Monday, June 8, 2009

Hello!

Thanks for reading this, my first blog entry here on Blogger. You may know me from my short stories, my drumming, or my short films and music videos. While references to these pastimes may appear within my posts on this site, the primary aim here is to post information and ideas that may be of interest to atheists, agnostics and freethinkers -- and possibly even to open-minded followers of religions.

One thing you will not find here is hatred. I am of the opinion that faith is a crutch -- but if a crutch helps you walk, and you don't hit anyone over the head with it, then it can be a beautiful part of your life. But we all have our crutches. There are dogmatic atheists, just as there are dogmatic Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Shintos, Buddhists, etc.

Science and reason are my crutch(es). For me, they are just as fulfilling as faith; more so, in fact. Their results are verifiable, and subject to critical scrutiny. Atheism doesn't preclude ethics -- quite the opposite. For instance, while I treat others as I would like to be treated, I don't do this because Jesus or Buddha told me to. I do it because a lifetime of trial and error has led me to the conclusion that it is a practical, loving way to go about my daily life.

You can find more information on me and what I do by checking my website: www.celebrateyourloveny.com. You can also meet me, if you like, at the annual Long Island Pride Parade on Sunday, June 14, at 1:00 PM in Huntington, NY. This long-running parade and festival is the biggest parade in New York state outside of NYC. I march in support of the GLBT community, but also as a proud atheist. After the parade, I will be at the CFI-LI table at the festival in Heckscher Park. Hope to see you there. It's a fun event, with music and games and all sorts of fascinating marchers.

Again, thanks for reading. Looking forward to hearing what you think as this blog progresses.

- Amy Frushour Kelly, O.C.P.

2 comments:

  1. I must admit to sensing some confusion in your terms. Most notably in the way you are using "faith".

    "Science and reason are my crutch(es). For me, they are just as fulfilling as faith; more so, in fact."

    This is problematic for me, since I would argue you have faith in Science and Reason. You trust that Science and Reason will lead you to truth. You believe that Science and Reason are the best methods for understanding your world. I would argue that trust and belief are exactly what "faith" is (dictionaries would seem to agree). Yet you seem to be using the term drastically differently, as though it is somehow something opposed to Science and Reason rather than a motivating factor for using them.

    Another one, this one significantly more minor but important all the same, is "atheist". You might want to spend some time clarifying what you mean by that term. You seem to be using it here to mean "not a member of a named religion".

    "There are dogmatic atheists, just as there are dogmatic Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Shintos, Buddhists, etc."

    That's also drastically different from what I understand the term to mean. I think of "atheist" as being "one who does not worship or pay homage to a god or gods" at a minimum or perhaps "one who denies the existence of gods" for the strong form. Either way, this is not a statement of religious membership but more a statement of one's thoughts on the existence of deities and their relationship with humans. There are plenty of religious people who are atheists (weak or strong form, it varies).

    Small issues? Sure. But I think it is important in discussions of this type that we be clear what we mean by the terms we use. Perhaps a "glossary" post that you keep linked on your homepage would be helpful? Just something to let us know what you mean when we read you using a particular term.

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  2. Just found this comment, or I would have replied earlier. Let's see...

    My definition of faith is "belief without reasonable evidence." I trust science and reason because they yield verifiable and repeatable results, as I think I indicated in my original post.

    My definition of atheist is "not a theist." This is based on the etymology of the word, and I prefer it to "non-theist" for reasons that I'll explain in another post.

    I'm so glad you responded to my post -- you're right that I should write a clearer statement of what I mean by some of the terms I use. Look for that as the blog progresses.

    Cheers!
    Amy

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