About Or else, what?

I used to be a believing Christian. Now I don't think that God exists. For a while, I called myself a Christian agnostic. I used to think that I was alone, that everyone was either a gullible worshipper or a savvy heathen. I wanted to be a romantic, solitary, angsty figure like Søren Kierkegaard.

On the term "Christian agnostic": I wrote What is Christian agnosticism? a few months after I became agnostic. Strangers found my blog by finding that post by Googling "Christian agnostic", and most of my fellow doubters were surprised that they weren't alone. I was surprised, too.

I started Or else, what? to have a place to put Cars in swimming pools and confused hipsters. I have changed some of my points of view since I wrote What is Christian agnosticism?, but I think that's the most-read essay here, and I think it's a helpful slice of what I was thinking then. Sometimes, I write essays with a point, like Chemosh is a god not an idol and Intelligent design makes me a Christian agnostic. Sometimes I tell stories, like about the time I got caught speeding and felt really guilty. Sometimes I make proclamations about moral universals, like that no one should own a quesadilla maker.

Doubt isn't something occupies me the way it used to; I don't reconsider my beliefs about God several times a day, anymore. It took me about three years from first calling myself a Christian agnostic to calling myself an atheist; concretely, this was the difference between waking up in the middle of the night scared that I would make bad decisions about belief to feeling safe and sane about my worldview. For people who are becoming nonbelievers, this process of deconversion is often long, lonely, and scary. It takes a long time to figure things out, and doubt is scary, but it doesn't need to be as scary as it is for a lot of people, and it doesn't need to be lonely.

In Good news from primordial ooze, I find optimism, in the sense that, "For something that I didn't pay for, I think life in this cosmos is pretty nice, and if there's no intentionality behind it, I'd say things are working out pretty well, all things considered." People talk about how they see God in nature; when I see stars, I see stars. More recently, I wrote, Regina rabbit in her cage, about how my rabbit seems to handle existential issues without worrying too much; I also wrote A letter to my high school English teacher, discussing how fiction has become more relevant to me as a non-believer. These essays are much better representations of what I think now than my previous writings.

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