September 7, 2011 3 Comments
Back in university I lived with two guys in a share house. All three of us nerds, outspoken and skeptical. Two atheists and one deist.
Each night at dinner we would watch a show together and one of our favourites was ‘Bullshit‘. The nature of the show usually elicited a heavy discussion afterwards. Due to our strong opinions we would often have very heated discussions, raving and ranting, sometimes at the topic at hand, sometimes at each other. Many times we would tear each other a new one. Egos were popped and ideas smushed beneath a cascade of reason and logic, often times by our much older and wiser deist friend.
And the best part of all this? Once we were done arguing we’d grab dessert and sit down again to watch an episode of Avatar. Never was anyone’s feelings hurt so bad we couldn’t turn around and be friends five minutes later. No one was so precious about what they thought that anything was taken to heart. It was simply a sharing of ideas; it was not a reflection of how we felt about each other. It was never personal.
The two years I spent living with those guys were the happiest of my life. I was studying something I was passionate about and in my spare time I was being pushed to think more broadly than I ever had before. I was being exposed to other points of view, tearing down others ideas and having my own torn down in turn. And it was wonderful.
Since we were forced to part ways due to unforseen circumstances (don’t worry, we’re all still friends) I’ve longed to find people I can have those same kinds of discussions with. Atheists are by far the best at it. Part of the reason most of us are atheists is because we weren’t afraid to apply skeptical thinking to our own beliefs, which I guess is why we seem to be able to take such punishment from others. But talking with other atheists is boring. Where’s the fun in having someone agree with you all the time? I want to be challenged. I want to test my beliefs so I can be confident they hold up. Knowing the truth is important to me, as the truth will determine how I choose to live my life.
Ignorance is rarely ever bliss. And if it is, it’s probably only temporary. But that doesn’t mean knowledge is blissful. Everything comes at a cost, including knowledge. If we’re lucky knowledge will come at the expense of time. Sometimes though it will cost us more than we want it to. It may cost us a feeling of safety. It may cost us our ability to make certain choices. In the worst cases some people are disowned by friends and family in their pursuit of knowledge. They will need to make a choice between their desire for information, knowledge and wisdom and those they care about. It is a shame, and I wish people were more welcoming of this exploratory process.
I started this blog with the hope of educating people and indirectly, myself. I’d hoped we could openly discuss ideas, and like my uni friends, be willing to tear apart ideas and have our own torn too.
It is a very delicate line to tread and impossible to walk without offending people. Play it safe and you alienate people who want deeper discussions while avoiding anything meaningful. Tread too far and you hurt people. Often the simple knowledge of an atheists existence is enough to offend some.
My intention with this blog was to try to help people come to better beliefs, never to harm. It is a very delicate line to tread.
Blog closed indefinitely.
– Ignorance is not bliss. Inquisitiveness is costly. Stay inquisitive?