Gray Watson Personal Thoughts 1998.12.24
Nog The Halls

1151 @ Work

What a sleepy day today. Four people on the bus instead of the normal 40-50. Few cars on the road. Lots of offices dark and silent. Good turn out by the Lycos Product Development group however. A bunch of hard workers.

Once again I've not done this for a while. This was supposed to be at least a weekly event. I dutifully recorded tens of topics which I can rant about for a page or two but still I've not gotten into the habit of taking the time to write some verbiage into my emacs window. Are you the reader happy or disappointed?


Today's thoughts are about x-mas. I'm an atheist. Translation according to Webster's Dictionary is "one who denies the existence of God". Interesting phrasing. Sounds like Mr. and Mrs. Webster are sure there is a god and atheists are just denying it. I would define it rather as one who does not believe in the existence of a high intelligence or power controlling or even watching over our existence. I especially do not believe in a bunch of folks in white on puffy clouds with wings.

It's all too easy, too simple. Let me get this straight. According to Christian doctrine/propaganda I spend 75 some years (if I'm lucky) here on earth, and then depending on how good a bloke I am or whether I fully accept god "into my heart", I get nirvana for eternity? Of course there are not many stories in the bible about everyone going up into heaven. Those that mention an afterlife aren't very explicit or concrete. No, most of the stories and belief about heaven came out of the Middle Ages -- during a time when the common man had little to look forward to on this world.

Is it possible that we all go around this world once? Is that so terrible a thought? Even if there is a god out there, maybe s/he/it hadn't made any plans to absorb all of the world's dead folk and doesn't have room for us all. Maybe the devil is full as well and only makes room for the Jeffrey Dahmers of the world. I know for a [too] large part of the world, Earth is not a happy place. I don't know what to say to them. Work hard and you to can have a two car garage like my wife and I?

But I digress. I am an atheist. I don't believe in god -- nor in an afterlife. I'd rather believe in people, in communities, in life as we know it, rather than believing in places and people who I will never meet until I die. I do think that a man named Jesus was born somewheres around two millenniums ago but I doubt he was the son of our universe's creator. He probably was a very decent fellow and obviously a great motivational speaker. Certainly it is amazing how much the story of his life has captivated people's attention -- certainly it has in this god fearing country.

Hey, I can be wrong. I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again. If there is an almighty then I hope s/he/it has a sense of humor. I hope they can recognize me as basically a good individual. If they aren't fair and let OJ in because he went to church and send me into the fiery depths of hell because I was taught about the scientific method, then I don't want to play in their sandbox anyway. So there!

So what are we supposed to do? We don't have a happy life here on earth and now I am saying that we don't have an eternity of strumming harps or sitting on clouds ahead of us. Compared to your mainstream religious leader, I don't have an easy answer for this one. I say live your life the best that you can. Be true to what you believe. My belief stems from the Golden Rule. Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

I truly believe that you can find happiness in this as I have.

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