OMG You’re Back!
Yes, I am blogging again. After many failed attempts to write this post over the course of a year, I’ve decided to just come out and say it. I’ve been wanting to write a lot in this blog, but felt that this post needed to come first. So instead of delaying my desire to write, I’m going to put this out there. No use trying to perfect this kind of announcement, because I am not perfect.
The announcement I’m about to make is known by many in my life. It won’t be groundbreaking to those who have known me well over the last few years, but there are others out there who may know me, who don’t know this yet. This kind of thing has been hard on others; some of whom I know well. It is my hope that those who think negatively of what I’m about to say, remember that I’m still the person you know and love.
So just say it already!
I, Patrick Regan, do not believe in God. That is to say, I am an atheist. This will not come as a surprise to many, but it may to some still. Particularly my extended family.
But you’re such a nice person…
I still am. Chances are, you have thought of me as a good person, and I acted kindly to you while I was an atheist. Have you interacted with me since 2009? If you have, you’ve interacted with an atheist. I really started self-identifying as an atheist in 2009, but I had been calling myself things like “non-theist” or similar since about late 2005-ish. So chances are, you’ve been talking to, laughing with, hugging and loving someone who doesn’t believe for quite some time now.
Being an atheist doesn’t tell you what I do believe though, it only tells you “Patrick doesn’t believe in any gods.” I do however believe in doing the right thing. I’m not immoral or amoral. I am what is called a secular humanist. I believe that beliefs need to be tested. They need to be shown to be right, not just told they are. In many ways it’s easier to be moral without God. I will explain what I mean by that in future posts.
How could this happen?
Well, for me there was no “Eureka!” moment. It was a gradual and long process. The total process is too long to write in just one blog post, let alone a subsection of one, but I’ll try to summarize as best as I can. Keep in mind that religions beliefs, specifically Catholic ones, have been explained to me my whole life. That’s 26 years of explaining. I’m asking that you give me the patience to explain why I believe the way I do. It can’t and won’t be done in one letter to the public.
As I have mentioned in my first blog post here, I am someone who is interested in facts. At first it was just useless trivia. Science, was always a major interest of mine. I would read and learn about all kinds of things. I learned how to ask questions, and learned about things like null hypothesizes and effect sizes. I would investigate tons of things. Religion was not really something I thought about in that way however. Not until I went to college at least.
But didn’t you go to a Catholic college?
Yes I went to Loras College, a private Catholic College. It was what actually accelerated the rate in which my doubts multiplied. I didn’t choose to go to Loras for religious reasons, but when I first arrived, I tried to use it as an opportunity to learn more about the religion I was raised in. It was through the various required religion courses and my own investigations that my beliefs started to change.
I don’t understand, what about…
You may or may not have a lot of questions. That’s okay. I am willing to answer questions, and explain in more detail why I believe this way. All I’m asking for is some patience, since it can’t be done in one sitting. I didn’t arrive at this conclusion after reading one blog post, so I can’t explain how I got here in just one either.
The important thing for you to know is that I still am the person. I’m still the one you love, and the one who loves you back.
Expect more here soon!