Atheism, or "Free Thinking," ideally is a dedication to living with reason and logic in so far as that can be practiced within the framework of any society, which are structures built on the shifting sands of socio-biological factors, because our civilization is as prone to being derailed from any working philosophy by the interjection of a smothering dogma as a landscape is prone to being re-arranged by earthquake or major flood. When Leo Tolstoy said "All happy families are happy in the same way; all unhappy families are ...
Atheism, or "Free Thinking," ideally is a dedication to living with reason and logic in so far as that can be practiced within the framework of any society, which are structures built on the shifting sands of socio-biological factors, because our civilization is as prone to being derailed from any working philosophy by the interjection of a smothering dogma as a landscape is prone to being re-arranged by earthquake or major flood. When Leo Tolstoy said "All happy families are happy in the same way; all unhappy families are unique in their unhappiness," he could have been talking about all atheists expressing pretty much an identical perception of successful coexisting, while everyone in thrall to a deity has a unique personal view of that deity, of necessity, as they are all imaginary and it is the followers who flesh them out. And clash with those whose deities are differently perceived! There of course is no typical atheist, which is why we can't manage to get together to try establishing a power base for ourselves in this country, America. What fascinates me is that every personal expression of non-belief I've ever come across, could have been written by me, only our phrasings differ slightly according to personality and level of education (mine is nil). Each of us just knows that a system of ethics and morals work like mathematical factors in getting along in a system of civilization. What theists throw at us as a matter of course is insistence that all of us have received our awareness of morality by having had parental "training," or religious instruction, before we somehow "went off course." While it's true that many children are taken to church and some to Sunday School, andsome people do remain in a comfortable mental cocoon well into adulthood if nothing occurs to make them question their beliefs. So, okay, here I come. This long preamble to my own little homo-sapiens primate life was necessary to introduce the natural order of things as interpersonal civilized relationships were unveiled to the growing awareness of a child, a child within a very loosely woven family framework, almost outside looking in, for all my physical needs were met by decent, responsible human beings, some of whom went to great lengths to protect my physical being, but who had no real awareness of me as a separate, sentient individual. Which worked out very well, in retrospect! I was born in a lovely building in central Riga, Latvia in 1938. I had two much older brothers, older by twelve and fourteen years, and have no memory of either of them until quite a few years later, so I began life as an only child. Later I found out how differently my very life had come into existence, which may explain some attitudes. But that was much later, when I was around twenty-two years old. Quite a journey to reach that point. But that was much later, when I was around twenty-two years old. Quite a journey to reach that point. As a toddler, I was cared for by my grandmother, Zenija, Latvian for Evzeni, or as in English, Eugenia. I knew her as Omama, and she seemed to me always serene, unflappable. So that was, I'm certain, my first adult human role model, someone who took things as they came, did not raise her voice, raised no fuss. Thus my journey really began in 1877, when my grandmother was born into a Latvian - Estonian family in Valk, a town bordering those two countries. As neighbors ofdifferent tribal origins, there were ongoing border skirmishes. Latvia consists of Baltic tribes arriving in the region around 1850 BCE, Estonia is Finno-Ugric, related to Finland and in history to Hungary, the Finns inhabiting the region since around 5000 BCE. ( The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History, Colin McEvedy) I'm told that hers was a prominent family, and as such her parents were killed in one of those ongoing border raids, when she was quite young. A pair of aunts dutifully took in the orphaned child
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.