The technical definitions of each puts one in a quandry when determining the appropriate label for one's spirituality (or lack of). Though I do not believe in a supreme being or the intelligent design of the universe, I cannot state with certainty that there is neither.
From the Christian side of things as I was raised, more specifically under the doctrine known as primitive baptist, I was taught that to state with certainty, or KNOW you are saved is to put words into God's mouth, and thus blasphemous.
During my teens, most of my influences, largely from my peers, were those from the Southern Baptist teachings, which includes that epiphanic moment that Jesus enters your soul, albeit with much pleading and encouragement. I took the advice of my friends' ministers and locked myself into dark, quiet places to commence with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I was told that I would know when Jesus entered my soul. I had the epiphany, and at once KNEW everything about God and Jesus and all those things.
Through the following couple of spiritually tumultuous years, I must say that the primitive baptist doctrine won out, because I could not allow myself to "KNOW" Jesus. To do so was blasphemy.
During college, I again found myself surrounded by Southern Baptists, with a peppering of various other denominations amongst my peers, and much spiritual confusion. I was continuously disappointed in the hypocrisy exhibited by these Baptists and had embarked on a journey to find the correct denomination that was truest to what I believed was God's word. It took a few more years still before I realized that my faith, my doctrine, my set of principles that reflect God's truest meanings were MINE.
Immediately my pursuit of the perfect religion ended. My energies shifted to understanding the psychological aspects of religion, and it was during this examination that I recognized in myself that it doesn't matter. Upon acceptance of this irrelevance, my life was filled with a peacefulness that both overwhelmed and outlasted the Jesus epiphany years before.
Thus began a journey to affirm this lack of spiritual motivation. Once I felt at peace with my reasoning, the hunger to know the meaning of life and everything about it was satisfied. Once you accept the TRUTH that man cannot, and will not, know everything there is to know in all the universe, you set yourself free from the stifling dogma of religious doctrine and begin exploring those things more important to you than the pursuit of a "truth" you in your current state of being can never know.
I do take comfort in thinking that we are connected to each other and to every other thing that exists, by some undefinable field or pool or thread of mysterious energy that is finite but eternal. Or maybe not eternal, and maybe not finite, who is to say. If there is some sort of intelligent design that manipulates us all through this thread of energy, fine. A quick glance at the state of the world today would make you come to the conclusion that whatever intelligence exists behind the design is pretty freakin' stupid. So we have this universe with a pool of energy from which all life springs and retreats back into. And?
The possibilities are as infinite as the mind, and since we're humanly incapable of using more than 10-12% of our brain capacity, we're nowhere near knowing what is true and what isn't. I tend to think humanity's inherent bent toward self-destruction would preclude any successful expansion of our mental capacity to reach the end of knowledge without first going insane.
I won't take any more of your time on theories because we'll just never know for sure, will we? But, if the light simply just goes out when we die, well that's ok too.
So, atheist? I'm not "denying" the existence of a god because I can't prove there isn't. I don't "believe" there is a god, as stated already. But as with all things, it's my belief to hold and embrace as I see fit. To state that you KNOW there is no god is as arrogant as those who state with equal certainty that there is.
Agnostic? Welllllll, when you say you're agnostic, people always jump at the chance to convince you of the real truth as they see it, so "agnostic" leaves you open to all sorts of attacks on your intellect by some pretty zealous weirdos. But according to the dictionary, [One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.] that's pretty much where I fit.
What, are you crazy? Open myself up to a terrorist attack by either
Christian or Islamic radical fundamentalists, or both?? LOL, well the
definition [One who has no religious beliefs] fits rather snugly also,
despite its negative implications. But let's not confuse religious with spiritual, and we'll get along just fine.
Question: If you don't believe in God, where do you get your morals? Answer: empathy.
If you don't believe in God, will you commit all sorts of heinous
crimes? Answer: Actually, no, first because of the answer above. Check
out these stats on the religious makeup of inmates in the US Federal Penitentiary system. You might be surprised at what you see.