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I guess I’m an atheist? I’m not an anti-theist; people are welcome to believe what they believe, as long as they keep it about making people’s lives better across the board and not about making other people’s lives worse (either overtly or through omission).
But, in a discussion with a religious friend of mine a few years back, the essential question was “do you believe there’s a central organizing intelligence to the universe?” Some do. I don’t.
This could be its own podcast! I even had an online comic for a while back in the early ’00s called God Is My Roommate with an obvious premise but got into theism / atheism / anti-theism a fair bit.
How does this fold into the Perfect Me thing? Well, as the old saying goes, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. I think Rage Against The Machine said that. I think, even if you’re not on team Central Organizing Intelligence, you have to believe in something to keep you getting up in the morning and rolling through life.
In my case, it’s a belief in the human experiment. I think people are, at the end of the day, pretty groovy. I want us to do well. I know that there’s a lot of variance in there that includes a lot of, well, arseholes, but I’m still on team People Are Basically Good.
But if we’re going to get anywhere, we’ve all got to be pulling in the same direction. Now more than ever we need people to be banding together to row this boat. And if people are being marginalized and shut out because of their race or gender or beliefs, they just can’t row.
And that’s where my progressive atheism comes from. I don’t believe in a brain at the center of the universe, but I do believe in us. And I believe in removing the barriers that keep people from contributing fully.
Perfect Me, then, I see staying this course. Gently pushing back against foolishness online and off, sticking to my guns, advancing the idea that we’re all in this together.