I’m saying hello to the what, three people who will eventually be reading this at some point in the future? Eh, that’s OK. I’m doing this largely as an experiment. If there’s an audience, then so much the better.
I am, as the title of my blog implies, an atheist. I was actually born and raised Catholic, and stayed that way for about 18 years. I was baptized, had my first Communion, and was Confirmed at 13. Apparently, even after all of that, it still didn’t take. Maybe it was the fact that I resented being told from an early age that I was supposed to be afraid of my own thoughts because God was watching me ALL THE TIME. Perhaps it was my desire to start questioning things I had just taken for granted all my life, like why I still believed in God when I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa years before. Hell, at least the last two gave you something tangible on a yearly basis. Or, it could have been the fact that one of the priests repeatedly tried to get frisky with me when I was 9 or so … whatever the cause, I eventually stopped going to church and never looked back.
I suppose it didn’t help that during my senior year of high school, I became friends with a few people who introduced me to all sorts of ideas I had never even seen before: Taoism, Wicca, Buddhism, and Magick-with-a-”k”. The more foreign and different from Christianity it was, the more I liked it. It didn’t really matter what it was, or if the beliefs I held at any particular time conflicted with one another. It was just so refreshing to have something completely different from what I was used to, even if it still didn’t make a great deal of sense to me.
I also used a remarkably similar approach when dating. I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine how well this strategy played out.
It wasn’t long before I realized that I had simply traded one set of unsubstantiated beliefs for another, and so I eventually just lost interest in the metaphysical and spiritual world altogether. I had considered myself “none of the above” for the longest time until the last year or so, when I finally “came out” as an atheist … which is something I had been for a long time but never realized. I can no longer bring myself to believe in the concept of a god, devil, heaven, hell, reincarnation, or any of that without any supporting physical evidence … and nothing I’ve experienced so far in my life shows me that there’s any. I certainly understand that it’s human nature to believe in the supernatural … whether it’s an all powerful god or the idea that we’re “spiritual” beings. Hell, I still entertain thoughts about the way the universe works … but that’s all they are; I have nothing to prove them. And, if science comes along and proves me wrong, then (to steal a line from the Dalai Lama), I’ll just have to change my beliefs.
So with that in mind, I intend for this to be a place to gather my thoughts and share some experiences I’ve had over the years as they relate to religion and atheism. It’s likely going to be where I talk about issues like evolution, big bang cosmology, critical thinking, the scientific method, and so on …
… you know … the “controversial” topics of the day.