A continuing problem of labels
After all this time, I keep coming back to the question of how to describe myself at the moment. I know who I am and what I believe, but it’s hard to put a name to it that I feel comfortable with.
I am a Christian because that’s both my upbringing and the entire background to where I am.
I’m not a Christian because there’s next to none of it that I still believe in.
I am an agnostic because I haven’t reached a firm conclusion, and suspect the nature of the question means there will always be uncertainty.
I’m not an agnostic because despite that uncertainty, my thoughts all seem to point in one direction.
I am an ignostic because I believe the concept of God needs to be properly defined in order to be meaningful.
I’m not an ignostic because I doubt that my answer would be different for any non-trivial definition of God.
Running through all this, there’s the fear that identifying with a label puts me in a box, and will ultimately result in me conforming to others’ ideas of what an X should think, rather than following my own thoughts wherever they lead me. Depending on your point of view, that might be cowardice or caution. I like to think of it as being individual.
The nearest I’ve come to a label I’m happy with is heathen, which conveys the important details with a dash of self-deprecation without tying me to a whole lot of things I don’t accept. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for now.
Image courtesy of Robert Michie, used with permission