Have you ever been in a conversation with a believer or a group of believers and because of where the conversation is going, someone asks you if you are an atheist? What do you say? What do you think you should say? I haven't had it happen in a long time but I thought about it and here is what I came up with:
Are you an atheist? “I am not sure. Maybe you can help me. I don't believe in leprechauns, angels, elves, demons, talking snakes or invisible supernatural beings. Have I gone wrong somewhere or is that normal?”
I don't know if that seems stupid. What do you think and what would you say?
I am very curious as to what people would come up with on this.
I'm pretty sure theists don't throw leprechauns in the same category as God or God in the same category as "invisible supernatural beings." At least, they don't define it that way. An atheist might, which is why that sort of thinking might lead one to ask if you're an atheist.
I really like religious debate, so I'd say in response to the question, "If you're a theist, then I'm an atheist; if you're an atheist, then I'm a theist." Then, I'd discover in the course of the debate or discussion, the fundamental premise in which my opponent is clinging, the foundation of his or her sanity, what this person bases his/her life on. Once I've found that, I'd proceed to destroy it.
Believing or not believing is not a competence.
*waste of time
What is time for but to be wasted, anyway?
Make that same statement when you're sixty. :^ )
Well, I meant that in more in respect to a philosophical view, the "what is time for but to be wasted" line. It's because I'm a compatibilist when comes to the issue of "free will." So, I believe in predetermination at the same time.
I'm quite sure when I'm sixty, unless I die or undergo some form of metanoia or experience some kind of brain degeneration that causes me to think otherwise, I'll believe that I'm destined to hold the same view. In other words, time's always wasting away in the only inevitable fashion that it can. :^ )
I've had many people ask me that and, depending on the situation, I've been either more or less vague but truthful. I love not denying it when I'm asked. What do they want us to do, anyway? Do they want us to lie to appease them or to avoid conflict? I know some have asked me if I am an atheist in response to something I've said, and they would know I'm lying at that point if I answered in the negative. Screw 'em!
I suppose sometimes people are curious, and I happily provide whatever information I can that seems to make sense.
I say: "yes I am". I then mirror what comes afterwards.
"How can you be so souless?" "How can you believe in a magical soul"?
"I can't believe you don't believe in god". "I can't believe that you believe in a god"
"I feel sorry for you". "I feel just as sorry for you".
"So when we die we're just corpses in the ground"? "So when we die we all live in a magical super duper happy land in the sky for ever and ever"?
"You'll never be happy without god". "You'll never be happy with your superstitious life".
"I will pray for you anyways". "I wish you nothing but the best anyways".
"If you don't accept Jesus you will burn in hell". "If you treat people the way you're treating me...life on earth will be your own living hell".
Wow! I like your responses here! I might have to use them myself someday. lol
I will always tell people that I am an Atheist. I am doing my bit to “normalize” the word when it rings in the ears of theists. If I ever come to believe that I have the ability to communicate telepathically with a Creator of the Universe I will change my answer.
It depends on the context, where I am, and who I am talking to.
Say I'm on a train, facing potentially hostile strangers whom I'll never see again and don't care about. I don't mind misleading them.
I'm an agnostic atheist (or a de facto atheist on the Dawkins scale) not an atheist. That is, I hold that God is unproved (not disproved). I think God is unlikely but I cannot possibly know for certain. My technically correct answer to a yes or no question 'Are you an atheist' is no. Nuance to the rescue.
In a safe place where I'm prepared to discuss it, I would answer that I'm a Humanist first and an agnostic atheist second. I think it's important to focus on the many things I do believe rather than on one thing that I don't believe. This is good preparation for the (usually many accusatory) questions that follow.
The problem oftentimes with admitting an atheistic stance is that the listener has a propensity to take offense with the atheist/humanist label. They are uncomfortable being in the presence of an individual who refutes their claim to a supernatural world. It's an odd mindset. Because they believe in the world of woo they expect others to have a similar belief, despite our providing good reason to be otherwise. Because most everyone else in their world harbors these same beliefs they have a very hard time accepting a position of non-belief. This usually provokes a condescending tone or one of pity on their part. If you remember to smile broadly when you make an atheistic comment it is all the more disconcerting for them. How could someone doomed to an eternity of punishment be sooooooo happy?