Can you share anything about how one successfully parents from an atheist point of view?
My nine year old just asked me if there were dinosaurs in heaven. As with most, there is the religious elements of the rest of the family to consider. Did you face similar circumstances?
I don't have any close family in the area so my kids only exposure to religion was from their friends at school. Whenever they did ask such questions, I would let them know that I didn't believe in a heaven (or hell) because there was no evidence for such things. When they asked about the Bible, I told them that it was a book of myths and fairy tales. I still have a few Bibles in the house and they were free to read them and see what they thought.
And I tried to instill in them a strong sense of skepticism so that they would investigate something before adopting it as a belief.
My perception of the obvious is phenomenal. I have proven that I will get up and keep going, no matter what.
I am good at my job - I am an occupational therapist, and I work with mostly elderly folks. I have helped many people to have their last cup of ice cream, or whatever it is they wanted, in their last days of life.
I once was with a woman, helping her to get to the bathroom, and she wanted me to tell her a joke. I told her my favorite joke, she sat down, laughed, and DIED. The good part of that was that her family was so grateful that she died laughing, and that she wasn't alone.
What wonderful work. That takes a special kind of person.
Diane, that's a great story about dying laughing - I should be so lucky :). Reminded me of the Monty Python skit on the killer joke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I3zCQzZx68
I'm somewhat curious about any reports you may be able to share regarding the oft cited 'bright light' experience, 'I was drawn to a bright light' et al. I've done more than a little research on Rick Stassman's work and other biological reasons to account for 'religious' experience.
Also, what an important job you perform!
I really think this is a great post and I have enjoyed reading all the different replies to it. I even joined ThinkAtheist just because of your post. Even though I don't really like bragging about myself, I guess I can still try.
I don't know where to start so I can just name random things, I guess.
I hiked the tallest moutain in my country (Germany) two years ago when I was 16, but my mom and I only hiked up, not down, so we still have to do that, which I plan on doing in the summer and I plan on doing a bunch of other mountains.
I guess I learn things pretty quickly. I learned to juggle in like half an hour. Heelies and a Ripstik weren't a problem for me and I learned to snowboard quickly. I've been getting much better at hacky sack after only an hour or so of practicing. But I don't know if those are normal periods of times people take to do things or not. There isn't really just one thing that I am really good at, more like a lot of things I am pretty decent at. For example, my friends can all ride bikes really good, I'm a little above average, but therefore I can also inline, iceskate, skate (pretty much anything with a board), basketball, soccer, football and a bunch of other things. I don't like to focus on just one thing, I like being able to do lots of things instead of only being able to do one.
I don't really know if I am that smart or not, my girlfriend says I am the smartest she knows and a bunch of kids don't understand why I am in the school I am in because of whatever weird things I have told them, but every once in a while I do feel somewhat smarter than others. I'm really good at math and I have a great understanding of a lot of sciences, even though I don't know all the different details like the formulas in physics or the chemical reactions between things in chemistry, but I really want to learn all of that one day. I suck with words though, I'm getting better but grammar is not my strong suit at all, you may have noticed already. But I love learning anything I can and I am interested in everything and I can't get enough of the beauty of the universe. There are just so many amazing things in the universe. Astronomy, psychology, geology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, sports, music, films, paleontology, history, architecture, etc etc etc.
I think I have a good memory. I've watched a good several thousand movies by now (that's not an exaggeration) and I can pretty much tell you the story of every single one of them and even the title, the actors, locations, different scenes with a lot of detail and depending on when I watched it even the directors since I have been getting into films more lately. If you were to give me a line from Friends then I could tell you the next line, who said it, what they were doing and so on. And even the thousands of youtube videos I have watched I can also tell you what the youtuber did there and what he said sometimes, but not as much as with movies. Same goes for songs too, I can sing with to a lot of songs. But films, videos and songs aren't the only thing I can remember, I also have tried my best remembering the map of the world and even certain countries more than others. I pretty much know where a lot of the countries are and I can tell you to which cities I have been to around the world too.
I have travelled a good amount so far. Only two continents but only fifteen countries so far, kinda. Spain was only the canary islands, Mexico was only because of a cruise and it was the big tourist spot and that was all and Poland because the road curved out of Germany and back into Germany for like a minute, so they don't count. But when we do go somewhere then we really travel, we take the back roads and see all the hidden gems that people miss out on because they stick to the autobahn/freeway/autostrada whatever. But I plan on travelling all over the world and it would be cool to travel to each country at least once.
I am very good at working things out myself. You know, using logic and reason and so on. If there is a subject I don't know all about, let's say evolution, and someone asks me a question I don't know the answer to, then I think of what I know, think of the possibilities, choose the one that would make the most sense and normally what I choose is also the correct thing, so I know how to fill in gaps of knowledge that I have or someone else has. Another example, I figured out God wasn't real when I was just 7 or so, didn't take long and I don't know why others can't figure it out yet. And I do well if there is a problem and everybody is panicking or something. I am very calm and never worry, because it won't help to worry.
I have never really achieved anything academical or something like that. I don't care much for school because I don't agree with the system and the way it works and my future plans don't need much education anyways, so I didn't pay too much attention or do much homework or ever really study, not even for the finals, but somehow I still got by as 3rd best in my class.
There is more, but I think I have already said too much and I can't figure out if it feels good to have said all that or if you know, it was bad to brag. It's a weird thing that people think it's bad sometimes. They know they did something good but other people get butthurt when they can't achieve what someone else has, so it's seen as immature to brag or be a show-off and then they just keep it to themselves and think to themselves that they are being arrogant and they tell themselves they didn't do good. Society sucks.
But I saw your one post about your son and your ice-skating skills. I don't think you posted anything else, but what else can you say about yourself? There has to be more, there always is. Nobody that would come up with a post like this is boring. I would like to hear more about you.
And after I posted this, I noticed it was a loooot. Sorry.
Belle, I think you are a great writer/communicator too. I think you could write a book or two. As for me, I have been designing communication, navigation, and safety equipment for airliners for over 25 years. I shutter to think of all the equipment I have up in the air at this moment. I have also written a lot of music and play in several rock bands, bass and keys.
I am reminded of the story of a guy who was teaching a class about improving software quality to a bunch of different companies' managers. He started out by asking everyone a hypothetical. "If you were about to board a plane and realized that the avionics software on that plane was written by YOUR employees, how many of you would get on the plane?"
ONE hand went up. He asked the guy why he was so confident in his own people when everyone else clearly thought the plane would crash if their team wrote the software. The man said "I'm not, I know I wouldn't die though because the plane would never manage to even taxi away from the gate in the first place."
(Now you and I both know that this shit gets tested endlessly so it's very unlikely to fail, making commercial aviation far safer than cars, for instance. But it's still a rather humorous story.)
That's about par for the course Steve. LOL. But you are right, It's about 15% of the time is spent on design, and the other 85% is rigorous verification and validation testing to catch every single possible failure mode no matter how remote or unlikely. And then the call goes out for volunteers to go looking to fly into windshear or turbulence who won't toss their cookies.
You are triumphant. You're inspiring. I think about how you have conquored so many problems when my life seems impossible and it inspires me. Thanks for sharing so much with us on TA and I hope that things keep getting better and better for you!
Devlin, holy fuck, you sound like an exceptionally intelligent person.