More and more, the Ivory Madonna is describing herself as a "non-theist." She prefers this term to "atheist," and here's why.
Ask an atheist if god (or gods) exist, and the atheist will treat the question as one worthy of serious consideration. The answer is "no," but the question is entertained.
Ask a non-theist the same question, and the non-theist won't even admit that the question is worthy of consideration.
Perhaps an analogy will help.
Let's consider Frodo Baggins, hero of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. This plucky little Hobbit bore the One Ring all the way to Mordor and into the fires of Mount Doom, thereby saving the world. Afterward, he went into the West, to live happily ever after with the Elves and Valar.
Imagine running into someone who calls himself a Frodoist. This person is convinced that Frodo exists. Ask him, "Does Frodo exist?" and his answer will be an enthusiastic "yes!"
A Frodo-agnostic is not sure if Frodo exists or not. Asked "Does Frodo exist?" the Frodo-Agnostic answers, "I'm not sure."
An a-Frodoist is sure Frodo doesn't exist. Asked "Does Frodo exist?" the a-Frodoist answers, "No, I'm certain that Frodo does not exist."
A non-Frodoist (which describes just about all of us), when asked "Does Frodo exist?" answers, "What an idiotic question! It's a great story, but if you have to ask whether Frodo actually exists, you are either (a) a very small child, or (b) out of your flipping mind."
The Ivory Madonna trusts that you get the point.
No one is a Frodoist, Frodo-agnostic, or a-Frodist. We are all non-Frodoists. (The Ivory Madonna leaves out a very few True believers.) Similarly, we are all non-Rhett-Butlerists, non-Bugs-Bunnyists, and non-Zhivagoists.
In the same way, the Ivory Madonna is a non-theist.
Like The Lord of the Rings, the whole God/Bible/Jehovah/Jesus thing is a story. Also true of the Koran, the Greek and Norse myths, Hindu mythology, etc. One can enjoy, appreciate, and critique all or parts of these tales as literature.
But when it comes to the point of seriously asking whether god (or gods) are real...well, you have the mentality of either (a) a very small child or (b) a flipping idiot.
The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
Moved to new site - With the (temporary?) end of the Legion, this seemed a good time to move to my own Legion site. Over there you'll find a post on what I would do with the L...
4 years ago