Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Interview with 957Chatterton

The following is an interview with 957Chatterton of the blog and Twitter account of the same name.

What is your religious background? Have you always been an atheist? If not, what were you before and why did you change? If so, does this make it harder to understand theism?

My parents were non-denomination Christians. I was raised Christian and I have always been an atheist. I understand theism perfectly well. I've always had a vicarious understanding of human psychology.

You’ve been blogging antitheist content every weekday for a few months now. Is it getting any harder to think of compelling articles? What is your inspiration?

I make it hard for myself by writing blog posts that I could have made into several different posts but I have one of those brains that never really shuts off. I let my mind wonder constantly because I really have no other choice. I have even been known to pace back and forth for several hours. It may seem like I have some sort of problem but I like it. I've had amazing epiphanies and my thoughts, just thoughts, have given me the most wonderful feelings I've ever had. Whether I'm drawing a parallel between Christianity and witchcraft or discovering that a crazy idea I had when I was five is called 'atom theory,' I love to savor great thoughts and, consequentially, those thoughts develop. I am addicted to thinking.

My point is, the only problem I have with coming up with new ideas is having the energy to write 10 of them down after I've already climbed into bed. I think that already answers your second question.

I especially like the top ten lists on your blog. Maybe you could give the top three reasons you started blogging in the first place.

Thank you. I write top ten lists because they're more fun to read. I started blogging for the following 3 essential reasons:
  • I have so much to say but did not previously have an apt medium.
  • I have been relentlessly analyzing religion my entire life but a lot of other atheists haven't been. I care deeply for the secular community and I feel that the best gift I can give all its members is information and perspective.
  • I love to write. Written and spoken art is pretty much the only art I'm good at, LOL.
Believers have church to form their like-minded communities. I feel atheists are growing a community via the Internet. Since Twitter seems to be your social network of choice, how do you find fellow atheists to follow and what value do you gain from doing so?

Considering that the internet is the "information highway" and atheists openly embrace a philosophy known as "the marketplace of ideas," it logically follows that all your internet are belong to us.

I started by simply typing a few short lines about religion that I've come up with over the years. After a day had passed, I logged back in to find people Twitter said were similar to me. I followed them, they followed me, and, after long conversations about religion and atheism, the law of connectivity just took over.

I get to talk to so many like-minded people that I can finally stop questioning my sanity, lol.

As an antitheist, you often talk about the harm caused by religion. Most readers of this blog would agree that, at least in modern society, the harm outweighs any benefits. My question is, do you see any benefit to religion? If so, what?

So long as I conduct cost-benefit analyses, no.

I want to note that atheists do have "spiritual" moments but spirituality, in that context, is just an emotion and we can get it from reality. We are all "star stuff," for example.

Who is your atheist role model? Why?

Over the years, I have developed a fondness for Hitchens but I would say that my all-time atheist role-model is Carl Sagan. I loved watching the science channel on Tuesdays when Tuesdays were reserved for astronomy. Carl Sagan's "The Cosmos" enticed me to just shut up, sit down, and watch. He taught me about the universe, superstition, and comprehension.

Is there anything that would convince you that there is a god? If so, provide an example.

A fossil Jesus in the Precambrian. Other than that, all I can come up with is God appearing before me and convincing me that I wasn't hallucinating.

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