Options for the unbeliever


Isn’t calling yourself an atheist somewhat silly? Is it not similar to calling yourself “not a Yankees supporter”? Why not identify yourself as what you are – a Red Sox fan, a Giants supporter, and so forth?

The other problem with identifying yourself as an atheist is that the onus then rests on you to define what you do not believe in. What or who is the god in which you do not have any faith?

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A few minutes of research have taught me that there is strong atheism and weak atheism. The Strong Atheist (also Positive Atheist) takes the view that there is reason to believe that there is no god, that it is even logically impossible that a god or gods exist. The so-called Weak Atheist (or Negative Atheist) believes that there is no reason to believe that there is any god.

Then there are the ignostics – people who take the position that every religious conviction assumes too much about the concept of “God”. The ignostic therefore says that both the “believer” and the “unbeliever” make too many assumptions about what they believe or do not believe.

Another alternative is to join the ranks of people who are opposed to any belief in the existence of a god, namely the anti-theist. Christopher Hitchens wrote in his book, Letters to a Young Contrarian that he not only believed that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but also that the influence of churches and the effect of religious beliefs do more harm to humans and to society than any good.