For me personally, when I think of my non-belief in a formal fashion and think of all the different -isms out there, I have to be honest. I can relate to all of them, and to a degree they all define me.
I am all the above skeptic, atheist, agnostic, free-thinker. humanist. Ignostic, non-theist, anti theist. I am all of the above by definition, but no one defines me.
–Skeptic; I am a skeptic and tend to be very skeptical of things people tell me and don’t believe a thing unless there is enough substantial reasoning to believe it. I am like this with everything. In fact, it would sometimes put me on the opposing end of some of the left-wing conservative conspiracy theorist. I remember one time, I got an e-mail from one of my-coworkers that the DNC convention was rejecting a catholic prayer service and replacing it with a Muslim prayer service. My immediate reaction was that this was not true, and that there was no reason for me to believe it was true, because if it was the National Media Syndicates would be jumping all over this story. And this is what I told other left-wing co-workers also. And sure enough within a few hours someone else replied back with another email, elaborating on the story, and telling the truth that the muslim prayer service, had nothing to do with the DNC, but a separate group all together just a few miles down the road. You would be surprised by how many e-mails I get like this from people, that the government is passing some sneaky law, and all it takes is one click and search on the Library of Congress for one to read truth for themselves.
As much as skepticism, describes my mentality, I don’t the label skepticism describes my accurately. It would be kind of weird if someone asked me what I believed, and I replied skeptic.
–Freethinker; Yes I am a free thinker with my own thoughts. No one told me directly that God did not exist, it was an inferred conclusion. I’ve never come across an atheist evangelist. No one passed me any tracts or knocked on my door. I was able to think for myself, to come to my own reasonable conclusion.
However free thinker doesn’t imply anything about my beliefs, but that I have brain to think for myself.
–Humanist; Even though I don’t really classify myself as a humanist. I can identify with the compassion of a humanist in caring for our fellow man. That the care, compassion, and love of our fellow man should be of the highest importance to our community, and utmost relevance to ourselves personally. But aren’t we all humanist, don’t we all care for our fellow man?
And for that reason, is why I am not so kick to jump on the humanist bandwagon. In reality, we all humanist whether we want to or not. Even thought I agree with it; it only defines ones morality not ones beliefs or non-beliefs.
–Agnostic; By definition of epistemology I am an agnostic, because I don’t know if God exist or does not exist. This is more of scientific and academic stance. It would be ignorant of us to say I know for sure that God does not exist. Even Dawkins admits of this.
Of course the ideological concept of God is not solely based on the the parameters of Christianity But that does not mean a deistic God does not God, (even thought is no empirical evidence supporting this viewpoint.) It could just mean, that I have wrong the wrong concept of God. And that is why I don’t know either way. But I typically like to stay away from agnosticism because it comes off to some evangelicals as I am confused, and don’t know what to think and that I simply need to do is just accept Jesus into my life. The issue I have with agnosticism, is that we can prove a Type of God does not exist. For example, If Religion A, says their God created the world on the back of a turtle. We can improve empirically that that type of God probably does not exist. (And yes, that is a real creation story.) Or that a God, with two conflicting characteristics, like God is Love and God is Wrath, then we could assume that that God probably does not exist.
–Ignostic; Ignostic is really the position that all conversations about God are meaningless unless is first defined. And to a degree I agree with this, because my definition & perception of God will be different than someone else’s perception of God. Therefore I would I rather not jump into the conversation of if God exist, until God is accurately defined. Because if you say God is love, than I agree..God is an emotion, and emotions exist. But if you say God is a celestial all loving and all powerful being who wants to have a personal relationship with me, but can’t physically talk to me, than I would say you are loco.
The only reason I don’t use Ignostic more often, is that I would probably spend half the time explaining Ignosticism, because most people are not familiar with it.
–Atheist; I would definitely say that atheist definitely describes my belief, but not my epistemology. I truly do lack a belief in god. But this focus is more surrounding Christianity in that I am an atheist because I have rejected and come to the conclusion that the Christian God of the Bible does not exist. And from there, why should I believe in any other god.
The only problem I have with the label atheist is the negative perception and negative presuppositions most people have with atheist. Most public perception of atheist are that they are immoral reprobates that eat babies. But really no very little of the atheist.
–Non-Theist; Out of all the definitions and labels I like non-theist the most. It is just like atheist, but adds one touch. That a Non-Theist is who lacks a belief in a PERSONAL god. In that we don’t believe in a god that has a personal relationship with people, befriends them, and talks to them. I really like this label in definition cause I actually feel it more accurate in representing my non-belief, but it doesn’t have the same teeth as using atheist.
–AntiTheist; It is the same thing as atheist or non-theist, but adds one flare. That the anti-theist doesn’t just lack belief. But also has a firm stance against organized religion and the idea of a religious god. I have to say, this really doesn’t describe me. I’m not against religion, I’m against the radical nonsense side of religion.