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Shaw
Yes, I am an atheist. No, I do not believe in the soul...or any other "spirit" inhabiting the human body. Consciousness = mind = the function of the brain. Period. No breath of god/s. Meatbags that have evolved a degree of self-awareness, which can only be considered "higher" relative to other meatbags (say gorillas, or frogs, or sea cucumbers).

That said, I was just considering old conversations. Specifically, the ones in which some friend or relative would declare that I was hell bound if I didn't change my infidel's mechanistic outlook on the universe, if I didn't forsake humanism for Xtianity, if I didn't decide creationism makes a lot more sense than the sciences, and so forth, ad nauseum. There was always this wonderful trap, a sort of paradox, into which I could not resist luring the god botherers. Simply stated: a) You're a righteous and god-fearing person, right? And the Kingdom of Heaven will be your reward, right? And, b) because your god is a god of love (or Love, or even LOVE), you will exist in bliss forever and a day, blah, blah blah, right?

Points a) and b) were unanimously met with confirmation. But, then we come to the third and fourth items: c) people who care about, and perhaps even LOVE, will not join you in Heaven, but, instead, suffer damnation for all eternity – whatever that damnation might be – so d) precisely how will you be happy knowing that I will be suffering while you soak up the love of the Big G? These two questions were most often met with sputtering or a flabbergasted silence. But, on a couple of occasions, the person to whom I was speaking would claim that so mighty was their love of god, and His love for them, that they would not question His decision, and would accept His judgment as fair. No, really. I shit you not. Anyway, sitting here, just a memory bubbling up to the surface.*

---

Yesterday should have been a very fine day off. It was meant to be. But someone (I shall not say whom, only that it was not Spooky) worked me into such a furious state that any sort of relaxation became impossible before we even left the house. We went to West Cove and Beavertail on Conanicut Island. The tide was spectacularly low. There were children swimming, and I wished I'd thought to bring my bathing suit. I considered going in nude. The cold, deep water of Narragansett Bay looked so inviting. There were too many people, too much noise. I sat atop one of the granite cliffs and tried to let the sound of the waves wash away the anger, but to no avail. We returned home very early, and the dispiriting trip was essentially a waste of time and gasoline. I want to throttle the person responsible for putting me in so foul a mood ahead of time. Back to god bothering. (MS Word! Stop correcting my spelling RIGHT THIS SECOND!). So, a day off that became a day lost, despite the sea.

Today, I put a few finishing touches on Alabaster: Wolves #1, then send it off the my editor at Dark Horse. This issue ends the mini-series. Then, I look at my short story deadlines, and figure out what's up next. And I dread my birthday. And stare out at the grey sky. And I listen to more of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir audiobook, because NGP is waiting on my approval. And I dread, too, the impending editing of Blood Oranges

Comments would be nice today.

And if you've not preordered Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, please, please do so today. Thank you. Think of it as a birthday present.

Oh, and at least Spooky got some nice photos yesterday. Here are a few of them, behind the cut:















All photographs Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn A. Pollnac



Not a Happy Camper,
Aunt Beast (La Cabrita)

Postscript that ought be unnecessary but isn't: All "believers" are not god botherers. I know that, so I don't need anyone to tell me how they believe, but aren't judgmental, evangelical shitheels. I get that. I was not talking to you. Don't be so defensive.

Comments

( 66 comments — Have your say! )
mellawyrden
May. 21st, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm curious whether you believe in magic, or energy, that people can stir up and direct in different ways.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)

I'm curious whether you believe in magic, or energy, that people can stir up and direct in different ways.

No, I do not. I am not a superstitious person. The word "energy," as used by the superstitious, is the most ill-defined and abused word in their entire lexicon.

Edited at 2012-05-21 04:56 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - mellawyrden - May. 21st, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 21st, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
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kurtmulgrew
May. 21st, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
I've been an atheist for maybe 15 years. I don't understand how anyone still believes all that old superstitious crap anymore in this time and age. I sometimes try to imagine how long it will take for religion to completely disappear from the earth.
Nice pictures by the way.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)

I sometimes try to imagine how long it will take for religion to completely disappear from the earth.

Given what we are learning about how the need for religion is hard-wired into most human minds, never.
(no subject) - mastadge - May. 21st, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 21st, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
ashlyme
May. 21st, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to write about atheism without sounding pompous: but, yeah. I'm godless. I wasn't always, but fear of a lot of things made me Xtian for a time. Now, I'd rather look for wonder and mystery from nature and the human beings I *can* give a toss about. Eternal life scares me far more than the thought that I'm temporary, that the universe is indifferent to me. That said, I'm "superstitious" to the point that I have to salute single magpies for "good luck". It isn't anything more than my own OCD; no different from rattling doors I've locked, or making sure taps are switched off.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)

Eternal life scares me far more than the thought that I'm temporary, that the universe is indifferent to me.

Truthfully, I'd not mind eternal life. But that doesn't make it so.
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elven_wolf
May. 21st, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
In my experience, d) just makes them try to convert me even harder. Most of the time I just have to walk away.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)

d) just makes them try to convert me even harder.

Still, I have the intellectual satisfaction of knowing they've lost the game.
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Steven Barritz
May. 21st, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
Wikipedia says you're Wiccan. Does that need an update, or are you atheist Wiccan?
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)

It badly needs an update. I resent that was ever put on Wikipedia. It'd describe myself as an atheist pagan, yeah. It's complicated. If you do the updating, however, be sure to link back to this LJ entry as evidence, or one of the wikipedes will freak.

Edited at 2012-05-21 05:39 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - Steven Barritz - May. 21st, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 22nd, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
witchchild
May. 21st, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
All I can say to this is YAY BARNACLES.

And I do need to drag myself to the beach this summer. Never did last year. Poo.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)

All I can say to this is YAY BARNACLES.

Barnacles are amongst the coolest of all crustaceans.
oldfossil59
May. 21st, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
I wish the religious public would realize just how much of their "hard earned" money is pissed away on an institution that sucks them dry- All for an imagined afterlife salvation. While bigger churches are built, evangelists drive around in Mercedes and BMWs, live in grotesque excessive mansions, as more and more people slip through the cracks, without proper meals and healthcare. I get whipped into a frenzy with the "self-righteous multitudes"- I better stop now before the top of my head comes off again.

I know birthdays can be dreadful, but here's early wishes for a splendid day Thursday. You deserve to be cherished.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)

Yeah. The fact that religious organizations are tax free, while, say, novelists and painters are taxed for their self-expression, is rather sickening. We could go a long way towards paying off the national debt by taxing organized religion.
opalblack
May. 21st, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
Atheist pagan isn't so hard to understand. Though I am one, so it *would* make sense to me. I've intermittently attempted to believe in things, I'm just not very good at it. It's all just stories, and we can tell ourselves stories about things that are true, or we can lie. Sure, we need the stories, but I don't believe that we need faith, or that we "need to believe in something" that's just vile propaganda. Stories make sense out of data, they shouldn't be shoehorned into replacing it.</p>

These days, I just don't talk to God-botherers. It wastes my time and annoys the pig.

Sadly my idiot housemate is a creationist and has told me, despite knowing that I've studied evolutionary biology at university, that there's no evidence for evolution and it's just my opinion & as valid as hers. Jegus fuck I have to get out of there before I beat her about the face and head with Stephen Jay Gould.

greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)

It's all just stories, and we can tell ourselves stories about things that are true, or we can lie.

Well said.

I say beat here with Gould....

Edited at 2012-05-21 07:39 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - opalblack - May. 21st, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - satireknight - Sep. 20th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
martianmooncrab
May. 21st, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
that I was hell bound if I didn't change

but thats just the flip side of the heaven thingie.. sigh.. they dont get it..

I just refer them to the movie, Erik the Viking, and walk away.

nice pictures, we had 14 days of sunlight, and now its back to grey skies and rain.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)

I just refer them to the movie, Erik the Viking, and walk away.

That works.
elsewhereangel
May. 21st, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry yesterday was so rotten. I'm glad that Spooky brought the camera along though the pictures are lovely.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)

I'm glad that Spooky brought the camera along though the pictures are lovely.

Yerp. It was good to salvage something from the loss.
kousmichoff
May. 21st, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
I think I remember you defining "magic" as "the willful invocation of awe."

Whether you still believe this or not, it is a beautiful description.

Do you have any specific thoughts about agnostic people?

greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)

I think I remember you defining "magic" as "the willful invocation of awe."

I did, yes. Though I think I've set that belief aside. Now I'd simply say awe is awe.

Do you have any specific thoughts about agnostic people?

That would take time. On some level, I respect agnostics, in the sense that they may acknowledge the limitations of human comprehension. On the other hand, the idea of any supernatural, superior being is so inherently absurd, it can be hard to respect them. Yet, there is a Carl Sagan quote I very much like (he identified as agnostic):

"An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed".
stsisyphus
May. 21st, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Aunt Beast (La Cabrita)

Oh god, that's going to stick, isn't it?

I'd talk about my own views on religion, but really.. no, I actually don't want to. See? That makes everyone's day much better.

I'd rather enjoy the pleasant mental tingling from just having finished The Drowning Girl at lunch.

Speaking of which - I think you mentioned that there's additional material out there somewhere? Where is that being published?
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)

Oh god, that's going to stick, isn't it?

Oh, yeah.

I'd talk about my own views on religion, but really.. no, I actually don't want to. See? That makes everyone's day much better.

I should have done the same.

I think you mentioned that there's additional material out there somewhere? Where is that being published?

Centipede Press, 2014.
(no subject) - stsisyphus - May. 21st, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
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lois2037
May. 21st, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
I try to remember that at least some of the religious folk are acting out of the conviction that they have my best spiritual interest at heart. Then I get even more annoyed because these folks obviously have no idea what someone else's spiritual best interest might be. I wonder about a lot of things, harbor some irrational spiritual beliefs, and can't claim to know one way or another what the whole life/death deal is about, having seen some fairly strange things in my life. But my one rule is: KEEP YOUR BELIEFS TO YOURSELF UNLESS SOMEBODY ASKS YOU! If everyone could just follow that, it would be a better world.
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)

KEEP YOUR BELIEFS TO YOURSELF UNLESS SOMEBODY ASKS YOU! If everyone could just follow that, it would be a better world.

See...I know what you mean, but...imagine if you included in that statement that people should keep to themselves the belief that racial segregation is wrong. The civil rights movement would never have happened.

It's a lot more complicated....
(no subject) - lois2037 - May. 21st, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
aarongp
May. 21st, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
Today, I put a few finishing touches on Alabaster: Wolves #1, then send it off the my editor at Dark Horse. This issue ends the mini-series.
Just wanted to again say how much I am enjoying this comic, and what en excellent production it is. It seems that the process of creating the comic has been congenial, and pretty damn close to what you might've wished for with this collaboration. Kudos to your good self. And to Dark Horse.

Cheers for the photos. FIngers crossed your imminent summer is lovely and warm.



Edited at 2012-05-21 09:52 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)

It seems that the process of creating the comic has been congenial, and pretty damn close to what you might've wished for with this collaboration.

I'm quite happy, so far, with the end result, yes.
captaincurt81
May. 22nd, 2012 12:14 am (UTC)
Just ignore your birthday like I do. So now I'm so and so. Big deal. I don't feel any different. You probably don't feel any different either.
greygirlbeast
May. 22nd, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)

Thing is, I do. Each birthday marks off another stage in the not-so-gradual deterioration of my body and mind. Mostly my body.
intelligentrix
May. 22nd, 2012 12:21 am (UTC)
I remember having endless frustrating "conversations" with schoolmates about science vs religion, and I could never understand the gleeful ignorance that accompanied most of their statements. Eventually I gave up and I'm sure they thought they'd "won".

On a completely different branch of the tree, do you have a favorite typeface/type family? An admired design aesthetic? If so, what might it be? And yes, I have a very good reason for asking.
greygirlbeast
May. 22nd, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)

On a completely different branch of the tree, do you have a favorite typeface/type family? An admired design aesthetic? If so, what might it be? And yes, I have a very good reason for asking.

I have become somewhat enamored with Garamond. That's only a partial answer, isn't it?
(no subject) - intelligentrix - May. 22nd, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
pilamin
May. 22nd, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
I consider myself rational and scientific, but I think there's so much more behind the veil that we have yet to see. Depths that have yet to be plumbed. And this brings me into conflict with other rationalists: since they believe everything can be explained, or at least linked to the natural sciences, that no mysteries are worth their awe. It is as if, in the absence of supernaturalism, the only acceptable human reaction to life's mysteries is resignation and cynicism.

This reminds me of Charles Fort and how his writings tended to humble the human race against the vast unknown. Sometimes, I am afraid, rationalism becomes its own vanity. It's still okay to be in awe of the mysteries, right?
corucia
May. 22nd, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)

It's still okay to be in awe of the mysteries, right?

Personally, I'd rather be in awe of the realities than the mysteries. There's so much we don't know, that it's hard to get worked up over the fact that I don't understand one particular mystery. But, awe in the face of our understanding of just how incredible something is (for example, the graceful precision of the movements of the incredibly massive planets around the sun and each other, controlled by nothing more than weak gravitic attraction, and our ability to predict their movements based solely on our understanding of it)? Yeah, that kind of awe I can get behind.
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 22nd, 2012 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
esanko
May. 22nd, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
I'm in your camp, no soul, are you kidding me- and my father was a minister, who also had an undergraduate degree in biology and introduced me to dinosaurs when I was 2. A man of god who taught me to marvel at the incredible creatures who used to rule the earth. Just saying. But a soul? Naaahh...c'mon...
By the by, I actually did see Magic today, irrefutable proof- a massive brilliant double rainbow. Refraction=a parabola of stunning colors floating in the sky=magic. There. Duh!
What is this thing of which you speak called a 'birth-day'? Okay, I'm 51. Son of a... I meant, Happy Bday in advance! We all love you and you rule, tis true.
greygirlbeast
May. 22nd, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)

By the by, I actually did see Magic today, irrefutable proof- a massive brilliant double rainbow. Refraction=a parabola of stunning colors floating in the sky=magic. There. Duh!

Okay. I'm convinced.
esanko
May. 22nd, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
An ARC of stunning colors- a parabola is conic. Poor analogy. Never mind. Still magic, I tells ya.
greygirlbeast
May. 22nd, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)

Keep working on the analogy....
chiropteryx
May. 23rd, 2012 09:13 am (UTC)
Funny, Bixby Canyon Bridge got stuck on my ipod on the way to work this morning, then I get home and read this. Anniversary of a friend's suicide, too. I may (also) be godless, but I certainly can't help believing in serendipity.

And that barnacle close-up is delightful.

Edited at 2012-05-23 09:15 am (UTC)
greygirlbeast
May. 23rd, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)

but I certainly can't help believing in serendipity.

If nothing else, it's a nice word.
fornikate
May. 23rd, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
KELP!
( 66 comments — Have your say! )