Just a Little Common Sense

For a life based on reason, ethics, literature and art.

About Me

with 10 comments

Welcome! To reward your interest, here’s a cartoon:

https://i0.wp.com/imgs.xkcd.com/comics/sheeple.png

Hope you enjoyed this little xkcd-gem. But now on to the reason why you’re here: The following is a short summary of what this blog is about and what moved me to start voicing my opinion publicly. I hope you find what you’ve been looking for. If not: Please do feel free to ask.

 

About the Blog

It’s about common sense, and sometimes about the lack of it. That’s already all you need to know, really.
I’m writing from a secular Humanist perspective: I that think the values of the Enlightenment – equality, human rights, critical thought, open discourse – are a great step in the right direction. Just a Little Common Sense is one of my humble efforts to promote them.

 

About the Author
I’m an autodidact on most topics I write about here. I try to learn about everything that interests me, read a lot of non-fiction and science magazines, and study biology/biochemistry. Yes, that’s right: I’m just a student. You have no reason to take me serious at all. I am no authority on any topic, and haven’t achieved anything that would make my opinion exceptionally interesting.

I’ve always been a non-believer, as I was lucky enough not to be indoctrinated as a child. I was never particularly opposed to religion, either, until I learned about some of the privileges that the churches enjoy in Germany. One incident especially sparked my interest, when I noticed that the state had me listed as being member of the Roman Catholic church by mistake, even though I have never been baptized. Today, I still don’t know how that mistake happened. When I asked the state official to change that listing, she told me she couldn’t do that; My options were to leave it as it is or to officially defect from the Church, which would entail a processing fee of 30€ (~50 USD). I said that I wouldn’t even consider paying money to quit a membership of a club that I had never been a member of in the first place, and started wondering about how this was legally possible. Essentially, a church is a civil association of people, not different from a football club or the like. To quit membership shouldn’t be more trouble than writing a letter to the club – how come that in case of the churches in germany one needs to show up in person at the local registration office and pay a processing fee? What does the state have to do with my membership in a civil club or lack thereof in the first place? I started researching, and found out more and more about the privileges of the church in the supposedly secular state of Germany. In the process I learned more and more about the beliefs themselves, and had plenty of opportunity do discuss with believers of many denominations. The more I learned, the stronger my opposition to faith grew. By now I am pretty much convinced that organized religion is the worst thing that has happened to humanity so far.
I guess I ought to be somewhat thankful to religion: It was my unwillingness to pay those 30€, that church privilege of having its membership-administration done by the secular state, that sparked my interest in politics and the legal situation in Germany and elsewhere; It was my discussions with creationists that sparked my interest in the origin of life and in the details of evolutionary theory; It was my conversations with other freethinkers that sparked my interest in philosophy, astronomy and history, and it was my astonishment at how people can be brought to believe such obvious bullshit that got me interested in sociology, psychology, Neuroscience and skepticism.
In a way, I owe a lot of who I am to religion.

Written by Phil

May 6, 2010 at 19:32

10 Responses

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  1. the question which came into my mind while reading your statement here: there’s a difference between believin’ in Good and religion, isn’t it?

    gabi

    June 17, 2010 at 09:53

  2. hey man, i am alex from brazil, you have a good website indeed, i just like to make new friends around the world, lets keep in touch if you like it on facebook or skype just lookk for alexandro.soares.do.nascimento on skype see you there

    alexandro

    June 29, 2010 at 08:27

  3. Hey Philip
    totally awesome to see this web , and to see the genuine passion interest you have on a vey simple level of open communication , you make me feel proud to of met you and honoured at having had the opputunity to chat .
    looking forward to the future along with you and your interests.
    have a wonderful day regards Denise

    Denise

    July 11, 2010 at 16:09

  4. It was good to read
    “in a way i have learned a lot from religion”

    Life is a learning curve always & if you are able to Educate & enhance a persons life in but a small way ,
    then i take my hat off to you Philip

    Denise

    January 2, 2011 at 07:24

  5. I like your blog. It´s nice to see there are still people on this planet questioning the world with an open and healthy mind and even share their thoughts with others. Hope to read more from you…
    Regards from Munich

    Wolfgang

    January 2, 2011 at 23:27

  6. Admire your comments. I agree with most. Nice to make your acquaintance.

    Chris Gomersall

    March 16, 2011 at 17:24

  7. This is a great blog.I like the fact how you arent afraid to voice your opinion on things. Look forward to reading more! I also couldn’t believe a church would even charge you to leave your membership. It’s even more strange that they would still charge you even though you wasn’t a part of it. I do attend church. I’m a baptist and I respect the fact that you are honest about how you feel about church in all. I have left many churches and not once was I charge to leave. I guess they got to get their money somehow. LOl they didn’t get it from you though.

    gotchanews

    July 30, 2011 at 18:38

    • Hello Jay (or Tell?)!
      I’m happy to hear you enjoy my stuff. I couldn’t believe that either, but the German church is incredibly entangled with the state here, and some very funny customs indeed arise from that circumstance. Luckily, their influence is dwindling, so I expect stuff like this to lessen over the next decade or so, as more and more people are becoming more openly and more vocally annoyed by this.
      I’d like to learn more about your views, as only very few of the commenters here who say they enjoy my writing identify themselves as religious… Do you attend church merely for the community, as a gathering of mainly social nature, or do you actually believe the doctrine?

      Ochiudo

      August 3, 2011 at 15:17

  8. Hi there,

    I too appreciate the openness of your blog, I stumbled through via a tag on my own blog, but however it happened, here I am.

    Like Jay I am a Protestant Christian (a Seventh-day Adventist if that is of interest to you) and from what I have seen of your blog, you are sharing your views in a clear well thought out way. If only more Christians thought through their reasons for belief as clearly as you do for unbelief.

    Humanist or Theist we are both looking at the same evidence but interpreting it through our own world view and drawing conclusions based on that. Though I am sure we both feel that we lay claim to the “Truth” I have great respect for a person who knows exactly why they believe what they believe.

    I think we possibly agree on some major points as well, like in Germany church and state are clearly not as separate as they should be, I believe in religious liberty and the total separation of church and state, no one should worship (or not worship) due to compulsion of any authority, church or secular. (even the Bible condemns the union of church and state for the same reason, it also prophesies that it would happen ie:dark ages)

    Anyway that is enough rambling for my morning, but I will probably return and keep an eye on your blog.

    Best Regards.

    Luke.

    Luke

    September 1, 2011 at 01:21

  9. I am a devout Roman Catholic-a convert, no less-and I found this blog in a Google search about criticisms of Mother Theresa. All I can say is thank God (no pun intended) I found it.

    I guess I just want to say thank you for having the conviction to speak unpopular truths and to say that not all religious people are fundamentalists. (I’m sure you know that already.) I’m worried about the dangers that fundamentalism poses to our societies and it’s hard not to feel powerless. Keep speaking out.:)

    joannadeadwinter

    December 22, 2011 at 05:13


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