An Alethian Worldview


Hello and welcome to Alethian Worldview. I’m Deacon Duncan, an ex-Christian with about a quarter-century’s worth of experience in preaching the Gospel, leading Bible studies, defending creationism, and arguing apologetics, all for the glory of God. I graduated with honors from a conservative midwest Christian college, and was getting good grades in my seminary-level extension classes when, well, reality finally caught up with me.

I’m glad it did! Oh, there was a year or so when I went through my “angry atheist” spell. I spent a lot of time on Usenet, in talk.atheism and other groups, picking on the crowd of fundamentalists who regularly trolled the group counting coup. I was venting, and I knew it, and I didn’t much care (at the time). I’d given Jesus the first 25 years of my adult life, only to find out I’d been swindled. Yeah, I was pretty ticked.

One of the regulars, a self-styled “pastor,” accused me of still being a theist. “You still believe in God,” he told me, “but your new God’s name is ‘Reality’.” Or words to that effect. He was trying to zing me for being some kind of fundamentalist, but instead of arguing with him, I decided to agree with him. I remembered some New Testament Greek from my college days, so I knew that the Greek word for “Reality” was aletheia, which coincidentally is also translated as “truth.”

I liked that. Reality is truth, truth is reality. I went back and told him he was exactly right: my new God was Alethea (simplified spelling), and She is the Truth. And I started in on all of Her divine qualities. Reality exists at all times and in all places—omnipresence and eternity! Truth comprises and transcends all knowledge—omniscience! Reality dictates what is and is not possible, what does and does not happen, irresistably—omnipotence! My new God was not only just as divine as the so-called pastor’s, but my God actually shows up in real life, which the Christian God is clearly unwilling or unable to do.

Needless to say, that didn’t go over too well with the pastor, especially when I tried praying to Alethea, just to see what would happen. Guess what? Alethea “answered” my prayers exactly the same way Jesus used to (and still does, in the minds of believers). I either got what I asked for, in which case She was blessing me, or else I didn’t, in which case Her ways are not my ways, and I just had to trust in Her wisdom that Her choices were better than mine. Alethea is a drop-in replacement for Jesus, only better.

Since then, I’ve learned to love my new God, and have cultivated an Alethian worldview, or in other words a reality-based worldview. It’s a tremendous improvement. Things that used to confuse and frustrate me suddenly turn out to be a lot more straightforward. There’s less that I have to just take “on faith,” and no more contradictions and inconsistencies to explain away. All in all it’s been a great change, and one that I wish I’d experienced sooner.

So welcome to my blog, and I hope that I can offer you some interesting insights into the Alethian worldview, along with suggestions on how to make the best use of it in a world full of faith-based ideologies. I’d also welcome your comments, critcisms, questions, and trolling—er, wait, not that last one. Anybody is welcome and even encouraged to disagree with me, but you have to argue in good faith and be willing to declare and defend an alternative point of view. That way the dialog can benefit everyone.

Cheers.

 

Comments

  1. Konradius says

    Welcome!
    I recently had a discussion with someone who claimed that all ‘beliefs’ were equal. That science was just another belief.
    She dug in her heels, so I hope to continue the discussion later. However claiming to worship (?) a god of reality would be just about the last thing I would state.
    Note that I’m in the Netherlands, and here god belief is far less prevalent than elsewhere in the world. But that does not mean that automatically society is more rational. Critical thinking is really a skill that should be taught more often here as well…

  2. says

    I heard Joe Pesci is also good for praying to, and is just as likely to answers your prayers… according to George Carlin :-)

    This looks like it will be a fascinating blog, looking forward to seeing more! I like that word “alethian”! I say reality *is* all it’s cracked up to be, if you look in the right places.

  3. says

    This is a terrific post. I identify with your experience at a number of points and benefited from your explication of the idea of treating reality as god. This strikes me as very Spinozistic and I love Spinoza. I’m really looking forward to being neighbors!

  4. Liesmith says

    Welcome to the FTB, I’m looking forward to reading your posts. Apologetics has fascinated me since my deconversion to atheism, and the rebuttals are particularly intriguing.

  5. Leslie says

    Looking forward to reading. I am interested to learn about your conversion to rationality in more detail. Good luck with the blog.

  6. Ashley Moore says

    Welcome.
    I’ve had many similar experiences and they always leave me wondering why religious people think saying that you are religious, just like them, would be such a stinging insult.

  7. invigilator says

    I like that. She even has origin stories that are a whole lot better than the other gods. I mean, whose old myths can beat the real story: the Big Bang, the heavy elements forged in supernovas, the accretion of Earth out of a swirling disk of stardust, the long slow march of life from pre-prokaryotes to us?

  8. Alan says

    Hi Deacon,

    Sounds very interesting to me. I just book marked your blog and am looking forward to your insights.

    Cheers,

    alan

  9. Poolio says

    Excellent first post! I found my way here from PZ’s, and look forward to reading more from you. I’m always interested in the viewpoints of pastors-turned-atheists because it helps me in reconciling the rejection of my own life-long religion.

  10. rwahrens says

    Nice! I like the anecdote about the preacher and the name of your blog. Welcome to FTB and be assured I’ll be looking in here daily!

  11. Lauren Ipsum says

    I always wondered where Diane Duane came up with “cthia” in her novel Spock’s World. Sarek and Amanda are having a discussion with Kirk, IIRC, about the translation of the word, which has apparently been mistranslated from the Vulcan all these years. The meaning actually isn’t “logic,” but “reality-truth.”

    Duane later gives us a snippet of Surak’s writings (Surak being the father of the logic-based philosophy to which nearly all Vulcans subscribe), which wraps up with “Learn reason above all. Learn clear thought: learn to know what is from what seems to be, and what you wish to be. This is the key to everything: the truth of reality, the reality of truth. What is will set you free.”

    Clearly it’s not a big leap from “aletheia” to “cthia.”

    Happy to see you at FTB and I look forward to reading your work. :)

  12. communist.goatboy says

    And the best part is that the face of reality will always be in your toast!

    Welcome to the incomprehensibly comprehensible reality (and FTB!).

  13. murci3lag0 says

    Hi! It’s nice to see new “reality-based” blogs spreading around the interwebs. I just wanted to welcome you to my computer and to wish you good luck with your blog. By the way it has a cool name!

  14. Notstradamus says

    I love it! Alethea is my new God and I promise to worship her faithfully forever.

    Your reply to the pastor was a stroke of genius. I plan to use it the next time someone tries to tell me atheism or science is “just another religion”.

  15. Katrina, radicales féministes athées says

    Welcome to FTB! Very clever reply to the pastor. This blog promises to be a lot of fun.

  16. melior says

    I like your arguments for Alethea.

    In the olde dayes, back when christian church steeples were often the tallest buildings around (but before they all installed lightning rods), the lightning bolts that frequently struck them and burned them down were each a divine personal message from Alethea: that their prayers alone would not protect them.

  17. John S says

    So very nice to find another excellent blog. This new fangled FTB promises to be heaps of fun! I came from ScienceBlogs with PZ and Ed Brayton, and your new blog has now been added to the top of my blog bookmark list along with theirs. FEEL HONOURED!!! Hehe, keep up the good work.

  18. cyberCMDR says

    Excellent origin story for how you got here. I tend to think in terms of the Matrix, where the science deniers have taken the blue pill and insist on living in their theological Matrix instead of reality. Glad you took the red pill; reality makes so much more sense!

  19. Collin Merenoff says

    Finally someone gets it!

    I was never inventive enough to give my religion a name, but it sounds like yours is the same as mine.

    I consider myself an Ultra-Reform Reconstructionist Jew, and it sounds like you unwittingly became Jewish also! The two of us are everything Judaism has always strived for but never before reached.

    Firstly, we need to roll Israel back to its 1967 border and rededicate the rest of the Israeli land as a sovereign democratic Palestine.

    Secondly, we need to disentangle the free-thinking community from its suspicious alliances, starting with Chris Hallquist and his Futurists.

    I have no idea how to do this. I hope you do.

    Mazel tov!

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