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Atheist Definition
08-08-2013, 12:16 PM
Post: #1
Atheist Definition
Hey everyone. I am new here but have been reading quite a few threads to get a feel for how things work.

Here is a brief overview of me. I grew up Catholic and about 10 years ago realized that I didn't believe any of it. I've always thought of myself as purely Agnostic but recently I have been realizing that I am more of an Agnostic Atheist. I believe that I don't know the whole truth but I don't agree with any of the religions that I have taken time to learn about. I recently said to some family and friends, during a religious discussion, that I am an Agnostic Atheist and they jumped all over me, saying that I can't be both. Either I don't know or I believe in nothing. I really don't care what I'm called, because I know what I believe, but that is the closest thing I could find to describe my beliefs. They also told me there are not different types of Atheists. "Atheists believe in nothing so how can you split that up?"

My goal is to be able to discuss what I believe and hear what others believe, and not have the discussion veer off course because they can't accept the definition I use for my beliefs. For those of you more experienced with debating with others on religion, what is the best way to go about this? Is it technically incorrect for me to call myself an Agnostic Atheist? Is there a better term to use that other people can more easily accept?

As I am new to the realization that I am Atheist, I am still learning a lot about how people react to that word. I am also willing to accept any advice from other Atheists for how to deal with people's reactions to finding out I am Atheist. My close family and friends are not really strong in any particular faith so they don't really care, but I have some extended family that would be very upset to find out that I reject the idea of God (in the Christian sense) and I reject Jesus' divinity. I love my family and would prefer to just not discuss religion with them, but if it came up I am not going to lie about what I believe.

I appreciate any help/advice that you all might offer!
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08-08-2013, 12:40 PM
Post: #2
RE: Atheist Definition
Welcome to the forums and welcome to atheism!

I wrote an atheism FAQ awhile back that has my stock answers to the questions I usually get; give it a read, feel free to steal anything you like from it.

The short version is that yes, you can be an agnostic atheist.

No single step in the search for enlightenment should ever be considered sacred; only the search should.
-Ann Druyan
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08-08-2013, 02:10 PM
Post: #3
RE: Atheist Definition
For Atheism, it is pretty simple. If you do not believe in God, you are an Atheist. If you do believe in God, you are a Theist. Anything that is added to that, is a different matter. So yes, you can be an Agnostic Atheist. I am as well.

If everyone was thinking the same thing, then no one would be thinking at all.
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08-08-2013, 04:47 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2013 04:50 PM by QuestionMark.)
Post: #4
RE: Atheist Definition
StarStuff, that FAQ was excellent! I read the entire thread and it was very helpful to not only see your FAQ but also to watch how everyone responded to the comments by some of the individuals who found it difficult to understand your views. EqualAtheist, I really appreciate the simplistic breakdown for me.

I've been watching a lot of Hitchens/Dawkins/Harris debates lately, as well as some clips and episodes of the Atheist Experience and the more I see/read/hear the debates, the more comfortable I become with calling myself Atheist. The term used to carry such negative connotations for me but after all of the research I've been doing I feel as though I've gained a much better understanding (Did you know many Catholics have issues with Atheists? [Image: themoreyouknow.gif]).

I really appreciate your input/advice and I look forward to finding more answers and even more questions by browsing around here!
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08-08-2013, 05:34 PM
Post: #5
RE: Atheist Definition
(08-08-2013 04:47 PM)QuestionMark Wrote:  Did you know many Catholics have issues with Atheists?

I grew up Catholic, and most of my family and friends of the family still are, and I've never heard a single one of them have a problem with atheism or agnosticism.
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08-08-2013, 06:57 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2013 06:58 PM by EqualAtheist.)
Post: #6
RE: Atheist Definition
I on the other hand, have had all sorts of family problems because I am an Atheist. Many problems which, finally seem to be getting resolved in the past few years, since my dad's motorcycle accident. My parents where not Catholics though.

If everyone was thinking the same thing, then no one would be thinking at all.
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08-08-2013, 07:11 PM
Post: #7
RE: Atheist Definition
(08-08-2013 05:34 PM)Painkiller Wrote:  I grew up Catholic, and most of my family and friends of the family still are, and I've never heard a single one of them have a problem with atheism or agnosticism.

Would you stop rubbing in how tolerant they are on the isles of Britannia?

Join Atheism Today! Be sure to ask about our sexy parties. Big Grin
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08-08-2013, 08:07 PM
Post: #8
RE: Atheist Definition
(08-08-2013 07:11 PM)jrpurdon Wrote:  
(08-08-2013 05:34 PM)Painkiller Wrote:  I grew up Catholic, and most of my family and friends of the family still are, and I've never heard a single one of them have a problem with atheism or agnosticism.

Would you stop rubbing in how tolerant they are on the isles of Britannia?

Must be something in the tea. They don't use ice in their tea over there. (based on absolutely no knowledge of tea over there)

If everyone was thinking the same thing, then no one would be thinking at all.
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08-09-2013, 05:58 AM
Post: #9
RE: Atheist Definition
[Image: 75avc.jpg]

Obviously we're not super-tolerant at all, and we can thank the headline-grabbing media darlings in the EDL for making that fact very clear. We've got just as much persecution, intolerance and tribalism as any other country - it's just that the focus is a bit different.

The self-stereotype I was falling back on here was more Defender Of Catholics than Glorifier Of The Empire.
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08-09-2013, 06:14 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 06:15 AM by StarStuff.)
Post: #10
RE: Atheist Definition
So what are y'all intolerant of?

Question Mark, one other thing I would HIGHLY recommend you read if you haven't yet: the Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan.

No single step in the search for enlightenment should ever be considered sacred; only the search should.
-Ann Druyan
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