A new blog, now hosted by WordPress, a new twitter handle, @CultOfEh, and a new (old) dream. A dream I’ve wanted to pursue for a long time but never had the intestinal fortitude to take the necessary risks nor the self-confidence to think I could pull it off.
What is this dream? Exactly what I’m doing right now. Writing, blogging, creating, call it what you will. It’s really all of them. It started with finally getting going on a yet to be finished & published book expanding on the logical arguments against God that I most frequently use on Twitter but aiming to use everyday, more accessible language than you often find in philosophy or academic books (Let’s be clear, I am not an academic, I’m just a moderately smart guy that apparently has a knack for writing things in ways others wish they could; I’ve been told this many, many times). Add on lots and lots of support and encouragement from my Cultists over at Twitter seems to have light a fire under my ass and boosted my confidence enough to push forward.
Oh, by the way, this first blog post is a lot of ‘thinking as I type’ because to be honest, I couldn’t let myself think too much about this before, I just had to hit the ground running. Sort of a Ready…Fire…Aim kind of approach. So please, bear with me.
There are a lot of risks involved in doing this. To anyone that’s been following me closely on Twitter, they will know that I face financial risks with this dream of mine. I am currently unemployed and I am hoping to make writing my primary income fast. I only have a few more months of Employment Insurance left after which…well, it’s sink or swim. I don’t want a pity party. I want to produce top quality content that people want to read and share. If I achieve that, the rest, theoretically, should take care of itself.
As my tagline says, I intend to “Politely refute religious claims using everyday language.” I’ll try to refrain from maliciously mocking others beliefs for a start; that doesn’t mean there won’t be satire or that people won’t feel like I’m mocking their beliefs, I’ll just try to refrain from blatant insults. I think it is a noble goal to try and refute beliefs without disrespecting the person and malicious mockery does just that. I can’t control how others react to what I see as satire. If someone feels I’ve been malicious, I’ll try to be open to the criticism & if I’m convinced I was, I’ll be willing to take down the offensive post.
With that said, people are deeply attached to their beliefs, especially cherished beliefs such as religious ones, and any refutation of them, even polite ones, causes Cognitive Dissonance which can make the person feel like they are being attacked personally. Cognitive Dissonance is very uncomfortable and very difficult to deal with if you a) don’t know what it is and b) don’t know how to identify it within yourself. Even when you do know what it is and can identify it in yourself, it takes tremendous amounts of mental energy to cope with it and keep it under control.
When a person has their cherished beliefs mocked, especially maliciously, cognitive dissonance kicks them in the brain so hard they can sometimes physically recoil from it (I’ve seen that first hand). This then gets their back up and their claws out as the evolutionary instinct to ‘fight or flight’ takes over their mind. In either case, they will double down and be literally unable to have a reasonable discussion; but then, if you are maliciously mocking them, I doubt your goal is a reasonable conversation and you’re more looking to hurt people. Congratulations, you are the ‘Angry atheist asshole’ stereotype and we probably won’t get along.
I don’t blame Humans for acting like Homo Sapiens Sapiens. I mean, the ‘fight or flight’ instinct is a clear evolutionary benefit, so how can we blame someone for using 4 billion years worth of hard-fought evolutionary success? What we can do, is try to circumvent this instinct as much as possible.
I also don’t blame people who simply don’t want to discuss their beliefs because they just don’t have the mental energy left over after dealing with life to do something like critically examine their core beliefs. With kids, jobs, and whatever else occupies peoples busy lives, many just couldn’t be bothered with reviewing something they are comfortable with and isn’t affecting their lives (even if it’s affecting other peoples lives). Add to this the fact that turning your back on beliefs you share with your family and friends can quite literally destroy the life you know. All things considered, there isn’t really a whole lot of incentive to deconvert.
Anyone that is looking at their beliefs and doubting them will likely be searching out blogs just like mine to find some answers, so I hope I can provide them in a polite way that they will be able to more readily absorb.
I’ll stop here for now. Next up, I’ll post some of my old blog posts from my old Blogspot blog over to this new one. Then I want to discuss my future plans some more and, yes, make some arguments against god.
Until next time, keep drinking the Kool-aid.