I honestly don't know what to write, or possibly even why I am writing this. It doesn't help that my roommate has effectively been away for over a month now, with the exception of the one night I saw him before he turned around and left again. If it was to stay with a girlfriend I would be pleased. But, the first time was to attend classes, no problem, and the second was for an out of town meeting. This has left me far too much time to think. And since I have been out of school for the last month I have been thinking even more with the lack of required intellectual stimulation. On top of that, I have taken up a new job that gives me four day weekends (I work 12 hour days). So, with all that combined I have this unprecedented about of time to do my own intellectual activities. So, I think I will take this time to just write about me. Feel free to read if you like, I can ramble, and I have an open beer here that will probably be done before this is.

I have never been a theist, not that I can ever truly think of. My parents were kinda Christian, in the fact that they had a bible and a children's bible (probably a gift from family). It was my mother's family that was openly Christian and for me it seemed more like the exception than the rule. As I got older I realized that more of the world was religious and I was in the minority, but this never really hit me until recently, I will talk about that later. When I visited my aunt I would go with her to church and once I even went to a summer camp with my cousins that was Christian based. However, the extent of this was singing Christian camp songs.

I guess the thing about growing up in western Canada is that people really don't place much emphasis on religion. Hell, I live in a community that I am even a minority and I am of anglo-saxon heritage. Race is by far more important, and from where I have been, that isn't even really brought up much.

Last year I just came back to Canada from a year living in Japan. It was much different having the Christian influence effectively pulled out of society. For those who don't know, Japan, though having a national religion and strong Buddhist influences is to me one of the closest things as an Atheistic state.

I have been following the news now as regularly as possible for the last six years. I don't think anyone here will not be aware of the clashes of world religions in society. It was actually probably during the Draw Muhammad Day that it really came to my attention my true views on Religion and to judge my own beliefs closer. It wasn't hard to determine that I wasn't religious and did not believe in any supernatural creature, entity or life force. However, I had often made jokes, comments and references to some things, like the concept of a "soul". I guess it was more just vocabulary choices because of the influence that religion has in North America, and human culture as a whole we like to use religious terms to add a kind of mystical and magical sense to our communication.

I like to please people, and in that way I often try to avoid conversations that would step on people's own beliefs and not voice strong opinions on... most of anything. However, It was because I finally did take a stand regarding my support for the Draw Muhammad Day and the reactions I got I needed to defend my stance, not just to others, but to myself. So, I started researching. I have been doing so since then. Trying to understand exactly what my opinions are.

I currently find myself on a bridge. Between what has politely been deemed "Atheist Activist" or a more moderate quieter type. I have not decided which way to go. What I do know is, that I do not feel like being quiet and uninvolved in the world. I have known the latter for some time, I want to be a teacher in some fashion, the former is a rather new revelation for me. I also know that I like the ideals of the Secular Humanist groups that are growing. I am am optimist, I always have been and always will be. Regardless of what the world has thrown at me, or will, I plan to keep hope and it is getting brighter by the day.

Well, if you have gotten to the bottom of this, thank you for reading. I don't know what it accomplished, but it has felt nice to get my thoughts out there. Even though I know and have dear friends of fellow atheists in my life, it isn't really something that we talk about. I don't know why. Maybe I should steer them to a more active and vocal role to join me in such contemplations. But, that is just me. Alas, my beer is not done.

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Tags: blog, canada, ponderings, questions, thoughts, vancouver

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Comment by Fabio on July 3, 2010 at 2:38pm
I know the feeling. For a short while after realising the true extent of my scepticism and unbelief I was at a crossroad between treating my atheism as an entirely personal matter and minding my own business on one side and being an activist - one of them "angry atheist," as they call us - on the other. It really didn't take me too long to come to the realisation that life is way too short to be tame about one's own convictions and that if there truly is anything like a gift to something as random as being alive in the first place, that gift is the potential, the opportunity to spend this one life trying to make a difference to the world and to humanity's future. I don't normally reason in terms of strict morality, but if you really think about it, activism is pretty damn close to being a moral duty.

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