“non se·qui·tur [non sek-wi-ter-toor; Lat. nohn se-kwi-toor] noun. (1) Logic. An inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premise. (2) A statement containing an illogical conclusion” – The English Language
I often wonder why there are so many Atheists (yes, I am one of those people who capitalize “Atheists” – get over it) try so hard to “fit in” with the religious world. The basic definition of Atheism is a lack of a belief in God, or gods, etc. The concept of God is that of a being who is described as being outside the confines of the natural world. The dictionary defines the word “spiritual” as pertaining to, or consisting of spirit, incorporeal. As well, a secondary definition defines it as pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature. This brings me to today’s topic…
What the hell is that all about? An Atheist can be many things, but purposefully using a word that is directly connected to the belief in the “supernatural” (I immensely dislike that word, by the way) is highly illogical. One can be in awe of the wonders of nature, grand water falls, stunning sunsets and a beautiful landscape and have these things bring about a profound realization of the beauty that surrounds us without connecting ones self to the realm of gods, goddesses, spirits, spooks, ghosts, goblins or anything else that is part and parcel of the incorporeal world.
I have run into several Atheists who state that they are spiritual and furthermore include the term “religious” into their self-descriptions – only to follow up with their alternate definition of “religious” and how it can mean something that it actually, in reality, does not. Religious and Spiritual have established definitions that have no place in the descriptive of Atheism.
As Atheists, we should not be clamoring for acceptance amongst the religious believers by virtue of trying to be like them with regard to how we define ourselves. We should be expecting acceptance amongst them by virtue of being a member of the human race. Of course, in many cases, this will never happen, given the proclivity toward delusional beliefs that otherwise cloud rational thinking. After all, it is the theist whom we admonish for disregarding reality in favor of the unreal beliefs that surround their acceptance of ancient myths and legends as facts.
As Atheists, we should be separating ourselves in a philosophical sense from those who are not Atheists. Does this mean that I am implying that we should shun the religious? No, “shunning” is largely a religious activity. Does this mean that I am suggesting that we are more worthy of this life than the religious are? No, being “unworthy” is largely a religious doctrine (in this regard). Does this mean that I am stating that theists are wrong in their beliefs? Yeah, you got me on that one…
By attempting to pigeonhole ourselves (Atheists) in a religious definitive, it makes us appear like that often beloved but much maligned character “Oliver Twist” as he clamors up to the Master and begs for more.
If you claim to be an Atheist, you are thus so by virtue of using reason and logic to discount, debunk and disbelieve in the existence of anything that is not part of the natural world on the basis of a lack of evidence. And to that which is still unknown, you have chosen to wait for science to provide a logical, reasoned and natural explanation.
The religious should be trying to explain themselves in light of the natural world and its empiricism. We have the facts, we have the evidence and we have reason in our corner and it is our duty as Atheists to demand the extraordinary evidence for the extraordinary claims of believers.
Be proud of what you are. It’s a simple as that.