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Re­gard­ing “Why athe­ists are not as ra­tio­nal as some like to think” (Be­lief, Oct. 7): My per­cep­tion is that the word “be­lief” is of­ten a trap for athe­ists. The def­i­ni­tion of athe­ism is lack of be­lief in god(s), with­out men­tion of an al­ter­na­tive be­lief re­quire­ment. Re­li­gious peo­ple seem to be­lieve that a god fills a space in a hu­man be­ing; whereas, athe­ists view god as an ap­pendage, an un­nec­es­sary ad­di­tion to a hu­man be­ing. Athe­ists, in my opin­ion, find it inessen­tial, even coun­ter­pro­duc­tive, to ro­man­ti­cize or seek vi­car­i­ous power over the mys­ter­ies of life.

Be­ing an athe­ist needn’t mean be­ing against re­li­gion, it can sim­ply be a “no thank you” but to each his/her own. Car­olyn King Moore, The Wood­lands

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