin words Credo: to believe, Fides: belief/faith).

    Credophiles – to love belief (from Latin Credo: to believe, and Greek phile: to love/have an affinity for)

  220. Jim Sheppeck
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    My top ten in descending order:
    faitheists
    halfwaytheists
    naysaytheists
    accomodatheists (all of whom are atheish)
    dogmanauts
    buttheads (Dawkins)
    betraytheists
    accomodati
    squishies
    AND they all suffer from a brain tumor known as religioNOMA!

  221. Stuart
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Late entry…

    Collinists

  222. steve shope
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    suavoatheists

    for soft atheists. My preference since there is nothing pejorative.

    scatocephalophiles

    for lovers of shitty thinking. In case you want something with a bit more of a biting edge to it.

    Cheers,

    Steve

  223. Andrew
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    commies

  224. BBGUNN
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Invertebratheists.

    • Posted July 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      BBGUNN – a little late, but the humor was right on time!

      Actually, I kind of wish Jerry had done a Top 10 Humorous. There was some very funny entries.

  225. Woody
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Parents


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