Monday, May 4, 2009

Atheist Community Gives Us Strength

Saturday at midnight, it had been one month and a few hours since last I tasted that eternal weakness of mine, chocolate - which I had given up in a kind of atheist Yomkip-lent-madan. I have tried to give up chocolate before, and never succeeded for more than 72 hours.

Why did it work this time? Because I dedicated it to the atheist community, and knew that if I faltered I would give ammunition to people who say you can't overcome weaknesses without religion. I honestly wasn't even tempted that much, and faltering but then lying to my community was never an option. It's like saying you summited a mountain solo when you didn't. If you're an honest person, you don't seriously think about it.

So I encourage you: got a bad habit you want to break? Post it in public in a (secular) community that's important to you. You'll be amazed at how easy it is! The power of community was the most important lesson for me - even a virtual community. Atheists tend to be individualists and nonconformists, and that's fine, but it's certainly no reason not to take advantage of the social nature of the human animal.

In celebration yesterday while I drove up to Mendocino, I ate 1 Snickers (the double kind) 1 Milky Way (also double) 1 Hershey bar, 3 choco-pies, and a chocolate yogurt. Amazing I had time to drive! Why the choco-orgy? Because starting today, for you, fellow atheists, I'm giving it up for another month - and adding junk food on top of it, another Achilles taste bud of mine. You know, Hohos, Doritos, and those little fruit pies you get at convenience stores.

I will report back June 5.


Makarios said...

Don't do it man! You're young and strong. You're in the prime of life. There is no good reason to deprive your body of the chocolate that it needs to survive.

Denying the existence of Creator God is one thing. Denying yourself what is perhaps the only real necessity in life is just stupid.

Michael Caton said...

Makarios: fear not, to compensate I'll be consuming more beer and Taco Bell to provide essential nutrients like Cheez Sauce(tm), various exotic carbohydrates (as in cloudy Belgian brews) and Vitamin T (which I think is what makes Jack in the Box cheeseburgers so good).

Dan said...

Keep eating crappy milk chocolate candy like that and we're going to have ourselves an old-fashioned schism!

I am building my un-church on a rock of 70% cacao.