Updated on February 6, 2017
My atheism has often been compared with that of Spinoza. I think about it now as I sit and sip my smooth dark and delicious Java coffee.
Questions of always intrigued me. I once looked into holy books such as the Bible but did not find the answers I was looking for. That is when I decided to become an atheist. I spent many long nights drinking caffeine and contemplating the works of such visionaries as Richard Dawkins or Michael Shermer.
Before I sit down with a good book on atheist philosophy, I will often hand grind my favorite coffee beans and prepare either a dark espresso, or just a regular Joe drip style coffee. It’s a shame that in my old age I will often become very tired and sleepy once I start reading. I have been hooked on espresso shots since I was a teenager. It has always gone hand in hand with my reading.
There are many contradictions in the Bible that led me to my current position of nonbelief. I was not born as an atheist, but my good sense and education were what led me down that path. I made a good friend named Dave Patterson one day in a coffee shop while I was listening to a talk inspired by the late great author Christopher Hitchens. I had just placed my order with the barista when I turned around to see Dave’s behind me. He was wearing a skeptics Society jacket, and a pin on his jacket that read I do not believe in God.
I knew from then on that Dave and I would be lifelong friends. We hiked through the coffee plantation areas in the mountains of Chile and explored the realms of Godless Atheism as best friends and partners in our skepticism. The relationship grew romantic at times, and my homosexual feelings added to my disbelief in the biblical creator.
This was a dark demon in my closet that I was afraid to face throughout my life. As a child who was forced to attend Catholic school, I had endured years of hard punishment by the nouns when I was unable to recite the old testament correctly. I had to secretly hide who it was that I really yearned to be. If God really loves me then why did he make me this way? It took me many years to learn and realized that there was nothing wrong with me, it is so painful to think about even as I sit here now years later with my dark roast cappuccino and wonder how it would’ve been if I had snapped out of the spell when I still had my use of life.
As Sam Harris discussed in his book the God delusion, religion in an organized manner has been discriminating against minority groups for many years. Actually, many years would be an understatement. It has been for millennia that religion has caused these problems. In the old days, it was dangerous to say that you were an atheist. Instead, you had to play along or risk excommunication from the church..
The Mormon church even forbids caffeine consumption completely. I don’t think that I could live my life without alcohol or caffeine, so I definitely could not be part of a religious community such as this. I have good leadership and that has inspired me to become a writer. I have often endured excruciating periods of writer’s block, and I have had to self medicate with coffee and whiskey just to get my writing finished on time. Working with the deadlines in the atheist, skeptic community is like running with the bulls in Pamplona Spain.
I used to hang out on religious grounds, where I would debate with theists, Christians and Muslims about the existence of an Almighty Creator God. I never debated with Hindus or Buddhists, because their beliefs were a lot more abstract and made a lot less claims about the ultimate nature of reality. I came to my own conclusion that I would only trust in the strength of science, and rational thinking would prevail over an old outdated book of beliefs that no longer applied.
Some of the south American religions are the most interesting. These societies built their agriculture on the coffee beans and chocolate plant. My favorite drink, the Italian espresso would not exist if it were not for the religious traditions of these agrarian farmer cultures. Perhaps that is the ultimate irony because in the end I actually do enjoy some of the products of religion.