Tuesday 20 May 2014

What Am I?

(Random rambling brought on by reading Why Would A Fundamentalist Christian Become An Atheist)

OK, so I'm an atheist.  But I hesitate to describe myself as such.  After all, I don't describe myself as a non-stamp-collector (although, as with religion, I gave it a go as a kid),  I don't find defining myself as a lack-of-a-quality to be useful in any way.  I could try capitalising Atheism, and joining other Atheists to talk about Atheism, but if Twitter is anything to go by this ends up being the same arguments going around and around and fact the best people to talk to on Twitter about atheism tend to be the theists, as they are generally more likely to have a grounding in the relevant philosophy, Pascal's Wager and so on and so forth.

I'm certainly not a "New Atheist", they're far too pushy for my liking.  Religion is (currently) a part of humanity, we can't bully people out of it, and there does seem to be a psychological need to find an answer to "but why", which I'm guessing is why atheism and science, particularly maths, physics and cosmology tend to be associated when there's actually no logical link other than the fact that science classifies "god" as outside its remit.  On this count, living in a world where people disagree, I'm a Wheatonite.

Nor would I describe myself as an agnostic - I don't believe any current definition of "god" is good enough for me to accept as a possibility, and the standing "bigger than the universe" criterion means we won't have a good enough definition until we're finished doing science, which won't happen in my lifetime at the very least.  On this count I'm certainly an ignostic, but I find that even less satisfying as a definition than atheism, which at least defines what it is...or isn't, at least.

OK, so I'm a human, so what about Humanism?  Even then, it's a group of people who have got together and decided what a Humanist is, and written down the rules, and are probably still arguing over them.

I did toy with the idea of being Vulcan - yes, like in Star Trek - there's a lot to be said for the mentality, but I happen to like laughing till I cry and feeling overcome with beauty and all the other stuff.  Ditto Jedi and Avout - I may have bought the monk-style dressing gown, but I'm not going to buy into it 100%.

So I'm just going to stick with being Geoff.  I reserve the right to change my mind.  Your results may vary.

I'd recommend you try the same.  Not being me, of course, just being you.  You can try being me if you want, but trust me, it's just confusing.  I'm actually very happy with it, but it does (in my experience at least) take nearly 40 years of training to be me.

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