Monday, September 12, 2005

The Way Forward?

How do I proceed with this blog? I've done nothing here because I have trouble with this question. I can't figure out how to do it without the usual nastiness and fireworks that seem to follow whenever I express my real opinions about things. I'm a skeptic, and an agnostic that you'd have trouble distinguishing from an atheist. How can I discuss the many things I doubt, particularly religion, without the heat and light that always seem to follow? It's because of this that I have to blog here under a pseudonym; my friends and family and particularly my job would be adversely affected if I were to openly talk about these things.

It annoys me of course that I have to keep my mouth shut. People at work can casually run their yaps about God this, prayer that, and I have to sit there and smile thinly and nod. Keep your mouth shut, I remind myself. Every time you open your piehole you get yourself in trouble, so just shut up. And smile. And nod.

Some people seem to have been skeptics or heretics from the first jump; but I wasn't like that. I always try to remember all the unsupportable stuff I once believed. I've learned to reject strongly held beliefs that lack evidence; I've also learned to fear them. I learned to do this through noticing how often things didn't match up with what I wanted to believe. I just seemed to learn through trial and error what sorts of things deserve to be accepted as true. It was only later that I came across skeptical literature, things written by Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, James Randi, and Thomas Paine, among others.

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