In my previous post, I reviewed the book Divinity of Doubt by Vincent Bugliosi who made his case for agnosticism by giving arguments for and against those who are certain about the existence or non-existence of god.
Although he made some good points, I found most of his book to be based on his own opinions which he calls "common sense" and that Bugliosi expressed many opinions about things he admitted he knows little about.
In other words, he is doing what he accuses both theists and atheists of doing, making arguments without irrefutable or convincing evidence.
But perhaps that is the point. Much of what everyone believes is opinion and therefore he may be correct in that agnosticism is the only way to be honest with oneself.
Bugliosi had me thinking about the labels I have given myself. I usually call myself an atheist, but also refer to myself as an agnostic, skeptic, humanist, and/or freethinker.
I do not believe in any of the gods, past or present, that I know about. There have been thousands of gods worshipped around the world throughout history. I don't know all of them, so I admit there may be one or more that would be credible to me.
I have rejected (as has almost everyone else) Isis, Thor, Zeus, Juno and other such gods. We consider these god stories to be myths and I have never found a god story that I believe any more than the stories I know about the gods of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome or Scandinavia.
Because I was brought up in a Christian home and surrounded by (mostly) Christians everywhere I have lived, I know the most about the god that Judeo/Christians worship. I do not and cannot believe in that god. Among other attributes, that god is supposed to be all-knowing, all-good, and all-powerful. I cannot justify an all-good and all-powerful god who allows thousands of people to suffer and/or die from diseases, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and droughts and even kills 2,476,633 himself (according to Steve Wells who counted each person killed by god in the Old Testament) ---for he is neither good nor powerful if he either will not or cannot stop such suffering from happening. (Epicurus, 341-270 BCE, pointed this out over 2000 years ago and Bugliosi discusses the argument in his book, as well.)
I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus because I cannot suspend belief in the laws of nature to believe that a star led wise men to his birthplace, that his mother was a virgin, that he walked on water, fed a multitude with only a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, made the blind see, rose from the dead or raised others from the dead, or turned water into wine.
That does not preclude the existence of another god somewhere, but certainly not the one I was taught I should worship.
In conclusion, I am an atheist because I don't believe in any god as s/he has been presented to me by any major or minor religion.
I could become a deist if I were presented with irrefutable evidence that god exists.
However, I doubt that I would ever join any organized religion for, in my studies of religious history, I have learned that nearly all organized religions, despite their claims that their particular religion teaches good morals, will do just about anything to keep their religions going, whether it be distorting the teachings of their founders, torturing or killing adherents of other religious beliefs, hiding sexual abuse, demanding members tithe or pay indulgences, demonizing non-believers, shunning or excommunicating those who have left their congregations, isolating their followers from other belief systems, trying to keep or grab political power, making outrageous claims of miraculous healings, keeping their followers dependent and/or ignorant, brainwashing children, blaming others' "sins" for the ills of the world (are you paying attention Pat Robertson?) or instilling fear and guilt in followers ---to list only a few.
I am an agnostic in that I don't know with absolute certainty if a god does or even could exist; however, I lean very strongly toward the opinion that s/he does not nor could not.