A reader recently asked me:
What drives you to study and spend so much time analyzing and critiquing religion and religious philosophy? Why do you think it is important to write the kind of stuff you write?
Why do I write this blog? I don’t make any money from it, and don’t plan to. It costs me a few hundred dollars a year to host this blog, and about 15 hours a week to research and write it. That’s quite a commitment. Why do I do it?
In the order they occur to me…
I write this blog because losing my religion was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I want to share that with people. When I finally got critical thinking, and really allowed myself to challenge everything I believed and loved, and hold it all to the same standards of reason and evidence – that’s when I really came alive as a person. I was finally willing to accept the universe, however it was, and live the best life I could here and now, in reality. That’s a wonderful thing, and when you encounter something wonderful you want to share it with people.
I write this blog because I want to know the truth. I’m not somebody who has all the answers and wants to share them with you. I’m 23 years old, for Pete’s sake! No, I’m doing this more for me than for you. This blog gives me the opportunity to share some neat stuff I’ve learned, sure, but even more, it give you the opportunity to share some neat stuff with me. I get to research these topics, present my best reasoning on a topic, and then give you all the chance to correct me or rebut me so that I can keep learning.
I write this blog because I because I really enjoy this stuff. I enjoy the search for truth. I enjoy finding out where I’m wrong, or where I’m ignorant, or where I’m right. And I enjoy these topics, too. The questions of God and meaning and morality are some of the biggest questions one could ask, and it’s pretty epic to make some progress in finding the answers.
I write this blog because I think maybe I can contribute. Maybe I can bring the power of argument mapping to philosophy of religion, where it is perhaps most apt in philosophy. Maybe I can make some contributions to meta-ethics. And maybe I can translate some philosophical issues into plain talk that have never been properly clarified before.
Finally, I write this blog because religion damages the world. I hate it most of all when religion damages, holds back, and handicaps children. I don’t spend much time with kids but for some reason it really bothers me when I see kids get so much of their potential taken away by the phantoms and ravages of religion. And I don’t just mean “extreme” forms of religion. I’m talking about moderate forms of religion, and the damage they do to kids.
That’s why I write this blog.