Does Atheism Define You?

 

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I don’t know about everyone else out there, but I’m often asked by people about what social issues I support or don’t support. I know it’s probably common, but in my case, these are atheists asking. My first reaction is it’s none of your business, but I never actually say that, I usually deflect as I really am not interested in those conversations. It seems though that a lot of atheists are; That’s okay, I don’t begrudge anyone anything, but I fail to recognize the relevance  in relation to being an atheist.

From polls I’ve seen in the past, probably some 90% of atheists are liberal. I’m not sure what that means overall other than those same polls indicate that these people either vote or lean to the Democrat party here in the U.S. Does that say anything in particular about their stances on social issues? Well, yes and no. Most liberals, in my experience, fall in line with a certain set of ideologies that they think define liberalism: pro-LGBT, pro-choice, etc. But I have to say that I’ve actually met a few, very few, that claim to be liberal and yet, as an example, are pro-life.

None of this has anything to do with being an atheist. A non-belief in god(s) does not necessarily indicate a person’s views socially or politically. Yet, many atheists would probably disagree with that statement. Some atheists enjoy the idea of diversity, until there discover there are those that may disagree with some of their views.  I’ve actually heard people say that you can’t be an atheist and not be liberal. I find that hilarious because I’ve been told as a conservative, that I cannot be a conservative and not believe in God. Silly isn’t it?

This is the world we live in. Everything seems to be about what a person identifies with instead of who they are. Being and atheist is not what I identify as, it is who I am. Being an atheist doesn’t inform me about what my politics or social views are or should be. I’ve actually spoken with people that, once they became atheists, completely changed their views on everything. That makes me think they had nothing they actually believed in to begin with and if atheism somehow, magically, became a conservative cause, they too would follow right along.

I don’t actually care what people advocate for or against in general. What I do object to is that some tie their advocacy directly to their atheism. One has nothing to do with the other and none of us should leap to conclusions about others due to those other considerations.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Does Atheism Define You?

  1. Well, Jim, I hope that you don’t find this too much in your real life, but only online.

    I have never had anybody who knows that I am an atheist make assumptions about me, although my kids have had that experience.

    I have had friends make assumptions about my social/political ideology based upon my “supposed” open-mindedness and compassion, education and seeming intelligence. So, I guess they think very poorly of Republicans and Conservatives. Yet, I am a Democrat for purely logical reasons dealing with the reality of my locale and state and history. A Conservative Democrat.

    It is human nature to assign all the negative aspects of whichever “other” one is against or hates or blames.

    I would be the same person were I a believer or if I were a Republican. I would still have come to my self via my experiences.

    In a manner of speaking, yes for real, my atheism does define me. I don’t need religion or God or gods or holy scriptures or church or a religious leader. I don’t need superstitious crap filling up my psyche. That is part of who I am too. I don’t spend my days groveling in my sinful state of being, begging God to pardon my sins. I don’t spend time in spiritual warfare in constant prayer on guard against the whisperings of demons.

    Neither do I bother with Voodoo, when my body needs medical technology. I do not believe that mental illness and depression are signs of possession.

    I do not believe I will “see” my lost ones when I die or that I will be able to “see” my loved ones still alive…so I make the most of my time with them when we are all in the same life.

    I am skeptical of stuff that doesn’t smell like scientific fact. Although I do tend to trust people until proven wrong, but not stupidly so.

    Is this because I am an atheist or because I am true to myself? The two are entwined, I guess.

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    • Being an atheist, for me, has nothing to do with anything else. I trnd to think, based on my own experience, that most other atheists think we all have to espose the same values. I find that incomprehensible simply because I don;t live in an ant farm, I am an individual and have come to hold those I call “my values” over time.
      Of course, during that time, some of those same “evolved” as I became aware of better information, but basically, I’m the same person I was before I became an atheist. I don’t decide that something is right or wrong because it is popular, or expedient, but based on evidence.

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      • Jim, I started to write “Me too” but I realized that I am not the same person, because that other person accepted God/Jesus/Holy Ghost and attributed everything to it. And I prayed and I believed in superstitious nonsense.

        All the rest of me is the same, but not that part.

        So, atheism does add to the definition of me, Jeanne. Just as Christianity added to the definition of me, Jeanne, when I was growing up.

        I wasn’t a skeptic and now I am. That is a big difference in a person and has to help define who they are.

        Doesn’t mean that is on the list first, because I consider it nothing in the scheme of things; the least of all the hats I wear. But it colors a lot of them too, just as my being a woman colors the definition of me, Jeanne.

        As I do not announce, “I am woman, hear me roar” neither do I announce, “I am atheist, hear me roar.”

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      • I don’t go around waving a flag saying, “I’m an atheist”. It is just a part of who i am and doesn’t define me as a person. Those that cannot understand that i refuse to believe in some supernatiural, all encomassing god? Well, if they don’t want to associate with me, i think I’m better off.

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  2. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion on how I can be a conservative & an atheist. My answer is simple & always the same.
    Atheism is not a world view,it is not an ideology. It is nothing more than a single position on a single issue. If you believe in god or gods, you are a theist. If you do not believe in god or gods, you are an atheist. Everything else that is considered ideological is separate. Which is why just like believers, non-believers can be anything from republican, democrat, green party, libertarian, pro-life, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-heterosexual marriage, etc,etc. None of those things are synonymous with atheism nor derived from atheism either. Atheism doesn’t tell anyone what they should do, it tells them what it is they do not believe based on no evidence. It’s synonymous with skepticism.

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