My Blog’s 2nd Birthday Message to You All
Today marks the 2nd year of me writing this blog, and I have to say it’s been a massive learning curve. Not only have I learned a lot from the research I have to do for each piece, but in turn I have learned a lot from you my readers, and for that I thank you. I hope that I am making a difference to at least some of you out there, and I also hope that some of my ideas have resonated enough with you to take them away with you as you go about your daily doings. It certainly has not been a chore to create the content of this blog, although sometimes finding enough time to actually create something of the quality you all deserve has been a strain, and I hope to be able to continue to entertain you and most of all, make you think. After all, that is my mission here.
At times like this I like to reflect on what I have written in the past and see whether these ideas I once held are still how I feel now. So I am going back to the very first blog piece I wrote for this site, back when my nom-de-plume was AtheistClimber, before I decided that if I thought it was important enough to write about this stuff that I should at least have the guts to use my real name.
The first blog I wrote here was entitled And you may ask yourself “Well… how did I get here?” named after a line in the song “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads. I posted it on October 14th 2009 (I started the blog on the 10th but didn’t write until that date), and it went like this:
“You may not know it, but I’m an atheist.
For some it’s a label that has certain negative connotations in society, particularly in areas where religion is prevalent. It’s a label that people bandy about in some spheres the way they used to use the term “communist”, as the word “terrorist” or “traitor” is used today. Some people see the word “atheist” as a threat to their daily lives, using the label as a way to demonise individuals. To some, the simple word “atheist” causes fear, distrust and a sense of mortal danger, like the “boogeyman” of old.
Pretty scary huh? But what does it really mean to be an atheist?
It’s pretty simple really. It means “it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.” This doesn’t mean just the Christian God, Allah or Yaweh. This means an absence in belief of ALL gods, including Shiva, Thor, Baiame, Venus, and any other name a god may go by. As a general rule it means atheists also will dismiss all organised religious and dogmatic rules and regulations as spelt by The Bible, The Koran or any other religious text. But not exclusively.
In fact, the only single thing that ties atheists together, is their lack of belief in God or gods. The definition says nothing about what choices individual atheists make. Just like in every walk of life there are good and bad people, no matter what their backgrounds, religious, moral, ethical belief systems, or lack thereof.
I am an atheist, and this means that in order to operate on a daily basis, I make my own decisions about right and wrong, about my duties and rights, about the way I choose to act in any given situation. I am free from the need to be told by others how to operate in a caring, loving, moral and conscientious way. I know in myself what is right and wrong, and I am not swayed by the antiquated beliefs of fictitious characters to make these decisions.
I arrived at atheism through simply looking around me. I was taught by my parents that the world and nature are to be revered, and that natural processes reign in all situations. This applies to everything from the smallest chemical reaction, to the exploding of a far off galaxy, these processes, though not completely understood, are the set of rules that all things exist by. The further I looking onto this, the less room for a God there is. Evolution, entropy, decomposition, particle physics, astronomical happenings, gravity, osmosis. All things obey these rules.
The people I know who are atheist are smart, kind, caring humanists, who know how to live even if it is under the scrutinous eye of and elitist religious community at large. Each of them has arrived at atheism through a different path. In my next blog, I will attempt to expand upon this, as well as introducing you to the stories of those who surround me in my life, and how some of them arrived at the atheist conclusion.”
… which I did and you can read it here if you so wish.
A lot can happen in two years, and on reading this first fledgeling blogpost, I think I may have had a much clearer, though more naive view of the world. What I have learned since is that there is much more to every situation than can possibly be known without actively seeking knowledge, and that knowledge begets the thirst for further knowledge. The problem is, the more I know, the more there is to know, and having only one life, I have to limit my passion for knowledge if I am to get along with my life in other respects.
What I wrote two years ago still applies, and all of it is true, but the spirit with which I wrote those words, and the defiant nature of my feelings toward religion was much sharper then. I’d say that in these two years I have not mellowed so much as come to appreciate just how complex this mess of a world we live in has become, and the religion is both a symptom and a cause of a much deeper problem within humanity, and this is the apparent need to believe in something after death. Personally i see death as final completely and utterly, and nobody can show me any proof or evidence otherwise. The power-station that fuels us (heart, lungs, gut) stops working, not more power gets to the computer (the brain) and all our functions just stop. That’s fine by me, and I have no recourse if it weren’t fine. So much of our fear and uncertainty in this world hinges around the final moments, instead of trying to make the moments we have here better for everyone. What a difference it would make if we embraced our lives as a once-only chance, instead of hedging our bets on the meagre hope that there may be an afterlife. What we could achieve is astounding, and yet the fear of death holds us back from truly seeing our human potential.
That’s where I am now.
So on that morbid note, I hope I can continue to blog well into the future, and I hope that you, dear reader, continue to enjoy reading what I do write. Thank you all for your support.