“…And when we die, we will die with our arms unbound. This is why, this is why we fight.” – This is Why We fight, The Decemberists
Sometime in October a few years ago, I found myself walking behind Burman, one of the men’s dorms on the campus of my university. I can’t remember the impetus for that particular walk, but in the years since, I’ve come to quite enjoy walking, even for no reason at all. Usually, while walking, I can find out some truth about the world and our place in it, or like Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes puts it:
If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently.
I can remember considering the moonlight creeping through the trees and over the blankets of snow, illuminating a hill that I’d seen used many times for ill-fated tobogganing on cafeteria trays. I realized that night that I was an atheist. I didn’t believe in God.
No way to define atheism really fits well for me. It would be weird to call it a choice. Choice implies something that you willingly and actively do, like scour the internet for pictures of Mila Kunis or raid the fridge for the turkey sandwich you know your roommate is going to miss. In many important ways, I don’t decide to be an atheist.
I don’t believe for the same reason that any person who doesn’t believe something doesn’t believe it. I haven’t yet been given sufficient evidence to allay my doubts. – Tim Minchin
Suffice it to say, as pleased as I am about his transparency, I don’t necessarily dig the phrasing of pastor Ryan Bell’s attempt to “try” atheism. You don’t try to believe or disbelieve things – they just make sense to you or they don’t.
But in other equally important ways, I do choose to be an atheist, so it’s weird to call it just something that happens to you. I think the freedom from dogma that would cause me to denigrate others, or justify the acts of a clearly unjust God, or be someone’s hype-man just because he turned water to wine enriches my life. It’s lovely to think that I’m actually responsible for my actions, good and bad, that the bad things I do are completely my responsibility, and that I don’t do good because my god tells me to, but because good is good.
These aren’t reasons for ditching your faith, but they are side effects that might come along with it. And I’m pretty down with the side effects.
And because this is my last post of the year, I wanted to tell you that this your formal invitation to spend some time with me. Starting next Wednesday, I will be starting up a new blog called Now That We’re Here (but it’s still going to be located here). The title represents my personal belief that we have very few moments to spare in this life, and that it’s amazing that we’re here rather than not. And now that we’re here, we might as well love others, apologize when we’re wrong, and make great things. I hope that with this blog, we can get to all three along the way.
I’ll take this opportunity to apologize to anyone that I may have lied to in the process of this change. Rethinking your entire worldview takes some work, and accepting new and improved versions of yourself may not be easy, but lying is not the way to have authentic relationships. My degrees of avoidance of this topic were varied, and so I apologize for all the shades by which I may have lied to you.
In this blog, we will traverse the galaxies of atheism, humanism, and religion, from talking about endless refutations and arguments and counter-arguments of the Christian God Yahweh (I don’t know enough to just dismiss Zeus, man), to recent news in atheism, to bits of the Bible that don’t make sense (spoiler alert: the whole thing) and anything else that is of interest to me. I hope to provide you with awesome content that you enjoy, and that I enjoy making.
So I’ll end by saying that I’m so thankful to each and every one of my readers because you guys make writing even more fun than it already is. 2014’s been one hell of a ride, and it’s (probably) only the beginning.
If you guys would like to know more about Patreon, a great service for supporting your favorite content creator (which is totally, unequivocally, objectively, and always ME…ish), then you should click on this link: (http://www.patreon.com). Just look around the website to get a feel for it, and see what they’re all about. My page will be live by my next post, and it gives you all kinds of cool privileges and rewards for patrons only, including mock news stories, contests I might hold, poems, stories, clips of my other writing work not available to others, and songs that I haven’t released in any other form, etc! You’re definitely gonna want to be my patron.
As always, feel free to comment, share, like, and follow this blog!