Which Symbol For Atheism
Was On Your Front Page?
Lyra Aitch

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Lyra Aitch"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: January 29, 2002 3:42 PM

I don't remember having an atheism symbol. We did have some "awards" on our page, most of which still live on what's left of our prestigious-looking "Awards" Page. I cannot tell you if any of these are bona fide atheism symbols, because I don't know of any such symbols besides the pansy, which symbolizes Freethought.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Lyra Aitch"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: January 30, 2002 6:57 AM

The only symbol that we know of that is not the copyrighted symbol of a specific organization is the pansy, which symbolizes Freethought, which, to many but not all who write about this subject equate very strongly with atheism. Many Freethinkers of old were Deists, but Deism pretty much died after Charles Darwin published Origin of Species, the Argument from Design being the last hold-out of the intellectual and educated classes. Now that Darwin makes it "intellectually fulfilling" to be an atheist, as Richard Dawkins puts it, most who call themselves Freethinkers would probably be atheists. Annie Laurie Gaylor

That is as close as I have been able to come to finding one I like. One fellow tried to make the circle symbolize atheism, but I did not see the point and so did not support his move. No idea what ever happened to him. or his movement. That's all I know on the subject. Here are the pages on which we have discussed this subject:

As you can see, I have not changed my position much over the years except to become less hopeful that we will find one that's intuitive and to become more skeptical as to whether one is even appropriate, much less needed. I will go along with Randy Cassingham and agree that we can make something symbolize atheism if we work hard enough. I have started to inquire into modifying his idea as part of a logo for Positive Atheism magazine (he and I been discussing this for off and on for some weeks), but something like that would have to really cook before I'd put it on the front page of PAM. The image he supplied, since it incorporates a well-known copyrighted logo, would never do, of course, but as a mock-up just to illustrate the basic idea, it will work: just to communicate what he wanted.

Original Masthead of the 'Critical Thinker'The only other symbol that's ever been on this page was removed over three years ago because it is the registered trademark of the organization for whom I did a lot of work (including hosting and owning this web page on their behalf). Their name, at the time, was Center for Rational Thought, and this crude drawing of their symbol (above), an anthropomorphized, smiley-faced light bulb wearing a graduation cap, lives on my first editorial column, "Your New Critical Thinker" (for September, 1995).

A nicer looking CRT lotgo, according to many.Here is a more sophisticated version of the logo, that may or may not be closer to what I once had on the front page of this web site. I post this only because it might satisfy your curiosity as to what was once on our front page (I don't even remember, really, which graphics I used back then). If this is the symbol you're thinkin of, it is not a symbol of atheism but is a symbol that has a distinct collection of meanings given to it by the charter members of that organization. All of the meanings they gave it revolved around what the members considered to be the advantages of atheism over belief in gods and the supernatural.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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