So, NPR has this bit today: What if Atheists Were Defined by Their Actions?
The short answer? There are such individuals. Some of us are called Humanists. Read more. (Coincidentally, Patheos has an article about atheism and values.) To paraphrase Turk from Scrubs, we do what we do when we do what we do:
(And on a related note, what I am is what I am, are you what you are, or what?)
We don’t simply define ourselves by the single issue of belief vel non in a deity. We define ourselves as seeking to do good without a god–or better, I think, without respect to the question of a god, because it’s just not an interesting issue for some of us. And the author of that NPR piece, speculating about what ifs, missed the chance to help address the very problem she brought up.
So here’s my small effort to fix that.
I am not saying that all atheists are Humanists, or vice versa. Many Objectivists are atheists, and Objectivism is largely incompatible with Humanism. But the post’s author seems to bemoan that labels are necessary without looking to see what labels and affiliations are out there.
If we’re realistic about the world we live in, we acknowledge the necessity of labels. It’s a shame the NPR piece didn’t take a harder look at the issue.