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Why I am an atheist – AJ Champlin

There are a multitude of reasons that I’m an atheist. With the exception of a brief time as an “angstheist” when I was a teenager, none of those reasons include denial or anger. Rather than focus on the negative, I’d rather focus on positive and start from the beginning.

I am an atheist because I am fortunate enough to be a member of an order of apes that evolved intelligence. This evolution may have wired us to see patterns and believe the absurd, but the intelligence we’re gifted with also allows us to overcome this shortcoming. I am an atheist because there were men and women before me who refused to believe that the mysteries of the natural world were to forever remain unknown. Collectively, they developed the most reliable means available of uncovering these secrets. I have no doubts that I would be dead (a severe impediment for being anything beyond compost) if not for this scientific revolution; let alone capable of writing this letter.

I am an atheist because I’m not afraid of questions to which I don’t have answers. Instead I am, like many before me, driven to embrace the search for truth, regardless of what strange, frightening or fantastic truth that search my unearth. I do not require fairy tales to reassure me and push an illusion of purpose.

I have been fortunate to have parents that cared more about my well-being than about indoctrinating me into their faith. They taught me to be a decent human being without the fear of divine retribution. I was taught to appreciate the truth and to discard any falsehoods I may have acquired. Perhaps most importantly, that is why I am able to say that I am an atheist.

AJ Champlin

Comments

  1. deeneely says

    I am an atheist because years of wasted study in religion and spirituality led me there. If I could only get back that time.

  2. doofusmagnus says

    When you put this book together, PZ, [;)] this one might be a fine way to end it. Short but well-written and a decent summary of why any of us are atheists.

  3. John Morales says

    the intelligence we’re gifted with

    Yet another example of how theism is embedded in our language.

  4. TimKO,,.,, says

    Many of us would be dead were it not for antibiotics.
    Shit man, imagine a world without corrective lenses!

  5. flouncesticker says

    Budget Travel is having a poll about the places kids should visit, and the number one answer is that stupid Creation “Museum” in Kentucky.

    You can vote daily for all the ones you want, so please help!

    How do I get PZ to notice this?

    Little late. Voting closed yesterday. Besides, PZ already knew about it and tried to get his little mindless lackeys to “Pharyngulate” it in order to knock the Museum out of the top 5 (some with the lofty goal of knocking it out of the top 15). He (and they) failed miserably. I mean, they got seriously pwnd.

  6. janine says

    Flouncesticker, do you like creationist museums?

    Also, you have a silly idea of what being pwned is.

    Also, are you a morpher?

  7. flouncesticker says

    I like when people who suffer from viewpoint discrimination show their true colors with things like that.

    You tried to “pharyngulate” the poll to push the Museum out of the top 5. You failed by literally hundreds of votes. That’s called “pwnd” in my book. Why not in yours?

    Nope. Not banned.

  8. janine says

    Nope. Not banned.

    I did not ask that, dipshit.

    Also, “viewpoint discrimination”?

    Is accepting that gravity exists a “viewpoint discrimination”?

    You are a stupid sack of shit.

  9. flouncesticker says

    I did not ask that, dipshit.

    Yeah, you actually did.

    freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/09/23/the-magic-of-denying-reality/comment-page-1/#comment-70975

    “A morpher is a person who switches usernames to get around a ban.”

    I have not been banned and don’t appear anywhere on this list:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/dungeon/

    …thus I don’t need to switch usernames to get around a ban.

    Also, “viewpoint discrimination”?

    That’s what it’s called when you target someone or something somewhere where they are entitled (that may be too strong a word) to equal presence as anyone else simply because you personally disagree with their viewpoint.

    Is accepting that gravity exists a “viewpoint discrimination”?

    No.

    You are a stupid sack of shit.

    So says the person who argues like a 6th grader.