Thursday, March 15, 2012

What is "The Freedom of Nonbelief"?

This blog comes from a thought I had after reading one of Richard Dawkins recent books, most likely The God Delusion.  I was reading this and making the logic steps of when one doesn't believe in one magical thing, the others are very easy to dismiss as well.

This was something I had done naturally at age 10 when I "became" an atheist, but it was still refreshing to read it.  I recall putting the book down and thinking to myself that being an atheist was rather freeing.
There was so much non-sense I could easily dismiss.  Though I deeper reflection I realized that of course that means I had to think everything through.  Sure there are logical leaps that could be made, but I didn't want to always rely on them.  After all, I get mad at the faithful for their adherence to a priori conclusions.

So yes.  Being a skeptic and an atheist is actually a lot of hard work.  You need to ask the questions others won't ask or are too afraid to ask.  You need to be able weigh data and arguments very carefully.  And as a skeptic you need to be willing to say "I was wrong" and find something that fits the data better (and not the otherway around like the faithful do).

Being an atheist is hard work.  But it is also freeing to know your mind and your conclusions are your own.
Not dogma.
Not some Bronze Age set of rules.
Not superstition.

Just freedom of thought.
The Freedom of Nonbelief.


  1. I love that you have Begun this written journey. I have lived my freedom vicariously through reading others, including you. Aside from my parents (Dad is agnostic) and husband, I haven't felt the freedom to open up about my thoughts. I am envious of the freedom of belief all the very religious people I know have, because I feel I have none in my non-belief. I'm closeted, and situations like the Judge Martin incident chewing out a non-believer who was the victim. I'm rambling. I will wrap it up by saying thank you, and maybe I will find a path to my own freedom.

    1. Clearly I shouldn't make comments on my iPad. The judge incident doesn't help, was my meaning.

  2. Trela,

    I hope you continue to post since so much of what I want to talk about is growing up in a midwest town surrounded by the religious and the automatic assumption of religion. You and Tony were there with me.

    My perception I am sure was different than yours and I'd like to hear that.

    Also I am happy that you have found something to enjoy in my posts! Sometimes it is like yelling at the wind. If nothing else I like it when people read something I wrote and then think about things a little differently than they did before.

  3. Hi, Tim!

    The eloquent conclusion you come to at the end of your post here is the logical one. It can apply to all kinds of secular philosophies. Keeping your own mind ordered well enough to discern the truth behind any topic, especially ones people are passionate about, is a real challenge here in the US.

    It's so much easier to ignore the incoming rhetoric than to understand where they've picked up holes and cracks in their reasoning (if any was applied in the first place).