Friday, October 10, 2008

A convert

Go figure: I seem to have made a convert.

Welcome to the club!

The scariest — and most exhilarating — thing about being an atheist is that your moral beliefs become your own, an expression of who you are at a deep level. You don't have to change any of your moral beliefs, you just have to take personal responsibility — and personal credit — for them.

4 comments:

  1. You and a cast of many, I assure you :-)

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  2. Oh, I'm sure; I obviously can't take very much personal credit. Mostly, I wanted to return the link love.

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  3. Thanks for the welcome.

    I'm not sure that I find having personal responsibility for working out what my beliefs are particularly scary or exhilarating. As I indicated, I've pretty much been doing that anyway, albeit in a slightly less self aware way.

    The thing that's scary about my moral beliefs is my ongoing failure to live up to them. On one level that is exacerbated by not having "and all fall short of the glory of God" to fall back on, but on the other hand, the exhortation "Be ye perfect" doesn't hold quite the same weight either.

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  4. That's the beauty of it: No one but you is judging you. At the end of the day, your own judgment is all that really matters. You are free to temper justice with mercy, in whatever proportion you deem fit.

    I encourage you to read Richard Feynman's book, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. In it he realizes that he doesn't have an (external) obligation to "save the world"; this understanding frees his mind and spirit, and provides considerable happiness.

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