Atheist is not a good label. Agnostic isn't much better. Both are like a label that says “No GMO ingredients” without celebrating the flavor or provenance of the product.

Skeptic might be more accurate and useful if you are looking for a term that means "I don't believe you unless you prove you are trustworthy."

Far too much of our language and culture is molded by religion to even have a clean 'install' of skeptical thought.

It's like trying to upgrade Windows on a computer and keeping all of the stuff made with previous versions.

You're young. Your upgrades will be easier the sooner you install them.

Your parents will be stuck with DOS (Dogma Operating System) forever.

I start with these things:

"What is life?"

"What is good?"

"What is Evil?"

"What is a human?"

Last first:

A human is a primate that develops a model of the universe inside its brain, and upon physical maturity, moves a model of its self inside that model, avoiding reality at all costs." (Parable version: "We get the wolf we feed.")

Evil: an action taken based on an unquestioned belief.

Good: (re: Life) A thing that contributes more usefulness to its future environment than it consumes in resources.

Life: (re: Schroedinger) moving molecules that build useful structure from chaos and decay: Life is the anti-entropy. Evolution favors life that fits the future of its offspring and their place (probability-wise, but...randomness).

Most of the things that cause confusion in our cultures are useless to the future of our place and our offspring. "Meaning", "Hope", "Happiness", etc are mostly marketing tools to coerce people to act in the interests of people who are selling them; rarely do they help the interests of you and your place.

In the Here and Now reality of living, Frank Sinatra said it best:

"Do, Be, Do, Be, Do."

Anyone telling you otherwise is selling something.

Addendum:

I started this as a shorter comment, but a friend wrote something in an email that coalesced with your questions. Basically, his thoughts were on how people seek reassurance and happiness from God, Science, SETI or going to Mars or any other imaginary possibility to calm their fears of death and nothingness.

My thought is that we can never be satisfied with the imaginary, and the marketers of the imaginary know this. In the here and now reality of living, the only satisfaction we can have is what we derive from the food, tool or skills we have at hand. Nothing else will be ‘real’, and for far too many people, there is no difference between one image of something and another image of something. To them, there is no reason to question belief: only to reinforce it with more images or beliefs. This imagined satisfaction of security leads to death cults who only find satisfaction beyond real life.

Reader. Fixer. Maker.

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