I know this is a journey, and what I am asking is, where are you on your own personal atheistic stance? Would you considered yourself confirmed, convinced, still doubting, adamant, or still looking over your shoulder at your religious training/indoctrination? Please provide your own favorite adjectives.
I consider myself convinced and adamant about atheism. I feel very strongly about my nonbelief. Too strongly some times.
Where stands you?
I was a skeptic from earliest memory, and being born in small-town North Carolina in Feb, '44 I was pretty much ahead of the curve I'm sure. Even before I entered school in 1950 I argued with cousins about the impossibility of Santa covering the world in one evening, even assuming he could carry that many toys and goodies for all the "good little boys and girls", it was a preposterous idea.
I carried that skeptical attitude with me all through my adolescent 1950s and young adulthood of the 1960s. There were no atheists groups evident in the North Carolina of my youth, and to be sure not a lot of them in the state now and certainly not in my hometown of Eden, yes, "Eden" of all stupid names.
I was in the US Army Security Agency from '65 to '72 and covered the Far East, Europe, the Middle East and south west Asia, (Turkey and Iran). My travels convinced me that there was no such hing as an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent force for good in the cosmos, but I was still a skeptic.
After being coerced by my missus and our two children to attend a "Christian Fellowship, mostly Pentecostal bunch of crazies I outed myself as an atheist and that was 1990. I've walked that path ever since and there is no public doubt that I am an atheist as I most certainly don't keep it a secret and as such I shall remain. Yes, I am a strong and totally committed Atheist with the "Big A" and my believer brother in law calls it.
I even set it all down in a poem for my living will;
My Final Passage
I want to go to the ocean,
I need to go to the sea.
I want to be around water,
I need water to be around me.
For my last passage across the bar,
Make not my grave a landlubber’s chore.
Slip me across the starboard fore-quarter,
Find me a place far, far from shore.
Allow not a single parson to speak,
Nor a choir to sing sad songs over me.
Remember me as I once was
Make my monument the eternal sea.
In the sea I can rest,
Be it calm or storm-tossed.
In the sea I can rest,
In the sea I’ll never be lost.
No flowers bloom on a mariner’s tomb
Down in the deep blue sea.
When I’m laid to rest down among the rest,
Fret ye not about flowers for me.
When fog rolls in and foghorns keen,
May there be one keening for me.
My spirit will forever seek another passage
In my eternal voyage from sea to sea.
I don't believe there are any gods. I even go a step further and say that I'm rather convinced that there are no gods to believe in. I'm a little bit evangelical about my atheism; I put myself into situations where I'm surrounded by theists who are willing to talk theology and I get into discussions with them (e.g., Bible studies, the Alpha course, etc.).
It would take a rather convincing miracle for me to change my mind, and even then I'd somehow need to be convinced that I wasn't just insane.
I do firmly believe that progress is being made against irrational beliefs now that we're in the 21st century and religion is humanity's greatest mass concentration of irrationality. Falwell was one of the leading idiots in America's irrationality movement and I detested him for the many demonstrably crazy things he said.. My bride of the past 45-years and I are from Eden, NC just across the line near Danville, VA and we've followed Civil War actions all over that exceptionally beautiful part of that beautiful state.
We now live near Decatur, TX and even here the atheist movement is gathering speed. I do a lot of writing for the local paper and I am a liberal, independent who speaks out against religion and especially the Tea-Stained Republicans anywhere. I'm roundly excoriated and I love poking that neocon and theocon hornet's nest.
Be that as it may my bride is also an evangelical type Repugnican as committed to her "relationship" with Jesse's Crap as anyone I know, yet we manage to compartmentalize our differences. Hopefully you wont have to live a lie forever, and if your marriage is strong it will bear the pressure. Good luck.
On a constant basis I find myself teetering between completely adamant and looking over my shoulder. I am atheist/agnostic, but I grew up in a home that was extremist in the Christian beliefs. You didn't go to hospital if you were sick, you prayed. You didn't stand up for yourself if others hurt you, you prayed. I could go on and on. While I have abandoned that way of life, it's a bit difficult for me to not wonder if I made the right decision. When these thought come up, I remind myself why I decided that life was not right for me. Having a support system for these beliefs will be a great help!
Well, there's a small problem I think. Unlike religious denominations we neither have nor need a "Confirmed" stamp of approval as we don't need one; we are who we are and the holy-rollers be damned.
You seem as determined as I in retaining your non-believer status, and fr that I salute you. I'm and active dis-believer who is at constant war with "The Word".
Hear-hear. My stone-headed determination to be who I am has echoed and rebounded all through my 67-years extending from my preschool years, through college and even the US Army. Just as any military force from before the Roman Legions to the 21st century immediately seeks to destroy every individual's personality to remold them into order-obeying fleshbots, I've never knuckled under for the 7-years I served. That's the primary reason I've been self-employed for 85% of my professional career.
The forces of religion from my mom at the very beginning of my sojourn as a self-conscious animal on this beautiful "Blue marble" we call home to the present day I do not allow any to remake me into another holy roller, scripture-spouting, ridiculous fleshbot of another sort, I am ME!
Glad and pleased to have you aboard, now where on our Blue marble do you occupy your space?
I also trust you are part of the 99%, so go and occupy something so we can reclaim our nation and take it back from the holy rollers and corporations. We ALL MUST turn out and vote in 2012 lest they take us all back to the Dark Ages when religion ruled every damn thing.
Pleased indeed to meet another Tarheel atheist; are you native Carolinian as I? Beautiful state from east to west and north to south and I hated to leave it, which I had to do in order to make a living. I could have moved to the Triangle Research Park area but I wanted to get into the marine industry as a hold-over from my Physical Oceanography days with AT&T in Greensboro. My missus and I are both from Eden, we're both old enough to call it Leaksville.
If I may ask, Where in NC are you? I am in Decatur, TX about 34-miles NNW of Fort Worth where I am a participant on the Occupy Fort Worth division of Occupy Wall Street. I encourage you to go fina a local division and join in, 'cause of the Repugnican nut cases running in 1012 manage to win, we're all screwed.
Purely on sentimental, emotional and physical comfort reasons I much prefer North Carolina. Another very important link is of course family. My 89-y-o mom still resides in Eden and she is in excellent health, mentally as sharp as I've ever known her to be, but physically hindered by arthritic knees from spending 32-years on concrete floors at the DuPont plant, now closed and destroyed, in Martinsville, VA.
I know Asheville well and a little about Old Fort and I'm pleased that a NC homegirl is majoring in physics, well done. I'm a physics nut, nuclear physics especially, and its long and storied history. My library of some 3,000 volumes has a lot of science, physics, evolution, and engineering, but the preponderance is history. I also have a large number of books oon Skepticism, atheism, and critique of religion, which I despise in all of its many weird forms.
I have had an interesting career, due mostly to my short attention span and I' always looking for a new wrinkle in whatever I'm doing at the time. I have patents, now abandoned, and I do a large amount of leading edge work with marine applications of ozone. Have a look @ www.chem-freeozone.com and you'll see some of it. Also, if you like send me your email address @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you some ozone specific material that as a physics major I think you'll enjoy.
I have leading edge water treatment systems that I designed and built aboard Research Vessel Knorr and R/V Atlantis of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, as well as several other well known RVs from Scripps institution of Oceanography.
We and indeed America needs smart young people who are not trapped in religion and are not afraid to say so. Also, the Occupy movement needs you and as many friends and like-minded students on the picket lines. Also, make every effort to get as many registered as possible as we'll need every vote to offset those Tea Stained idiots and to most of all prevent another evangelical nutcase out of the Oval Office.
Sorry for the length.
I agree with some of the posters above who say that we don't need to be confirmed or convinced or doubting or adamant about atheism. I understand the sentiment, but I have a hard time semantically digesting the phrase, "I feel strongly about my nonbelief." This language comes from a culture steeped in theism. I find that using this language in reference to atheism makes it seem as though believing in a higher power is the normal, default thing to do (which makes no sense at all).
I tend to agree with the exception that above all I don't want anyone to think I'm a "believer" and above all not a participant in any evidence-free theology, especially of the Abraham-centered versions. Those folks are willing to kill members of the "competing" religion.
I've long worn my disbelief status with pride and I am very open about my atheism. With that thought, what a wonderful nation in which we live under a Declaration of Independence and a constitution that has the First Amendment enshrined rather than some friendly ghost and I don't mean Casper.