Relationship Status


I am fuming

May 02 2006
    Generally, I am very level-headed, taking things that offend me in stride.  I understand that people have their own opinions that will most certainly differ from my own, and I am appreciative of that difference.  What I am not happy with and will get angry over is people teaching their opinion as the only way, the right way, or the truth.  Individuals who are in leadership positions or positions of influence, should be careful with what they say.  Ravi Zacharias has written this book called "The True Face of Atheism."  I have not read the book, but from the quotes and the reviews I feel extremely angered.  He portrays atheism as a "hopeless belief" and one "without morality."  This is simply untrue.  Just because one says they have not seen or experienced god or any proof of god does not mean they cannot be just as moral as the next person.  Furthermore, an individual does not necessarily need hope in something to get from one day to the next or have aspirations from their life.  People often say, "Well, what's the purpose of life then?" when I tell them that I am an atheist.  I say that there isn't a purpose- we are just animals existing among other animals.  We are not deserving of anything or entitled to anything.  But even though my life will end one day and there won't be some afterlife (in my opinion), I still have goals for my life.  It would be silly for me to just say that I have to have some divine purpose to live because I am alive and must deal with that.  I choose to assign value to certain things in my life- those that enhance my life while I am here.  And when it's over, it will be over.  Hopefully I have enjoyed it.  You CAN have value outside of a religion assigning it for you- I've been on both sides so I personally know.  Books like the one Zacharias has put out are the type that promote the intolerance we don't need in this world and confuse readers into thinking they are getting a true take on Atheism.  My advice:  If you want a true take on any religions or non-religious beliefs, talk to the members of that group.  Read writings from people who ascribe to that type of thought.  That is the best way to really know about the beliefs you are investigating.  Okay, now I feel a little better.

TOLERANCE...the word for the day.

The Letter

April 30 2006
So today Joey and I took 2 hours and wrote letters to all our extended family (well just aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents).  We thought it was a good idea, as we have been discussing and planning the letters' contents for a while.  The letter states our wishes for how we want to raise Alden.  I wish that someone would have done that for me when I was born, my mom even mentioned that she wished she would have thought of it.  I hope it will benefit Alden.  The idea is to get everyone on the same page as us so that Alden can have a more secure environment in which to grow.  Of course, he'll get plenty of different kinds of influence in school and such, but at home and around family, he should be getting a pretty similar influence about things- at least until he is somewhat older and can understand people do things differently.  Anyway, I'll put it on here in case any of you are curious or bother to read it.  No one's remarked on my other posts lately so I don't know that anyone is even reading it.  But oh well.

Dear Family,
    We are writing this letter to start a dialogue concerning the way that we are living our lives and raising our son.  Our hope is that we can all find some common ground in order to avoid any conflict or hurt feelings.  We feel that it is of the utmost importance that our child has a consistent environment in which to learn and grow so that he will develop a firm sense of identity and security within his family.  Our views on the world may be different than yours, as is to be expected, and the way we will be raising our son will reflect that.  We feel, however, that these differences are inconsequential, and that at the root of all of our beliefs lies a firm sense of morality, the importance of family, and the strength of love.
    The differences in our beliefs and way of life may seem shocking at first, but please read this with an open mind and heart, and understand above all else that we are striving daily to be responsible citizens of the human race, living with compassion, humility, and loyalty.  Though we are yet very young, we each have seen the other grow in astonishing ways over the past four years.  In fact, that growth has become the most important part of our relationship.  In exploring ourselves and our world as active free-thinkers, we have come to some conclusions that we feel very strongly about.  Through careful observation, study of the Bible and associated literature, and deep introspection we have both come to adopt a view that is best described as Atheistic Humanism.  What this means is that we accept the responsibility for our own lives, and realize that our choices affect all those around us.  It is our belief also that we are responsible for each other, our neighbors both near and far, because we are all that we have.  Though we do not believe in some "higher power" or consequently, the need for salvation, we live according to many of the principles of Christianity we were both taught as children, as well as teachings from various other religions.  We hold the development of character in high regard, and the aquisition of knowledge and wisdom of utmost importance.  We feel that rationalism is is our greatest human attribute.  In light of this, we remain humble through the belief that we have come from the Earth and, in death, will return to it.  We also feel very strongly about protecting our environment, taking care of our bodies, and encouraging creativity and learning.  Our lives are brief and beautiful, and we have every intention of filling them with love and joy and family.
      It is according to these values that we will raise our son.  We have thought long and hard, and continue to daily, about the way to best go about bringing up this new life in our world.  We realized early that our role as parents is a temporary one.  Currie Alden Dail is his own person, and will eventually develop into a mature adult with his own ideas about the world.  We see ourselves then as helpers, as guides in his life journey.  It will never be our priority to protect our own authority, but to protect him.  It is our responsibility, not to program him with our own ideas, but to make sure he can responsibly and wisely form his own ideas when he is ready.  We will teach him as best we know how to evaluate the world around him in a rational and educated manner, ensuring that when the time comes, he can think for himself with clarity and insight.  This doesn't mean we will form Alden into another Atheist, but it does necessitate that we teach him to think critically about the world's religions, including Christianity.  We hope that by doing this, we will protect him from myths and dogmas.  Our initial thought was that indocrinating an Atheist was just as bad as indoctrinating a Christian, but we soon realized that if we left religious discussion out all together, that Alden would be vulnerable and succeptable to dangerous cults.  It is our hope that we can raise him to be an active free-thinker like his parents so that he may make his own educated decision about religious or non-religious beliefs.  We will be teaching him other things that allign with our chosen lifestyle.  As mentioned above, taking care of ourselves and our Earth is very important to us.  We will be teaching him how to be healthy, including exercise and eating habits, and how not to be wasteful or greedy.  It is important to us that everyone in his life uphold these teachings in his eyes.  Creativity is also very important.  We will do our best to avoid electronic toys including video games, instead encouraging outdoor activity.  We ourselves do not have cable television and choose to spend as much time outside as possible.  We hope that your involvement in his life can be along these same lines. 
    We also want to make clear our ideas about relgion in Alden's life.  In order for Alden to be able to form his own opinions about this important aspect of life, it is paramount that he not be taught anything contrary to what we will be teaching him.  Our greatest concern is that he be shown consistency.  Telling him, "Jesus loves you," is going to accomplish nothing but confusion on his part and great difficulty on ours.  We will have to work hard to explain why this is false, and how some people believe it to be true while we ourselves do not.  We will not be taking him to church, and we don't want anyone else doing that either.  In Jewish culture, the "age of accountability" is 13 years old.  This also happens to be the age around which human brains develop the ability to understand and contemplate abstract ideas.  At this point in Alden's life, he will have no doubt encountered many religious ideas from his interactions with his peers.  Only at this point in his biological development can he possibly be able to comprehend religious philosophies. 
    He will inevitably have questions before this time which we will do our best to answer, but not until he is able will we introduce the more complex ideas for his consideration.  We ask very ardently that you do the same for his benefit and for ours.  We have a library of literature on the subject of religion and philosophy, including many Bibles.  When he reaches the point in his life where his is interested in exploring his own beliefs, he will be encouraged in every way and afforded every opportunity for true discovery.  We think it is very important to keep these kinds of ideas out of his mind early in his development.  Again, they will only confuse him.  It is important also to point out that we will not be using Santa to celebrate the winter holiday, and we will not introduce him to the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny.  While it may sound like we're taking away all of his fun, we feel that it is important not to indulge our child in myths that cause him to believe anything apart from reality.  We feel that we would be abusing his trust by doing otherwise.  We will tell him stories of course.  Some of these will be from Greek mythology, some may be American folk tales, and some may actually be Bible stories, but they will be presented as just that: stories.  When he asks about gods we will tell him that people long ago thought that gods controlled intervened in human affairs, but now we know better.  We ask that you, in your story telling, refrain from using these types of stories if possible, for we do not want you to have to compromise your own beliefs in order to fulfill our wishes.  In addition to this, please do not give him gifts of religious children's books; he will not receive them.  We want to encourage Alden to learn and to explore, but religious ideas should be saved for later.
    We want this letter to be the beginning of an open dialog between us all.  We will include our phone numbers and email addresses below.  Please use them.  Ask us questions, as we know that one letter is not nearly enough room to fully explain our thoughts and beliefs about our world and about how to raise our son in it.  It is not our intention to alienate anyone; quite the opposite, we want to make sure that this doesn't happen.  As mentioned before, family is one of our greatest assets and the love between family members is the best way to model to our son the way he should relate to others.  We hope that you can understand and respect our views and expectations and work with us to make Alden's early years as bright and full of love as humanly possible.  We think that all of our family has great and valuable experiences to share with him and that your influence on his life will be indispensable as it his on ours.  We love you all and hope to see everyone soon.

With Love

Baby Site

April 29 2006

photo from yourcandytears

You should check out the website I post on for the baby and for our little family.

It's the "link" beside website on the left side column over there.


April 28 2006
So here is a synopsis of my thoughts (some people would use the word "beliefs") and how I got to these thoughts.  Please respect it as it has been a long and thorough road.  The "paper" is short, but it is good enough of a summary for now.  I feel the need to put it up here to express myself and to clear up some common misconceptions about Atheism.  Comments/Questions are welcome.

Here it is:


    I ascribe to strong atheism "believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist" (Matthew).  Though I admit that I cannot say for sure gods do not exist, the extent to which I can say gods do not exist renders the terms "god" or "gods" useless for describing any unknown variables I may encounter.  I come to the above conclusion by being an active freethinker- "one who is prepared to consider any possibility, and who determines which ideas are right or wrong by bringing reason to bear, according to a consistent set of rules" (Matthew).  Using this way of coming to conclusions about the world around me, I will explain how I have come to believe that gods do not exist.
    I have determined, based on observation, experience, religious research, and the accomplishments of science, that there are the following options about the existence, or non-existence, of gods.
1.  God(s) exists and is involved in individuals' lives.
2.  God(s) exists and is uninvolved in individuals' lives.
3.  A force or energy connects everyone (some would call this god(s)).
4.  God does not exist.
    For option 1, I have found no evidence.  The religions that make claims of higher powers have no physical proof of their existence.  Claims of experiences with gods are often ambiguous and can be explained through the psychology of the mind and the powerful influences of social psychology.  Positive events are attributed to god's favor and negative events are said to be a result of human wrong doing.  Therefore, all possible events are explainable through the idea of god, but they are also explainable through psychological and scientific theories and laws.  After all, "things do not exist merely because they have been defined to do so" (Matthew).  Furthermore, I can see that throughout history peoples in all nations have used the idea of higher powers to explain the unknown.  Through technology and the advances of science, the events that were previously attributed to the hand of god can be shown to have natural causes.  In this sense, the need for the idea of a higher power in today's times is no longer.
    If option 2 is correct, there is no need for a personal realization of god.  This is the option that one might come to after finding no physical proof of god on earth.  If god is undetectable and uninvolved, why does it matter if it exists or not?
    Option 3 is one that progressive Christians tend to use, and one I myself ascribed to for some time.  I thought that I couldn't believe the gods of religions because they were too limited by human terms, but I could at that point say there to be a connecting energy between people.  Many would say this force is god because everyone is a part of it.  However, in this case, using the age-old term "god" implies a powerful being instead of a neutral force.  If a connection exists, it should simply be termed that.
    So then option 4 is where I find myself.  Options 2 and 3 render the term and understanding of god useless for my life or the lives of those around me, and option 1 lacks sufficient evidence.  I feel living as if there is no god is the best option for me.  I am aware every day of myself and my role in society.  I alone am responsible for making my life the best it can be and for any consequences resulting from my actions.  I am dependent on myself and the people around me for my biggest questions and not afraid to live without the answers if they are momentarily, or perhaps permanently, unattainable.  I have come to peace with the idea that I am not going to live forever and will at some point die and cease to exist, though I cannot fathom the idea.  I feel strongly about helping those around me because "we are all we have" (McGowan).  Humility is something I experience daily as a result of atheism because I know I am small and relatively insignificant on a universal time scale.  Knowing that I have evolved in some way from the things around me gives me a respect for the environment and awe for the process by which I am in existence.  I feel atheism puts the responsibility of my life into my own hands more so than any other religions I have investigated or experienced.

Works Cited

Matthew.  "An Introduction to Atheism".  The Atheism Web.  4 March 2006.      <>.

McGowan, Dale.  "Atheist Virtues".  Atheist Alliance.  4 March 2006.      <>.

First Post

April 28 2006
I am tired of being pregnant.

I am very glad that I am more done with carrying the baby than not.  He is due in June.  I will be considered "term" at the first of June so I hope he comes early.  The third trimester has been probably the worst of them all.  Let's recap:

First Trimester: Well, I found out I was five weeks pregnant.  Then a week later I found out I was going to miscarry.  Then a month and a half later, I asked for an ultrasound before the D & C, and low and behold, little Alden was alive and kicking.  The last few weeks of my first trimester- nauseated, a little vomiting, fatigue.

Second Trimester:  I continued the nausea and started being somewhat lightheaded.  I started getting a little bigger in my stomach.  My panic attacks (which I have had since 9th grade) worsened, making public appearances difficult.  I was depressed a lot because I had to be at home.  I had some good days and weeks mixed in there, though, where I was able to go to my parents' house or go to the store.

Third Trimester:  Fatigue, uncomfortable, new back pain, nausea returns more severely, indigestion, more severe dizziness, more home-boundness.  I have been sewing at home to keep myself occupied and to keep my mind off of being sick.  This only works on the less sick days.  I'm trying not to get depressed and distraught.  Sometimes I cry, and Joey has to hold me while I let it all out.  It will all be over soon.

Bright Moments:
Feeling Alden kick
Feeling Alden respond to touch
Sewing projects
Knowing it's going to end very soon
Joey Dail, my comfort and biggest supporter

I suppose I should quit complaining.  It's just so constant.  My advice- do NOT have a baby until you are ready to deal with all that.  Of course, some people don't get sick at all during pregnancy.  If only I could be so lucky.

I promise I'll post something else new and positive soon.  I have all kinds of ideas floating around in my head about the world and my beliefs about dang near everything, so I'll have to let them all out sometime.