Short Description of Myself
Howie is my real name and I am a happily married man with 2 wonderful children. I am an electrical engineer by trade. My family and I prefer to limit the amount of personal information I share on the internet. If you are a friend of mine that I have invited to my blog please respect this if you comment.
My Religious / Spiritual Background
I was raised in a Jewish family and converted to Christianity when I was 19. I was an evangelical Christian for 5 years. I was very convinced of Christianity the first year of that period, but struggled with doubts throughout the next 4 years until I came to the realization that I could no longer honestly call myself a Christian. I’ve been a secular humanist, implicit atheist (aka negative atheist), agnostic, and possibilian for the past 18 years of my life. I describe my journey here.
Some of My Thoughts on Spirituality and Religion
The following posts have descriptions of some of my current views:
- Labels Never Tell the Whole Story
- More Definitions
- Moving Forward With Ultimate Questions
- Moving Forward With Ultimate Questions, Part 2
I’m annoyingly agnostic about a whole lot of things, but I still have opinions and can usually express which way I lean. I took only 2 courses in philosophy in college so I can’t express my beliefs in philosophical terms. Here’s some of my answers to some common questions:
- What branch of Judaism did you grow up in? I grew up in a Conservative Jewish home. My father had been raised Orthodox and my mom had been raised Conservative.
- Which Christian denomination were you in? I attended non-denominational churches and Messianic Jewish congregations. Doctrines were very similar to but not exactly like US Northern Baptist doctrine (and the differences most people would consider minor). I called myself a “born-again” Christian.
- How certain are you that God(s) do not exist? Not with an extreme level of certainty. I sometimes wonder if “inscrutable” is the right word for it.
- Do you hate all religions? Absolutely not! I believe extremism is the source of most of the pain in the world, and unfortunately religious extremism is a real threat to all of us. But some extremists have not even been religious. I believe that if everyone in the world was atheist the world would be a very boring place and if everyone on earth agreed with each other we’d all be assured to be wrong! 😉
- Are you trying to convert people to atheism? I don’t feel there’s too much of a selling point to my atheism. On my blog I like to help people get closer to truth. Read this comment to get a feel for my approach.
- Would you be offended if I prayed for you? Absolutely not. Thank you very much if you are praying for good things for me.
- Is morality objective? I don’t know, but wish it was. This post (in the middle of my series on morality) describes my views best. I have several other morality posts you can find by clicking on the morality category.
- If you are atheist why do you talk about gods? The answer to this seems obvious to me. I get the feeling that the people who ask this are suggesting that the fact that atheists talk about gods proves their existence. Seriously?
- Are you a naturalist? Not sure. Seems like the answer to this may be out of human reach at this point.
- Are you a determinist? Surprise, surprise: agnostic about it.