Continuation of the 7 Pillars Stuff

Seeing my 7 Pillars post get linked to by the Friendly Atheist made me as excited as my kids were when we finally got a Wii. I was even happier to see the discussion it generated (32 comments last time I checked)!

But some of those comments made me want to clarify a few things:

1. The graphic doesn’t represent all atheists.
2. The graphic doesn’t even represent atheism.
3. What it is, is a simplified and modified representation of the secular humanism worldview this atheist identifies with.

I feel obligated to say this for two reasons. First, because I don’t want atheists thinking I am that presumptuous. Second, because I don’t want everyone else to think I am some sort of spokesman for atheists. I’m not – the pillars post was my first crack at figuring out what I believe are important ideas to help guide my life.

Hesitations aside, writing that post was an important step in my growth as an atheist (and human being!). Why? Because I honestly had never – in my 40 years prior to becoming an atheist – really put a lot of thought into my belief system. And why is that? Because when I was a Christian, the Bible and teachers of the Bible told me what to believe.

And that right there – being able to truly think for myself – is the most unbelievable, joy-filled reward I could imagine for letting go of religion and the supernatural.

It’s a profoundly fantastic thing.
—-
Unrelated shout to postsimian: The answer to your question is that I’ve been an atheist for about six weeks – I became one right around the 15th of May, 2008. I’m just a baby atheist!

Comments

  1. I’ve apparently been an atheist for five or six years, but I just found out about a week ago. I honestly didn’t know I fell into that category, but I’m embracing it. Like you, I come from a religious background, and I agree that rejecting religion has been about the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. The transition process wasn’t easy for me, becoming radically more progressive and leaving behind my religious roots, but it has definitely been for the best.

    Welcome aboard!

  2. Love your seven pillars. I’m a bit of a ‘baby atheist’ as well, but really only since I’ve decided that being agnostic is wimpy.

    Since reading your pillars, I’ve been trying to write my own. something like:

    Nature made me, and for that it is beautiful.
    Morals make me human.
    Curiosity and understanding propels us forward.
    The future (not an after life) is something to live for and have faith in.

    Thats not seven I noticed, but its mid-process. Thanks for giving me an example to go from.

    I do feel so liberated also! I used to feel confused and almost worried when I discussed religion (I do have a somewhat religious family), as if I had to pick, or commit or something. But now I feel I have clarity and peace with myself and what I am, especially when I talk to religious people. Lucky though, I didn’t so much need to ‘transition’ since I’ve become an atheist relatively early in life, but developing my own sort of concrete belief system feels good, I feel like I understand something.

    peace

  3. oooh, footnot here.
    I may have insulted some agnostics. Just kidding, I promise!

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