I’ve been utterly irrational at various points in my life, and I don’t want to back to a state like that. I suspect that (almost?) all atheists could honestly say that, especially by my age (44, also known as “Tumblr old”).
Of course, there are atheists of various types, including those who are also really into math and/or science, like me (RobertLovesPi). Judging from this cartoon alone, I would have guessed that Kim (the original poster of this) can also be described this way. You can see her comments (and more of mine) below the cartoon. (Hi, Kim!)
I’ve embraced my inner nerd. Fortunately I usually start and end in the last panel, but I’ve been known to go off on wild ones. The more asinine the event being questioned, the more elaborate my hypothesis. ~ Kim
[RobertLovesPi again]: The sad truth is that I still, even after becoming an atheist, sometimes do things that break right out of “thought-balloons,” and are not too different from this. I have tested the hypothesis (once I realize it was a hypothesis, I became obsessed with conducting the experiment immediately) that one can made an unstable, large star go supernova (centuries in the past, mind you, so that we’d be able to see it quickly after the experiment began, for stars are far away) by posting pictures of the star on the Internet, combined with a lot of wishful thinking. I watched for 24 hours (the window I had set for testing) for the Betelgeuse supernova, an event I have awaited all my life, and babbled about it on multiple sites. I was relieved when the results (no supernova in allotted window of time) proved that I possessed no such power.
I’ve also only recently abandoned elaborate plans for real physical immortality. It took years for me to realize that such things as (for example) the Second Law of Thermodynamics make immortality, with any technology that can ever exist, literally impossible. I was an utterly devoted believer in immortality (motivated by severe thanatophobia, an irrational and extreme fear of death), with my multi-staged and (I realize now) crazy scheme in place, and I really believed I had a shot at avoiding the Grim Reaper. Forever.
I don’t want to believe anything. VoluptuousAtheist and I discussed the name of this blog at its inception, and its title, “Lack of Belief,” is related to this. It just doesn’t make sense to believe things. History and modern life contain countless examples that demonstrate this principle, and you’re probably thinking (I am guessing) of the set you know yourself, right now. It makes sense to accept things for which there is evidence, such as that provided by the scientific method or mathematical proof. I only want to accept things for which there are rational reasons for such acceptance. I want none of the “beliefs.”
To be skeptical, for me, is to preserve, and hopefully strengthen, what sanity I do possess. This is a bigger issue than theism vs. atheism, and it certainly is not limited to Christianity. You’ll find posts here about many other religions, and about things that are not religions at all, such as homeopathy, astrology, and many other things people “believe in” without rational reasons.
Having fallen over the edge of unreason in various ways before, and somehow survived relatively intact, I try to keep my bullshit detector turned on, 24/7. It’s aimed at everyone, especially myself.
”The first rule is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” —Richard Feynman
(Source: abstrusegoose.com, via )