Dying Without God
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Dying Without God

Just thinkin’

OK, so things are getting better (relatively speaking).

First, the bedbugs are gone. As in, dead, killed, eliminated, exterminated, whatever. Along with pretty much every other insect that was plaguing My existence.

The exterminator guy did a good job, I’m not going to deny that. He eliminated the bugs. But one of My very bestest friends sent Me some stuff that I’m thinking was the real knock-out punch. It’s called diatomaceous earth. If you or anybody you know has a bug problem, this is the way to go (in addition to whatever other measures are recommended.) It kills insects of any kind — not just bedbugs, but cockroaches, fleas, etc. Basically anything without a skin; it works by absorbing the oily covering that insects have on their carapaces and then they dehydrate and DIE. And, it’s totally safe for those of Us who have skin, including children and pets.

Second, I am possibly going to be moving. My little sister is offering to let Me rent their basement. Now, there are pros and cons here. Pros would include having the support system in place that I would need to possibly get a liver transplant, being around family, having the 24/7 equivalent of an aide, and getting to see My niece on a regular basis.

Yes, believe it or not, I’m related to HER. She works in the medical field and so would be a definite asset to Me and My health issues. And … We “connect.” We understand each other at some level beyond words.

There are some cons though. They live in Arkansas, in the Ozarks. My brother-in-law has told Me that some people have moved there specifically for the demographics of the area. Which translates to “white only.” Based on a recent census, out of a population of around 4000, there are maybe 5 African-American people there. Coming out of Houston, that’s going to be a change.

Now don’t get Me wrong: I don’t dislike white people. I was born white. I *do* dislike racists. My brother (adoptive side) is a racist and for that, amoung other reasons, I haven’t spoken to him for years.

It’s apparently a highly conservative religious area as well, so I’m not sure how My being a gay atheist liberal is going to play. I could influence some people around there to be a little more open-minded. I could also get beaten and shot and left for dead. Just My luck: moving to a place where I have the support system to get a life-saving transplant could be hazardous to My health!

There’s also a lack of cultural venues, at least as far as I can tell. Houston has several museums, libraries, an observatory, colleges and universities, and a fucking space center and is pretty much a Wonderland for someone who wants to take advantage of it. Not quite the same level where My sister lives. Though I will note that Memphis is not *that* far away. (That link lead to a song by one of My absolute favorite bands.)

Public transportation is non-extant. There’s an Amtrak station about an hour’s drive away (read: a long walk). It’s a good few pennies to get a ride back to Houston if I want to or have to visit, but on the flip side I’ve never ridden a train before and always wanted to do that. So it might be a win in the end.

I’m also exploring what effect moving would have on My benefits, specifically the drugs. Most of the drugs are cheap enough that I really could afford them but there’s one that is in the neighborhood of $3000 a bottle. That’s the one that’s supposed to be helping out with this fatal brain disease thing, so I’m thinking it might be important.

After all is said and done, though, I am leaning toward moving. If not to Arkansas, maybe to an ALF (assisted living facility) in the Houston area. Though Arkansas, and My sister and niece, are really top of the list.

Thirdly, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about this whole atheism thing. YES, I am still an atheist, perhaps even more hard-line than ever. But I’m seeing a more accepting, compassionate tack.

It came as I was thinking about the blindspot We all have. In the human eye, there is a region in the center of the visual organ that has no photo-receptors. So why do We not all have little black spots in the center of what We see? Because Our brains are exceptionally good at making things up. We “see” (or think We see) what Our brains think ought to be there.

Jump to the theist. He (or she) has an experience. I’m not denying the validity of those experiences; by Von, I’ve had them Myself on a few occasions. But the brain “fills in the blanks” (like the blindspot) with what it thinks ought to be there. For many people, that’s “god.”

Lots of people have these “religious” or “spiritual” experiences. I, Myself, had an experience in college while in prayer to the Methodist god in which I was knocked flat on My back, unable to move, saw a blinding light and felt the immense love and sense of oneness with the divine. This led Me into many years of trying to find a religious explanation before finally admitting that it was likely just a brain fart.

That does, however, give Me a somewhat unique perspective on theists. I understand why they believe, to an extent. I have had the same experiences that they’ve had. I’m just interpreting them in (what I consider to be) a more rational framework.

So at this point I’m less “you believe in god so you’re stupid and deny reality” and more “you believe in god because you’ve had experiences that you interpret in a way that I consider erroneous, because I’ve had similar experiences and understand the (incorrect) basis for your beliefs.”

— — —

Damn, I never thought this much before sobriety.




A terminally ill atheist muses (and rants) about His immortality (or lack thereof).

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Davyd Ondrejko

Davyd Ondrejko

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