No, I’m not.
Since I am a philosopher, many people assume I must be an atheist who hates religion. This is not the case. Like most people who fancy themselves intellectuals, I did go through an anti-religion phase. In part, I found the arguments against religion compelling. In part, I was angry at the way people who claimed to be religious behaved. In part, I thought that being an atheist was a sign of being intellectually tough. And, of course, I enjoyed that smug feeling that I was better than the fools who believed.
As I grew older and wiser, I stopped being anti-religious. One reason is that I achieved a better understanding of the arguments for and against religion as well as deeper understanding of ethics and metaphysics. From a rational standpoint, it is difficult to dismiss God with a haughty “bah” after reading and grasping arguments put forth by thinkers such as Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Locke and others. It might be the case that there is no God, but the case against God is far from being a certain one and there are powerful arguments for His existence. Another reason is that I achieved a greater degree of personal and intellectual maturity. Believing something to seem “tough” or because it made me feel superior now strikes me as foolishness. I am still angry at the way some allegedly religious people behave. But I can now distinguish between a belief and those who claim to hold that belief. I do oppose those who use religion to justify their evil, their hatred and their prejudices. But I oppose them because they are evil-not because they claim to be religious.
In all honesty my religious beliefs are not settled. I have never had a definitive religious experience that convinced me of the truths of faith. I cannot believe just because some person in a fancy costume waves a book around and tells me it is true. I cannot believe just because most people do.
Naturally, I do want to believe. I would prefer a meaningful reality in which the wicked are brought to task, the good are duly rewarded and an afterlife awaits us all. I want that very much. But, I know that what I want and what is true are two distinct matters.
At this point, I reject the hateful dogmatism of the extreme atheist and the fanatic theist. But, I do not really know what I believe. Of course, neither do most people. When I speak to people about their faith and their God, they tend to speak empty words and have no real understanding of what they claim to believe. Worse, they often seem completely uninterested in learning anything about their alleged faith. It does strike me as ironic when they smugly judge me for my lack of faith when I am far more interested in what they believe then they are.