Ok, so let’s consider this my first actual attempt at a blog on this site. It’s not gonna be much, but it’ll be more than that last piece of fail. I’d like to start by introducing some key issues that will undoubtedly come up again and again on this blog, and also at least one issue that I probably won’t come back to very often.
First, I’d like to say that I am an atheist. But what is an atheist? What is atheism? I’ll tell you. It’s NOT a religion. Atheism is to religion what bald is to hair colors. We have no creed, and only one rule: if one does not hold a positive belief in the existence of a supernatural creator, then one is an atheist. It is not the assertion that there could not possibly exist a god, only that we don’t believe that there is one. There are atheists who will go so far as to deny the existence of God as being impossible, and that position is called strong atheism. This position, while I would like to endorse, I cannot honestly do so, for I don’t think it is impossible that a god could exist. Although I do think it is in fact the case that god does not exist, I can’t rule it out completely any more than I can’t rule out the existence of undetectable teapots orbiting the moon. But nonetheless, I don’t see much evidence for the existence of either. So I choose not to believe. There is far more I could do to define and explain atheism, but for an introductory blog, I think this should be enough.
I’ve been public with the fact that I am an atheist for less than a year now (7-8 months, maybe?), but I have probably been an atheist for longer than that. It’s hard to tell when the switch was actually made, because it was a gradual thing over a long period of time. If you’d like to know more about that whole process, I have a three-part blog series on my myspace blog that goes into a bit of detail, so I won’t bother with it here. But anyway, the reason I’m putting this out up front is because I’m very open with my views, and they typically offend people. People very often have a problem with this. But I don’t think you should. No one should ever have a problem with anyone speaking their mind about anything. At best, they could end up being right and convince other people. At worst, they could be wrong and someone will correct them, and they will have learned something. And that’s what I want to do here. I want to convince and be corrected. I will of course probably offend any and all of you by what I say, but that is not my intention. My intention is to get at the truth, and if you think I’ve veered from it, show me where. I honestly just want to know the truth. It’s not about “promoting my atheist agenda” (whatever that might be), it’s about being open, honest, rational, and reasoning our way to the truth about reality.
I’ve had to hide who I truly am for far too long in my life, about many more things than just my religious views. I don’t think that was a healthy way to live. So I’ve put that in my past, and I think you should too. Don’t be afraid that you might offend me or hurt my feelings, because I don’t have any…. Okay, but seriously, don’t hold back. I don’t identify myself by my views on a particular subject, whatever it is. I think that’s why people generally have a hard time remaining calm in religious debates, because that’s how they define themselves. We’re not going to get anywhere as long as people keep doing that in debates. Detach yourself, at least momentarily, realize that you are more than just your religion, and speak your mind, and nobody else’s.
And finally, I’d like to do my part to help out a few people, by showing my support to anyone who is an atheist and has yet to identify themselves as such because of fear of the repercussions. Yes, it is undeniable that in this society there are certain consequences that one has to live with when one goes public with news like this. I hate that it has to be that way, but the only way to change this uncompromisingly prejudicial society is to make noise and show that we’re not going to be ignored and alienated and we’re not going to continue to let our rights be violated as American citizens (yes, we are citizens, despite what George Bush Sr. says). I know this probably isn’t going to reach anybody or help anybody come out as an atheist, but at least I’ll be able to say I tried to help. So here is a link to the OUT Campaign. Just remember, it’s okay to be an atheist. But more importantly, it’s okay to be who you are…. Unless you suck. 😉
P.S. Cheese is so freakin’ awesome. You know it. I know it. Let’s accept it, people.