Skip to main content


Most of my posts are just my own musings.  Some of them are based on actual knowledge--fact, evidence, and whatnot.  And some, such as today's are my own musings, but triggered by a nugget of wisdom uttered by someone else.  For the inspiration of today's post, you have my friend Scott to thank.  In a discussion concerning religious debate, Scott said that (I'm paraphrasing) one problem that believers have is that they identify themselves with their beliefs.

I understand that believers hold their beliefs very dear to them.  This much I know for certain, because that's exactly how I was when I was a believer.  In fact, I even posted about how there's evidence to support the idea that not only are religious beliefs deeply emotionally ingrained in a person, but that they are also linked to a person's survival instincts.

What is sometimes difficult to communicate to a believer, in having a religious debate, is that when I attack a particular religious belief (eg, that god exists), I am not attacking any particular individual who believes it.  There is a great difference between saying "I think that the belief that god exists is ridiculous" and "I think you're ridiculous for believing that god exists".  Often, the type of statements I make (or mean to make) are of a nature like the former sentence, while what is perceived by the believer is that of the latter.  And I do believe that it's because the believer believes so intensely that ey actually identifies emself with eir beliefs.

I don't think this is intentional.  In fact, I don't even think that it's conscious.  I think it's just a natural reaction, since a believer holds eir beliefs so dear to eir heart.  I think in just about any personal opinions or personality-related topics, it is difficult to remain objective about the discussion at hand (for example, someone saying "I believe that homosexual behavior is evil" can easily be interpreted as "I believe you are evil because you're gay" by a homosexual).  But, I think that this effect is magnified many times over when it is religious beliefs that are being discussed.

As I said in my previous post (and in a couple others a while back), I definitely feel like freedom to believe as one chooses is one of the things that has helped make America great, and I am very grateful for the freedom to choose which religion I am to follow (or, as I have chosen, to follow none at all).  I have no problem with anyone believing any religion they like.  I do not feel I have ever ridiculed anyone for believing as they choose, and I certainly don't plan to do so.  I may (and often have) ridicule the beliefs themselves, but that's entirely different.  Persecuting someone or discriminating against them because of their religious beliefs (or anything else, really) is wrong.  If I were to hear of any political movement to force people to believe something (for example, that homosexuality is moral), then I would fight against it because I believe that everyone should be able to choose what to believe or not believe.

So, when I say that I don't believe in any gods, I'm not saying that anyone who does is a fool.  When I point out all of the reasons that I no longer believe, I'm not telling you that your beliefs are invalid or that you have no reason to believe them.  Your experiences in life have been very different from the ones I've had.  What those experiences are and (more importantly) how've they've influenced you is something I'll never fully comprehend, try as I might.  So, I'm not going to judge you for having an opinion different from the one I have.  I won't use labels like those so often applied to non-believers ("infidel", "apostate", "heathen", etc).

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

Karing about others

Mostly because I have been thinking about her lately, I feel compelled to write about someone who was very dear to me.  Many people who have met me in the last several years may not be aware of the fact that I was married to a woman for 3 years. I understand there can be lots of confusion whenever I mention it, and misunderstandings or misconceptions might occur. So I would like to take this opportunity to discuss my feelings about her.

Shortly after I came out, I attended a party for ex-Mormon gay people. Many of them had been married (to someone of the opposite sex), as I had. Most of those marriages had ended in divorce. Sometimes the divorce was very ugly, other times it was rather pleasant and they remained friends throughout the process. I assume it is because of the ugly divorce scenarios that this statement was made to me. Upon revealing that I had previously been married to a woman and that the marriage had ended in her death, a man said to me that it was good that it had end…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…