Saturday, 21 May 2011


I'm not keen on the term Atheist. I prefer the label Freethinker. That is to say, I'm not a person bound to any rigid belief system. I  reject all supernatural claims. As Christopher Hitchens so deftly asserts, "Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"
But what does it mean to be a freethinker? Well it means I'm in the enviable position of being open to new information. There's no code I'm beholden to, or revelation I'm awaiting. I think that if there are truths to be known about the nature of reality we can, in principle at least, discover them now. I can accommodate all possibilities, listen to the great thinkers down through the ages. More important, I can be honest about the deep moral questions and accepting of the fact that there are sometimes no right or wrong answers. I try to be honest with myself and with others. I adore genuine people and recoil from convention. I have an imagination that could land me in jail and a passion for life that borders on the seismic. I'm into everything; I need a 72 hour day to immerse myself in every vice and virtue. I'm a saint and a villain, a nice guy and a menace. To say that I'm a man of extremes doesn't even begin to describe it. I blur the lines between fantasy and reality, sometimes needing to give myself a good talking to. My hearts in the right place but I'm drawn to the surreal and the kinky and the bizarre. I'm aware of my weaknesses and owe it to those closest to tame them, at least as much as I can. I want to be a good Dad to my girls and a half decent husband, yet always fear that I have the capacity to throw it away. I've got a mind that never switches off; remember those performers who keep all the plates spinning? Well that's the view inside my head. I want to be a good guy only sometimes I don't. I want to be faithful only sometimes I'm tempted. I have to fight to keep my nose clean and get tired of hanging on by my fingertips. If I'm your friend it's a blessing and a curse. I'll support you, but if I disagree I'll let you know. I also drive many of my religious friends to distraction; you see I just adore you too much to indulge your strange beliefs. So that's a snapshot. A Big old nonsensical mess. Contradictions aplenty. I'd never condemn anybody for choosing to keep safe distance.

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