Making Atheism Visible

The dialogue around Atheism hasn’t quite tapped into what goes on in my life experience. I am an Atheist. A deconverted Atheist, meaning I once lived a very religious life, with beliefs and convictions that matched.  I am a fan of living the “examined life” and like many Atheists I am pretty convinced that I have managed to navigate a minefield of institutionalized superstition that has most people completely duped.  However, now that I am living the life of an Everyday Atheist I find that I want to make my Atheism something positive. I want to raise my children as happy Atheists who’s thoughtful approach to life brings them true happiness and success.

Much of the discourse on Atheism seems to take a couple different tones: 1) Self-righteous and vindicated in the fact that we know the facts and that others are trapped in fairyland or 2) Quiet and capitulating to the more powerful majority. I don’t think either of these approaches is helpful to the Atheist cause (if there is one).

The self-righteous, often caustic approach is great when your preaching to the choir. I enjoy a good humorous jab at religion and pointing out the ludicrousy of it all. I enjoy being in company where the Atheist dialogue makes me roll with the laughter that only those in the “club” could appreciate. And I am the first to admit that I love living in the San Francisco Bay Area because I love the thinking, liberal bubble I can operate within.  

However, if I am looking for new thoughts or hope to make a decent argument to believers, this approach loses its utility. I am looking for a new dialogue about the experience of being Atheist, not just about the validity of Atheism.  I am looking for visibility, recognition, public office (not for me but for the like-minded), a place of inclusion for my children, and to encourage others to think before they follow like cattle.  

And I looking to help change the second tone of the Atheist dialogue, because the quiet, change -the-conversation, pretend-its-not-important approach to NOT talking about Atheism has got to go down into the distant past, fast. 

So, I begin this blog with the minimum goal of articulating my experience as an Atheist, through all the many complexities as it relates to society, the world, politics, economy, family, etc. But really I write with the not-so-humble goal of destimigtizing thoughtful nonbelievers and making us more visible in politics, family, society, community and the world.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Eric on January 11, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    A thoughtful post. it got me wondering as someone that struggles with the idea of faith – and believe me, I wish often that I had it as it would be comforting to believe in something greater than myself that was watching over me – how do you see religion and Atheism differently, if you do, in their view of having a sense of the “truth.” In short, don’t you think there may in fact be many very valid and “true” ways of making sense of and understanding the world(s) in which in live?


    • Hey Eric, I think I get where you are coming from.
      I don’t think truth is relative. The way one experiences truth may be different, but there is only one Truth. One person may see a bunny in the clouds and another may see a dragon, but really it is just a bunch of water droplets, the formation of which would probably be explained by some scientific model. There are lots of ways to make sense of our world but there can only be one reality. There either is or is not a god. This is a yes or no, binary concept. There is no gray existence of god. I don’t deny others their experience of the world. But it is a relative experience. I may think a warm room is 68 degrees while someone else may find that freezing – but it is still 68 degrees.
      After I walked through the gauntlet that was my deconversion, there was no longer the relative for me. I say gauntlet, because it was like being knocked around at every corner as I shed all the comforts that religion offered.
      All that said, and maybe most importantly, I don’t deny that EXPERIENCE may be more important than TRUTH to many.

      Thanks for joining in the discussion.


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