I've found individuals here that aren't really atheists, but maybe I'm not either. 
I didn't have a thing to do with choosing the word 'atheist', it just seems to be the most widely recognized label I can relate to. But I really don't even need that. Just because I was born into a society that simply has to have categories and pigeonholes and labels, doesn't mean I accept any of them.  
I don't need any designation at all. 

I am an individual. Other than my family and friends, I don't like being a member of a group, even atheists. 
I don't believe in anything. I don't accept the existence of ghosts, zombies, vampires, spirits, or woodland faeries. I don't give credence to astrology, numerology, reading tea leaves, fortune cookies or chain letters.
I don't harm anyone, I don't kick dogs, and I'm usually nice to those who are nice to me. 
I don't pray to anything, I was not created, I will rot in the ground when I die.
Yet I am happy, have friends, and live a wonderful life. 
So, if I'm not an atheist, what am I? 

Are there any others out there like me?  

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@ Pope OoO - just for you :)

LOL, thank you Strega! It all fits, eventually.

For those who may be wondering, I did plagiarize, combine, and modify two quotes from my favorite superhero, The Tick. It came to mind while thinking about fightin' words, such as cowardice. I was trolling for other cult members, or come what may... :)

Oh god, I too am spoiled. I could probably use a vacation in Eastern Europe. (I've never been there.)

Here's another quote, but verbatim:

I am mighty. I have a glow you cannot see. I have a heart as big as the moon. As warm as bathwater. We are superheroes, men, we don't have time to be charming. The boots of evil were made for walkin'. We're watching the big picture, friend. We know the score. We are a public service, not glamour boys. Not captains of industry. Keep your vulgar moneys. We are a justice sandwich. No toppings necessary. Living rooms of America, do you catch my drift? Do you dig?

That little one might be good for sniffing something like cocaine. The other one for cooking up some heroin.

Atheist = someone who does not believe in a deity/god, or calling something god, such as the unviverse for example, where i have some theist friends, who dont believe in a deity person, but they call god as consciousness or the universe or even nature... the word god just makes things complicated... where someone would say.. i believe in god to another person, but both people believe god to be different things, and so the one has the idea of god being the deity and the other calls the universe god but is not a deity..

Sorry, Danielle. You typod in a way that had me spitting my coffee when I read it. A "unviverse" would presumably be a universe totally devoid of life. Given that many believe there are many universes, imagine that many of them are unviverses.

Now back to your main point. Some people just seem to NEED to say they believe in something they can call God even if the concept is deflated to the level of irrelevance. The universe or nature is God? So what? That God doesn't care if I murder someone or cheat on my wife.

As for some vague notion of "consciousness," we know that consciousness is a function of a living brain, since there's no such thing as a soul. That kind of consciousness is just plain impossible.

yay a reply ^_^. o.k I see your point , but have observed that some people believe their is only one universe existing in a void, which we both know that is silly.

well for me me one's consciousness is like one's operating system on a computer, where the neurons and brain structure is the hardware.

I like a similar analogy. The OS is our unconscious and subconscious, i.e. the underlying code that automatically takes care of all the stuff we don't think about. Running on top of that, what makes us different from other animals is the cultural code, along with any free will we feel we have (even if it's just an illusion). Consciousness is not just our animal awareness of the world and empathy with other creatures, but is also our intentional daily habits, language, complex social behavior, intellectualizations (and over-intellectualizations like religion or conspiracy theories), and so on.

The code running over the top of the OS is a combination of acculturation and "emergence" of consciousness from the hardware. Without the hardware, consciousness cannot emerge. Furthermore, it requires at least an entire childhood to mature and consider itself as both separate and connected to the world its in.

Funny thing is that it likes to make binary calculations, i.e. answers often come out in black or white, good or evil, us or them. It takes more intelligence and reflection to understand things with gray-area, relativistic perspective, which is closer to reality than is the easier, binary perspective.

And there's also firmware... the code that seems to be built into our brains from birth, like facial expressions, babbling before using real words, laughing, and so on.

(Hope I'm not too off topic here, in this "What am I?" thread.)

You don't mean to imply that C.Hitchens (whom we tend to describe as a rather aggressive atheist) was wanting in intelligence, do you? If one feels strongly about, say, the Creation Museum and employs sarcasm when referring to it, is he really in danger of being perceived as uncouth?

No, you're right. I did ask Hitch once (on a radio talk show) if he enjoyed being militant, which made him automatically take offense, chuckle, and accuse me of being one of those "loving Christians". They moved on to the next listener question before I could tell him I'm an atheist. Militancy 1, Me zero. Even so, I enjoy that I can tell that story.

Yeah, I think the habit of binary thinking (and militancy) is part of humanity's difficulty with clear thinking, so my preference is to find ways to close the gap between us and them, even if the gap is a gray area. But I also realize that it's good for we as a community to apply different tactics and strategies, not just the ones I prefer. I think the Creation Museum is part of a comedy/tragedy, but when I discuss it, I'd prefer to just emphasize how anti-science it clearly is.

Live, love, laugh, step lightly on the earth, spread compassion by being compassionate and lighten the burden of life where you can for those for whom the burden is too great.

Everything else is mere narrative.

Judith vd R.

This is why we love you, Judith


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