I began blogging about 2 and half years ago. The point was to have written record of my own thoughts to hold myself accountable, and to document the spiritual journey I was on. If you read my blog form beginning to end, you watched me begin a confused Christian, then a Christian who knew where he was going, then a shakey atheist, and then a solid atheist, then a very happy atheist, and finally just me: the man who the 16 year old boy should have become, had he not chosen to insist in trying walk a faith he knew in his heart he didn’t believe.
At first when I became an atheist I believed the same things, exempting only the disbelief in God, but the skeptical rationalism of which my atheism is but a symptom, called into question my political identity as well. My friends began to change as some left, and some new ones came. Gradually, as I began to understand who I am, I began to be comfortable with who I am. As this has gone on, a contradiction inherent to atheism began immerge.
How can non-existence be so important? I don’t have a blog about the non-existence of Santa or the Easter bunny, and tellingly neither does anyone else. I can’t speak for others, but for me the non-existence of God was so important because of the huge place I gave the imaginary person of God in my life. Atheism was important to me the way a amputees stump is important to them, as the end of what is and the beginning of what was. But that part of the journey is over, the god hypothesis is out my life now. You can’t spend your whole life mulling over a surgery, no matter how life changing it was. At some point you have to just accept the post surgery you as your real self, and move on.
Tied up in atheism as this blog is, I think as I prepare to move on, this blog will be left behind. I don’t want to label myself by what I am not anymore. If I must have a label, I want to be labeled for the things I believe in, not the things I disbelieve in. It’s time to stop remaking the foundation over and over and start working on the house. Further, this blog circulates to a wide variety of people, many family, and as such, I do not practice the sort of open hearted communication I believe in on this blog.
I actually practice a huge amount of self censorship here. When does discretion, which is wise and reasonable, become “self censorship” which is just saving your oppressor the trouble? I don’t know, but I know the discretion is contextual. If I limit my readership, I can be my true self and not worry about hurting anyone, or being attacked for it. It’s important to me to be my true self, especially in a document I trust to be the accurate record of how I felt at the time.
Finally, I am about to deploy. I’m going far away from my loved ones for a while, and I want a place online where I can write my thoughts the way I think them, without filter or compromise. For that reason and the ones above, this is the end of the beginning. If you have enjoyed the journey up to this point, you may not like the next leg of it. I have kept a very even tone here, trying hard to respect the beliefs of people I disagreed with. This blog was all about what I believe being questioned. The next one’s about being myself. Since I don’t think anyone knows better how to be me then I do, the discussion on the next blog will be of a different nature.
I am good deal more profane, snarky, ribald, sexual, sensitive, creative, emotional, and silly then I let on here, and the so the new blog will have more profanity, cheap shots, sexual content, humor, and just plain silliness than this one. If you think you won’t respond positively to that, then this is the end. If you want to visit the new blog, say so in your comments below, and I will take your email from the confirmation and send you a link to the new blog.
Regardless, I’ve had a wonderful almost 3 years with all 75,000 views (and probably the 5 regulars that represents). Goodbye, and Peace
Sincerely, Israel “Truth Walker” Walker.
I wrote something to an acquittance of mine, Anna L Davis, in response to a post she wrote and it got me thinking. I thought about the degree to which being part of a church is not about Jesus. Anna spoke of a group of former prostitutes who know try to lead other prostitutes to Jesus. For whatever reason (My morals, of course, intrinsically compromised by my atheism) I don’t like prostitution and I think it is good for women to be lead out of it by people who have been there, regardless of motivation. She mentioned how she would like to see more of this sort of thing.
I don’t think she will. Christianity is dying in the west, at rate of about 1% per year. Do you know what the fastest growing religion is? Wicca. The number of people who identify as Wiccans is doubling every 30 months. (Ref) So, I offer to concerned Christians everywhere my little guide book to how to keep your church from going the way of the brontosaurus. You can get Wiccans and other Neopagans (people who believe a fairly arbitrary re-imagining of neolithic and bronze age paganism, only without the blood sacrifice.) to go your church and stay there.
Its profoundly simple, actually. White suburban does not equal Christian. Tell me which picture is a group of Christians….
I like how the photo of the Christian teens (it’s taken from the Youth for Christ web page) uses careful lens flash to make the token black guy the whitest one there. So tell, me what exactly have the goths done wrong here? They are dressed as modestly as the Christians. There is no more hair dye, and no more make up on the right then on the left. You can’t see any skin really, no naughty words, no pentagrams.
But you know, don’t you? You know instantly they aren’t Christians because they don’t look white bread enough. Wicca takes these people with open arms. Wicca says “Your uniqueness is blessed”. The Christians say, through a tyranny of frowns and subtle digs, that these people aren’t right, no matter how much they love Jesus. I know someone is reading this and saying “Oh NO! Not I! I would love these people into Christianity. How long could person come to your church dressed like this before someone felt the need to say something to them? If Christianity wants to exist in another 50 years, then it needs to stop acting like being a Christian means having a Christian image, and needs to start acting like the inside is more important then the image….
Or be content with young people leaving droves from the hypocrisy.
P.S. If you got this far without ever realizing that only God can see the heart and the group on the left could be Satan worshipers and the group on the right could be local Baptist teen group then you don’t need me to tell you what the problem is.
I will write my paradigm paper, really. I’m just busy.
A specialist will always beat a generalist in a specialized challenge. The only time a specialist losses to a generalist is in general challenge.
Specialized challenge: going really fast in a vehicle around a highly embanked well paved track. Winner: race car. Loser: tractor.
Specialized challenge: pulling 40 tons of grain over wet sod for 2 hours on 3 gallons of diesel. Winner: tractor. Loser: race car.
The only time a generalist has chance is when the challenge is general. This is why we use main battle tanks and not light, medium, and heavy battle tanks. Battle is a general challenge so a force of all general tanks beats a force of an equal number of special tanks, unless there are special circumstances. Same goes for airplanes. We are increasingly moving away from force of fighters, attack planes, ground support planes, and light bombers to a single multirole plane which isn’t quite as good of a specialist as any of those, but over all wins the general challenge.
A human, verses any animal specialist will always lose. Apes are better weight lifters, dolphins better swimmers, cheetahs better runners, fleas better jumpers. We don’t haves as good as hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, or seeing as a veritable zoo of various species. We have one specialty:
We make tools to make tools to make tools. Everything we make is a tool. No other species specializes does creation like us. This is one of the most important ideas in the world. This means we are at our most human when we are creating. The “best” human is not the one who knows the most facts, or has the most stuff, or can influence the most people. The most human human is the one that is the most creative. This is the human most useful to any society when the game changes, though also the most likely to change the game.
What does this mean? My thanks to Xenophanes for expounding on this back in 500 BC:
The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black,
While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair.
Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw,
And could sculpt like men, then the horses would draw their gods
Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape
Bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own
And so the Gods of people are…always…creators.
Who is more audacious, the man who believes there is no God, or the man believes his god must be just like him?