I might be an atheist. This is actually a bit of a surprise to me—something I’ve only recently come to admit. Again. A friend of mine loaned me Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion, and, well, the dude makes a lot of sense (Dawkins, I mean).
When I was a sprout (an angry, bitter sprout), I detested religion, especially Christianity, and thought I should combat it wherever it reared its blue-eyed and blond, bleeding, thorn-crowned head. Atheism was a good fit—it was the weapon of choice for angering Christians and a great way to break the ice for spirited (no pun intended) conversation: “Hey. Do you believe in God?” Admittedly, my love of conflict and preference for discussing religion and politics has somewhat dimmed, yet I am still intrigued with this whole God thing.
I love Dawkins’s wry, biting voice, yet as he presents his argument, I find the Devil’s Advocate within me wanting to disagree. Problem is: I can’t. He makes too much Goddamned Sense (excuse the capitals, but these are Lofty Topics, are they not?) Here I am, a mystical agnostic Taoist with Dionysian tendencies, coming to realize I may be, by Dawkins’s definition, just a plain old atheist. Now what am I going to talk about at the bar? I’m not even a hundred pages in and I’m already losing grasp of who I thought I was. I’m fairly certain most of what I believe is illusion anyway, so it’s actually not all that disheartening. You have to roll with those reality punches, you know?
I have wondered, on occasion, what it would be like if that metaphorical concept in the bible—Hell—was literal. I die and am dragged off Shakespeare’s “stage”, Ghost-style, kicking and screaming apologies to a Trinity who just sneer(s) and turn(s) to me a blind ear. Too late now. Boy, was I wrong, I think as I plunge into searing darkness. What’s that? Wailing? Gnashing of teeth? I guess I won’t have anybody but myself to blame. Clearly, it’s not like no one never tried to ever warn me.