Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lovely things that feel magical in the natural world


None of those things are supernatural. None are magic, though they can feel like something magical. They are all natural, all real, a part of our world, and, therefore, all are possible to experience. That means you can experience them without a belief in a god or gods. And atheists do, just as often, maybe even more often, than people that believe in the supernatural. 

I love experiencing all of these wonderful things. I don’t experience them every second of every day, but I experience these wonderful things far, far more often, and in greater abundance, since I stopped trying to believe in a magical, invisible super friend

Believers love to say you can't be happy without a god or gods. I wonder how they explain me?

Happy New Year!

Also see:    

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Justifying murder

So many people are claiming that the murder of two New York police officers this week was because of the words of protesters regarding the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others.

Let's be clear: the guy responsible for the murders of these two officers, a man who shot his girlfriend and then murdered those officers, could be tied to those protesting killings by police as much as the wacko in Australia that took people hostage in the candy shop could be tied to the "Islamic State": In both cases, very sick men used a movement with which they had no connection to justify murder. In both cases, these men wanted to tie their desire to murder to some sort of bigger, more lofty cause. In both cases, people are dead that didn't deserve to be. And none of it changes the fact that it's dangerous to be a black man in the USA.

The only difference in them is one used a movement I find abhorrent (the "Islamic State") and one of them used a movement I support (#blacklivesmatter).

As a person put it in a comment to a friend's Facebook status update: "It's terrible what happened to those police officers. It's terrible what happened to the man who died from the chokehold."

I'm disgusted by any excuse for murder - including religious justifications like those promoted by the "Islamic State" movement, or those by Christian groups in the USA regarding health care workers that perform abortions. If someone used the persecution of women, atheists, children, or any other cause I believe in to justify murder, I would be just as disgusted.

The rhetoric I'm reading on social media is not changing any minds, and it's not making things safer for anyone.

Peace. Please.

Friday, December 12, 2014

No, really, I'm NOT a Christian; Yes, really, I LOVE being an Atheist

I talk a lot about human rights, equality, social justice, volunteering and being kind and helpful to others. Maybe too much, especially on Facebook. I enjoy the affirmative comments I get, but among them, very often, are comments like, “You sure sound like a Christian to me!”

Those comments are meant as a compliment. But it ticks me off. Every time.


No religion has a monopoly on goodness. Or evil, for that matter. And it most certainly IS possible to be good without a “god.” Yet my Christian friends just can’t believe that I don’t believe. How can I encourage people to volunteer and be kind to their neighbors if I don’t believe in a magical, invisible Super Friend? How can I feel so passionately about the beauty of natural resources and not believe some supernatural force created it?

Quite easily.

The natural forces that have made our world are amazing. They aren’t conscious, they aren’t caring, there’s no deliberation behind their actions or results, but they are none-the-less awe-inspiring. Observational astronomy, particle physics, evolutionary biology, plate tectonics - they’re amazing! They don’t need to have consciousness, self-awareness, souls, feelings or personalities to be amazing. And it doesn’t bother me that natural forces aren’t alive and aren’t capable of feelings or deliberation - in fact, I take comfort in knowing things like hurricanes and meteor strikes and super novas are NOT acts of a conscious being and that these have NOTHING to do with human morality. They just are. I remember feeling such despair when I was trying to be a Christian - despair over God killing children through natural disasters, despair over going through horrors in my life and never, ever feeling the comfort of a magical, invisible buddy to get me through it. That deep despair melted away when I embraced my atheism. I still get sad, maybe even overwhelmed, but I don't struggle with the "Why?!" anymore.

Our household reveled in watching “Cosmos” earlier this year. I cried at the end of a few of the episodes. I cried over how gorgeous the universe is. How vast it is. How it is full of so many possibilities, more than I can even imagine. Yes, I felt small - but I didn’t feel insignificant. I felt - and feel - a part of it all. I am star dust - and what makes me me will always be a part of this universe. That’s a rather cool thought.

More of my blogs about ethics, morality and philosophy as an atheist:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sorry for the silence

Sorry I haven’t written since July. Life has been… well, rather spectacular: I’ve gotten a couple of jobs that resulted in my getting to travel to Ukraine, Poland and Catalunya / Spain, and in between that time, I’ve been working to rehome five cats and two dogs left behind when my neighbor died (I ended up adopting one of the cats, and I’m continuing to help care for one of the dogs, being fostered by a neighbor).

Hope to put a worthwhile blog together before the end of the year!