The Buddhist atheist
In my country itself, atheist or agnostic is a taboo things. If you are an atheist or agnostic you will be looked negatively, so it will be impossible to declare you are an atheist or agnostic in my country.
Anyway, I’m a Buddhist… It mean that I have a person that I adore and believe in, but the things are, I don’t believe in a supernatural thing nor in a god or other deities. Many Buddhist thought that Buddha itself has a supernatural power such as looking in the future, or anything (at least it was the lessons that I learned in school), but I don’t see in that way. In my country more than 90 % of people believe in God, so even in the Buddhism itself (in my country of course), it adopted God as the creator of the universe (even it is not what the real Buddhism taught). So the conclusion is, Buddhism in my country taught a lot of supernatural things and god or other deities, but myself, I don’t believe with such those things (the only I believed was there was Buddha but without the supernatural things). So, I don’t see myself clear, either I am an atheist, or agnostic, or a religious person? I want your answer from your point of view…
I’m very sorry to hear that it’s difficult to be an atheist where you live. That is truly a sorry state of affairs and you have my sympathy.
To answer your question: if you don’t believe that any deities exist, then I’d say you’re an atheist. Believing that Buddha existed isn’t a religious belief, particularly since you do not believe he did anything supernatural.
On more than one occasion I’ve spoke with or received e-mail from Buddhists who were atheists. Some were just culturally Buddhist, some believed in non-supernatural aspects of Buddhist philosophy (not tying one’s self to material things, etc.), and one believed in reincarnation but thought it was a purely natural process. I’d say that all of these people can correctly refer to themselves as Buddhist atheists.