5 years February 12, 2014Posted by shaunphilly in Culture and Society, Polyamory, Religion, Skepticism and atheism.
Tags: 5 years, blogiversary, favorites
On February 12th, 2009, I started a blog with this post. I had just been laid off from a job that I really liked (and was good at), I was living in Philadelphia (it was several months before I moved to Atlanta), and the blog was called ‘The Atheist, Polyamorous Geek’. That was 5 years ago today. Some things have changed around here. New logo, writers, and more followers have been added since 2009, and I still enjoy writing.
In the beginning, most of my writing was about atheism and religion. Early on, I dropped the “Geek” at the end and replaced it with “skeptic”, due to my increased exposure to the larger skeptical community. It would be some time before I would add writers, some of which have moved on due to interpersonal issues. Who will be writing down the road is something I don’t know. Will it make it another 5 years? If so, what will it look like? I don’t know that either. But with that said, let’s take a look at some of my posts that I like from over the years.
Very early on, I wrote a post aimed at agnostics, because I had had so many conversations with people who disliked and avoided the word ‘atheist’, even though they were one. The word ‘atheist’ has become somewhat more mainstream in the last 5 years, but this post is still relevant, and will probably be so for years to come. Shortly after that, another favorite of mine is this short story about a conversation with God, which was intended to be a response to the design argument and the special pleading fallacy inherent to irreducible complexity. Recently, DarkMatter2525 made a video which reminded me of that post:
Shortly after that, a post about death and the appreciation of life was apparently translated to French, and then back to English, which prompted a post about translation (since, at the time, I was reading Douglas Hofstadter’s book Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language, which I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in language). This post actually led me to have a brief email correspondence with Douglas Hofstadter, who commented on the translation himself.
Of course, I would have to poke at Christianity now and then, and my favorite post about Christianity is this one about how Jesus’ death (even if it happened) is not a sacrifice at all.Also, I wrote about how the love of god is misplaced, with a little science geekery mixed in. Late in 2009, I wrote a long, 3-part post about how God is a metaphor, which was originally not written as a blog post (hence the length). Parts one, two, and three.
One of my all-time favorites is the post, from 2011, where I argue that I prefer atheism to humanism, mostly because I find humanism to be atavistic and still steeped in the mistakes of religious history.
Also, there were a couple of posts looking at history and culture, and showing how religion (Christianity specifically) contribute to diminishing culture, rather than making it better. I especially like the McDonald’s post.
Of course, I can’t forget my take-down of Alain de Botton (who I still despise).
Eventually, i started writing more and more about polyamory, and one of the posts that stands out for me is the one about jealousy, where I argue that jealousy is not a reason to not be polyamorous. Also, sex-positivity is a good thing, and we should all be comfortable with being slutty (if we want to) and we should sin responsibly. What else did I write about polyamory? When it comes to love, we should do so authentically.. We should be creating a new and improved polynormativity. We were in some documentary, apparently. another personal favorite is my post about accidental monogamy, where I started thinking about how there is no reason to ever want to be monogamous (one should get there only by accident), which later led to a post about relationship agnosticism. Of course, I got nerdy with set theory and polyamory, but much more recently I wrote about the space between being friendship and being lovers, which is still quite relevant this very day.
Of course, having a MA in philosophy means that I will occasionally become erudite…ok, more like smart-assed and long-winded. Some of my favorites include Facts or it didn’t happen: unhooking the bra of reality, Thorough and perpetual Sskepticism, and this post which got a little too meta, even for me. Also, let’s not forget my tendency to try and simultaneously criticize monogamy and religion.
There is also my post about the history of Christmas, which I have reposted a couple of times and always put on Facebook around the end of December.
Sometimes, I got political. I liked this short post where I quote from a book about the American Revolution that demonstrated that political tropes we use today are not new. But my favorite post about politics was where I essentially declared that I could never be a conservative.
Lastly, I wrote about the various wars going on in the atheist community. In this post, I utilize Moral Foundation Theory to talk about the “great schism” (as it is called by some) in the atheist community. I also talk about feminism, both in terms of the #shutupandlisten debacle (as it pertains to lessons from Zen Buddhism) of last year but also as it pertains to the history of technology.
Lastly, I wrote a book. This is significant because I started writing that book around the same time I started the blog. And as I move towards another 5 years of blogging (perhaps), I will also consider finishing the second book (I’ve written 3 chapters or so).
Thank you to everyone who has liked, commented, and continues to read. I do this because I love it, and I also love when other people love my work.
If you think I missed a post you loved, let me know in the comments.
I’ll leave you with this song.