Okay... so today, I just finished my second final exam! (1 class left to go... yeah baby!!! Whoo hoo!)
Anyhow... so I'm procrastinating in the library to avoid writing my final paper for lit class and started browsing the "Religion" section of the encyclopedia shelves. I was astounded at what I found. There was a book on the bottom shelf entitled "The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief." Well, I had always thought atheism was kind of simple... I mean... either you believe in God or you don't. Isn't that the dividing line between theist and atheist? Yes, to that question. But I guess atheism is NOT as simple as I thought. Hmmm... Well... I found this out without even having to open the book. "The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief" is about 2 inches thick (from cover to cover). Wow. So... I'm checking out what I find that this book has to say about us and I'll post some summarized versions of interesting stuff below. Oh! BTW! (I'm ADD, so I always forget stuff... lol!) "The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief" is edited by Tom Flynn and published by "Prometheus Books." (Just so you guys have a reference... don't want to plagarize stuff if I can help it.) :)
Ooooh... interesting... the foreword is by Richard Dawkins. (So an actual atheist helped write an encyclopedia of unbelief). That's good... it's so annoying how lots of theist reference books and dictionaries try to define "atheist" way too narrowly or negatively. Maybe this one will be a better source of info.
Richard Dawkins defines a "spectrum" of theism-atheism in his foreword... although I would word some of the terms he used for the definitions differently. (And I have seen the same definitions worded differently before). Okay, here's the spectrum. I will put my terms in brackets!
1. Strong Theist [wouldn't change this] - "I do not believe, I know."
2. Agnostic, Leaning toward Theism [Weak Theist] - I cannot know for certain, but I think the existence of God is highly probable. [i.e. I can't prove God but I believe in him]
3. Truly Impartial Agnostic [Agnostic] - It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God. [Won't take a position either way]
4. Agnostic, Leaning toward Atheism [Common Atheist] - It is impossible to disprove God, but he is just as improbable as fairies or unicorns.
5. Strong Atheist [Wouldn't Change this] - I know there is no God.