I’m not an artist. All my attempts to draw or sculpture something – were at best amusing in the eyes of knowledgeable persons. I’m not good at cooking – it is not recommended to rely on my culinary creations for a family dinner. I’m also not a great expert in ancient Chinese culture.
There are many artists who are better than me, and indeed they rightfully acquire the title “artist”. Those who mix all kinds of food better than I do – carry the flashy titles “chef” or “cook”. Experts in ancient Chinese culture are often called (surprise, surprise) “expert in ancient Chinese culture”, and so on and so forth – people are often referred to by what they are, or what they know.
Many people are also called by their beliefs. Those who believe that Jesus walked on water are often named “Christians”. The believers in the story of Mohammad riding a horse to the sky are typically called “Muslims”. The ones who advocate equal rights and people’s control over the government – are frequently “democrats”.
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It would be true to say that I am “not an artist” or “not a Christian”. However, in order to describe my dominant features reliably, it’s hard to imagine someone using the title “not an artist”. I’ve also never presented myself as “not an expert in ancient Chinese culture”, and some eyebrows would have been raised, had I done so.
Considering the wealth of fictional characters that have never left the boundaries of the text, no one has ever called me “a non-believer in Pinocchio” or “a-pinocchioist”, for not thinking about the possibility of a real Pinocchio somewhere. It also never occurred to me that I can be described as “agulliverist”, in honor of Jonathan Swift. I’ve also never been named “avampireist”, though the inexistence of Dracula and friends in the real world is clear as crystal to me, come on.
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And, lo and behold, quite a few of the people I know insist on calling me an “atheist”. Not just me, but they call that way many other members of The Mankind, for not believing that the ancient literary figure of ‘God’ exists outside the story… WTF?
I also don’t believe in the existence of Zeus outside the story. Now I know what I am. I’m an azeusist.