I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.
What a lovely quote from Isaac Asimov. It speaks to an atheism that springs from honesty. I grew up among people of faith, and one of the things they value most is sincerity: empty religion is no religion at all, and even has the smell of the devil about it. So sometimes atheism is an odd form of respect. How disrespectful would it be if I went to your church, lied to you, ate your donuts, participated in your most hallowed sacraments, tried to change your mind about scientific, doctrinal, and political issues in sneaky, underhanded ways (rather than frank and transparent ways), and fluttered my best goody-goody eyelashes at you, all whilst snickering behind my hand like the nonbeliever I ultimately am?
The insightful Asimov notes that what we call God is improbable rather than impossible. However, it is downright fatuous to call oneself a “seeker” when the only thing one is seeking is a way around the word atheism.
In conclusion, I need to read more classic sci-fi.