Thursday, August 14, 2008

Guess what! I got a FEVAH!

And the only prescription is… coming clean (and maybe some cowbell).

I’m sick of wondering whether or not the handful of people who regularly read this blog know, or fully understand, the biggest change in my life… ever.

I am an atheist. And I am proud of that. I am not going to apologize for it, and I am never going to be ashamed of it. There is only one person, my grandma, from whom I will keep this information… but merely to keep from breaking a poor old woman’s heart. (Having said that… if you speak to my grandma, I beg you to keep this to yourself.)

Now, you’re probably wondering what happened to make me flip entirely to the other side of the theism coin. To answer that fully would fill up pages, but the simple answer is, “I thought.”

Over the past year or so, I went through a period of purging all the things in my life that upset me, that hindered my progress, or that simply weren’t necessary. I would have called many of those things “friends.”

During school I was unemployed, and the few friends I had left were hours away. With all this time on my hands, I thought. And thought. And thought. Sometimes, when I’d get tired of thinking, I’d think some more. Other times, I’d sleep, but you’d be a fool to believe that the first thing on my to-do list for the next day was anything other than “think.” I’d think until I started to cry. I’d think until I was laughing hysterically. I’d think until I was hugging the toilet, ready to puke. I’d think until my head was throbbing with pain… Yes, those jokes actually hit home, for me. =-(

When I got bored with thinking about being lonesome, I thought about theism. Particularly my theism. But, you have to understand; I’m not saying that the conclusion I came to is the only possible conclusion one could come to through serious contemplation… If you’ve come to a different conclusion through a similar process, then good for you. Honestly and sincerely.

For me, however, I realized that there is not enough evidence, empirical or otherwise, to support the god hypothesis. I do not feel that my belief in God was justified or justifiable. To put it in even simpler terms, the idea of God just does not work with my view of reality. If it does for you, great! Keep going with that. I have absolutely no problem with theists, just so long as they respect my world view as much as I respect theirs.

Now, I’m an agnostic atheist. This means that I could never claim to KNOW there is no god. I feel such things are unknowable. So, while I don’t know if there is a god (agnosticism), I deny the claim that there is one (atheism). A gnostic atheist, however, would say they know for sure there is no god. The labels work for theists, as well. Agnostic theists and gnostic theists.

Being an atheist doesn’t turn me into an immoral, unrestrained, guilt-free, unbridled maniac. I hold essentially the same moral compass I did when I was a Christian… not because I was brought up Christian, but because it is the moral compass that is common amongst most humans. All that has changed is I don’t have this fear of sinning. I don’t think all my friends are sinning when they party, and I don’t worry that they’re going to hell. This is a HUGE deal for me.

With this gargantuan burden of guilt and worry lifted off my back, I’m finally happy. I have been horribly depressed (on and off) for the past seven years. For the first time in months, I’m actually happy… and this is the happiest I’ve been in at least seven years. This is remarkable for me. My whole life has changed, drastically… and for the better.

Look, I’m not saying that you have to agree with my world view. All I ask is that you be glad that I’ve found a place that is comfortable for me. Be glad that I’m happy for once. If you can manage to respect my atheism, too, that’d be an added bonus.

So there’s my testimony. If you want to know more, leave questions in the comments, email me, text me, IM me, or ask me in real life. I don’t want to be shy about this anymore, and I don’t want this to be an awkward, taboo topic of discussion.

Oh, and I want to thank you, Lisa, for sticking by me through the whole, horrendously difficult transition. Thank you so much! Even though you probably know full well, it’s more dramatic to say you have no idea how much you mean to me. =-D

So, is everyone OK?


Lisa said...

Believe me, I'll be your friend forever regardless of what you believe. It won't be that easy for you to shake me =P.