Have you ever been in a conversation with a believer or a group of believers and because of where the conversation is going, someone asks you if you are an atheist? What do you say? What do you think you should say? I haven't had it happen in a long time but I thought about it and here is what I came up with:
Are you an atheist? “I am not sure. Maybe you can help me. I don't believe in leprechauns, angels, elves, demons, talking snakes or invisible supernatural beings. Have I gone wrong somewhere or is that normal?”
I don't know if that seems stupid. What do you think and what would you say?
I am very curious as to what people would come up with on this.
Hasn't happened yet, which is to say no one has asked me in the middle of a conversation. I have volunteered that information and more than once. If during a conversation, someone were to ask me, my answer would be simple:
"Yes, I am an atheist. So what?"
Same as Loren and Tim. "Yes, I am. Any other questions?"
"Define Atheism. What does it mean to you?"
Depending upon how they answer, you might be able to roll into the response you suggested.
What I have told my Christian friends, and I have one or two, since I live in Tennessee (the heart of the Bible Belt), is that I see no good reason to believe in their God any more than I see any reason to believe in Zeus, Odin, or Hera. I've said to Christians many times that it was studying the Bible (not just casually reading it) that made me an atheist.
As far as other gods, I've read the various myths and stories, and they are as far fetched (and sometimes as atrocious) as the stories in the Bible. If Christians don't ask I don't tell. But if they ask I'm open about my atheism.
I like your answer. I didn't read it before wrote mine. We think in a similar way.
I am atheist. Like the classic Missourian expression, when it comes to the gods, the only rational response is "show me". I have never seen evidence to support belief in any of the gods.
It's ethnocentric to propose atheism is only lack of belief in the major god of US or Western culture - I don't believe in the Hindu gods, the Aztec and Mayan gods, Zoroaster, or any of the others.
If asked whether I believe in god, the response for me is "which one?" If the answer is "the god", then the response is still "which one is that? there are so many to choose."
k.h., it's like foods. Sometimes I like Chinese food, sometimes I like Italian food, sometimes I like Mexican food.
Sometimes I don't believe in the Buddha, sometimes I don't believe in Jesus, and sometimes I don't believe in Quetzalcoatl.
Well, really, I always don't believe in any of them.
Stephen, imagine yourself having asked the question in one of these two ways
1. As a request for personal information.
2. As an attack.
How would you hear that reply?
As it comes to this whole topic, I'm sure some of you are familiar with the following quote:
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
-- Stephen F. Roberts
I'm reasonably certain that it hasn't occurred to most believers that they ARE atheists as it comes to Zeus, Apollo and Hera or Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Indeed, the vast majority of them haven't even thought about it.
It's time to make them think ... especially about WHY.