The “Year without God”-project, and my thoughts
If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a (former?) seventh day minister who has decided to live one year “without God”.
In his first post, posted December 31st, he said:
For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else’s circumstances. (I trust that if there really is a God that God will not be too flummoxed by my foolish experiment and allow others to suffer as a result).
I’m all for living without any God(s), so basically I should be all for his experiment, but that last sentence makes me think he’s not going all in. Putting in that disclaimer, where he tries to comfort himself by saying that God might approve – if he exist, sounds like putting in a safety net to me.
Anyway, his blog has gotten a lot of attention, both from theists and atheists (afaik, more atheists are there cheering him on, than there are theists commenting).
Ryan Bell, the guy behind the blog, and the project, will
read atheist “sacred texts” — from Hobbes and Spinoza to Russell and Nietzsche to the trinity of New Atheists, Hitchens, Dawkins and Dennett. I will explore the various ways of being atheist, from naturalism (Voltaire, Dewey, et al) to the new ‘religious atheists’ (Alain de Botton and Ronald Dworkin). I will also attempt to speak to as many actual atheists as possible — scholars, writers and ordinary unbelievers — to learn how they have come to their non-faith and what it means to them. I will visit atheist gatherings and try it on.
Personally, I haven’t read most of these guys, nor have I been to any atheist gatherings. I’m an atheist though, and I have a great life. Of course, as a Christian “trying on” atheism, he will have to “read up” on atheist thoughts, because I recon he’s only heard the Christian explaination of what an atheist are. (Satanic baby-eaters!)
I hope to be able to have a chat with Ryan sometime during 2014, because even if I think he’s half-hearted (even though he thinks he’s going 100% for atheism), I think it’s possible to help him understand what atheism is all about, (Basically, there’s no evidence for any God(s), so we don’t believe in any.) and also to understand how it’s possible to live a full life without any religious guidelines. Morality is one of these issues I’d love to discuss, because you can be “Lawful Good” (kudos if you get the reference!) without basis in anything religious.
Anyway, I’m going to follow his blog, and hopefully find time to engage him in a discussion/chat.