The above link has been a popular blog post that CNN published recently regarding a new study that identified different atheists. It invites some of us to try to identify with a particular type of atheism.
It looks to me like the beginning of the development of various “non-religious” denominations.
In the “religious” or Christian world, there are those who identify themselves as Catholic, Pentecostal, or Episcopal. There are also those who prefer to be called Baptists, Lutherans, or Methodists. There is also the Church of God, The Church of Christ, the Assemblies of God, and the Church of the Nazarene. Furthermore, there are others who attend the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Unitarian Church, the Orthodox Church, and the Scientology Church.
There are people who are labeled as conservatives, moderates, liberals, creationists, evangelicals, and missionaries. There are those who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, and those who believe in the symbolism of the scriptures. There are those who believe in the story of creation, and those who believe in evolution. There are those who believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Sacraments, Baptism in water, praying to saints, and the intervention of angels and saints. There are those who believe in the Rapture, others in the second coming of Christ, and others believe in the Resurrection of our bodies in the latter days.
Not to mention Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jewish, the Baha’i faith, Wicca, and many other organized religious affiliation. The list goes on and on of the different kinds of churches and belief systems.
How much more division and labeling are we going to embrace? How much contrasting are we going to endure?
According to CNN’s article, there are six main types of Atheists (is it a coincidence that they came up with the number 6?). There is the “Intellectual”, the Activist, the Seeker/Agnostic (which does not sound like an Atheist since it implies seeking something transcendent with an open mind), the Anti-theist, the Non-theist, and the Ritual Atheist. What will they come up with next?
This is why I don’t necessarily like the idea of using labels to identify myself. It tends to separate us from each other and from ourselves. I have written that I call myself a Reflective Christian. This does not imply any particular religious denomination or philosophy. I am just a person who seeks and strongly believes in serving the poor, like Jesus, Ghandi, and Buddha taught. Period. If this description is not enough to fit the popular method of labeling and categorizing, too bad.
Do you identify yourself with a particular religious group? Or are you more like one of the six kinds of Atheists? Are you an “ABC” (Atheist, Believer, or Confused)?
I would like to hear about your opinion on this matter.
Thanks for reading.