Label: Apatheist

I've decided to continue with a series of explanations of my labels -- eventually hyperlinking all of them to explanations. I identify openly as an atheist, because I don't believe that there's a god or gods operating in any capacity of control over the universe, and because 'atheist' is the most maligned manifestation of nontheism, so calling oneself an atheist is the most out-of-the-closet one can be, if the term applies.

But the most accurate label for me, with regard to my impressions of the supernatural, is 'Apatheism,' defined by Wiktionary as:

  1. (religion) Apathy towards the existence of a god; belief that the question of the existence of a god is unimportant.

I hold this position for several reasons, and I addressed one of them in a recent comic.  Basically, I believe that even if there is a god, such an entity would still have no excuse to think it's got power over us, in a moral sense, and individuals bending to its moral guidance are still responsible for their subsequent immoral decisions.  (The nature of morality is a discussion for another day.  Or the comments, if you prefer.)

I want to be very clear, here, that this does not mean that I am apathetic about the existence of religion, or the actions of human beings in service of their presumed deity.  Quite the opposite, in fact:  what I mean when I say I'm apatheistic is that I don't think religious people have any right to special protection from accountability for their decisions on the basis of faith.  I don't think they're any more moral for following divine instruction or some proxy thereof.  I think that's morally irresponsible -- and, ultimately, cowardly.

I think that the use of religion to auto-generate confidence in one's moral standing and hide from  ambiguity is a morally cowardly position, and I think that's something for which religious people can be held accountable, close to universally.

In short:  I don't care whether there's a god, people are responsible for their own morality.