a reluctant atheist

I'm an atheist who wishes she wasn't. Life would be so much easier!

Agnostic? Atheist? Believer? Who Am I Today?


Some days, I’m an atheist. Other days, I’m an agnostic. But I lean more toward atheist because I can no longer wrap my head around the thought that there is some kind of mystical “other” or “God” that transforms our lives in so many ways and who has control over our entire, vast universe. Sometimes, however, some kind of miracle occurs and I wonder…What if?….Could I be wrong?….Am I missing something?

I’ve had people who do know that I’m no longer a believer tell me that an agnostic is simply someone who can’t commit. But I disagree! It’s not that I CAN’T commit to either believing in God or believing that there is no God. Rather, I admit that I JUST. DON’T. KNOW. Some days are like that. Agnoticism is modest – we know just how much we don’t know. We aren’t going to espouse a creed, faith, manifesto or believe system – or lack thereof – until we know more. And we are willing to admit that this means we may never be fully atheist or fully religious.

While the article is  out of date (it’s from 2010), author Ron Rosenbaum clearly explained the differences between most agnostics and most atheists in his article, “An Agnostic Manifesto.” If you know what you don’t know, but aren’t sure whether you’re agnostic or atheist (it’s okay to not be sure, despite what radicals on either side of the fence say), I encourage  you to read Rosenbaum’s article.

Do you always identify as atheist or agnostic? Does your world view (or view of the universe) shift from time to time? I’d love to hear from any of you who feel like I do that belief and non-belief can be fluid over time and circumstance.


4 thoughts on “Agnostic? Atheist? Believer? Who Am I Today?

  1. The part of your blog that lured me in was part of the title “….Who Am I Today?”
    I am by definition an Athiest but have struggled with the Who am I? as you have. I get tired of people telling me, as an Atheist, who I am, so I have tried to change the “Who am I?” into “Who I am” , sounds kind of corny but, that’s who I am 🙂

    • David, I’m so glad you found my blog. It’s reassuring to know that others struggle with their sense of identity once religion is stripped away. So many people define who they are by saying, “I am a Christian/Muslim/Buddhist.” If, like me, you are none of those things, it can sometimes feel like there is a gap in your own identity. I would not define who I am primarily by saying “atheist.” That’s just a small part of who I am, and it doesn’t really define me. I hope you visit again as we both seek to define who we are.

  2. Hi Laurie, perhaps you can consider identifying as an agnostic atheist. An agnostic atheist is one who says, “hey I don’t know if God exists or not, but I choose not to believe”.

    • That’s an elegant and accurate solution. Because I honestly don’t know, and my leaning is to say, “If there is a God, he’s not a very good one, so I’d rather not trust in him.”

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