Why I am not an atheist

Jk u guize. Technically I still am an atheist. I don’t believe in any supernatural beings, homeopathy, telepathy, alien conspiracy theories, etc. When I say I am not an atheist I mean that I no longer identify as a member of the atheist movement.

I often wonder if people wonder “whatever happened to that blogger girl who was gonna change the world and make it a more rational place?” For quite some time I’ve even anticipated somebody asking me why I quietly just stopped one day without a word (insert T. S. Eliot reference). I never check my old e-mail accounts but to my knowledge no one has ever tried to ask me why.

Still, in anticipation I’ve often contemplated the answer I would give and I think the best way to sum that answer up would be this: I just grew out of it.

It’s not intellectually useless to contemplate the existence of a god, or to really think about how we know what is true really is true. Back in the day it was delightful fun to be introduced to scientific concepts like natural selection and ideas like moral relativism and I certainly grew from being a part of a community of learners who also loved to share that learning.

Simply put, however, I now find such a narrow focus on the topics I used to write about almost absurd. You can only repeat the same arguments so many times. There are only so many varieties of pseudoscience you can poke holes in. Once I knew all these arguments about why there probably is no god so well I… still needed new stuff to learn so I lost interest.

That’s not the soul reason either. I confess to some embarrassment when I look back on how, well, mean I could sometimes be about the gamut of things that annoyed me and became the subject of my rants, crucially how mean I could sometimes be toward the people who believed them. With age I began to recognize that many atheist activists were also just plain mean and were more concerned with making fun of the bullshit people believed in than real education. Worse, I simultaneously learned to recognize that cruel and unproductive tendency within myself. Silently watching how we treated each other during the elevatorgate debacle only reinforced my disinterest in becoming involved in atheism again (generally I sympathize more with the social justice-y Atheism+ thing and I draw a parallel between my personal outgrowth with atheism and the needs the + seeks to fill).

On the bright side, I feel like the experience of being around us atheists sharing the burdensome trait of being poor communicators has helped me learn how to be a more effective communicator, though I am now humbly aware of just how much further I need to improve my communication skills.

In fact, I err more towards diplomacy now than I like to admit and I think I can learn a thing or two from that fiery adolescent I used to be who would call out anyone’s bullshit and not give a fuck how she did it. Too often these days I keep my mouth shut in the interest of getting along with friends who have different views from me, and though I’ve certainly come to appreciate the value of getting past silly differences like beliefs and liking people for who they really are, I still believe there is an objective harm from some beliefs (though not as much moderate religion, but things like the anti-vax movement are plainly fucked up) which I don’t call out often enough. I just think sometimes I went about things in a bit of a misguided way…

But hey, I was just a kid, though people on the internet for some reason always found that remarkable.

Also, you guys thought I was a good writer? Gosh, -nervous laugh- I’m flattered, but looking back on my writing, seeing all the errors and passive voice, I’m a bit bewildered that people used to think that about me.

If anyone’s interested, some things are still the same. I’m majoring in biology and I tentatively  plan to study paleontology (evolution is cool!). I still have an inkling of ambition to become the next Carl Sagan/Neil DeGrasse Tyson/Richard Dawkins/Mrs. Frizzle. The unofficial mission statement of my new college (New College) is “that the natural state of the human spirit is ecstatic wonder, that we should never settle for less!”

Also, in case anyone’s interested, I do have a Tumblr now, or two.

7 responses to this post.

  1. I’m feeling very similar to what you describe here, but I would say it’s more like the question about god isn’t even interesting any more. There isn’t any new information available. There aren’t any new arguments. There are better, more interesting things to focus on. There are better, more interesting things to use brainpower on.

    Maybe one day the question will become interesting again, but I’m skeptical that it will happen.

  2. Posted by Chris on November 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Pretty much yeah. Better things to do with my time.

  3. Atheism is boring indeed. Also, argument with anyone that is willing to argue is pointless. But I do feel there is a need for atheists to be visible. More importantly, they should be positive and friendly toward believers. There’s nothing wrong with erring on the side of diplomacy. Thanks for the post.

  4. LOL, I for one wondered what happened. Agree with the post. I think of religion as being like the television, the only person who’s more obnoxious than that guy who tells you at length about his favorite show (and why it’s better than all the other shows) is the guy who’ll tell you at length why television is horrible and injects the fact that he doesn’t watch TV into any conversation any way he can.

    Go forth and enjoy college. Work hard, but don’t take it so seriously that you don’t have any fun (there will be plenty of time for no fun in grad school)

  5. My guess is none of you guys have ever studied the shroud of turin, or veridical Nde’s .
    If science is to ever advance it must be open to letting the supernatural in.
    To just automatically shut the supernatural door is also a sign of ignorance and closemindedness.
    As far as creationism goes you do realize that young earth creationism isn’t the only kind just as atheistic evolution isn’t the only kind of evolution out there.
    I’m gonna guess that very few people on this blog have really researched things like the shroud of turin.
    Try it sometime, it just might be a wonderfully supernatural experience for you.

  6. So little time, Why is there time? Perhaps your being tested,oh your going to be tested I promise that, Why? Oh the why again thing? Its because hint its not about you its about something much more important, loving others,loving yourself, listening, is the key to learning, so the more quite you are and the more you listen, the more you will learn. I promise you will learn, everything is a process, nothing happens by chance, the way you think either positive or negative attracts that to you the law of attraction, the way you think opens and closes doors to what you say you’ll see, observe, be patient and observe, think deep deep so very deep that you transcend time and space, your way of thinking can transform you or destroy you, observe and listen and choose the right path and move from the shallow spiritual realm in which you see nothing , and your blind to the spiritual level where you begin to see from your minds eye which will lead you to the next level of the heart where you can get away from only loving yourself to loving others and finding God the God of love in the purest sense of caring for others self sacrifice which begets peace of mind and peace of heart one lady who outshines them all a truly woman of sacrifice who left all her wealth behind who came from a very very wealthy family to give to enrich others lives was Mother Teresa, think of others of how you can touch them in a special way, but don’t neglect yourself and your needs.

  7. Posted by George Paul Davis III on August 8, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Told you so.

    But I kid.

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