Atheist, Humanist, Non-religious: Do Labels Matter?

Atheism: a term that is exasperatingly complex in its simplicity. Many people say, “If you don’t believe in a divine being/god, then you are an atheist.” Others employ a small variation; saying, “If you believe there is no divine being/god, then you are an atheist.” (employing a positive belief statement) While others argue atheist isn’t a term that should exist at all because it’s basically a label for something that is nothing – arguing that the negative should be the baseline or default and shouldn’t require a label. Even famous scientists, who many say are clearly atheists, refuse to use the term and even deride it because of its implicit baggage in the social context.

Monsters in the Jungle

Is there a difference between atheist and agnostic? What do those words mean and are they mutually exclusive? Is absence of evidence a logical basis for belief? By answering these questions perhaps conversations can move more quickly past the semantics games some theists play and lay the burden of proof where it belongs, with the theist.

The Rise of “The Nones”

The number of Americans who check off “none” on surveys when asked about their religious affiliation is on the rise. According to Pew Forum and others, approximately 16% of Americans now classify themselves as “nones”. This is an entire group of people who are looking for communities of purpose and belonging. Do atheists have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

The Tension of Doubt and Certainty — Why We Need Both

Asking question after question, doubting every single little thing can get tiresome and annoying to those around us. When we understand this, we can recognize when we're reacting one way or another - questioning unnecessarily or holding too tightly to a belief. There seems to have always been a tension between the desire to know and the need to question. I believe we can use our doubt to light a path toward greater knowledge, understanding and problem solving.

Atheism: More than Disbelief — The Power of Doubt in a World of Certainty

The doubters have asked questions, poked, prodded, analyzed and asked more questions. Because the religious have often been openly afraid of doubt, even to the point of putting warnings against it in their holy books, atheists are often self-congratulatory about their ability to reason and question but atheists seem to be just as likely to hold certain beliefs as sacrosanct. But there is power in doubt and it’s a power atheists can reveal to others.