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Sunday, January 01, 2006 

Why Atheism?

After replying to a post on a message board today, which was about short quotes that ring true, I got to thinking about "the" change during my teenage years after posting a quote from Thomas Jefferson. No, not puberty. Rather, when my eyes first began to view the world without the hindrance of Christian beer-goggles. Needless to say, it brought up some unpleasant memories as well.

I was given a book in one of my high school English classes, a compilation of letters that Thomas Jefferson had written to good friends and various acquaintances. Now, I didn't exactly understand everything in the book; Jefferson was speaking mostly of complex issues of his time, which I couldn't interpret back then. Nor did the book drive me to Atheism overnight. No, that process took several years, and it was only recently that I began to feel perfectly comfortable living the rest of my life with this as part of my world-view. As for back then, it was a turning point where agnostic thought processes seeped into my mind. God wasn't my instant answer for everything unexplainable anymore.

Next came the predictable backlash from a Christian family - just my mother and I, really - and an unforeseen tragedy which set my progression back a few years. It had felt like the full weight of Christian dogmatics was being forced into mind from almost everyone I had contact with in my daily life during those times. None of it seemed to stick anymore though. The door was ajar and all I had to do was keep pushing no matter what events had unfolded. I couldn't go back, and I never will.

Fast forward to today, and here I am, confident in my knowledge and understanding of my insignificance in a vast universe. At the core, that is the beauty of life; to mean so little but see so much.

The point of this post being to share a letter from that book which has stuck with me. So, uhh, here: Jefferson's letter to John Adams, from Monticello, August 15, 1820

The good stuff is about 2/3 into the letter.

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