"I sound my barbaric YAWP!! over the rooftops of the world" - Walt Whitman
But it wasn't always that way. When I announced to my parents in elementary school I didn't believe in god, they told me it was called atheism. They supported me (it broke my mothers heart at first though), but I learned early on that you paid a price by not following the herd. I kept my mouth shut about it. Then 9/11 happened, and I started getting a little more vocal about it (but even then, I only told some friends and co workers). Finally, I heard Penn Jillette's radio show. He and Goudeau openly talked about being atheists on the air, and people would call in and say they were atheists also. I was 31 or 32 at the time. This was the first time I had ever heard other people call themselves an atheist (I didn't surf the web much back then). I stop short of introducing myself, "Joe Swam..atheist"...but it's close. With all that being said...I completely understand why some people don't "come out".
I think saying "agnostic" is an in between term people often use when they might be a little ashamed of their findings. Their intellect has moved to a new level of consciousness, but psychologically, they might not be ready to label themselves something that has a negative connotation to it such as an "atheist".
Susan, you are showing us the beginning stages of perception and I am so happy for you. It will take time, but don't ignore your true thoughts. It can be a shock to the system so remember that society has held you back from seeing the beautiful universe as it is. Many zealots feel that you aren't a deep person unless you believe in a creator. Quite the opposite! I don't waste thoughts on a racist, homophobic, sexist, man-made creature called God. I find beauty in knowing that the Big Bang happened all on its own and that evolution just takes it's course to wherever it will go next.
Joe Swam seems sure:
"We're all agnostics. No one is claiming to KNOW there is no god (I should say not many are claiming this...I'm sure some are). But "agnostic" doesn't answer the theological question of whether you believe in god. It answers whether or not we can know there is a god.
Atheist just means that we see no evidence that supports the existence of a god."
This is an atheist site. I’m tired of agnostic apologists.
God is an object of faith. No more, no less.
Do you have faith in the existence of god?
Then you are an atheist.
“Knowing” or “not knowing” is totally irrelevant to faith.
But you do know whether or not you have faith in the existence of god.
If you know you don’t have faith in the existence of god, then you are an atheist.
Go argue the myth of agnosticism in a different forum.