Free Inquiry invited its readers to submit autobiographical essays describing ‘the life-stance odysseys that had led them to their present positions of secular humanism or atheism’. An earlier and well-known exponent of this type of writing was Bertrand Russell’s essay Why I am not a Christian.
The editors received forty-two essays, with titles ranging from Why I am not a member of anything, Why I am not a Catholic, Why I am not a Muslim, Why I am not an observant Jew, Why I am not a supernaturalist to veteran freethinker Barbara Smoker’s Why I am not an agnostic.
Barbara says she is aware that strictly speaking, as she does not claim to ‘know’ that there is no god, agnostic is her correct designation, together with ‘atheist’ (non-belief in the existence of god). However, as most people take agnostic to mean ‘I don’t know what I believe’ and Barbara certainly does know what she believes and disbelieves, she eschews the term agnostic.
This book is to be placed in the Humanist Library and Archives at Conway Hall.