Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All Flesh is Glass

Hey, Folks, go check out my latest story, All Flesh is Glass, at Grand Science Fiction. It's story 137 of The One-Thousand. And it's teeny tiny but I think it's swell.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MuchoMangoMayo 2012!

Oh, jeez. We're halfway through the month and only now am I mentioning the Mango event of the year on my blog. If you follow me anywhere else, you're already sick to death of me talking about it. So now I can make you sick here too. Go check out my podcast, Beware the Hairy Mango. You normally get two episodes a month, but this May as well as last May, you get a new episode every single day! Wow!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

What Atheism Means To Me

It means you don't believe in God.

That's it.

I see piles of stuff online talking about atheism and what it truly means to be an atheist. For instance, an atheist is a critical thinker, a lover of science, more moral than the average theist on the street, finds wonder in nature, is smarter, is right, doesn't get taken in. Whatever.

A few years back, I heard a lot about atheist groups with entire agendas. They had banded together so that their voices might be heard. I don't care if my voice is heard.

I'm an atheist and I'm not part of a group and there is no atheist agenda. There are groups of atheists with agendas, but they don't speak for all atheists. An atheist does not necessarily hold a certain worldview. Atheists do not necessarily agree with each other. Most importantly for some readers, they're not going to take over the world. They don't have the numbers and they don't have the organization.

Atheists are assholes and they're decent people. They're scientists and they're mystics. You get the same mix as you do with all other groups. They're humans and about as uninteresting as other humans.

I have friends who believe a person comes to atheism through a series of logical and scientifically inspired conclusions. I can tell you from experience that there are also other ways.

My father became an atheist while he was fighting in the war in the Pacific theater. He believed that if there was a god, he would never allow such horrors to happen. My father didn't believe in God. He did believe in an afterlife, however. He believed my mother's spirit was still with us after her death. He believed that walking through Yankee graveyards was good luck. The system was in place, there was simply no one running the show.

I worked with a lady who became an atheist when her two year old son died of cancer. Same deal. God would not have allowed this to happen.

I became an atheist through a revelation, as unsound and unstable as any religious one. I had done the church and Sunday school thing, I had fought with people who questioned the most basic tenets of Christianity. The beginning of my freshman year in high school, my world civ class was reading a passage about how Neanderthals buried objects with their dead which suggested they believed in an afterlife. In a flash I realized that God didn't create man, man created God. And that was that. No science, no logic, no soul searching.

I'm not saying that I'm right about there being no god. I was raised in a family - and, I think, a laid back culture in New England - that said, "Believe whatever you want, just don't push it on anyone else." I believe agnostics are the only folks you can trust on the whole afterlife issue. They're the only ones who are honest enough to say, "I dunno." Scientifically speaking, it can't be proven there is a god or there isn't. We could all be in the Matrix. We could all be a dream someone is having. There could be thousands of gods. We could be a sudden spasm of spontaneous intelligence in someone's lab that only exists for a second, but has the certain memory of a preceding life and civilization that never actually existed. If we're just spitballing, anything I can imagine that can't be disproven is possible. But given all things, when the question of God comes up, I'm putting my money on probably not.

I'm fine with people believing whatever they want. I don't want to outlaw religion or even argue with anyone about it. Our media-driven society's need for controversy and "balance" has pushed the idea of "Live and let live" right out of our heads and that's a real shame.

There might be people that think that if I was a real atheist, I wouldn't be capitalizing the word "God" in all the places that I have. I must assure them that my choices in capitalization do not have any bearing on my beliefs. There might be people who, for any number of reasons, believe that I'm not really an atheist. I'm going to sleep as well either way.

There might be a lot of atheists who agree with me, but you never hear about it, because they don't care enough about it to mention it. I just fell out of that category.