Where a system exists, so does the opposition. I stand in opposition to a supposed non-system, so I’m skeptical of the legitimacy of my rebellious flare. The nice thing about what I’m about to say is that those who oppose what I say will only make this position seem more validated and those who agree have probably already had these feelings bubbling under the surface if they’ve not already expressed them much more eloquently themselves.
In short, I’m at a point of being disillusioned by atheism as a thing. Sure, yes, I am an atheist, but I don’t need to discuss it beyond claiming the label. Atheists say all the time that they simply “lack a belief” and that atheism does not signify what they do believe but rather what they don’t. And yet, I see and hear atheists debating religious people and insisting that religious people are wrong. They defend themselves as atheists, asserting the atheist position. They wear a scarlet letter ‘A’ as a badge for their non-belief. Allow me to right here and now disavow myself from that system.
When I stopped being a Christian, it was not a decision I made to leave God or leave my church family or leave a pursuit of truth. I stopped calling myself a Christian because I do not see the world through that lens. I understand that we all feel pain at times and joy at times. I see the complexity of our experiences and how little of life can be explained. What brought me to atheism was my complete and utter lack of certainty. The depth of my ignorance shocks and exhausts me. It neutralizes me. I’m an atheist because I don’t know what I am, and what captivates me is the certainty of uncertainty and all the contradictions therein.
I’m not an atheist because I think religion is evil, and as an atheist I do not subscribe to a system of atheism. I am not wedded to non-belief. I am only acutely aware of it. I am an atheist because of my own experiences and exposure to the world, and I will not deny that.
Because of all my reasons for being an atheist, I have no platform for promoting atheism. It was a thing that happened to me, and it is not a thing I necessarily think should happen to all others. This existence of atheism as a system both confounds me and leaves me cold. I didn’t leave the certainty of religious faith so that I could hold enough certainty in something else to defend it. Certainty is my enemy, not religion or notions of god. False assurance is my greatest fear, and I do not have a need to parade my ignorance when I would merely be parading the core of myself which we all share.