Please allow me to introduce myself...
Hi all. This looks like it's an interesting site. Technically speaking I don't consider myself an Atheist, but rather a Secular Humanist. But to most people there's no difference so I'll still use the term. I come at things from a philosophical standpoint, having a degree in philosophy (though it was awhile ago). I'm also very interested in the history, psychology, and sociology of religion, especially all the fascinating books by biblical scholars like Bart Erhman.
In a nutshell I believe: organized religion has made the world a worse place than if it never existed. I believe Jesus was a real person and had very wise things to say, just like Gandhi, MLK, and others. If others want to believe in a god, and they do not force it on others privately or publicly that's ok. I also understand WHY people are attracted to religion and the notion of a father figure god.
Most importantly I think the whole debate of Atheism vs Theism, god versus no god, is a false one. What I DO think is important is the way we talk about the subject...words matter. For example, when asked "Do you believe in God?" most people would say Yes or No. I answer "how do you define god, and why should I accept your definition over the definitions others provide?". You see, the question Do you believe in God is really code for "There is a God, it's a He, He's THE only God and does exist - do you believe in this existing God?". Loaded question in other words. Another example is when we refer to the god as a "He". That plays into the psychology of belief in a father figure. So when I engage in "god talk" I always use the pronoun "she". That kind of thing is important...the way we talk about this stuff.
Anywho, let's discuss!