Well, I’ve been tagged. And they say atheists never have any fun.
The evolution meme has got me, so the idea is I have to cite 5 posts of mine that demonstrate the evolution of my blog.
1. My very first post: My Gloat. I originally started posting on MySpace and the blog was just going to consist of anything I felt like ranting about. It was intended to be mainly light-hearted. As you can see, it is purely about football (American readers, read: soccer. Don’t get me wrong America, I think you’ve got a great nation but your bastardisation of the English language is hideous. You’ve got as much respect for pronunciation as Scientology has got for a pauper .)
2. My Job Offer to Creationists (I’m not counting that!) was a semi-humorous illustration of how absurd creationism is. I was still trying to keep a jocular nature to my blog but this was also something I felt strongly about and I felt I made my points very well without getting too serious. This trend of moving away from piss-taking and swearing, towards serious issues would continue: A post that I had intended to write for many years was my de-conversion story. I was invited to do so by Ebonmuse after I discovered his brilliant website soon after I de-converted. There are many sources I have to thank for my illumination and inspiration to write, Ebonmuse is one of them. This was an article that would have to be personal, intense, detailed, and ultimately incredibly optimistic, but also show the dark spell I went through where I was very much suicidal. This article was My Fall From Grace. It became easily my most-read article to date (it has since been overtaken by others.) This article was probably a turning point in my blog. My traffic boomed ever since and with so many regular readers I felt a responsibility to leave out the trivial and personal. What I mean is, talking about my day or personal hobbies was out of the question. If people were going to give serious time to read what I had to say, I knew I should provide good material and with an element of professionalism.
3. My Evanescence was a lovely title for an article if I do so myself. For one, it continued the nomenclature I had adopted (from Scrubs) for starting nearly all my articles with the word “My”, and also tied in nicely with the title of my blog itself! Two, Evanescence is a beautiful poetic word and it described perfectly the idea I wanted to convey: the transient and ephemeral nature of human life. Rather than be a depressing thought, this can be powerfully incentivising. There is no time to waste! Our lives are so short, so fleeting, that no day should be wasted! Instead of just ranting or destroying religion, I know I needed to include more humanist themes in my blog, and this was a progression in that direction.
4. Why Do I Bother? doesn’t start with “My”. This is a trend that continues; if it sounds right so be it, but I decided not to detract from an otherwise good title by forcing “My” for effect. This is a serious semi-angry diatribe about religion and the harm it causes. More importantly though, it’s directed to ignorant fence-sitters or the politically-correct who are afraid to put their money where their mouth is and speak up, or even worse those who think the topic is boring (prompted by a silly comment I received telling me to stop posting long boring articles about religion). It is impassioned and forceful, and something I couldn’t have written when I first started.
5. Criticising religion and faith, and promoting critical thinking and rationalism will always be primary aims of my blog. But how to capture the other end of the scale, the joy of rational thinking; the liberation of atheism; the beauty of humanity? Inspired by the great man (who I’ve met) Richard Dawkins, I wanted to express mankind’s place in the scale and timeframe of the vast universe. I wanted to write something as fascinating and fun to read as some of Dawkins’ work, and doing the research for it myself was very enjoyable. I also wanted it to show a greater move towards humanism on my blog. It’s all well and good destroying faith and teaching people to think logically, but what about hope? What about meaning to life and purpose? Humanism does help here, and I hope For the One Life We Have illustrates how we should all see things; as they really are. But rather than be a cause for concern, we should be inspired to make the most of our lives, those of the people we love, and those of the human race itself.
The 5 posts I’ve listed hopefully show the evolution of my blog: from capricious irrelevant joking to semi-serious rants, to de-conversion stories and impassioned attacks on religion, to explaining what atheism and humanism really means, to the real meaning to life and hope we all have.
My blog is not monolithic and the topics will always vary, as will the tone. But I hope now my blog has evolved to a point where I can capture all the moods of what has gone before and where I’ve arrived at; something that comes with experience, well-received praise and criticism, and regular readers without whom of course, no blog would exist.