Why Do I Do This? (101st BLOG!!!)*

“Suffice it to say, being an atheist is still rather controversial, and in many cases, deeply misunderstood. Often we come out the other side of the ideological grinder looking a lot more like the featured photo than who we actually are.”

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I Am Not a Monster

My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? Or a bird how it flies? No, siree, you don’t. They do it because they were born to do it.  – (Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory)

For almost a year now, I’ve blogged about being an atheist. An interesting experience, to say the least. Some of my favorite titles include “biased sophist who spews fatuous nonsense” and “Christ hater”. I will definitely be putting those on my resumé.

I’ve received more pushback writing about atheism than on writing about any other thing. Sometimes it will come directly on my Facebook in the comments, and sometimes on the blog.

That’s to be expected. I’m not writing about fluffy dogs.

I still remember the epic conversation surrounding pretty much my first public outing, and it was, ahem, glorious.

Education and Faith - Ted Kirkby

Or I remember being informed that a friend of a friend of my mother’s found something on my site unpalatable (it was never said what).

Being accused of being on a warpath, being a hateful person, or of being just a shill for Big Atheism, or being told that I was inferior because I didn’t have a degree have all happened this year…

I could be ideologically mistake, misled, whatever, but I am a quote-unquote expert on the Bible, and this conversation is like you were talking to an astrophysicist about string theory, or a mathematician about non-standard calculus. – (Actual comment from actual person on my FB)

Some people that would rather not end up in the thick of things, will privately message me, saying that they enjoy my perspective, or that I’m a total fartbag (no, they’re usually nice.)

Suffice it to say, being an atheist is still rather controversial, and in many cases, deeply misunderstood. Often we come out the other side of the ideological grinder looking a lot more like the featured photo than who we actually are.

But the question still remains.

Why Do I Do This?

I could write in some phony answer about being noble or bringing justice to the world, but that would be a lie. To tell you the truth, I don’t even write this blog because I’m an atheist.

I write because I’m a writer.

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And eventually, I would write about anything and everything under the sun. Writing is one of the singular most effective uses of my talent, and it’s important to know that kind of thing. If you’re a hand, be a hand. Be the best hand. If you’re a gallbladder…reevaluate your life…but then be the BEST gallbladder! (the only one).

And eventually, I want to expand this blog to talking about even more things. Politics, race, gender dynamics, dogs, anything, really. Because writing is what I’m supposed to be doing.

And if there’s any morsel of justice to be brought from this blog, it’s this: I am here to give you a perspective of the outside.

– To call to the minds of devout believers ways in which they may have failed their fellow humans.
– To point out ways in which your god not only does not make sense, but ways in which he clearly does not make you better, as you say he should, or make things better, as you say he does.
– To call you to task for supporting torture, for defending police brutality, for profiting from the sick, for preying on the dying, for lying to advance your faith, for persecuting people based on their sexual orientation, for rejecting science because it does not conform to your reality.

This blog is for believers to be able to see what those on the outside see, instead of the roses picked from the thicket of their pews, and to invite them to a perspective not of fear and hate, but of actual justice. We can make it together.

In summary, I do this to share my world. And I do hope you’ll spend some time with me in it, because I’m not evil, and I’m not a monster. I’m just an atheist.

Thank you so much for everything so far.

Signed,

Timothy “The Danger” Hucks

Twitter: https://goo.gl/MtDBa8

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Youtube: https://goo.gl/h9b5tT

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*You know this shit was serious if I had to use more than one exclamation point. Good day.

5 thoughts on “Why Do I Do This? (101st BLOG!!!)*”

  1. “Because writing is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

    Do you actually believe that you are “supposed” to be doing anything? What determines what you are supposed to do and what makes that a standard worth following. Saying that anyone is “supposed” to do anything is saying that there is a higher power which is determining your destiny. You clearly don’t believe in gods, but do you believe in Nature as this higher power? Do you think that if you are born with a talent, it is your duty to use that talent? And why would such a thing be your duty? Sometimes what we have talents in is not what we are interested in. In such cases, are you “supposed” to develop your talents or are you “supposed” to follow what you are interested in? The impression I get is that you are using destiny language without considering its implications, probably because such language is common in a culture overflowing with religion.

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  2. “Saying that anyone is “supposed” to do anything is saying that there is a higher power which is determining your destiny.”

    That seems to be a misstep in logic to me.

    – I never said “anyone”. This was an explicit statement about myself and the meaning or purpose that I draw from my own life.

    – Thinking that the best and most efficient use of my time would be using my particular talents to their fullest extent does not require believing in a higher deity, or anything like that. So no, I don’t believe Nature is a higher power telling me to write.

    – Also you seem to be playing with the concept of “meaning”, and turning it instead into “ultimate meaning” (which is precisely what I do not mean), rather than “the meaning I ascribe to my life”, another misstep, I think.

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    1. I actually didn’t make a misstep in logic. The standard meaning for “supposed to” implies a third party. The website http://www.5minuteenglish.com/jul14.htm gives a succinct definition: “To be supposed to [do something] means an obligation. It is something that you should do, or something that another person expects you to do.” Essentially, you are telling me that you are obligating yourself to write (you are giving yourself the “meaning” of writing). It is true that you can expect yourself to do something and have obligations to yourself, but this is not the normative usage of the phrase “supposed to.” I agree that me phrasing this third party to which you are obligated as a “higher power” was inappropriate; I was trying to evoke the idea of a third party which was determining expectations for your life (gods, nature, society, family, friends, etc.) and whose expectations you are obeying (therefore one you consider “higher” than yourself).

      In response to your three points:

      1) Yes, you didn’t say “anyone” in your blog post. I realize your post was meant as a personal statement of the reasons why you write. However, since I was discussing the phrase “supposed to” and the connotations it holds, speaking about people in a general sense is much more appropriate than speaking about you.

      2) I recognize that in your life philosophy, you value spending your time in the best or most efficient way. And you most likely came to this philosophy by thinking things through on your own. So it is accurate that you are not following any inherent expectations of nature or even society, but are creating your own expectations for your life. In fact, I had hoped this was the case all along. My point in my comment was that you were using language which implies a third party which is obligating you to do something (perhaps unaware that there even was such an implication), when this does not actually correspond to your views (which are that you are creating the expectations for your life yourself).

      3) Finally, I was not trying to say that you actually believed there was a higher power. From what I could tell, you do not, but I did not want to make any assumptions, so I left that possibility open. You’ll notice that my conclusion to my previous comment is that I believed that you were using common language without having considered its full implications. Perhaps in your circles, “supposed to” does not imply any third party, but in standard English it does. When you are publishing for a general audience, if you are going to deviate from the standard usage, you as the writer are expected to redefine any terms you are using in an abnormal way so there’s no miscommunication. My role as reader does not include reading your mind.

      In summary, I concede that I misused the phrase “higher power” and I think that you should likewise concede that you misused the phrase “supposed to.”

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    2. It is strange for you to complain about me talking in a general sense about “anyone being supposed to do something” instead of keeping my discussion with you explicitly as the subject. In your post, you say “If you are a hand, be a hand. Be the best hand.” Since you are talking about general concepts (of a philosophy which you personally subscribe to), it flows better to talk in a general sense. It would have been more awkward if you had phrased it as “Since I am a hand, I will be a hand. I will be the best hand.” Likewise, when I am discussing a general philosophical concept, I find it flows better to talk about people in general than try to force the sentence to talk about you personally (even though the overall discussion is about you).

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