OK so I’ve heard a lot of things about atheism in the past. They have no morals, they are just want to sin, they are smug an condescending, they eat babies (wtf?). So as my time as a Christian I was pretty much afraid of anyone who could possibly call themselves an atheist. I’d also heard of the term agnostic. Seemed like the good guy version of an atheist so I was more comfortable with that idea. Almost like a middle ground.
After a bit of digging during my deconversation it seems that there are a lot of misconceptions as to what these terms mean. Atheism is simply the lack of a belief in a god or gods while the opposite of that is theism which is a belief in a god or gods. Notice they are polar opposites, no room for middle ground. So if there’s no middle ground what was an agnostic? Gnosticism / agnosticism deal with knowledge. An agnostic person would make the claim the don’t have knowledge about if a god or gods exists while a gnostic person would. So that kinda breaks things down into a square of Belief and Knowledge. I’ve put together this handy dandy chart of what that kinda looks like.
I would consider myself an Agnostic Atheist. I haven’t seen sufficient evidence to believe there is a god however I don’t claim to know whether or not one exists. But that’s where it ends. There’s no other issues tied into being an atheist. Atheism isn’t about morals, or evolution, or human rights. Those are all separate issues. They often get lumped into the same thing but that’s simply not the case. Atheism is a single belief on a single topic.
Learning these definitions has helped me kind of accept my new position. Taking out the fear of the word and clearing up what means has helped me do that thing I like to do….check that box.