May 5, 2009

Who Is An Atheist 101: There Really Is Just One Definition

I'm so fed up with all the definitions of "atheist" that are out there. Let me give everyone the ultimate definition, and you can reword it all you want:

An atheist is someone who answers the question "DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD?" with a NO!

Edit: Thanks to a comment I received, I'll ask the same question in slightly different words: Do you believe that an all knowing eternal supernatural being exists? If the answer is NO, you are an atheist.

That is it. That answer doesn't require dogma or a religion or any foundation whatsoever.

OK, so what is an agnostic?, you might ask. We are all really freakin agnostics. An agnostic is someone who isn't 100% sure that God exists. Nobody can be 100% sure that God doesn't exist, and those who say they are 100% sure God exists, are liars.

You know what, let me re-examine my last statement. There are those who are 100% sure that God exists because they are extremely brainwashed, and/or they have totally convinced themselves. If they were given a lie detector test, they would answer they are 100% sure that God exists, and the reading of the test would confirm in many cases that they were not lying.

Now I know there are atheists who say they know 100% for sure God doesn't exist (I'm only 99.99999% because I know it is impossible to know for sure). I'm not sure how a lie detector test would come out for these 100% atheists.

Now back to my main point. The question "do you believe in God?" What if you answer the question "sometimes" ? Well, that would make an atheist sometimes and a theist sometimes. What if you answer "I don't know." I think it is a fair answer, and that would put in the pure agnostic category.

Why is the answer fair? If someone asks you if your spouse has ever cheated on you (assuming they never admitted it), you might answer "I don't know." You may feel stronger about a yes or no, but you sincerely may believe "I don't know."

Atheists like myself like to explain myself as to what it means to me to be an atheist, though it is not required by my universal definition.

For instance, I will qualify my answer. I see absolutely no evidence that any God exists. To me, the world and universe makes perfect sense without a God. But I can't say God doesn't exist for sure, just like I can't say Leprechauns don't exist. The same evidence exists for both Leprechauns and God, though.