I'm new, everyone (obviously), so I figured I would follow the game-plan and introduce myself.
My name is Ava, I am an Atheist since birth and a secular humanist since I could read about philosophy and ethics. I am not an apostate of any religion, nor have I ever been inclined to consider being religious. I've been able to point out the glaring contradictions in sacred texts since the age of five, when I had no shame to challenge the pastor of the church I went to (reluctantly, with my foster dad) about what he was reading in sermons.
I have Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. I believe it renders me completely unable to sympathize with the religious position because of my need to see things objectively and very 'black and white'.
I am a mother. I have a two year old daughter that I hope will grow up to be an intelligent and successful secular humanist, even if she only runs around naked and watches Spongebob right now-- someday she will think of deeper things, and when she asks where we came from, I will tell her we are stardust; we are remnants of dying stars. That is far more beautiful and less frightening than threatening her with hell.
I love intelligent debate and I love making friends on these websites (something I used to be very nervous of). I hope that within a few months, I am talking with a lot of you very frequently.
I am active on ThinkAtheist and other secular websites. I work as a freelance graphic artist for now, so if anyone needs any blog headers or buttons designed, let me know (I do it for free for anybody in the secular or autism communities because I believe in the cause).
I believe the world will only begin to be free when religion is eradicated, and I am terrified of the influence of religious conservatism in American politics, and how it contributes so heavily to the world's problems. True freedom is freedom of mind and thought, and that involves letting go of dogma, indoctrination, and myth that has no evidence.
Thanks for reading.
Does the Aspergers cause you to create labels for yourself and others? I'm not trying to start and shit with you. I am just asking.
I know that I am and I am a human being. I am not a bowler, fisherman, theist, atheist, ect.. I am a parent and my body is that of a male and my orientation is heterosexual.
I agree, the world will be a far better place without religion but that can get very complicated and that is not black or white. What's religion? There is a school in quantum mechanics called the omega point. The there is some proof for a "god" particle. Is that religion? I don't know.
I have two blogs that debunk God and Christianity. A lot of atheists seem to say, "there is no god because you can't prove there is... end of discussion". I don't know that there isn't a god. Nobody does. All we can say is that we have seen little or not proof that there is god. We can't prove a negative. What we can prove is that the Abrahamic faiths are toxic and have damaged humanity.
If I am anything I am a man who wants the world to be a better place for my kids. It is my belief that reason and intellect will defeat superstition and the spiritual abuse that is Christianity and Islam. I think we have to get our hands dirty.
Truthfully? Who knows, but yes, I enjoy certain 'labels' because they sum up what I believe without me having to repeatedly explain it (and that may stem from my hatred of having to repeat myself). And as far as pointing out that I have AS, it's obviously in the hopes that there are others here that have it as well.
I do agree that nobody knows whether God exists or not and all we can do is prove that religion, regardless of the existence of a designer, is toxic. I am not anti-god, I am anti-religion, so I hope that's pretty clear. :)
I think it is not a bad idea to redefine ourselves so I speak in defining terms sometimes. I think both theists and non theist make some unsupported absolute statements but IMO non theists tend to be a more thoughtful and reasoned.
Hi Ava! Glad you found this place. You sound like a really neat person. I really liked your introduction. ~Melinda
This probably had a lot to do with my autism spectrum disorder. My special interest from the start was History, and a lot of my interest in history was spread between things like stories of ancient wars, their stories and myths, their rituals, culture. By the time I had hit five, I had realized that my interest wasn't in the EVENTS or the DATES of the events, but in the psychology behind the events-- that is, what motivated Hannibal to cross the Alps with elephants? What motivated the Greeks to place their faith in a pantheon of gods? Where did the idea of gods come from? And just because adults made it clear to me that Greek myth was, well, just that-- a myth-- and I would listen to sermons in church about God and Adam and Eve. All my mind saw, which was quite adept at picking up patterns, was just another myth. And not even an original myth, but a combination of myths I had heard before. Noah's Ark was like the Sumerian flood myth, Jesus himself was like Heracles, or even earlier Egyptian myths that were similar.
By ten, I pretty much had it in my mind that listening to anybody talk about the Bible factually was a very funny thing, and that I couldn't see somebody preaching from The Odyssey as if it were absolute fact without being called out on being silly. I had, at that time, put more faith in the idea that Socrates was a real person than the notion that Jesus had ever existed. At least the Dialogues moved me and made me think in a way that did not promote violence or ill intent toward other men. It defended the right of man to be enlightened and learn, and did not restrict them from natural processes; it shunned the oppression of religion on education and discovery of self, and thought for the self.
Also, The Apology had the added benefit of making me laugh. I don't remember a single excerpt from the Bible that struck me as 'funny' in a way that didn't simultaneously mean 'stupid'.
I had the benefit of growing up in a house with a father who, although Theist, was a Buddhist and had a degree in Philosophy (as well as Psychology), and exposed me to a wide range of religious books and myths and told me to 'decide for myself'. Reading through them, all I saw were copies of one another. Taoism and Buddhism did strike me as the best alternatives to religion if one were to have faith in anything. But both could be rendered easily completely 'Atheist' religions. To this day you could say I have a 'Taoist' foundation of belief in how things work, but it is not attached with a creator, higher power, or anything supernatural; it's a philosophy. And in that way I arrived at the realization that I was an Atheist. Although I did not tag myself with the name until later in life, around the age of fifteen, the fact is that I have never held any belief whatsoever in the existence of a higher being. I have never struggled with whether or not there is a creator. In fact, I think the idea is silly to even consider with utterly no evidence to support it, and I lend as much concentration on the question as whether there's sparkling unicorns galloping around the rings of Saturn.
In other words, I don't.
But thanks for the link to your website. Typically when I charge for graphics, I do it very cheaply. Where my friends charge over 60 for a blog banner or more, I charge a base price of five or ten and only increase it if it becomes complex and time consuming. Photo retouching is usually just five, and other misc sorts of graphics are also five (including a few buttons or clickables for advertisement on other blogs).
I hope to have a steadier flow of work by charging a much cheaper price than an inconsistent flow of work charging much more, only because the money goes toward taking care of my daughter.
Good intro! Lucky you to have been an atheist since birth. And lucky your daughter as well. I have a son with PDD, but he's very smart in ways his brothers aren't. I also used to challenge the Rabbis at my school, I knew the whole thing was bupkis and a shanda, nothing more than the fairy tales and mythologies I was also reading about. And compared to science! It was laughable! The link between the American-brand of Christians and the GOP was only too easy to make. Now, their ideological failures have dominated American politics for so long that the world might die underneath us in a hurry. We have hardly even begun to address the world's pressing needs...
Good to have you here!