Atheism refers to the assertion that there exists no God, Goddess or a pantheon. It is also understood as a lack of belief in any deity or Supreme Creator and the belief that such entities have been created by the humans themselves.
Atheism has always been a matter of personal viewpoint, but the rapid rise of the ‘freethought’ atheist movement all over the world has created camaraderie among the non-believers. However, unlike the different religions prevalent globally, atheists do not as yet have any unifying symbol that they can use to identify themselves.
Still, there are certain emblems that are commonly used by atheist groups and may be called Atheist symbols. These include:
|Symbol of American Atheists: One of the oldest explicitly atheist symbols is the open-ended atom logo adopted by the American Atheists (AA), an organization founded in 1963. Designed to emphasize empirical thinking and scientific curiosity, the symbol comprises an atomic whirl with the alphabet ‘A’ in the center.
The open end of the atomic symbol represents the incompleteness inherent in science, the belief of scientists that they have yet to find all the answers. The ‘A’ formed by this unfinished vertical electron orbit symbolizes Atheism. The ‘A’ in the center refers to America, the country where AA is located. Since the logo was copyrighted by the AA organization, it did not gain widespread recognition as an atheist symbol.
|Empty Set Symbol: Another atheist symbol suggesting the absence of belief in God is a mathematical symbol of ’empty set’ and depicts a circle with a cross/line running through it. It is representative of the atheists’ view that God’s existence is just an empty concept and has nothing to it.|
|Scarlet ‘A’ Symbol: The scarlet alphabet ‘A’ is an atheist symbol that was promoted by the noted atheist author, Richard Dawkins. He designed the symbol for his ‘OUT’ campaign that was launched to encourage atheists to express their beliefs publicly and also speak up against the forced intrusion of religion or religious agendas in schools and politics. Dawkins did not claim copyright to the scarlet ‘A’ symbol and this significantly helped its spread as an atheist symbol.||Atheist Alliance International Symbol: Yet another atheist symbol is the stylized ‘A’ that was created by Diane Reed in 2007 for an Atheist Alliance International (AAI) contest. AAI is a global, non-profit association of atheist organizations and individuals that has been formed to promote atheism and educate people about secularism & atheism. This generic atheist symbol was released into the public domain and has come to be recognized internationally as a symbol of freethought.|
|Invisible Pink Unicorn Symbol: The Invisible Pink Unicorn (IPU) symbol is another icon used to symbolize atheism. IPU is the goddess of a parody religion and is paradoxically invisible as well as pink. It satirizes the many contradictions in theistic beliefs.||Flying Spaghetti Monster Symbol: This atheist symbol is also derived from the IPU concept. It also spoofs the idea of religion by suggesting that there is only as much evidence proving the existence of God as there is supporting the presence of a flying spaghetti monster.|
|Darwin Fish Symbol: The Darwin Fish is a fairly popular Atheist symbol that is derived from the Ichthus (fish), a common Christian symbol. It uses the Ichthus outline of a fish, adds legs to it and inserts the word “Darwin’, ‘Atheist’, ‘Science’ or ‘Evolve’ in the body. The symbol asserts that its user supports the concept of evolution, which is accepted by many religionists but does not believe in religion.||Happy Human Symbol: The Happy Human symbol is another symbol that is popular among atheists. However, this icon is not explicitly an atheist symbol and does not really represent disbelief in religion. It is actually an internationally recognized symbol of secular humanism.|