Atheist, Secularist, Humanist? I have no idea what I am.
Posted: 28 December 2013 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2013-12-28

Allow me to introduce myslef smile

I am just going to paste my bio here. As the title says I have no idea how to “categorize” myself when it comes to my views on God and organized religion. Perhaps if you take the time to read my bio here you can add a comment to help me figure this out. Though I am not entirely sure I want to belong to a category either. The only thing I can say for sure is am not an Atheist. I actually thought I might be Agnostic, but then quickly decided…no. Gnosticism is just another group think process for herding human beings. Most likely I am a Secularist…but I really like the way Humanist sounds and how it rolls off the tongue.

BIO:
I have not yet figured out if I am Atheist (most likely not), Humanist, Secularist or whatever other “categories” there are. I know I cannot tell you if there is a single all powerful God, I have never met such an entity and such and entity has never made direct contact with me. When that happens then I will decide how much I will allow that meeting to influence how I live my life and wether or not I need to go tell it on the mountain or just keep it to myself.

I find the idea of a single God rather absurd, perhaps that is why he/she has been ingnoring my requests to take a meeting. No, that can’t be why considering I know many believers who are consistently ignored as well and I have seen via media and current events that even those who suffer great pain and agony are ignored and still die horrible and painful deaths…many times by people claiming absolute faith in God.

I despise organized religion, I have no problem with people who believe in God, Fairies, Leprechauns, or the Spaghetti Monster. I believe your belief in God or any of the “others” should be between you and your God, how you honor that belief should also occur only between you and your God. Religion should NEVER extend from you to me.

I believe it should be ILLEGAL to impose a religious view, religious belief system, religious ideology on children. I believe children need protection FROM organized religion. I believe people should be able to choose thier religion after thier 18th birthday but not before receiving a basic eduction on ALL religions and thier affects on mankind throughout history. I think there would be many many more Secularists, Humanists and Atheists in the world so much so that organized religion would simply dissapear and people would have a much fonder appreciation and respect for life.

I also believe ALL money given to organized religion should be spent on educating every single human being in the basics of math, science, logic, reasoning and languages (the short list) all during their first to fifth year of life. Then their formal aducation should begin. NO money should be spent on churches, mosques, synogogues or voodoo huts. All religious texts should be classified as “fiction” with a warning label “can be hazardous to humankind”.

I am sure I have other views and opinions but I kinda wore myself out.

Oh, I am gay, single and looking for a soulmate…no I don’t really believe in those either but I don’t mind asking for one AND I don’t think my being gay is what causes me to despise organized religion or have a fairly certain sense that their is no God. I kinda think the energy that gives us life is collectively God in a cosmic artisitc kinda view.

If you wanna ask me any questions or simply converse about my view or yours you can message me and if I feel inclined I will respond.

- James

[ Edited: 28 December 2013 11:20 PM by frdmlover ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 December 2013 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27
frdmlover - 28 December 2013 11:17 PM

Allow me to introduce myslef smile

I am just going to paste my bio here. As the title says I have no idea how to “categorize” myself when it comes to my views on God and organized religion. Perhaps if you take the time to read my bio here you can add a comment to help me figure this out. Though I am not entirely sure I want to belong to a category either. The only thing I can say for sure is am not an Atheist. I actually thought I might be Agnostic, but then quickly decided…no. Gnosticism is just another group think process for herding human beings. Most likely I am a Secularist…but I really like the way Humanist sounds and how it rolls off the tongue.

BIO:
I have not yet figured out if I am Atheist (most likely not), Humanist, Secularist or whatever other “categories” there are. I know I cannot tell you if there is a single all powerful God, I have never met such an entity and such and entity has never made direct contact with me. When that happens then I will decide how much I will allow that meeting to influence how I live my life and wether or not I need to go tell it on the mountain or just keep it to myself.

I find the idea of a single God rather absurd, perhaps that is why he/she has been ingnoring my requests to take a meeting. No, that can’t be why considering I know many believers who are consistently ignored as well and I have seen via media and current events that even those who suffer great pain and agony are ignored and still die horrible and painful deaths…many times by people claiming absolute faith in God.

I despise organized religion, I have no problem with people who believe in God, Fairies, Leprechauns, or the Spaghetti Monster. I believe your belief in God or any of the “others” should be between you and your God, how you honor that belief should also occur only between you and your God. Religion should NEVER extend from you to me.

I believe it should be ILLEGAL to impose a religious view, religious belief system, religious ideology on children. I believe children need protection FROM organized religion. I believe people should be able to choose thier religion after thier 18th birthday but not before receiving a basic eduction on ALL religions and thier affects on mankind throughout history. I think there would be many many more Secularists, Humanists and Atheists in the world so much so that organized religion would simply dissapear and people would have a much fonder appreciation and respect for life.

I also believe ALL money given to organized religion should be spent on educating every single human being in the basics of math, science, logic, reasoning and languages (the short list) all during their first to fifth year of life. Then their formal aducation should begin. NO money should be spent on churches, mosques, synogogues or voodoo huts. All religious texts should be classified as “fiction” with a warning label “can be hazardous to humankind”.

I am sure I have other views and opinions but I kinda wore myself out.

Oh, I am gay, single and looking for a soulmate…no I don’t really believe in those either but I don’t mind asking for one AND I don’t think my being gay is what causes me to despise organized religion or have a fairly certain sense that their is no God. I kinda think the energy that gives us life is collectively God in a cosmic artisitc kinda view.

If you wanna ask me any questions or simply converse about my view or yours you can message me and if I feel inclined I will respond.

- James

It sounds as if you are confused. Things will settle down soon.

If you describe yourself as an agnostic it means you are an atheist if you can’t say you believe in a god. Agnosticism is not a halfway point between atheism and theism.  In fact, agnosticism is is a non sequitur whenit comes to believingor ot believing in god.  Atheism is a statement about theistic belief. Agosticism is a statement about knowledge.  When you are asked about your position on god, or when you ask yourself, you might as well answer “vegetarian” as agnostic.  Each has as much connection as the other when it comes to a belief in god.

You should read some books and/or take some courses on critical thinking. don’t beat yourself up about being confused about belief in god. You were probably indoctrinated into a belief in god and it is usually difficult and confusing to overcome it. It’s a psychological issue. But give atheism a chance. It sounds as if you are afraid of it—afraid to actually say you are an atheist. This is not uncommon.  It’s a huge leap to take. Being gay probably has little to do with your confusion over religion. Knowing and accepting that you are gay and moving away from religion simply coincided. Both cause confusion, but they are separate matters.  You are gay because it’s a natural orientation.  Religion is not a natural state, it’s a psychological state.  You have to be indoctrinated into it. You can and, in my opinion, you should get yourself out of it. You can’t get yourself out of being gay. Avoid confusing the two separate issues.

Try to see these two aspects of yourself as separate phenomena.. One has nothing to do with the other except that both cause confusion, but religion will try to insert itself into and control your orientation.  That is a false connection.  Avoid it at all costs.

The best advice I could throw your way is to read about skepticism and critical thinking.  I learned most about skepticism and critical thinking, not by reading books about what it is and how to do it, but first and foremost by reading everything in the Skeptical Inquirer magazine. it doesn’t talk much about religion but demonstrates the value and the process of critical thinking in an easy to understand way.  It will eventually translate itself into religious topics. See if you can get back issues at your public library and read every one you can get your hands on. Also, listen to the podcasts of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, available on iTunes. It is an entertaining way to learn critical thinking principles.

Eventually you may be ready to join an freethought group that meets in your area, Atheists United or a Humanist group. It’s very helpful to talk to people who are critical thinkers and who have walked the same path before you. If you need to know how to find a group, ask me.

Lois

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 December 2013 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5551
Joined  2010-06-16

Lois has given a very complete answer to your questions, so I’ll add only a bit.  While, for simplicity, I say I’m an atheist, I’m really a non-theist. I see theism as a concept only worth bothering about when someone else wants to talk about it.  I don’t need to complicate my thinking with unnecessary concepts, either positive or negative.

Second, while I connect strongly with the Secular Humanists and the American Humanist Association, there are a few nits in their systems that are different from my thinking so I see myself as a lower case humanist.

Lois’ suggestion about critical thinking is quite worthwhile.  As you develop skill in that area it should help you work through some of your concerns.

Occam

 Signature 

Succinctness, clarity’s core.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 December 2013 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  629
Joined  2013-06-01

James,
Lois covered the subject, and I will add just my personal view points.
God is many things to many people.
Do not worry about “categorizing” yourself. You have come along at a time in history when these categories have yet to be written in stone.
I call myself an atheist, but I think everyone believes in god at some level. Man has always need god. Man needed god before man needed pottery. We have god because man created god.

That said.

What is God?

If you continue on your quest I think you will see your views of god change.
Your statement “Gnosticism is just another group think process for herding human beings.”
I see it differently.
I like the old Gnostic views that god is “knowledge” and god is in everyone. You must search for god. And all knowledge of mankind makes god.
As far as “organized religion”.  The Vega and Egyptians are just two of the many who use the system of two branches of management. Organized religion and government to manage the empires. The system worked quite well for thousands of years.
At some point we will not need organized religion anymore but we first have to get completely out of the Dark Age thinking.
Governments are not very good at marriage, birth and death in the human sense. When a community can get together once a week and sit down and sing songs that is something the government cannot do. 
James just remember to have fun at your search for answers.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 March 2014 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2014-03-27

Begin here: words have NO intrinsic meaning.  They “mean” only what the users (sender/receiver) think they mean.

In matters that carry a lot of social baggage (and the natural/supernatural distinction tops that list) that is particularly true.

“Agnostics” for example,  in my experience,  share the exact world-view as “atheists” but cling to a distinction based on the reducto ad absurdum position that since it is impossible to eliminate all possibility of some sort of a super-natural entity - out of a purity of REASON they must demure and opt for the softer label. Pure hogwash IMHO.

What DOES matter is HOW you think rather than WHAT you think.

If you include some sort of magic (religion, superstition, myth, whatever) in your concept of the cosmos you are in one camp and if you don’t you are in another.

If you rely on evidence and reason you are in tent #2 If you rely on sacred texts and the naked pronouncements of those claiming a non-testable superior insight you’re in #1.

I think you know your tent.

You don’t need a weatherman to tell ya when the wind blows.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 March 2014 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  2011-11-04

James, Your post indicates that you have strong secular beliefs.  As far as your religious or non-religious stance, I agree with what Burns said.  Just figure out whether you require supernatural vs. natural explanations of our universe.  I agree with your point that one’s sexual preference, does not, generally speaking, determine whether one chooses a supernatural vs. a natural understanding of life, the universe and everything.

And “kinda think(ing that) the energy that gives us life is collectively God in a cosmic artisitc kinda view”  does not seem incompatible, to me, with a rational naturalistic viewpoint.

Lois, I do not think that your statement “Religion is not a natural state, it’s a psychological state.” is completely accurate.  Also, it is problematic, in that “psychological states” are also “natural states”.  It might be more accurate to say that religious orientation is not, particularly, “natural” once one is past a certain developmental level, and has the facilities to understand rational information about how the universe operates.

[ Edited: 27 March 2014 05:14 PM by TimB ]
 Signature 

As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ Fuzzy Hello      Happy new year,2014 ››