Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Three Years On

As of this month, it has been 3 years since I first 'came out' as an atheist. That was a big step for me then and my views and attitudes towards things have changed even more since then than they did in the 3 years leading up to my deconversion. A friend of mine recently used the term 'action-potential' (a neuroscience term) to describe the way I explained my shifts in views. I think this is quite accurate, as my views were quite extreme as a teenager, and swung back well past the 'zero' point before leveling off to a stable state. For quite some time after deconversion I was quite militant, always up for a debate and very confrontational (at least on the internet) about my opinions. I still have a few hot-button topics but in general I've become much less combative over religion.

These days I tend to shy away from identifying myself as an atheist, though the term definitely still applies to me, since I personally do not think any gods exist. I changed my religious beliefs on facebook from 'Atheist', to 'Metaphysical Naturalism' and recently to a simple 'none'. This is for several reasons. First and foremost because I no longer see atheism as a defining characteristic of what constitutes 'me'. I much prefer to identify with terms that actually reflect the things I do believe in rather than those that I don't. Some terms that I currently identify myself with are things like Feminist, Liberal and Socialist.

Perhaps one of the biggest contributors behind no longer identifying myself as an atheist has been the company that I keep. When I first deconverted a large portion of the people that I frequently interacted with were Christians. Over time however that number has dwindled, and Christians now make up less than 10% of the people I converse with. Among my closest friends I think you'd be hard pressed to require two hands to count those who identify as Christian, and I suspect the number is actually zero. Bearing that in mind, it seems rather trite to use 'atheist' as a label that I actively place on myself.

I'm not going to bother trying to explain how my views on religion, life and politics have changed over the course of these three years. I will however say that it has been an adventurous three years of self discovery and personal evolution. The journey through the intellectual, emotional and spiritual (whichever way you interpret that) maze of my life is far from over, I just hope that at each point like this when I look back at where I've been I can say that I've become a better person as a result.


  1. Sweet post bro, some of my own journey is caught up in these blog archives...!

  2. 5000 whining atheists vs the Great Prophet

    Pass it On