I am atheist only because there are theists who think I should be otherwise. I am not known as a “non-stamp collector“, because stamp collectors could give a shit about what I do or do not believe.
To further show the oddity of the “atheist” label, below this paragraph you can see a bumper sticker design I created to show how my atheism is accidental.
Click the image for an explanation.
Point being, I don’t identify at all with being an atheist except to fight the oppressive side of theism.
But meanwhile, many atheists not only identify with being atheists, they struggle with forming identity-centered atheists communities. I have never been drawn to such a silly enterprise. Below is a map from the 2012 Gallup research showing percentages of atheists in various countries.
I lived in Asia for 12 years: India, Pakistan, China and Japan. While in Asia, no one cared that I was an atheist – though Americans care immensely. Yet in India (hugely religious compared to the USA), Hindus did not care that I was not Hindu (well, unless I had tried to marry their daughters). And in China, 50% of Chinese are atheists, but I got no high-fives for our shared lack of beliefs.
Indeed, I felt closer to Chinese atheists than I did to religious Hindus. What could separate me from religious Indians was parochial exclusivism, repressive sexisim or dangerous anti-science superstitions. What could separate me from atheist Chinese was political nonsense, racial exclusivism, anti-homosexuality and much more.
I blog on atheism to counter both the evils of religion and to point out that it is not just religious nonsense that can be dangerous, but also secular beliefs and practices. More importantly, I often try to show their shared sources.
Perhaps this post will help some to see why I don’t identify with being an atheist though most religious folks will always want to see me otherwise. Oh well.
Question to Readers: If you are an atheist, do you identify as being an atheist? If you are a religionist, do you think I fool myself?
[And to both readers, please take into account what I wrote in this post in answering the question — thanx.]