Tag Archives: atheism

A few links

Ok, so I’ve gone and spelled out the basics of what I believe.  Here are some links that kinda continue that thought.  These are statements written by other atheists that I agree with for the most part, and might provide some more insight to how I think.  These are all generally what I would refer to as ‘New Atheists’.  It’s not that there is any new information or way of thinking that makes them new, rather its that they aren’t afraid to say that religion makes no sense and should be done away with.

Sean Carroll on the incompatability of the world as revealed by science and that proposed by religion.

PZ Myers on how atheism is more than just lack of belief in a god.  He also writes this book review which does a pretty good job of spelling out why us New Atheists reject religion. 

Ricky Gervais, one of my favorite comediens, has this short, humerous tid-bit.

Greta Christina on why atheists might be angry, with a follow-up here.  She also has some more on why religion is harmful, and why we won’t shut up about our atheism.  And one last one from her (I like how she writes) on pointing out that the emperor has no clothes on.

Richard Dawkins, author of the God Delusion, has this nifty little section of his website called the Convert’s Corner.  It’s pages and pages of letters people have written to him about how his books helped them liberate themselves from religion.  Check it out if you have some time.


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This I Believe Part 5, The Finale

EDIT:  Read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 for background.

I believe in reality.  I believe in the things we can touch, taste, hear, smell and see.  I believe in the things we can find out with a micrometer, a microscope, a telescope, a telephone.  I believe that all of human kind, past and present, has been stuck on one tiny little rock orbiting around an average-smallish star, circling a giant spiral barred-galaxy, hurtling through space along with billions of other galaxies.  I believe that this one life we live is all we get, so I want to try to get as much out of it as I can before I have to go to sleep for that last time. 

I love my wife, and I love my family.  And I know they love me back, because they show it.  They call me, they write me, they leave me messages, they hug and kiss me when they see me, and they’re happy to see me when I’ve been away. 

I believe I have a really good life.  And I realize that many others do not have such a good life.  I believe I have a moral obligation to help those people.  Not an obligation imposed from outside, not an obligation I want to fulfill so I get rewarded at some later date, but an obligation for all the help I’ve been given, before and since my birth. 

I believe I am fallible.  I make mistakes.  I am often wrong.  But I try to correct those mistakes or wrong ideas when they are pointed out to me.    I welcome criticism (not something I have always done), seeing it as a chance to improve myself.  I want to talk with people.  I have a hard time breaking the ice, but I crave more give-and-take of ideas.  I want to expose myself to new ideas, and expose other to ideas I’ve had. 

I believe in the truth.  I find honesty in all things to be preferable to happy lies.  And if I find a truth that conflicts with one of my dearly held beliefs, the belief must go, for reality must always prevail.

Thank you for reading, and please help me live up to my ideals.


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This I Believe Part 4

And this is the forth in my series on my beliefs.  Please take a peek at Part 1 about what I’m doing, Part 2 for a bit of background, and Part 3 for the first half of my de-conversion from Christianity.  On with part 4:

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Jehovah’s Witness

So, the morning before I left on my work trip last week, there was a knock on the door.  Well, I didn’t have to leave for the airport for about an hour, so I went and opened the door to find a 40 something lady and her maybe 10-year-old daughter on the porch.  She was clutching a small black book, and some loose paper.  There was no doubt what this was.

My first encounter with a Jehovah’s Witness. 

Now I don’t really know much about these folks.  I obviously know lots about catholics, I know the basics of the bigger mainline protestant groups, I’m familiar with some of the more evangelical fundamentalist groups, I’ve read about the mormons, jews, muslims, but I don’t know a whole lot about the JWs.  They leave little paper flyers on our door every couple of months, and I know there’s a kingdom hall just down the road a bit, but that’s about the extent of it.  I think they might be somewhat related to the seventh day adventists. 

Anyway, she was nice enough.  She gave a short spiel about how this time of year many people start thinking about jesus and such, because most people around here are christians.  Well, I broke in and let her know that I was not of that persuasion, and that I was actually an atheist.  She didn’t freak out or anything, and mentioned that she had come across a few of us in the area.  That was a bit of a surprise to me, but I guess it shouldn’t have been. So she asked me if I was more agnostic, and I said no, that I was convinced there is no such thing as a god, in the sense that that word means anything. 

And we got into a nice little back and forth, where she would ask me what I believed and then she’d put in her little bit of bible goodness.  She mentioned how they don’t follow the old testament so much, with all the stoning and dashing babies against the rocks when I brought it up.  She said they followed what jesus said when he said to love your neighbor as yourself, and to love god.  I said I wholeheartedly agreed with one of those statements. 

She then asked me what I thought of the bible, and the state of human society now as opposed to then.  I don’t think there was any chance either of us would change the other’s mind, but it was in fact a very pleasant conversation.  I enjoyed it, and as she left, she thanked me for having such a friendly conversation with her.  I’m guessing she’s seen a few doors slammed in her face.

It’s sad that someone who is evidently pretty smart buys into such patent nonsense, but of course, I see that around me every day.  Still something like 80% of the population of this country openly professes to be christian in one form or another, with another 5% being muslims, hindus, buddhists or jews.   

It’ll be a long struggle, requiring many different methods, but I believe we are making progress in banishing superstition to the history books. I’ll continue doing what little I can in my own way, and help others when I can.


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This I Believe, Part 3

Ok, so my last post on this subject concerned my upbringing.  This post will cover my de-conversion.  Its funny, my spell check doesn’t recognize de-conversion.  Stupid spell check.  Anyway, click below the fold to start reading.

EDIT:  Read part 1 and part 2 here.

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This I Believe, Part 1

This is the start of what’s going to be a series of posts where I expand on what it is that I belive.  I caused a bit of consternation with some family and friends a few years back when I first came out as an atheist, and I’ve been looking for a way of explaining what I’m thinking.  I think the A-word can be a bit confusing and concerning for some, so I will do my best to make it clear how I got here.  Just please be patient with me as I go through this, as I am not a very proficient writer.

I’ve been wanting to do this series of posts for a while, it’s actually the main reason I started this blog.  I was inspired to do this a while back by the NPR series This I Believe.  The idea there is for people, from all walks of life, to describe what they believe in a short essay.  They use a few simple guidelines:

Tell a story: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events of your life. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.

Be brief: Your statement should be between 350 and 500 words. That’s about three minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.

Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief, because three minutes is a very short time.

Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Tell us what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Make your essay about you; speak in the first person.

Be personal: Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.

Those sites I linked to have essays from presidents to criminals and everything in between.  I find them very interesting to listen too, and often moving and inspirational.  Please, check them out if you have some time.

I’m going to try to follow this format for my This I Believe essay, when I get around to it.  I would like to invite anyone who reads this blog (all 3 of you :p) to submit your own essay.  I’m not doing this in an effort to disparage others beliefs, but because I feel to have any kind of discussion about beliefs, its necessary to know the actual beliefs of the person you are discussing with.  If you would just like to write for my eyes only, that’s fine, but if you’re okay with it I’d like to post any submissions I get.  I can do it anonymously if you like, under a pseudonym, or using your actual name.  So, if you could e-mail me, or message me in Facebook, or whatever way is comfortable for you.  Thanks!

EDIT:  Read part 2, part 3 and part 4 here.  Read my This I Believe essay here.


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I love Tim Minchin.  He’s a brit comedian, who writes and sings and plays goofy little songs.  This is a video animation of one of his more popular songs.  I hope you’ll enjoy.

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