Thursday, September 10, 2015
Monday, August 10, 2015
"Skeptic" is also implicitly positive. A skeptic wants to know truth. A skeptic lives as though one is on a journey - a pilgrimage for some - towards a better understanding of the cosmos and ourselves.
Of all the labels used by the atheist/agnostic/freethinker/skeptic community, I am convinced skeptic is the most important. Some disagree with me, and their reasons are worth consideration. Chief among them (in my mind) is that a label like "atheist" still carries negative (and I mean "negative" in the colloquial sense of being bad) connotations which fuel prejudice and misconceptions about what kind of people atheists are, and the more open and expressive we are with the label, the better our chances of convincing more people that we're not baby-eaters or devoid of morality or followers of the Dark Lord.
While many atheists became such because they were first skeptics, one can be an atheist and not a skeptic. They are not synonymous. Likewise, one can be a Christian and be a skeptic, simply because skeptics can actually disagree with each other. The day every person in the world who identifies as a "skeptic" agrees about everything is the day we've likely lost any semblance of being skeptics.
Granted, the nature of having faith makes being a skeptic more difficult. This was exemplified in the debate held back in February between Bill Nye and Ken Ham when each was asked: "What, if anything, would ever change your mind?" Ken Ham's answer was "Nothing," whereas Bill Nye's response was "Just one piece of evidence."
The soul of skepticism is the willingness to change one's mind when presented with a good reason to do so. the foundation of faith is the acceptance of certain tenets and beliefs and reliance upon their veracity independent of whether there is evidence for or against those tenets.
The reason I say that "skeptic" is the most important label we can use is because our skepticism is what has propelled us towards further advancements in science, technology, and medicine, and given us the knowledge and understanding of the world we currently have. It's the pursuit of truth, not the conformity to comfort, that will truly satisfy our instinctive curiosity, help us find fulfillment, and give us hope for the future.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
Monday, February 9, 2015
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
If I believed in luck, 3 would be my lucky number.
Tonight my fiancée and I will celebrate with cake and presents. My big party will be this Saturday. That's saying a lot, because I don't normally acknowledge or celebrate my birthday. I realized this year that I never celebrated my birthday because I never felt I deserved it. But 40 is a special time, and I have many reasons to celebrate.
To be honest, I have no idea what 40 is supposed to feel like or look like, but here I am this morning. Aside from the sinus infection I get every year around my birthday, I feel great. My life is filled with happiness and love, and it's been a long time coming.
I've said that I spent my 20s pretending to be someone I wasn't; I spent my 30s figuring out who I am; I'll spend my 40s seeking out who I should become.
I'm looking forward to my next decade of life.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Saturday, January 3, 2015
"We don't support that, religiously," Alcorn's mother told CNN on Wednesday, her voice breaking. "But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy."
- Carla Alcorn, speaking about her daughter, Leelah Alcorn [x]
And that's why Leelah committed suicide.
I'm sorry our world is still full of people stuck in the dismal past of bigotry, closed-mindedness, dogmatism, and fear. May memories of you give us strength to keep fighting for what's right, Leelah.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
My policy is as follows:
1. Be a skeptic. Don't believe everything you hear/read.
2. Nothing has only one cause, and there are always shades of grey.
That said, I am convinced that the system is broken. Racism still corrupts the machine. This isn't about any individual.
This isn't about any particular dead person or individual gun-wielding cop. There are plenty of good cops. There are genuine bad guys out there of every color. This is about a culture that is slanted against certain types of people.
There needs to be an overhaul, a reboot. Drastic changes need to be made. If I am to err, I prefer to err on the side of overreacting rather than the side of saying "calm down" while another person is killed unnecessarily.