Friday, August 15, 2008

Why I Am Not An Atheist

Quote of the week 8/15/08

“If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the patterns of their words.”

Isaac Asimov

I no longer call myself an atheist. Oh,don’t get me wrong: I still don’t believe there is a God or gods, but I have decided that the label “a-theist” makes no more sense as a positive self-description that describing oneself as an a-Bunnyist or an a-Santaist or an a-ToothFairyist. It is a negation, is it an “I am not” rather than an “I am”. Defining oneself on the basis of what one is not is quite literally absurd. I am not a scrapbooker, but I do not view “not a scrapbooker" as a self-descriptive label and a basis for solidarity with other “not a scrapbooker"people. One can quickly see how absurd this really is. How sad, how limiting to define oneself in terms of one thing out of the many things one does not believe.

I refuse to make a religion out of my lack of religion. I don’t organize my life or my thinking around my lack of belief. My life and my life’s projects are driven by things that matter. If I have to call myself anything, I could do a lot worse than steal an idea from Kierkegaard and label myself:


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