Not Alone #52 – by Free Thinker

My family and I are from San Antonio, Texas.  Please publish my posting.  My Preferred name can be used.

Over the years we’ve been involved in a few Christian churches ranging from the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Baptist Church, as well as the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Ultimately we found ourselves flustered with all Christian churches and found ourselves fairly closely in line with the beliefs and values espoused by the Unitarian Universalists. We also came to the realization that we were frustrated and discouraged with most any religious organization or association and moved away from any church or association.

We have issues with atheism and agnosticism, since those terms infer negative or undefined views. We began exploring other views and ran across Humanists and Free Thought philosophies. Interestingly Free Thought movements within the United States evolved into the Unitarian Universalist Association. The definition for Humanism from the American Humanist Association is “Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.” Again a negative perspective (without theism and other supernatural beliefs) instead of focusing more on the positive. We feel like we relate to some of the Humanists views such as “Secular Humanism is a life stance that focuses on the way human beings can lead good, happy and functional lives.” The problem we have is that we don’t necessarily feel we need a church or association to help us lead the life we aspire to. That’s my question. Why do I need to be labeled? Is that for my benefit, or for others?

  1. Dan Lewis said:

    Is it for my benefit or others? You asked. I’d say both.
    Have you a problem with helping people understand who they’re dealing with?

    If being nondescript is your goal, why not go for facial plastic surgery to remove outstanding details?
    I guess one could wear something like some of the Arabic people do, but that starts to get into masks, and wearing a mask in public is a no no in many places in the states.

    I know for sure I’d much rather do business with one free of religious delusions.
    What, per ‘zackly, is your real concern?
    Afraid of being strung up as a free thinker? Yup, we non-deluded are still in the majority.
    Going to hide in the mad majority? Not I.

  2. Dan Lewis said:

    Oops…meant ‘Yup, we non-deluded are still in the minority.’

    Carry on. 😉

    • There is no reason in the world for you to put a label on yourself regarding your world view. It depends on what your goals are. If you have no agenda, then “None” is as good as anything nondescriptive. A free thinker, or a UU get you into the zone, and if you want to make a political statement, a more definitive label may work best for you. The thing about non-believers is we don’t have a law book that describes us, or a scripture that guides us, or a litany that we recite as an affirmation of some faith in … whatever. You tell us how you want to be labelled, or not.

      I, on the other hand, am an angry old lady and want to be known as an anti-theist. That one suits me just fine, and I rant on in my own curmudgeonly way.

      Whatever you do, have fun in the process.

  3. Jim Marshall said:

    I had some wicked fun at the local enormous shopping centre over the Xmas (Hey that is a 4 letter word) the Xmas profiteering season. Every time one of the poor little cash register kids offered me the statutory “Merry Xmas” I replied with a “No thanks, I am Muslim, or Buddhist, or Hindu or something” and got a almost compassionate acceptance.
    Then my wicked bit slipped in and I said “No thanks, I am an atheist.” and there I got a full range of emotions from happy agreement to downright antagonism.
    Go figure.?

  4. That you infer a negative connotation from “atheism” or “without theism” might indicate that you’re not altogether ready (willing?) to cast off the “myth-colored glasses” imposed by faith. And I don’t mean that as an insult.

    You’ll know it when you know it. Until then, it might be rather like Ryan J. Bell, a Christian, “trying on” atheism for a year. To me this is the equivalent of a heterosexual “trying on” homosexuality…it’s self-evidently insincere and artificial as a means of “living as” someone you’re not.

    Said another way: atheism does not take faith.

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