What I do/don’t mean when I say I am an atheist…

It should be made clear that I speak for myself here, and not for anybody else.
I can not, nor have I any right to, pretend to speak for all nonbelievers.

What I mean when I say I am an atheist:
In short, I mean simply that I do not believe in any god or gods.

What I don’t mean:

1. I think I am god.
2. I know everything.
3. I hate god or churches.
4 . I am angry at god or churches.
5. I see no value in morality, community, or churches.
6. I have ALL the answers, and YOU are an idiot.
7. I want to argue with you.

  1. I am a translator, a computer programmer, web developer, musician, artist, writer, a DAD, a brother, a cyclist, a runner. I am many things, but I am NOT a god. I don’t even believe such things exist.
  2. I thoroughly enjoy learning, and know I have yet much to learn about many, many things., I try to keep an open mind, on various matters, ETs, paranormal phenomena, etc., I haven’t sufficient knowledge to rule those things out, so I regard them as possible, while I may or may not believe they are, in fact, factual phenomena. I have no doubt that UFOs exist. If an object flies, and is unidentified, it IS an Unidentified Flying Object, but that doesn’t mean it is of extra-terrestrial origins, just simply that it’s in the sky and we don’t know what it is. So UFOs exist; Ghosts? I really don’t know. I am greatly amused at many of these Paranormal Investigation TV programs, but do I believe any of them have, as of yet, provided conclusive proof of life after death, ghosts, demons? nope, just they’ve identified phenomena we’ve yet to explain.. There was a time when we thought storms were caused by angry gods, but today we have a fairly firm enough grasp on the functions of atmospheric conditions and weather to predict the weather with amazing accuracy; similarly, I believe in time, many more phenomena not fully understood today will be more thoroughly described by scientific methods.
  3. How could I hate something I do not believe exists? That would be paramount to holding a grudge against Santa Claus, in my opinion; How much sense does that make? none.
  4. Again, how could I be angry at something I do not believe exists? …just sheer idiocy, and for churches (or any similar religious bodies), I see folks attend who are loving, caring members of their communities. I see churches that feed the poor, bring people together to do good, useful things in the community. I’m certainly not angry about that. I’m certainly am not blind to those churches, persons, and religious organizations that use religion to foster fear, division, and violence to manipulate or intimidate others for their own ends. For those, indeed, perhaps I do hold some righteous indignation. Most of the sincere religious folks I know feel similarly.
  5. What? I choose to the best of my ability to be a responsible, productive, and compassionate member of my community, and, again, to the best of my ability, act whenever possible, with the greater good in mind; to me, it’s only logical that the more we pull together and work for the common good, with compassion and respect, fairness, justice, and equality, etc., the better off we ALL are.
  6. See no. 2, and, just because we disagree on one point, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily intellectually impaired, it just means you’re wrong (and see no. 2).
  7. Arguing over these matters is a waste of time — if you believe, and it makes you happy or motivates you to try and be a better, or the best person you can be, I’m glad, and have no desire to disabuse you of your belief., and you’ll no sooner convince me there IS/ARE a God or gods than I’ll convince you there isn’t, both of us have already constructed a perception of ourselves and the world founded and thoroughly grounded in our belief or disbelief and what that means regarding the nature of reality. it’s part of who we are. I know stranger things have happened, but I just think trying to alter each others’perceptions/beliefs in this matter is a waste of time. Yes.. people can and do change. I was once a believer, now I am not, and I do not care to go into why, or the journey that brought me to where I am, not here, not now, that is not the purpose of this page…maybe another time/place. Just, I respect your right to believe, please respect my right not to.

Also, to me it is important to note: I do not CHOOSE to not believe, as mentioned, at one point in my life, for many years, I did consider myself a believer, but one day I realized I really didn’t believe. At first it seemed a bit uncomfortable, because I’d spent so much of my life believing, but eventually I realized it doesn’t mean I’m bad or that I must lack morals or whatever, just that I don’t believe, and that’s okay with me. I still choose to lead a moral life to the best of my ability, and, as mentioned above, to work for the common good. I fall down, like anybody else, but I get right back up again, and give it another go, and I DO believe I’m getting better, which is important to me, and I make an effort to learn and grow and become a better person every day.

originally published on my own website here: http://wiki.tonybaldwin.me/doku.php/user/tonybaldwin/atheism