Thanks very much for the welcome! It's actually maybe not so coincidental timing that you happen to bring up the "proud to be an atheist" idea as that is one of my goals in the new chapter of the Atheists of Florida that we are forming in my area . I am tired of being scorned and ridiculed and for it to be seen as okay to do so. We are one of the last remaining groups that it is socially acceptable to belittle and insult.
Thanks for the welcome. When I first joined, I looked at some of the posts and was afraid this was a scam, but I can see now that it is not, it just has the usual smattering of kids and kooks, and is grounded in rational thinking such as your own.
I heard someone say on television the other day "Is there s god? I just don't know." I wonder how they would answer to "Do you believe in Santa Claus? The Tooth Fairy? etc." I should think they would deny those beliefs but why not the other? The proofs for the existence of all are equally absent.
Thanks for the welcome :-) I'll be exploring this kindred community slowly (working for a living is ugly), but eagerly. It will be a challenge for me to take a positive approach in postings. It's been several years since I took active part in this sort of thing (pre-blog technology), and that was more (locally) political than teleological. I found it difficult to curb my sarcastic humor, and became known by some of the more sensitive participants from 'the other side' as someone they wouldn't want to hang out with. I learned to live with that then , and I'm learning to control my caustic wit now, but I'm only at step 2 of the 12...
I too think that keeping the intellectual discussions out there as a shield is important. Although it does feel like beating one's head against a wall at times. How do you even begin with someone who apparently can't even comprehend the most basic principles of logic? I recently had a favorite "You can't prove that God doesn't exist" thrown at me. My response: "Neither can I prove that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist. But I'm not worshiping the Easter Bunny on that basis either."
Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I am very happy to have found this site and do plan on sharing my story soon! I look forward to intelligent conversations (which will take a little getting used to).