Volly has not received any gifts yet
Angie the Anti-theist sums it up most reassuringly!
You can be an atheist and still have beliefs or theories that skeptics might disagree with. Full disclosure here: I believe there is some validity to astrology, and have even been known to do horoscopes. For money (!!!).
I happen to believe in the existence of the soul, now that I've read James Hillman's book http://www.amazon.com/Souls-Code-Search-Character-Calling/dp/0446673714.
I think what makes me an atheist is the fact that I decline to try to convince anyone else of what I believe. There are also few "therefore's" in my philosophy. There's nothing I do in my life that stems from the book. The only possible exception is that I don't fear death for myself -- I anticipate that my soul or spirit will show up somewhere else after I'm dead. It may be on this plane of existence, in linear time, or it may be in some parallel universe. I may end up as an elm tree, and my soul's previous existence may have been housed in the form of a sheep. None of this bothers me or keeps me awake at night for so much as an instant, because I think the concept of heaven and hell is absurd. The thought of my death bothers me because I understand that those who know me and are close to me may be distressed at my departure. I hope that whatever I do immediately preceding my death is helpful, beneficial, and noble. And likewise, by extension, whatever else I do before all that. I hope to stay grounded in reality throughout my present existence. I once heard a truism: "When the mind goes, the heart shows." I haven't overcome all my "demons" -- my moments of guilt and regret from the past. I hope to make peace with all that so that if dementia or Alzheimer's or brain damage becomes a part of my life, I can show the world a sweet and caring side of me. Those are my spiritual concerns. I want to be serene and mindful and "in the moment." I attend a Unitarian Universalist church, and therefore want to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice, equity and compassion in human relations; acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth; a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
And science. And knowledge. And progress.
This I believe. Somebody call NPR.
I live in what might euphemistically be called an "economically disadvantaged" neighborhood. It has several good points, such as a fantastically short commute to work; being near 3 hospitals and a bus route, and mostly nice neighbors. We've lived there for 10 years now. In that time, we've had one rock thrown through our car windshield, another through our living room window; we've been burglarized once and…Continue
Amid the brilliance of Dawkins, Harris, Dennett and Hitchens' books, Wendy Kaminer's Sleeping With Extraterrestrials may have been overlooked. Written just a couple of years before 9/11, this book breaks some important ground in the New Atheist movement. Kaminer takes the wise step of refraining from criticizing a person's individual beliefs,…Continue