Updatery

You may have noticed that things have been a little slow 'round these here parts (as we say in Oklahoma). Or, as is more likely, you may have been too busy doing interesting things to care. In any case, I've been doing some deep thinking about this blog – specifically, about the direction I want it to go such that the limited time I can devote to it feels worthwhile.

This blog originally started out as The Apostasy, which was basically just a way for me to sort out the thought process of my deconversion. Originally, I didn't even identify as an atheist – I actually spent time talking about my "theistic agnosticism". By chance, some others started reading my blog. I received praise and criticism alike, and in time grew a small but respectable readership.

After a while, the topic of religion seemed too confining. I'm interested in skeptical thinking about lots of things, not just religion. So I axed The Apostasy, ported over some of my favorite content, and used The A-Unicornist to expand my palette a bit, even if I still tend to talk about religion most of the time.

But I have to confess that I'm at a bit of an impasse. Over the last couple of years I've covered pretty much every theistic argument in as much detail as I care to. I've learned from debating with believers that when people simply refuse to educate themselves, and when they care more about reassuring themselves they are right then seeking out potentially discomforting truths, there's not much you can do to persuade them. See, for example, Steve Novella's attempts to reason with creationist cretin Michael Egnor, or William Lane Craig presuming to lecture Stephen Hawking – y'know, the guy who held the most prestigious chair of mathematics at Cambridge for 30 years – on how to do physics. What's the point of bothering with such willful stupidity – people who will flagrantly misrepresent the opinions of others and who, by their own admission, are not amenable to reason?

At this point, I've really lost interest in rehashing a lot of the same old discussions. I'm not going to blog anymore about the transparent sophistry of Christian apologists or why I think all those old C.S. Lewis arguments (incessantly rehashed by guys like Francis Collins) are poorly reasoned. It's been done, by myself and many others much smarter than I.

The morality stuff I've been doing recently (which is inspired much by some current reading material), or my discussions on free will, is probably more illustrative of the direction I want the blog to go. I'm interested in science and its implications, in applying rational inquiry to a broad array of subjects, and in discussing the sociocultural hurdles in moving toward a rational, secular society. So if, by chance, you stumbled upon this blog because of some polemic I wrote about religion, there just isn't going to be much of that anymore, if any. It's old hat and it's worn thin for me.

Speaking personally, the writings of the famous "new atheists" had very little influence (if any) on my deconversion. The book that persuaded me to reject "theistic agnosticism" was A Brief History of Time, and much of my knowledge of major issues have come from books like Pascal Boyer's Religion Explained, an anthropological study of religion; Richard Dawkins' and Jerry Coyne's writings on evolution; Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking and Lisa Randall's books on physics; and Frans De Waal's writings on primatology and human behavior. In other words, nothing has shaped my thought process more than science, and I think the somewhat scattered time I have to devote to this blog would be better spent addressing those more substantive and (to me) fascinating topics. I can only hope, dear readers, that you'll be on board.

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