By Jeffrey the Barak.
Anti-Theists don’t just look away from religion and beliefs, they stand up and speak out about how such beliefs are false and wrong. They feel strongly enough about it to be impolite or confrontational, not out of hatred or intolerance, but out of the desire for truth and logic to supersede a belief in imaginary things. They have ultimate respect for knowledge, intelligence, science, and proof beyond reasonable doubt. Anti-Theists speak out about bad behaviour conducted in the name of, or in the pursuit of, religion. Examples of such behaviour include genital mutilation, suppression of females or gay people, or child abuse, both physical and psychological. Anti-Theists are not afraid to express that there is no evidence for God, or no historical evidence for Jesus etc. They can be mistakenly be regarded as Militant Atheists, but really they are just trying to be honest and promote reality.
Atheists do not go as far as Anti-Theists. The stronger Positive Atheists say any deity does not exist. The less strong Negative Atheists say they lack belief in a deity. If their passion for their position increases, they can become Anti-Theists.
Humanists might behave similarly to those who believe in God, without believing in God. They may even congregate for the purpose of conducting similar charitable activities as those who belong to churches etc. They focus on ethics and do not rule out some forms of spirituality.
Strong Agnostics say we can never know if there is or is not a God. Weak Agnostics say we do not currently know, but might find out in the future. Former believers who still have a degree of fear imprinted upon them, assume the agnostic position, just in case they find themselves outside the pearly gates after they are dead.
The Secularist has a mission to keep Church and State separate. They are exemplified by organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who strive to make sure that American public institutions such as Schools, Courts, City Halls, etc., do not erect religious statues or plaques, and do not, for example, conduct prayer on sports fields on public property, or in the legal process. Secularism fails when religion and government meld together such as, for example, in Iran or Pakistan. Conservative American politicians are often the bane of, and the target of Secularists because they strive to Christianize public institutions.
Free-Thinkers can end up being indistinguishable from Anti-Theists, but it is a process in which they carefully consider all possibilities on the road to rejecting those without evidence or credibility.
Skeptics set out to disprove, not only religion and the God theory, but all kinds of pseudoscience. They can make fun of, or attack, religion, astrology, alternative medicine, eastern philosophies and more. They make excellent comedians, and in that way they can help believers take their first look at alternatives to believing.
Pantheists do not exactly reject the God Theory, but they tend to see the universe as a spiritual concept and therefore regard many things in the same way as believers do. They see a spirituality in all aspects of science also, and do not worry too much about letting their feelings override any healthy skepticism. While many Pantheists will tell you they don’t believe in God, they often behave as if they believe in something similar, or use religious-style descriptors when marvelling at science or nature.
The Irreligious Individual
The Irreligious may just simply not believe, without thinking about it enough to know where they fall in this list. They may simply have no interest in whether they are Atheists, Agnostics, Free-Thinkers etc., or their irreligious realization may be the first step toward another classification above.
The Monotheist, or Believer
Most believers inherit their beliefs from their family and have them reinforced by childhood religion. A few have acquired belief later, for example in the military, or in prison, or post-addiction. Some convert from one religion to another. Most believe to some degree out of fear, and rightly so, as in many places, doubting what you are supposed to believe in your society can get you murdered. Many say they know they are right because they felt God or communicated with God, or they feel some kind of ecstatic rapture when they pray. Most have no interest in daring to stand up and really question whether it is all true or false. Also, since they are usually surrounded by peers, such as other Christians, or other Moslems, or other Jews etc., it just seems right that they should not question their beliefs, and simply stick with it. It is a brilliant self-sustaining system that still holds firm power and control over most people in the world.
Belief in one God, or Monotheism can only be found as far back as 1000 BCE, which makes it possibly only 3,000 years old. Judaism, and the more recent Christianity and Islam are variations of the same Monotheistic philosophy, more similar to each other than they are different. Bear in mind that Homo-Sapiens emerged 315,000 years ago, and the Earth is about 4.5 Billion years old, and the universe is currently estimated at 14 Billion years old, and we can put the age of religion into perspective.