Continuing the story of how I ended up writing for Patriot's Corner ...
For years I was a hard core atheist. I actually signed up with the Open University in the UK to study philosophy so that I could argue more effectively against Christians on the internet. I joined some of the big "Atheist v. Theist" debating sites, and was well known on them. I was a typical atheist, arrogant and dismissive.
I had a background in engineering, which is a pretty unforgiving discipline, and I had taken a degree with the OU, so I thought that intellectually speaking, I was a cut above someone who believed in the supernatural. I couldn't understand why anyone would be a Christian. Whenever I came across say, a doctor, who was, I assumed they didn't really believe and they were just going through the motions; that they were a cultural Christian, you might say.
Like a lot of atheists in Britain, I saw Christianity as a source of authority that had to be fought against. That was the religion we'd been brought up with, it was part of our society, and there were chips on many shoulders. Interestingly, there were no Muslims arguing their case on these "Atheist v. Theist" boards, and I saw several atheists who prided themselves on being "rational thinkers" lose their cool whenever the Islamic form of theism was attacked. Islam was supposed to get a pass, apparently. Even after 9/11.
There have been a few occasions in my life when I've had the experience of the operating system inside my mind re-writing its own software. You can actually feel the synapses firing throughout your brain as a new idea embeds itself into the software you've been running. It can be a real high, an incredible rush. New code!
I had that experience when I read a passage from Nietzsche years ago, where he declared that to judge whatever one did in the world was to judge the totality, everything that had ever been and would be, it meant judging the whole, but, he declared, there was nothing but the whole! There was nothing to judge, and nothing to be judged. That seductive idea embedded itself into my software; I remember that moment as if it was yesterday.
I was standing in an upstairs room; I felt high, I got the flowing brain-burn feeling I mentioned earlier. My breathing changed; I looked out of the window, and saw a telegraph pole lance upwards behind a net-making shed. Further out, the sea. It was a hot day, and I was sweating. I read the passage again, and felt nauseaous and completely high at the same time. Here it was, a denial of the supernatural, and I was in, I was hooked.
Anyone reading the literature of any of the "new atheists" and the comments of their followers on their websites would think that to live a life without God would be all that you could wish for. Free of moral constraints, you could life the life you'd always wanted. Me, I spent more than twenty years as a practicing alcoholic.
Tags: alcoholism, addiction, atheism, Nietzsche, 9/11 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Patriot's Corner. Thanks!