Growing up in a Catholic country with Catholic friends in Catholic school, this had no doubt rubbed off on me as I was a Catholic for most of the years of my life. Because of this, I never had the chance to see the other side of the argument and actually always assumed that atheists were products of misfortune in their life which caused them to abandon their faith in God.
It was during my fourth year in high school, actually a few days after my birthday that I finally decided to become an Atheist. I was in Thailand, in my bed, thinking about life in general and I thought about my belief in God. The more I thought, the more I realized that what I believed in and what I know do not coincide, which prompted me to become skeptical of what I believe. From what I remember, I was thinking about how God helps us in our everyday lives. One of the reasons he can’t help us is because of the free will he has given us, so he cannot interfere with our lives. The second is that God helping us humans means that the laws of physics would be broken everyday just to change the lives of many of the world’s population today. Another one of the reasons I became an atheist was because of the church and the all the wrong things that they believed in. I believe that any institution, even one of God’s, is prone to human error, and this caused me to distance myself from the church before I actually converted. I thought about the infallibility of the pope and how it seems crazy that just because he was granted the highest ranking of the church that he somehow gains the ability to be always right, something no human can do. What was going through my head was complicated and terrifying. What I believed in my entire life now seemed to be falling apart.
So that night, for the first time in my life, I chose not to pray. I woke up the same way the next morning and realized that even though this may be a big change for me, life goes on. It was still difficult for me a few days after that because I used to pray every night, and the habit was hard to break.
What I realized from becoming an atheist was that I was now the focus of my life, and I stopped relying on God and hoping that he could pull the strings in my favor. I think it made me more independent, and at the same time, more skeptical about everything around me which I believe has made me into a better person.
This change to atheism has also caused me to be more critical about everyone, and not just the church. I strongly agree with same-sex marriage. I’m pro-choice. I think that teaching creationism to children is irresponsible and harmful. I don’t think that natural organic foods are actually that much better for you. I believe that GMO’s are the next revolution of the future.
My point is not that my opinions have become correct. Rather, I believe that I have ceased to just accept information without knowing both sides of the issue. My point is that my attitude has changed and I have become someone who is more discerning of facts, rumors, myths, and issues that are important in this generation today, without compromising my morals, which is something I thought that most atheists do when I was a child.
What is most liberating about this change in me is that it has allowed me to stop believing and accepting mindlessly, and start becoming a thinker, which is what I am most proud of today.
A few weeks ago, I remarked about how I wanted to learn Italian for my foreign language class in the upcoming semester. My aunt and uncle both told me that it would be useless in my career and that I should focus on something more useful. What really made me think is when they told me that I should work first before I can really begin to really enjoy myself.
As kids, we were told all our lives that we should follow our dreams and that if we tried our best we could be anything. What was ironic is that I never really had a dream of becoming anything other than a businessman in my childhood, and now I have all these dreams about different professions and how I would love them, especially in comparison to just being another corporate drone, slaving away the rest of the years of my life until I can sit away in retirement and wait to die in peace. Sometimes I think about how it would be great to be a professional chef, photographer, writer, tailor, or even just opening up a small (or big) shop selling things that I passionately enjoy, like coffee or tailored clothing.
Recently, I have had the desire to live my life, explore the world, go on an adventure. Earning money at just another average corporate job just doesn’t seem enough anymore, although it seems like my likely career choice. It seems like many of my dreams will go to their graves without seeing the light of day.
However, even though I am most possibly doomed to this sedentary occupation, meeting with fake people who all have hidden agendas (or as how the media portrays it, (which doesn’t make it reliable, but doesn’t make it false) I will not succumb to this kind of lifestyle, with the hope that maybe I can make up for the dreams I never dreamt in my childhood.
I’m picking Italian.
Recently, Bill Nye agreed to participate in a debate that would see him arguing against Ken Ham, a proponent of creationism, and this move has been widely panned by critics. Many websites talk about how this move by Bill Nye has gained a lot of attention and may allow people to believe that creationism is actually a valid scientific basis for the origins of our planet.
I disagree with the critics that claim this. This debate has been watched by a lot of people over the internet, people who are either for evolution or creationism. I believe that by agreeing to this debate, Bill Nye has allowed to reach a bigger audience than they would have without it. This is a chance for people like Bill Nye to reach out to not the creationists, but for their children. These children could be teenagers who have never been exposed to any material promoting evolution. They could be people who have always lived in a community that has promoted creationism. These people are living inside a bubble. These people could reach adulthood without being presented a lecture on evolution and why it is a valid basis for the origin of man, unlike creationism. This debate has allowed the scientific community to reach out to these individuals, and maybe someday their doubt could grow into a better understanding of why creationism is wrong.
The scientific community will never be able to change some of the minds of some individuals believing in creationism. But through this debate, Bill Nye can reach out to these children that are the hope of the United States. And this is what Nye wants to achieve. He wants scientifically literate individuals that can pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.
By agreeing to this debate, Nye has strengthened the beliefs of creationists because of the show that Ham put on. But this debate isn’t going to change the minds of any evolutionists. On the other hand, it could be possible that maybe somewhere, a kid watching this debate with his friends and family might make him think, “Bill Nye is making a lot of sense.” And that is a win for science.
Derek’s post over at Put This On made me think about some things I’ve read about how beauty has changed over the years. Is it because something looks good like the suit that makes it appealing? Or is it the notion of the suit that appeals to us and makes us believe it is aesthetically pleasing?
I think of how women in the Renaissance period are really curvy by today’s standards, and yet in their time they were considered beautiful. I believe that aesthetics might represent more than just what we believe to be proportional and pleasing, but more about what this kind of beauty represents.
I also remember reading somewhere how what is considered beautiful also coincides with what we believe to be affluence or status. The curvy women of the Renaissance period weren’t desirable because their figure appealed to potential mates, but because they are part of the upper class who could afford to have some extra weight because they are affluent. White girls would be coveted for their skin, because they could afford to stay indoors rather than be forced to work outside. And from what I remember, tanned people are either the people who were workers who literally struck gold and were able to get rich, or were people who were able to afford to go to different countries with higher levels of sun exposure.
While I do believe that the suit is aesthetically pleasing and makes a man look thinner, taller, and stronger all at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if this is just our way of rationalizing what we believe to be a symbol of the powerful and elite. Maybe one day, generations after ours, people will talk about how the suit and its relation towards power in society, and not be able to relate to the aesthetic that we see in it.