"The fastest growing religious status in the United States is no religion" is a statement that is becoming more and more ubiquitous, at least in the many readings of one citizen (me) of The United States. I have read that particular statement in many blogs as well as in articles in various issues of respectable print media.
As I have stated previously on this website: "I am not an atheist." But neither am I a proponent of organized religion. If I had to classify myself regarding religion I would say that I am irreligious -- irreligion being the absence of religion.
Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, from the original Greek meaning “without gods."
But, in the majority of minds an atheist is one who thinks not only that there are no gods but that 'god' or 'gods' absolutely do not exist. This conception (or misconception) separates me from atheism; while I do not believe in the existence of a personal god who is responsible for the creation of mankind, who is concerned with the welfare and behavior of human beings, and who relegates the dispensing of divine knowledge to preachers, priests, and assorted Sikhs and seers... While I do not believe in any conventional god, I do not deny the possibility of the existence of beings or entities within the cosmos in forms (or even formlessnesses) undetectable to human senses who possess powers and abilities that would appear miraculously God-like to we biological beings.
So: an atheist, especially the new-atheist, knows there are no gods. I, on the other hand, doubt there is a god, but I do not know that there isn't.
Here's a thought. What if the vast expanse we humans perceive as the universe is, in its totality... the actual essence of God?
Am I, perhaps, a humanist?
Humanism . . . what is it?
According to Wikipedia -- Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In other words it is an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.
A simple definition I read somewhere is: "Humanism is about being a good person for the sake of being a good person."
Am I a humanist?
I don't think so. After all, I do not even know what a 'good' person is.
Being a humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.