Admit I'm An Atheist? Maybe Not
"Admit You're an Atheist" is part of the title of a piece by John Shook that Randy Best is sharing with us in preparation for the ESWoW Community Call on March 4, 2012. Shook tells us, "don't believe in God? Just say you're an atheist."
Well I don't believe in God or gods. Never have, don't expect I ever will. And if someone else needs to stick the atheist label on me, I don't much mind. But not believing in god is only one small thing about me, and I choose not to use it as a primary identifier. Just as I don't go around telling folks that my blood type A+, that yellow is my favorite color, or that I'm from Brooklyn. OK - I do go around telling people I'm from Brooklyn, and proud of it, but you get the idea.
If I'm going to label myself with my beliefs - I want to tell you something about what I do believe in, not what I don't believe in. So I start with I'm an Ethical Culturist and that I'm a Humanist. Those both work for me because I believe in creating a more ethical world and I do believe in humans and the human ability to create a more ethical world.
Also, I prefer terms which are not created in reaction to concepts others developed and many assume to be the norm. For a while I liked the term non-theist to describe my beliefs about a deity or supernatural power. By non-theist I meant that the concept of a god had no place in my life, except when interacting with others for whom God is a significant concept. Yet now, even non-theist strikes me as defining myself in contrast to a concept that has no place in my life. I feel no more need to define myself as atheist or non-theist than I do to label myself as an a-trollist or non-unicornist.
I believe in people and in the human responsibility to do our very best to treat each other with respect, to believe that each of us has unique qualities and our interactions hep us bring out the best in others and ourselves.
I believe in Humanism as a sound and inspiring approach to living and Ethical Culture as a means of connecting with others who want to live more ethical lives.
I look forward to hearing Randy's always thought- provoking ideas and to hearing your ideas.
Please join us for the ESWoW Community Call on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, and 8pm ET.
Randy Best, Leader Ethical Culture Society of the Triangle, NC
Non-Theism Today: Where is Ethical Humanism?
Given the recent proliferation of non-theistic authors and greater
awareness of the non-theistic life-stance and non-theist groups - Where
does Ethical Humanism stand in this contemporary landscape of ideas?
The contact number for the call is 866-740-1260, access # 5766842#.
Please join us and invite anyone you think might be interested.