What does my atheism REALLY tell you about me?

I have talked previously about what I mean when I say I am an atheist, about myths, cynicism, and my take on some of the stereotypes regarding atheism and I have talked about what Atheism is not… But I have never really talked about what my being an atheist tells you about me.

For instance when somebody says they are a Democrat, you can often times assume they are Liberal, they believe in universal health care, they support equal rights for all people, etc… When you learn somebody is a Yankees fan, you can assume they are obnoxious, they enjoy being on the bandwagon, and they have a man crush on Derek Jeter… When somebody tells you they are a Mormon, you know they have at least one pair of magic underwear, they are continually and annoyingly smiling, and at some point in their life they annoyed the shit out of people on Saturday and Sunday mornings….

So my atheism must tell you something about me, it’s only logical, right? Let’s start with what is atheism, since there are many misconceptions about this word:

a⋅the⋅ism [ey-thee-iz-uhm] –noun
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
Origin: 1580–90; < Gk áthe(os) godless + -ism

So of course this means that when I tell you that I am an atheist, you know that I do not believe in any god or gods. This is the obvious one, since it is the definition of the word…

But what else does my being an atheist tell you about me? There are a number of ideas that many people have, but are they actually true?

Surely it tells you that I am against god, doesn’t it? But are christians “against” Zeus? Are Buddhists against Santa Claus? Of course not, how can you be against something imaginary? So it doesn’t tell you that…

Then something a little more obvious, being an atheist means I don’t go to church. This may be true for many atheists, but I know of many atheists that go to Unitarian churches regularly (primarily for the community and for the sake of their children), and there is a Humanistic Judaism movement where many people of Jewish descent who are atheists still go to temple, listen to their rabbi, get their children circumcised, etc… So once again, it doesn’t tell you this.

Then surely with all of the headlines that atheists are making today, my being an atheist tells you that I protest against religion. Well certainly this blog tells you that I do, but the reason that the “New Atheist” movement is newsworthy, is because we make noise about religion, where as many atheists still prefer a more “live and let live” approach. So being an atheist does not tell you my views on organized religion.

So what does my being an atheist tell you?

In fact, it tells you nothing…

As I posted previously:

“Atheism offers nothing because it doesn’t need to”

But it could also be said, that atheism tells you nothing, except that I lack belief in gods…

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About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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3 Responses to What does my atheism REALLY tell you about me?

  1. Walter Muller says:

    Hi Rodibidably, I have read your very thorough explanation regarding your atheistic point of view, and I have to admit, you have some very good points, and also a very logical mind. A mind which many can only wish for. There is one point however which you have missed regarding specifically the Christian religion.
    In that religion there was Jesus; many historical students like to beleive that he was created ‘after’ Osirius, but they also missed the point, this man, Jesus, have been totally misunderstood, and what he actually did while he was here is in a big way supportive of your ideas. Firstly he taught the people to investigate “all” things and hold on to what is good, secondly he told the people that they did not know his “father”, thirdly he told the people that they have been praying to the “Devil” since the beginning, in the fourth place he meant “all” religions, my reason for stating this was his reference; “all who came before me were murderers, thieves, and liars”, in other words every single entity or “person” who ever told “their” people that they were God/Gods etc before his time and probably after him were all of the above (murderers, theives, and liars). Lastly he stated that he was “NOT” coming back.

    What was this man all about? He expresly stated on numerous occasions that “we” all people, did not know his “father” metaphorically spoken, referring to a creator, unseen, unknown and totally misunderstood by us, a creator who will not ever interfere in our daily lives, we are also, as is our planet, and for that matter, everything you can see, cannot see and will probably see in the future, in our lifetime and in that of they who come after us and those who came before us, created, or given the command to lessor deities to create, the pure intelligence around us is absolute proof that some intelligence quite beyond our grasp is responsible for it all, who his creator is, is something we can millions of years from now ask him should we have become lucky enough to evolve to such an elevated state in those millions of years.

    You might want to ask me how I can be so sure about this, my only answer is something I cannot prove to you, neither to any other living creature on this planet, what I can say is this: I beleive in spirit because I can see spirit, and yes I cannot prove it because very few people can see spirit, beleive me If I tell you that as the physical evolve so does spirit, and until we as a human race can understand this or try to understand it, will we be in debate on religion. Spirit, which is unseen, is what inspire physical beings to create whatever it is you can look at. And no, I cannot prove it, you have to experience it to understand it!
    An atheist wrote a synopsis for one of the books I have written, he wrote; “He reminds one of the inhuman and senseless violence of the old testament. In religion nothing is fact, but the conclusion Muller reaches are more logical and plausible than which have been on offer since the Bible was written. Pure atheists are scarce, but most believe there are ‘something’, and seldom is there any help to assist them in their search, this book is an excellent effort.”

    Walter.

  2. Walter Muller says:

    Hi Rodibidably, my apologies, the book’s name is “Jesus the Keeper of the Truth”

    Walter.

    • Rodibidably says:

      Walter,
      Sorry for the delay in responding. I don’t know how it slipped by me, but I did not notice your comments until today.

      Firstly he taught the people to investigate “all” things and hold on to what is good
      Great sentiment. Except in the story of Doubting Thomas, he told Thomas that those who believed without seeing were better. That is not promoting doubt, that is promoting blind faith.

      secondly he told the people that they did not know his “father”
      Again, this is a great sentiment. Except jesus also said that he comes not to remove the law, but that the law is still in effect. All those pesky details like sacrifice, not eating shellfish, homosexuality being an abomination, slaves, women being treated as less than men. all of these laws are to please god. So if one can’t know god, why waste time pleasing god?

      thirdly he told the people that they have been praying to the “Devil” since the beginning
      Again, I’ll direct you to the point about jesus not coming to remove the law. If the law was wrong why does jesus tell his followers they must continue to obey?

      in the fourth place he meant “all” religions, my reason for stating this was his reference; “all who came before me were murderers, thieves, and liars”, in other words every single entity or “person” who ever told “their” people that they were God/Gods etc before his time and probably after him were all of the above (murderers, theives, and liars).
      Again, this is the same issue, and jesus telling his followers to obey the law contradicts this idea…

      Lastly he stated that he was “NOT” coming back.
      This is a new one to me. Can you site references for this. I clearly recall him saying he would return before some of those with him at the time had died.

      —–
      I’d also ask how you “know” this about jesus. DO you have documentation of what he said that was written in his lifetime? Do you have documentation that is not self contradictory? Basically, do you have documentation outside the bible?

      creator who will not ever interfere in our daily lives
      So you reject the idea of the flood? And Sodom and Gomorrah? I applaud you for that actually. But it does mean that a large section of the bible needs to be redacted.

      the pure intelligence around us is absolute proof that some intelligence quite beyond our grasp is responsible for it all
      What does this mean? I’ve read it multiple times now, and each time it seem to make less sense.

      I beleive in spirit because I can see spirit
      Not to sound rude, but is it possible that you seeing something that others can not see is a sign of mental illness? And if mental illness is NOT a possibility, why is it not possible?

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