Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Non-believer in first person singular

Someone said, "Even an atheist must believe in something." I am not sure about that – or let us say, I am not ready to believe that. But the term "atheism" is much too vague and generic. There are fundamentalists who consider themselves "free thinkers", advertising their own world view as a key to freedom, and I find such fundamentalism just as alien to myself as religious fundamentalism. I would characterize myself as a phenomenologist – even though I do not think I am professionally qualified to call myself that, having read only some Husserl and never visited the Archives, etc. – and I do not differentiate between being a phenomenologist and being a person. I am not obliged to have faith. I do not deny faith to myself, either: faith can be an "object of study" and I can reflect on the possibility of faith as a genuine possibility of my own (genuine, eigentlich, something of my own). Calling myself a "religious atheist" amounts to having a serious interest in questions of faith and religion but lacking faith myself.

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