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For many years of my childhood, I was a Christian. In my teens, I eventually lost my faith. However, for a long time, I identified myself as an Agnostic, because while I no longer believed in the supernatural being that is the Christian God, I did believe that there was still possibly something greater than ourselves out there. And I still do.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- Hamlet

Eventually though, I chose instead to identify myself as an Atheist, for a number of reasons.

First of all, it comes down to actions; while in my mind, I may feel myself Agnostic, in the course of my daily life, I act like an Atheist.

Second of all, I realized that the main reason I identified as an Agnostic rather than an Atheist, was out of fear of the stigma associated with Atheists. I did not want to be stereotyped and pigeonholed by people who just hear the word Atheist, regardless of who I was as an individual.

But over time, I came to terms with the fact that I am an Atheist, and like any other aspect of my character, I did not want to have to hide who I really was.

Nearly a fifth of Americans identify as unaffiliated to any religion, however only a tenth of those call themselves Atheists.

I don't think all 20% are actually Atheists in hiding. However, like me, I think there is a significant number who avoid the using the title because of the stigma.

Now, I think people should ultimately identify themselves however they want. If they want to be called an Agnostic, a Christian, a Pastafarian, or even one of the subtypes of Atheist, then by all means go ahead and keep doing that.

However, if those who are truly Atheist admitted as much, I think we would start to see some major changes in the treatment of the non-religious in this country.

First of all, for me it comes down to personal action. The old cliche, "Actions speak louder than words," has strongly shaped my own preference for identifying as Atheist.

When it comes to concepts like Agnosticism and spiritualism, most people don't live on a daily basis based on these concepts. Intellectually, you may take the stance of an Agnostic, but how exactly does that affect your behavior, and how is your behavior any different than if you considered yourself Atheist?

“I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.”
― Stephen Hawking
The same goes for most of us, religious or not. When it comes to a lot of our actions in our daily lives, the underlying basis is not that there "might possibly be" a higher power. Either we believe or we don't believe, and our actions reflect that. After all, if you are caught in a burning building, and you pray to God to be saved, and then you are saved and then later on find yourself in the same situation, are you then going to not pray?  

As another example, I may tell you that I am not racist, and think in my mind that I am not a racist, but if I drive around with a Confederate flag on my car, if I attend KKK rallies, if I read white supremacist materials, can I really say that I'm not a racist? However I may think I identify, if it does not reflect how I act and interact with others, is that identification really valid?

Of course, the same goes for many so-called Christians, who stay home to watch football on Sunday, who don't show charity and compassion for their fellow human beings, and ignore many of the Bible's teachings such as "judge not lest ye be judged" and "he who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone" and the parables of the Good Samaritan and the widow's mite. How is it appropriate for them to identify themselves as Christians-and how should other Christians feel about being associated with those kinds of Christians-when their actions do not align with what they are supposed to believe?

Being true, not to some idealized version of ourselves, but true to the person who goes out and lives our lives within the larger human existence, is what I think anyone should strive for.

Second of all, like I used to be, I believe there are still people out there who shy away from the Atheist title, and instead choose Agnostic, or their community's preferred religion. One of the best ways for these people to feel more comfortable in coming out religiously, is knowing that they are not alone. They need to be made aware of the large network of fellow Atheists, their diverse backgrounds, and ultimately, that they will have a strong support group to help them through whatever they face for coming out as Atheists.

The fact of the matter is, Atheists are still one of the most negatively stereotyped groups in America, but these can be overcome, first and foremost by growing the number of Atheists who positively represent our group.

In this sense, I see the movement of people like me away from other groups and into the Atheist group, as a positive feedback loop that will make it easier for Atheists hiding in even more groups to come out.

I think that there is more political weight in furthering the cause of Atheists than any other non-religious identity, because it means overcoming far more emotional extremism. I think it is because, out of all the other types of non-religious identities, only Atheism forces the religious to face the contradictions in their own religions. Here is someone who, without reservations, completely rejects your religious views, but at the same time represents a wholly similar way of life and set of values and morals. It really forces people to ask questions that make them uncomfortable, more than if they are just faced with someone who simply has a different set of beliefs or rituals.

Religious displays are a good example, both holiday displays and monuments. Thanks to recent actions of Atheist groups serving as lightning rods, it highlights the religious intolerance to other religious groups as well. Look at the hostility that was directed towards a teenage girl, including her friends and family, simply for wanting to start an Atheist group at her school. All non-religious freethinking groups face similar types of social pressure; few religious groups ever experience the same escalation.

Finally, many of the unjust policies on which liberals fight the hardest are ultimately religiously based. Abortion, not teaching evolution in schools, not extending equal rights to the LGBT community, these are all justified not by any rational discourse or evidence, but purely on religious grounds, or some lame appeal to "tradition" which, based on religion's role in establishing most human traditions, merely masks the religious pressures. Even climate change denialism is quickly becoming enveloped in religious adherence.

How does identifying as Atheist advance these causes? Well, simply put, it highlights the religious nature of these stances, and provides a platform for highlighting these egregious violations of the principle of separation of church and state. Take the recent example of the contraception mandate for religiously-affiliated employers. Here, we had a special group of institutions who wanted special treatment simply because of religious reasons. However, proponents were never forced to address this blatant hypocrisy. How exactly does contraception If Christian organizations can refuse to provide contraception for its employees, why can't Atheist organizations be able to refuse some other provision?

They did not have to seriously face such scrutiny. Much like labor groups, women's groups, and LGBT groups push politicians on these respective issues, politicians need strong non-religious advocacy groups to push them to take stands on issues of religious intolerance as well. Religion has plenty, and outnumber and swamp all the non-religious groups, and the split into separate divisions only exacerbates this.

In the end, I want everyone to feel they can freely identify themselves however they truly feel. Whether you are an Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, Christian, or Muslim, you should not feel compelled to hide who you are because of what other people will think and how other people will treat you. That is why I am an Atheist.

Originally posted to Progressive Atheists on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  I see myself as a "Strong Agnostic" (11+ / 0-)

    "I don't know whether a God exists--and neither do you."

    •  I always say that we can't know whether (6+ / 0-)

      there is a god, not just that we don't know.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:10:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How come? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, pvasileff

        Just curious. I read this sometimes and I am never sure why we can't know. I.e., might it not be possible for a god to demonstrate its/his/her existence to us, if it wanted us to know that it existed?

        •  the problem is (4+ / 0-)

          what would count? While Star Trek V was a pretty lousy movie, it did have one good scene, as Kirk-Spock-McCoy confronted the alien who claimed to be God. Kirk wanted proof, not just an assertion. But what would count as proof? Doing powerful stuff like moving a planet around would certainly be impressive, but how would we know this wasn't simply incredibly advanced technology? When Jean-Luc Picard snapped at Q "You're not God!" Q slyly replied, "How do you know?" And since Q appeared to be omnipotent, this was a fair question.
               I can't think of anything that a being who claimed to be God could do that wouldn't in theory be do-able by an alien with advanced technology. (Imagine someone from the ancient world watching neurosurgeons cut into a brain while the patient experiences no pain...wouldn't he view this as god-like?).  You or I, if challenged, can always whip out a driver's license or passport, but God....

          "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

          by Reston history guy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:01:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, pvasileff

            it's a god! Surely it can think of something... :)

            •  True, if there is an all-powerful, all-knowing god (3+ / 0-)

              then surely that god could figure out a way to prove its existence.

              No War but Class War

              by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:06:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  it could sign 'God' on the paperwork. nt (3+ / 0-)
              •  well, maybe, but (1+ / 0-)

                remember, it isn't as simple as this all-powerful being simply making everyone believe he/she/it is God. Yes, an all-powerful being has the power to do that, but that isn't proof.  We are not all-knowing, but proof involves a rational and logical argument supported by evidence which we or any rational being could accept as constituting proof. So if we can't think of such an argument---and remember, this argument has to show both that (a) there is a God AND (b) that this particular being is the God proved in (a)----then I am not sure God's superior knowledge will help.
                     Even omnipotence and omniscience have limits---God cannot do the logically impossible like make round squares, nor can he know what cannot be known such as the highest number. God would, I suppose, have certain knowledge of his own identity himself, but we, I think, would pretty much just have to take his word for it.

                "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

                by Reston history guy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:20:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If the gode is all powerful and all knowing (1+ / 0-)

                  then it will know the proof or be able to create a proof.

                  Even omnipotence and omniscience have limits---God cannot do the logically impossible like make round squares, nor can he know what cannot be known such as the highest number.
                  That's not necessarily true. If logic is internal to our world and god is external then god could most certainly do things that we think are logically impossible.
                  We are not all-knowing, but proof involves a rational and logical argument supported by evidence which we or any rational being could accept as constituting proof. So if we can't think of such an argument---and remember, this argument has to show both that (a) there is a God AND (b) that this particular being is the God proved in (a)----then I am not sure God's superior knowledge will help.
                  So because we haven't figured out a proof then an omnipotent being couldn't figure out a proof? I find that a bit hubristic.

                  No War but Class War

                  by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:26:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  logic is not internal to our world (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pvasileff

                    it is internal to our language, if anything.  "God cannot make a round square" is not, strictly speaking ( I phrased it carelessly earlier), a limit on his power. It is equivalent to "God cannot make a xy#%%cv". That is, logical contradictions are not things that are really tough to make, they are merely gibberish by the rules that underlie human language.
                      It is also not easy to see how God, if truly "external" to the universe, could affect anything in the universe. "God created the solar system" would be the same sort of pseudo-sentence that "4-3 got out of bed" is (4-3 being numbers, not a name for anyone). It looks like a sentence, but it has no meaning. Think of Jabberwocky, "Twas brillig, and the slithy toves".  It is gibberish arranged in such a way as to appear to be language.
                       But my central point was that an argument, however brilliant, would have to persuade us. And an argument that we can grasp would be--I don't think this is hubris, merely a judgement of probability--one that someone would have come up with in 2500 years of trying. But so far no one has come up with a proof that God exists...and some being showing up claiming to be God ...well, maybe he/she/it could indeed prove his identity to us. Maybe. I don;t know of any way to prove that other people besides myself are conscious, or that trees are not conscious. I just bumble along with assumptions. Maybe that would be good enough if a God-candidate showed up.

                    "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

                    by Reston history guy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:58:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Language is internal to our world (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pvasileff

                      so if logic is internal to language it is internal to our world. Since we haven't left our world, or universe to be more broad.

                      It is also not easy to see how God, if truly "external" to the universe, could affect anything in the universe.
                      Indeed. That's a problem for the existence of god.
                      But my central point was that an argument, however brilliant, would have to persuade us. And an argument that we can grasp would be--I don't think this is hubris, merely a judgement of probability--one that someone would have come up with in 2500 years of trying. But so far no one has come up with a proof that God exists...and some being showing up claiming to be God ...well, maybe he/she/it could indeed prove his identity to us. Maybe. I don;t know of any way to prove that other people besides myself are conscious, or that trees are not conscious. I just bumble along with assumptions. Maybe that would be good enough if a God-candidate showed up.
                      If there is a god then that god should be able to prove it is a god. To persuade everyone that it is god. As far as I'm concerned it isn't much of a god if it can't do that.

                      No War but Class War

                      by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:02:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't know---couldn't it be analogous to (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Reston history guy, AoT

                        one of those Sims games or whatever?  Assume the sims one day somehow acquire sentience and rational thinking.  We created their world--we can intervene, or not--choose haphazardly whether to respond to their requests to build a colosseum or provide some hot dates for them, and if we showed up in their world, gave them everything they asked for and said 'oh, hi, we made you'---is there any way we coudl prove it to them?  It would look like powerful magic--which they could believe or not.

                        In this vein, too, ever read Flatland?  Similar concepts.

                        Obviously the we-might-be-one-giant-simulation is hardly a novel concept, but it does seem to provide some useful/fun thought experiments that I don't see all that much of in the dkos religion debates.

                        •  Except that we are in fat a part of the (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Namazga III

                          world of the sims, and they are a part of our world. The separation is one of perception.

                          We created their world--we can intervene, or not--choose haphazardly whether to respond to their requests to build a colosseum or provide some hot dates for them, and if we showed up in their world, gave them everything they asked for and said 'oh, hi, we made you'---is there any way we coudl prove it to them?  It would look like powerful magic--which they could believe or not.
                          The irony there, and what makes it especially appropriate, is that if we showed up and said we made their world we'd be lying. We organized a few things in their world but someone who we've probably never met, or a team of someones, actually made the world.
                          Obviously the we-might-be-one-giant-simulation is hardly a novel concept, but it does seem to provide some useful/fun thought experiments that I don't see all that much of in the dkos religion debates.
                          It does and it's an interesting debate.

                          No War but Class War

                          by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:59:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  we agree (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT

                        I suppose I am just more pessimistic than you about the possibility that any such god-being could pull off the persuasion, but of course we are unlikely to ever get the chance.  I have a hard time even seeing that omniscience and omnipotence can co-exist logically. Suppose one asked "Can God know that there is something he cannot do?" If yes, then there is something God cannot do and hence he/it/she is not omnipotent. If no, then there is something God cannot know, so he/she/it is not omniscient. It would all be academic anyway...if some hugely powerful being showed up, claimed to be God and vaporized the Fox News organization as proof, I would not be in any hurry to tell that being I didn't accept his divinity.

                        "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

                        by Reston history guy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 02:03:41 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Given that I don't believe in god (0+ / 0-)

                          I think that there's no way anything could pull off such a persuasion.

                          Suppose one asked "Can God know that there is something he cannot do?" If yes, then there is something God cannot do and hence he/it/she is not omnipotent. If no, then there is something God cannot know, so he/she/it is not omniscient.
                          The easy answer there is that god can know that there is something it cannot do but does not in fact know it because there is nothing to know. The ability to do things can be infinite while the actual doing is not.
                          It would all be academic anyway...if some hugely powerful being showed up, claimed to be God and vaporized the Fox News organization as proof, I would not be in any hurry to tell that being I didn't accept his divinity.
                          True.

                          No War but Class War

                          by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:26:52 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Mathematical abstractions (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT

                        Many (quite possibly most) mathematicians and computer scientists are Platonists with regard to mathematical abstractions (including symbolic logic). From that perspective, these abstractions exist independent of language, of time and space, and of God(s), and are discovered or revealed, not invented or created.

                        God (assuming one exists) could create a reality so that the mathematics describing physical reality was different, but that wouldn't invalidate our current mathematics, just make it inapplicable.

                        And (nearly) all mathematicians would agree that God couldn't make a geometrical object that was both a sphere and not a sphere--although according to one philosophy of mathematics He/She/It/They might be able to make a object that was neither a sphere nor "not a sphere".

                        •  Most philosophers of Math are not platonists (0+ / 0-)

                          And there are no small number of mathematicians that agree. Strangely enough, if mathematicians are correct and numbers have a real existence of some sort then they could have been created and they are internal to the world.

                          Logic and numbers have an abstract existence, unless you're really old school, but they still exist inside the world. There's no reason to assume that logic as it exists in our universe would also exist in the same way in a different universe and there can be no proof that it must exist as it does in every possible universe.

                          And (nearly) all mathematicians would agree that God couldn't make a geometrical object that was both a sphere and not a sphere--although according to one philosophy of mathematics He/She/It/They might be able to make a object that was neither a sphere nor "not a sphere".
                          Given the known constraints of our universe and logic, yes, but if god does exist outside the universe then god could alter the universe and rules of logic in such a way as to make it possible.

                          No War but Class War

                          by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:21:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  First and foremost because there is no (2+ / 0-)

          definition of god. Without knowing what we're looking for we can't know if it exists. Second because by definition god exists outside the natural world, so god would not be bound by the rules of the natural world so there's no reason to believe we could use any truth determining process to figure out if god exists or not.

          I.e., might it not be possible for a god to demonstrate its/his/her existence to us, if it wanted us to know that it existed?
          Possibly, yes. But how would that be different from some other powerful thing? What would god do to prove it exists that some other thing couldn't trick us into thinking it had done?

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:05:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I see myself as a strong b eliever (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cjo30080

      And I say you're right on both counts.

    •  Labels, shmabels (5+ / 0-)

      I claim myself to be a 'Christian' because I am deeply involved in the life of my (quite progressive Presbyterian) church and seek (notably unsuccessfully) to live by the teachings of Jesus, which I admire tremendously. Yet it could very well be said that I am an atheist; I don't believe in some big bearded guy with sandals up in the sky, who regularly pokes sticks into the ant hill of humanity just to torment us or because he woke up on the wrong side of Heaven this morning. I don't believe in Heaven, nor Hell (except those which we fashion for ourselves). I don't believe we should stone disobedient children to death. I do believe that the Bible is a wonderful work of history, poetry, metaphor, and guidance, tainted (as are all books) by the weaknesses and prejudices of its authors.

      Over a lifetime I've had many other self-professed 'Christians' assure me that I am not a Christian. To hell with that. I, in turn, sometimes assure such people that they sound more like Paulists than Christians to me.

      It is what's in your heart, and your hands, that makes you who you are, not what's on your tongue.

      And ambiguity is good. Certitude, not so much.

      Gun rights? OK, let's start this discussion with the same words the 2nd Amendment does: "well regulated"

      by DocDawg on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:47:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  God does exist (0+ / 0-)

      It's name is Higgs Bosum

  •  A couple of years ago....... (10+ / 0-)

    .......I learned the term "apathiest."  I now use that to describe my feelings whenever anyone wants to talk about religion, either for or against.  To date, it has been helpful in turning discussionss back to less contentious subjects.

  •  It doesn't sound to me like you... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, wdrath

    are an atheist but what do I know. Why put a label on what you are anyway?

    Religion has given God a bad name imo.

    I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

    by Jim Riggs on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:00:35 AM PDT

    •  and the diarist contradicts self within a few (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim Riggs, phenry

      sentences. "In my mind I may feel myself Agnostic..." but in the course of his daily life he acts (identical to) an Atheist (would act).
      This is listed as a reason to claim Atheism, strangely.

      Me, in my mind I feel myself Agnostic...and in my daily life I act the same as an Atheist because the behavior of many Agnostics looks identical to that of many Athiests.

      So, myself, I claim I am Agnostic...because that is how I feel inside myself.

      Anyway, I don't care what anyone is. As long as they tolerate other people, including respectful Theists.

      •  I do not feel that it is a contradiction (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim Riggs, AoT, blueoasis, KMc, Kevskos

        because I feel that actions speak louder than words, how I identify should reflect how I actually behave in reality.

        So even though my beliefs may better align with the definition of Agnostic than Atheist, how I actually act in real life reflects an Atheistic belief.

        So I call myself Atheist, but like I said, go with what you are most comfortable.

        "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

        by pierre9045 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:40:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd only add that knowing and believing are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pvasileff

          two different things. I don't think we can know whether there is a god or not, and I don't believe in any gods.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:02:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i think it depends on whether we're defining (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pvasileff

          belief as personal quest for truth, or morality towards others, or a myriad of other definitions...

          I mean--i derive morality (as far as I know) from myself, family, society---i'm completely oblivious/apathetic as to whether or not there is someone outside of this world to answer to.  it doesn't matter.  I mean--I don't know if there's free will either--it feels like there is--but I go on my merry way and assume so.  But I"m not sure that the fact I don't live my life in fear of--or in homage to--a higher power means that Im' living life as an atheist--I mean I could still be a theist but not think that GOd particularly cares one way or another about what I do.  

          It seems like a lot of people who adamantly reject theism most vocally are those who see god as interventionst by definition--which I don't t hink is necessary...

          •  I'm like it sounds like you are (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Namazga III

            I don't feel the strong need to label what I am particularly. I call myself agnostic because if pushed I'd say I am not Sure there is a God nor am I entirely 100% sure there isn't one (given the wide definitions there are to "god")

        •  got it now (0+ / 0-)

          you are just doing what feels like being in integrity. People need different things to feel that. I need to act and label like I feel inside...because to me there isn't a conflict that my acting like the agnostic I appears to others the same as an atheist would act. Agnostics and atheists often act the same.

          I bet if someone is in a very religious Christian or "Christian" area of the US where most people are religious, not being so so not acting so might be judged by everyone only as "acting atheist".

          I'm not in an area like that at all. There really isn't an "acting atheist" consensus and myself, I've never thought about what an atheist or agnostic acts like.

      •  Actually, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim Riggs, AoT, Silencio, phenry
        in my daily life I act the same as an Atheist because the behavior of many Agnostics looks identical to that of many Athiests.
        ...the behavior of most people is remarkably consistent, regardless of what deities they recognize or don't.
    •  Well why doesn't "God" correct that? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Definition of "A-theist" (5+ / 0-)

    This is how it was explained to me. "A-theist" means "not a theist". In that respect, an agnostic is indeed an a-theist.

    I prefer the term agnostic. The simple fact is, I don't think anyone knows one damned thing about "God", whether there is one or not, whether God loves you", as so many are quick to say or that God hates you or that God wants to throw up on your pathetic puny ass. It's all one mystery and despite the invention of literally thousands of religions over the eons, still no one knows one goddamned thing about it. Those that claim there is no God are just as painfully insufferable as those who make big bold claims for God.

    Well, nearly so.

    •  interesting, yet the world is used differently in (4+ / 0-)

      common usage so to avoid confusion one might choose to conform.

      I call myself agnostic. Because I am comfortable with not knowing. Probably I'm am pretty close to being a real atheist (common usage) but I want to stay open to possibility, I don't want to pretend I know everything there is to know.

  •  I'm with you, 'agnostic' is a wishy-washy term (6+ / 0-)

    It literally means 'don't know'. But what is it the question that you don't know the answer to? It's: Does God exist?

    But what is meant by the term 'God'. For any definition or description of God that I've heard, I'm confident in saying there's no such thing.

    It's only by making the term so vague or general as to be virtually meaningless that the agnostic position becomes tenable, IMO. IOW, "I don't know the answer to the question that you cannot properly formulate."

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:15:36 AM PDT

  •  I certainly understand that one cannot know (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pierre9045, blueoasis, wdrath, pvasileff

    If there is a supreme being or not, so thus "agnostic" is a proper term.

    Personally, I just can't believe in that.  I suppose that is a sort of "faith" or "belief", but really, in terms of religion it is a lack of faith and a non-belief.

    I suppose there's an apathy aspect, too.

    But for all that, Atheist seems to fit well, so I wear it.  Anyone who would judge me poorly based on that alone is not worth my concern.

  •  I call myself an agnostic (5+ / 0-)

    Occasionally, when I run into some religious freak, or as I call them lately, a totalitarian Christian who doesn't believe in the separation of church and state, I call myself an atheist.

    I reached the conclusion that a powerful entity created the universe and possibly others or may even be the Universe itself.

    There is a spectrum of agnostics and atheists, weak and strong among other qualifiers.

    I am open minded, I used to call myself a neo-gnostic pantheist.  Gnosticism made sense to me for a while.  Gnostics were considered heretics and were probably the first to be persecuted for disagreeing with mainstream Christianity.

    I give God the benefit of the doubt but I do believe it plays dice if it exists.

    Now "angels" are a different story.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:26:05 AM PDT

    •  that's one concept I kind of like--why can't the (7+ / 0-)

      universe itself be a supreme being?  Or the multiverse or whatevver?  Is it sentient like we are?  Probably not--but maybe the systems by which it operates (which we know transcend physics and likely math), are a kind of sentience.  Maybe it's something far beyond sentience.  After all, it's  been here since the big bang, and perhaps some other kind of reality before that--infinitely before that---we just showed up 14 billion years down the road.

      •  Good point. I have often pondered on this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, Namazga III

        How do we know neutrons and protons, and quarks and gluons, that have their own form of sentience?

        "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

        by pierre9045 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:43:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  exactly. the undercurrents of self-organization (0+ / 0-)

          are everywhere--from galaxies to ourselves to protozoa.  What the means, who knows....but these notions that the tiny bit of science we've managed to develop and explore in our infinitely small corner of the galaxy over a minuscule time period can simply be extrapolated to figure out...well...all of reality (which a lot of people seem to think) strikes me as a bit ludicrous....

          •  How do you know that? n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Silencio

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:40:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Conviction. (0+ / 0-)

              Just like the certainty, the lack of doubt, of religious fundamentalists.

              •  There's something about the equation you've made (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Silencio

                here that bothers me, because the two premises (God/no God) aren't logically equivalent. So to be certain about the non-existence of God isn't the same thing as being certain about the existence of God.

                •  You're right. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Namazga III, AoT, pvasileff

                  Part of the (or my) "problem" is that I'm not too invested in this line of argument.  I've been through it before, and am comfortable with where I'm at.

                  But, as someone said above, the term "god" itself is ambiguous.  I agree that an anthropomorphized god doesn't exist; or at least we have zero reason for thinking it does.  But to move from there to the denial of some form of intelligence that simply may be unrecognizable by finite, limited beings such as us -- that, to me, is indeed as dogmatic as insisting on the Christian God.

                  Human intelligence or reason is limited -- by language, by our cognitive make-up.  To insist that there is no other form of intelligence beyond that of animals on this planet is, to me, a dogmatic "leap of faith."  But again, the term "god" is ambiguous, and that leads to a lot of wheel-spinning.

                •  again though it depends on the definition. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Silencio

                  it can approach logical equivalency.  For example:

                  Jesus rose from the grave after 3 days and went to heaven

                  vs.

                  Jesus didn't rise from the grave after 3 days and go to heaven--

                  there's nothing close to logical equivalence.

                  But when you get to abstracts, such as

                  sentient vs non-sentient

                  or

                  guided by some force beyond our understanding vs not guided by some force beyond our understanding,

                  you get much closer.  

            •  The scientists studying these particles (0+ / 0-)

              told me so.  What else can one say to such a statement? It's nothing more than a throw away line.

          •  what about societies? are they self aware? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Silencio

            can they be?

            I mean we're just a bundle of cells, after all...

  •  I'm both a Christian and agnostic. (7+ / 0-)

    Unpacking that a bit. Christianity is faith-based. If faith is believing in something that lacks evidence, then I can't know for sure. Since I can't know, then I don't know. If I don't know, then I'm also agnostic. so, faith and agnosticism have sort of a yin yang relationship.

    With regard to atheism, I think that it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a Christian. Again, we can't know. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, we're all agnostics, whether we realize it or not.

    Just thinkin' out loud.

  •  Both (7+ / 0-)

    I always consider myself both.

    I am an atheist in that I am certain that none of the religions created here on Earth are true and all of them have zero connection with facts or reality about the actual creation of the universe.

    I am agnostic in that I do see a certain order and structure to the universe that I can not explain so I can not discount some planning somehow.

    I find the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful deity to be very implausible but not 100% impossible.

    Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.

    by Liberal Elite on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:36:51 AM PDT

  •  agnostic Jew here. One reason I don't subscribe (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pierre9045, AoT, cjo30080, nicteis, wdrath, Silencio

    to the atheist label is that it's often responding to the rejectoin of a Judeo-CHristian god--but the god concept is often so damn individual no one knows what anyone else actually means by it.

    Also, to be honest, I don't see the God-Not God thing as a binary question.  But that's a whole other ball of wax....

    •  That's a very good point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silencio, AaronInSanDiego
      but the god concept is often so damn individual no one knows what anyone else actually means by it.
      Because how is anyone suppose to be atheist when, for example, God is defined as love. It's one of my biggest frustrations when talking to believers.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:18:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my definition of atheism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        also covers cases where the word "God" is used for something that already has a perfectly good name, such as love. Another example would be the case of pantheism, where God is everything. But I've also found that those who claim "God is love" often attribute other properties to God that people don't otherwise normally attribute to love, so I tend to doubt they really mean they are the same thing.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:03:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Words need to have meanings to be relevant. (0+ / 0-)

      If the word "god" doesn't have a reasonably narrow definition then it means nothing and I can ignore it.

  •  Non-theist is a word the Quakers use. (6+ / 0-)

    In an interesting book

    A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

    the author describes the inflation theory about the creation of the Universe and then states "if there is a God then he is redundant" because he/she/it isn't needed for creation.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:41:34 AM PDT

  •  I'm none of that that I would put an a- word to. (5+ / 0-)

    If you have to declare yourself as an a-anything, your list is infinite.  I'm an a-unicornist, an a-coca-cola factory on Neptune-ist, etc.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:41:40 AM PDT

  •  I trouble not with what I am, ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pierre9045, skod

    but fear what others choose to believe I am.

    Identify, Classify, Vilify...the paradigm of the human experience.


    How do you tell your pet slug that you had escargot for dinner?

    by glb3 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:42:10 AM PDT

  •  I am an Athiest (11+ / 0-)

    and will remain so until there is compelling empirical evidence to the contrary, which I'm confident is not forthcoming, unless of course you call god the natural "laws" that connects us at the most fundamental levels (quantum, atomic, molecular, etc.)--in which case I'm devoutly religious, because I do believe we are connected by the physical "sharing" that goes on as well as the inter-relatedness and interdependencies and consequences of our actions (and inactions).

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:47:33 AM PDT

  •  Knowledge, character, and behavior (0+ / 0-)

    In the book Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder insists that he is not an atheist, but only an agnostic.  In the movie version made in 2008, Ryder insists that he is not an agnostic, but rather an atheist.

    Perhaps the motive for the change is one of the reasons you mention.  But I am inclined to think that the term “agnostic” has outlived its usefulness, something needed when atheism was not tolerated as much as it is today.  As for using that term nowadays, although it is defined in terms of knowledge, the agnostic saying we just cannot know one way or the other, I think it is more a reflection of character.  There is something lame about agnosticism, suggesting weakness or timidity.  In fact, that may be why Ryder was only an agnostic in the book:  it was Evelyn Waugh’s way of disparaging Ryder, who is portrayed as superficial, someone who lives on the surface of things, loving art and sensuous pleasure, as opposed to Catholics, I suppose, whose lives have depth and meaning.

    Moving to a different point, you suggest that agnostics do not behave differently from atheists.  But then you later point out that atheists often have a similar “set of values and morals” as those who are religious.  The logic of that would seem to be that if actions are what matter, then we atheists might just as well say we are religious.  As for me, I go even further, swearing in court with the phrase “so help me God,” bowing my head when someone calls for a prayer, and even (gasp!) getting on my knees when finding myself in a church for a funeral or something. Unless I tell people I am an atheist, they never suspect.  To borrow your example, I am not a racist, but if I were, I would not drive around with the Confederate flag on my car or join the KKK.  In short, I would not let on except to a close few, especially since it is lot more acceptable today to be an atheist than a racist.

  •  None of the above for me... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silencio

    ...there is no label that fits for me...no form of theism, nor atheism (which is a reaction to theism, as in non-theism), nor agnosticism, nor any belief system.

    In fact, it seems to me that the real crux of the problem is belief itself. There is no benefit to holding any type of belief, since that belief skews our ability to see reality itself.

    So...for me...none of the above applies when it comes to religious beliefs.

    •  Atheism is not a belief (8+ / 0-)

      any more than 'off' is a TV channel.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:26:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my experience as an atheist that varies (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silencio, wdrath, Namazga III

        I've been told by "new atheists" that I'm not a real atheist because I didn't believe the right things. Of course, the same people have then said the same as you. Atheism has in some places become a synonym for strong materialism. I think it's important to make that distinction because I've seen it cause some confusion.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:54:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Provocative. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wdrath, Jackson L Haveck

          When asked, IF someone asks, I just tell them I subscribe to no religion, and don't believe in supernatural entities, an afterlife, etc.  Make of that what you will.

          I've known some very dogmatic, hard-headed atheists.  I try not to have conversations with them.

          Strong materialism...Very fascinating.  Sometimes when people deny there is (some sort of) a "god," they quickly snap to a thoroughgoing materialism, a reductive materialism.  Similarly, when some reject the notion of an "immortal, incorporeal soul," they immediately embrace a type of "neuro-reductionism": i.e., all behavior, all actions, all decisions, all emotions, are simply brain activity.  Get rid of a heavily metaphysical notion of "soul," and all you have left is the body-as-machine (computer, robot, whatever).

          Parallel one-sided views.

      •  the belief that there is no god (0+ / 0-)

        is still a belief, in my opinion. There is no "ism" that makes me feel comfortable, because all "isms" come with some kind of a belief...whether they call it that or not.

        •  No it's not, it's a statement of fact. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos
        •  So is the belief that there are no unicorns (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, pvasileff

          a belief, or is it the null hypothesis?

          Are you stating a belief when you deny Russell's teapot?

          A scientifically unfalsifiable claim is properly presumed false. That doesn't make it a belief.

          What fishtroller01 (aptly named) is doing, on the other hand, is gnostic theism, and he IS stating a belief -- his claim, also, is unfalsifiable.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:44:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What does my name have to do with this (0+ / 0-)

            discussion?

            •  Everything -- (0+ / 0-)

              and given your previous remarks, I'm not surprised you don't understand that it is.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:15:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well my godfather might find this amusing (0+ / 0-)

                if he were still alive, but I find your little mystery game silly and totally unrelated to the topic at hand.

                If you have something further to offer on that topic, go ahead.  If you just have nonsense to offer, don't bother offering it to me again.

                •  There's no mystery. (0+ / 0-)

                  Just you failing to understand basic reasoning because you're apparently one of those atheists who isn't an atheist for rational reasons, but just to feel smug and superior to theists.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:24:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And my name confers that idea? (0+ / 0-)

                    Quite a stretch of imagination there, but hopefully that's the end of your speculation on that.

                    So now you have moved on to psychoanalysis. Good luck with that.

                    •  Your name contains the word "troll" (0+ / 0-)

                      and I find it ironic given your conduct, though as a Minnesotan, I certainly know and appreciate the literal meaning of trolling as a fishing technique.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:28:51 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Can you also appreciate the fact (0+ / 0-)

                        that my name could also be the name of my godfather's fishing boat at Cape Cod and has nothing absolutely to do with any other imagined meaning?  

                        I actually hope you feel a bit foolish now, but rest assured, at least you are not the only fool who has conjured up a secret meaning to my Kos name. There have been others.

                        Now I think I will go and sit in the sunshine and ponder what hidden meanings are in "raptavio".  I'm sure I can come up with something based on your comment history......

                        •  interesting (0+ / 0-)

                          That you call me a fool even though I explicitly said I understood the plain meaning of your nick name and you thought I didn't. More irony on your part. Also very courageous of you to resort to name calling in the fat right margin.

                          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                          by raptavio on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:03:52 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Even (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cjo30080, Silencio, wdrath

    Calling yourself an atheist is a pigeon hole.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:05:37 AM PDT

  •  Positive Atheist (7+ / 0-)

    and proud of it.

    Well done chap at freeing yourself from the religion virus.

  •  Came across this about a week ago. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raptavio, Thorby Baslim, Silencio

    Why Agnosticism Probably Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

    Back in 1869, T. H. Huxley coined the term to counter the rampant dogmatism exhibited by many of his peers. Unwilling to subscribe to another "ism", and inspired by a reference in the Bible to an "unknown God," he came up with the word "agnostic." The word, said Huxley, was "suggestively antithetic to the 'gnostic' of church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant." And indeed, the term was never intended to be some go-between between atheism and theism; the absence of an "ism" was quite deliberate.
    After reading this, I'd describe myself as an "agnostic atheist"
    •  Yes, this. (6+ / 0-)

      I am an agnostic athiest. I presume the nonexistence of God lacking evidence to the contrary, but I understand that I cannot know for certain.

      Gnosticism/agnosticism is a question of knowledge (or more strictly, of belief in one's knowledge). Theism/atheism is a question of belief (or more strictly, of belief or nonbelief in the existence of God). They are not different points on the same continuum.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:25:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm an atheist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    and I don't care who knows it.  Like the OP, I consider "agnostic" a cop-out.

    It's not like I never checked out religion.  I sang in the church choir when I was a kid.  I actually read one of the heaviest theological works ever, "Apologia pro Vita Sua," by John Newman, former Cardinal of the Church of England.  If this load of bollocks passed for serious thought among clerics, there is none to be found in religion.

    Orwell was an optimist.
    My Home Page

    by RepackRider on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:32:37 AM PDT

  •  I am agnostic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cjo30080, blueoasis, pierre9045

    I have have a similar journey as you.  Grew up fundamental Christian.  Lost my faith, found it, lost it, reject it.

    I do not believe in the tenants of Christianity.  They make no logical sense to me.  

    I enjoy a Sunday sermon, the feel of singing a hymn in a congregation.  I don't even mind prayer.  I enjoy the sense of community that religion can bring.

    I don't believe have enough answers to outright reject a higher being.  I am agnostic to religion.

    I find it interesting that I have spent more time examining and testing my beliefs and feelings than most people who call themselves believers.

  •  I'm agnostic because it describes my views. (0+ / 0-)

    I do not know there is no God.  If I chose to believe there is no God, well, that's the exact same level of scientific inerrancy that any theist has.

    Since there is no rigorous method of testing either idea, much less proving it, I go with agnostic.

    Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. - George Orwell

    by Wayward Son on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:32:49 AM PDT

  •  There is absolutely nothing wrong with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, pierre9045

    saying that there are absolutely no gods, period.  That is atheism plain and simple.  Agnostics will tell you that no one can absolutely know whether or not there are gods, but they are wrong... there are absolutely no gods in the universe.  I often ask agnostics if it gets uncomfortable sitting on that fence.

    There are lots of things about the universe that we can say with certainty, and the presence of gods is one of them.

    Now if some day the universe presents us with evidence to the contrary, then the statement I make about it may have to change.  But until then there are no gods.

    •  what's a god? (0+ / 0-)

      serious question.   You seem more convinced than anyone in the universe that there are 'absolutely' no gods anywhere and that anyone who believes things is 'wrong'.  

      2 questions:

      Will you acknowledge that you 'believe' that there are no gods?  Otherwise, you would seem to qualify as a deity yourself.

      and, again, as per the subject line:

      what is a 'god' or 'gods'?  What are you arguing absolutely does not exist?  Serious question.  Because you're one of the most adamant posters I've seen in religion threads--ever, to be honest, so I want to know what you're arguing against.

  •  I am a hard atheist. (5+ / 0-)

    There are no gods.  Period.  All that matters is what we do and how we treat others.

    "Treat others as you would wish to be treated".  Perfectly moral, no need for a god.

    I own my actions.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:11:30 AM PDT

  •  I tried to believe for a while just because I (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silencio, AoT, pierre9045

    did not know not believing was an option. But by age 19, I compared what I was taught in church and read in the Bible with what I observed and experienced in the real world and just decided one day that the discrepancy was too much.  I gave up on religions altogether.  Never turned back to superstition, never missed it and never felt I had to convince anyone else to think as I do.

    Now I am in my seventies and have a grandson whose other grandparents are quite religious in a Christian faith of some sort.  So, I am now reading up on Christianity and its early history and evolution to present day so that I can be knowledgable about the facts as much as they can be determined.  I want to be able to discuss the Christian religion with him intelligently so at some point he can make his own decision.  I have found Dr. Bart Erhman's books and website most helpful in presenting an historical, not theological basis for the Christian faith.  

    Some of the religions extant today have both many fervent adherents and readily available documentation of origins.  I am thinking of Mormonism, Scientology, and Jehovah's Witnesses in particular.  Looking at the manner in which these religions have gained acceptance despite unsupportable claims can help explain why Christianity, Islam, Judaism etc. have come into existence and have been continued through the years.

    Religion provides comfort and a social group as well as a power structure for those who are inclined to use it.  As the song says, " some just want to abuse you, some want to be abused".  Lots of genetic predisposition there as well as early imprinting with fear.  

    I think that religions will become less important as the internet  and it's blogs and videos of religious ideas are available to individuals for scrutiny in privacy, as least as adults.

    Now I am glad to be able to communicate with others who are atheists in a few clicks on the internet.  Very freeing.  Now, about those fairies in the garden, though...  I love science fiction and fantasy.  It is good for the self to exercise its imagination.

    "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe it." Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by pvasileff on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:55:03 PM PDT

    •  Arghh! ..its blogs, not it's. Durn autocorrect. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silencio

      "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe it." Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by pvasileff on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:57:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fairies don't exist. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pvasileff

      But purple fairies do.

    •  Religion survives because it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pvasileff

      offers something that atheism can not.  It tells people that we survive death in some kind of form that retains our memories and consciousness and allows us to continue relationships with people we deeply love.  Of course religion has absolutely no proof of this, but people buy into it out of sheer fear.

      That is not an easy mind set to dispel, and moving one's understandings to the point of realizing that the very brief trip of consciousness that we get on this planet is ALL we get is very difficult.  However, once one does that, the sense of what is important and what we should pay attention to often shifts and deepens incredibly.  

      I would recommend reading some of the essays by Greta Christina on the topic of atheism and the concept of the afterlife.

  •  Religious and the non-religious that evangelizes (0+ / 0-)

    bore me. The religious have a doctrine about spreading the word I think.  Not sure what compels the non-believer.  Trying to convert others or the convince themselves?

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubt." Bertrand Russell I'm very certain that is true. 10−122

    by thestructureguy on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 01:30:09 PM PDT

  •  Christians (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, pierre9045, AoT, Fishtroller01

    are doing a very good job of scaring people away from their mythology.  One of the wonderful things of being in the 8th decade of my life is saying what I want when I want.

    I AM AN ATHEIST!

    Christian hypocrisy chased me away and I don't look back.  Everyday, i see the results of all their hate, which of course, they call love

    •  An eighth decade surely brings authority (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pierre9045, AoT, Fishtroller01

      to say what you want, when you want. We atheists have been around since the beginnings of religions.  I guess it may be related to an ability to tolerate uncertainty, to be comfortable with "I don't know", and not requiring the supernatural to explain natural physical and mental events. I do have my own rituals, though.  I have two cups of coffee every morning and read the blogs/news before starting my day in the real world

      "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe it." Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by pvasileff on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 02:48:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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