Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm coming out, but it's not what you think

I've been calling myself an agnostic for years. In the back of my mind, I knew I was doing it to "hedge my bets," so to speak, as I'm sure most agnostics do.

I come from a 100% Jewish background. I went to Saturday school at Temple Israel in Minneapolis almost every Saturday until the 10th grade. I lost family members in the Holocaust. I respect my ancestry, heritage, traditions, and the state of Israel.

I will always be considered a Jew, but I am an Atheist.

When I finally let myself say those words, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

I believe in Science, Mother Nature, Animals, Karma, Love & Hate, and even ghosts & UFOs, but I don't believe in god.

On a side note: When I told Tom about my revelation, he said, yeah, I've known that about you for the last 7 years.

Well, there it is.


LET'S TALK said...

I was wondering which was which. I must admit I had to go to Yahoo to confirm that a Atheist and a Agnostic are different.

Candace said...


Yes, atheism is the last social closet, and it's time we came out! I was just reading an article about that in my current issue of American Atheist, and I've been considering doing a lengthy post about what it means to be an atheist in this country, and the fact that more and more people are coming to this conclusion since 9/11. That's why Dawkins wrote The God Delusion, along with other authors around the same time - the horrors of religious fundamentalism in Islam and the damage done to this country by the so-called religious right are making people take a good look at their belief systems.

My hubster is an agnostic still, but is of course supportive of my nontheism.

If you're not already acquainted with the American Atheist Society, The Richard Dawkins Institute, or the American Humanist, visit the links on my blogroll sometime.

Oh, and some fun (and sometimes scary) links are Fundies Say the Darndest Things, De-Conversion, and um, I can't remember what-all. :)

Anyway, glad you're out. [golf clap]

Candace said...

Oh wow - I just watched the clip you had with this post (shoulda done that first) - obviously, you're familiar with Dawkins, et al. (and maybe I could steal this for my own post, if I ever get around to it?)

I just wanted to add my own feeling when I realized I was an atheist - you said you felt like a weight had been lifted off your shoulders - yes, I felt that, too, but really, it felt like I had just walked into the sunshine!

PoliShifter said...

Atheism takes as much faith as Theism.

Congrats on making a decision.

PoliShifter said...

Perhaps it should be stated that Atheists make the world go round.

Ayn Rand was an Atheist yet the right worships her. If only the evangelical wing understand what they have gotten in bed with.

A Couple of Athiest bloggers Lizzy:

Evil Poet

Friendly Atheist

Anonymous said...

I knew I was doing it to "hedge my bets," so to speak, as I'm sure most agnostics do.

Excuse me?! What about agnosticism has anything to do with hedging one's bets?

Quite the contrary, agnosticism is the only rational, the only logically defensible, response to that which can neither be proven nor disproven.

Both atheism and theism are belief systems that rely on faith. Agnosticism is the only system that removes faith from the equation.

PoliShifter said...

Today's news:

Nebraska state senator sues God

Injunction sought against Him [God] for allegedly causing deaths, making threats

Elvez73 said...

Good for you lizzy, perhaps atheism is the way to go when you consider the amount of people who have been killed in Gods name. I consider myself a Jeffersonian deist personally, I believe in some sort of guiding power, but my wife is a staunch atheist, she has made some good arguments that I really can't refute. The more of you guys that come out the better, we need to take every trace of religion out of politics and public life.

Lizzy said...

LT, You learn something new every day : )

Candace, I knew you would appreciate my post. We are kindred spirits. I'll check out your links, and Dawkin's book.

I stole that clip from YouTube, so please, go ahead and steal it from me. It's quite profound.

Poli, thanks for the links. I'll check them out.
Suing god, huh...sounds like an episode of Boston Legal!

kvatch, I see your point, but I stand by my post.

Thanks, elvez! This was a scary post to publish, but it's time we started coming out of the woodwork.

Anonymous said...

Put away the nets..... I have seen things (completely sober and lucid) that have convinced me that there is, indeed, something beyond this existence. In my defense, the person who was with me saw the exact same thing.

I do not profess to know exactly what it was I saw. Leftover energy? A spiritual manifestation? Whatever it was, there is no basis in most religion for it.

E.Michael Liu said...

great blog lizzy, can't wait to check your next post.

Lizzy said...

Jollyroger, I believe you. Like I said, I do believe in ghosts, and the like.

Thanks, Emmanuel, welcome to my blog! : )

Snave said...

Good job!

I think I'm about as close to being an atheist as a person can get without actually being one. I just can't get rid of that little nagging doubt in the back of my mind, the one that tells me anything is possible and that I should be open to anything... at least I'm unable to get rid of it yet. I'm probably just not allowing myself to... It may well have to do with upbringing, which wasn't fundamentalist or anything approaching it, but was still a Christian upbringing.

I agree with Kvatch that agnosticism is logically defensible. I'm one of these "show me" people who likes to see evidence, proof, facts before jumping into something on faith. I'm not sure I have ever seen evidence of the existence of God other than in the minds of people.

Ambrose Bierce defined "faith" thusly:

FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

That's kind of where I am too when it comes to deities...

Anyway, I finished "The God Delusion" recently, and I suppose now it's time to read Hitchens' "God Is Not Great"!

Lizzy said...

Yeah, I know where you're coming from, Snave.

I should read those books.