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Bravo. An excellent description of an atheist perspective on existence. I won't say the atheist perspective, since we're all quite varied in our nonbelief, but certainly a perspective with which I associate.


yay! these types of posts are my favorite. I think "related posts" should also include the thorax cake..


" Beating your breast in despair because you're going to die someday is like winning a million dollars in the lottery and complaining because it wasn't a hundred trillion. "

For. The. Win.

Dick Alstein

A beautifully poetic piece, but IMHO it does not address the central question, one that theists may pose to atheists. It's something like this:

"So you accept that all those things that give you fulfilment are the result of an evolutionary process. So everything that you get joy from -- art, achievement, sex, connectedness, whatever -- simply does so because it contributes to the survival of the species. (Or even: because it mimics something else that does.) Doesn't that make it an illusion? And isn't that just as illusory as the meaningfulness that theists experience because they think they have a special bond with some deity?"

Being an atheist myself, the only answer I have is: Yes, so what? It's an illusion that feels real enough to me. You can go find your own meaning, wherever you like -- as long as you don't harm others.


This might be my favorite among all the things you've written. This is so totally right!

It warms the cackles of my black little existentialist heart.


Edwardian ball is awesome, and I'm glad to hear others enjoy it as much as I did. As it stands, it's a total bay-area event - but one I could see existing anyplace. Wish I could transplant it with me now that I live elsewhere!

I like your attitude about it as well. One has to enjoy the fact all is transient, lest it become a burden.

Greta Christina

Dick: Actually, my answer to that is that it's not an illusion. I am completely aware of the fact that the things that give me fulfillment and meaning do so because they're hard-wired into me by evolution: either they contribute to the survival of the species, or they're incidental by-products of things that contribute to the survival of the species. It's not like I'm fooling myself into thinking that this isn't so.

But so what? The fulfillment and meaning is what's important.

And how would it be better to have the things that give us fulfillment and meaning be crammed into us by a deity so we'll do what he wants us to do? How is that automatically more meaningful? At least with atheism, we can (within the limits of our evolutionary wiring) decide our meaning for ourselves. We're not acting out somebody else's game plan. I'd rather play out my evolutionary wiring in my own way than be a bit of code in somebody else's computer program.


Very cool. I'm involved in the steampunk community and it seems that this desire for involving one self more in life is part of that too, with the personal creativity of more "beautiful" things being very much part of it. My creation of a brass birdie( is not an illusion. It was fun and it is real. It is not some pathetic belief that I'm special because I've invented some magical sky fairy that is concerned with me and only me.

Alyson Miers

Okay, now you've just made me really jealous. That ball sounds really, really fun, but I don't live in the Bay area. I don't even live on the west coast. Dammit!

Timothy (TRiG)

This reminds me of IDWCon09. Costumes and everything.

Account Deleted

This looks awesome. If I didn't have a horrific aversion to wearing costumes, I'd totally go next year.


What a gorgeous picture.


Just read your post.It made my day better.Greatings from Denmark.

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