I’ve been a seeker since 1999. Then, early this year and oh so mysteriously, I figured out that theism isn’t necessary to lead a good life, and that it’s actually a miracle that those with fundamentalist beliefs aren’t all insane, serial killers. There are very few fundamentalists that really believe, I mean the kind of belief that forces you to action, in the stuff that they say that they do. Thank Goodness! Most Humans have a conscience and some good common sense that keeps them in check, even when they say really believe the Bible or the Koran is the literal word of the Almighty God.
It was right after this realization that I decided to become a skeptic. No more professing to believe in anything that could come close to being portrayed as a lie or even an untruth. I didn’t want to be duped again… no, that had been happening all my life and there had to be a line drawn somewhere. So I started reading books on critical thought. Of course, religion of any sort was out of the question. I wanted to learn about “objective” stuff like science, logic and math. I’d read books by Dawkins and blogs by skeptics. This was where it was at. This is where the truth had been buried. I could know stuff and know that I knew it or at the very least , know what was not true. Does it get any better? I mean, scientific skepticism brought us out of the dark ages, cured diseases, helped us conquer the earth, explore the universe and all kinds of other wonderful stuff.
“Subjective” subjects, you know… like morality, the meaning of life, values, happiness, well being, literature, music, the arts, social, political and economic issues, well... that’s not really important. You can’t know any of that for sure, or at least you can’t prove it, like you can prove a syllogism or a mathematical equation. Everyone has an opinion and there’s no telling who is wrong or right, right?
But then I started reading philosophy, mostly because I couldn’t accept moral judgments being in the same league as judgments of food taste. Morality was just too damn important. It had to be objective like the other important things. You know… science, math and logic.
Thank Goodness I started reading philosophy, and probably more importantly, some history of philosophy. It helped me to realize that different subjects need to be discussed in different terms and that the most important things in life are often the most difficult to pin down.