Why – When Belief Dies?

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It was one of the first things I decided on in my blogging journey, I spent a while going through a few options and found myself loving it very quickly. Plus, when you are trying to settle on a name that expresses what your blog is about, you need to make sure it is short, snappy and easy to remember. It needs to be free on most social media platforms as well, so I took some time to create a range of profiles around the name and finally land on what I think is the right one. That’s a good practical tip for those future bloggers out there as well.

The Name

More often than not, the name When Belief Dies (WBD) shocks people. We have possibly known people who have died, we all know people who will die, and we are all going to die ourselves. Isn’t it strange that we spend most of our lives hiding from death, fearful of nothingness as we live like we will go on forever from today? Should fear dictate the life we live? Should we refuse to acknowledge the reality that is in store for all of us?

WBD isn’t trying to say that belief has died and that is that. WBD is meant to be a journey expressing the loss of supernatural belief in the Judaeo-Christian God, and the reality of belief in life without Him. The truth is, you need to have belief to live at all, but beliefs, like people, can suddenly be taken from you, and there is a process to work through when that happens.

Belief in God died suddenly for me, and it has taken years to work through what that reality means for my world and my life. If you have been on this journey with me since Jan 2020, you will have heard my story and seen the shift in my beliefs, even down to things like the name and label I am willing to attribute to myself. Currently agnostic atheist (for those who care).

When‘, I think this is actually the most powerful word in my blogs name. Because it does die, and when a belief rooted in a supernatural world stops living you are left to pick up the pieces and journey forwards, often confused and alone. Sure, some people will spend their whole lives never critically focusing on their belief systems around a God. They will accept what has been handed down to them, relying on the words and thoughts of others to justify why they believe what they believe. But I honestly think the more one reads, listens, thinks and engages, the more the beliefs you started with begin to shift and change. ‘When‘ is inevitable, and this blog will be here for you when it happens.

I (and you) can’t help it, even now I hold beliefs in things like evolution, love and morality. As I learn more and think more my beliefs on those topics change and then the things linked to that belief will shift with it.

Christianity was the bedrock to my whole world. So, when I found that my belief had died, I spent a great deal time coming to terms with it and working out what life now looks like without it. I think this will be going on for a while, and I hope you can continue to enjoy it as I share the journey for years to come.

The Tagline

‘Honest reflections on faith, religion and life’, is the tagline for my blog and on most of my social media profiles. This really isn’t a factual blog, aimed at telling you what is and is not true. Rather all of this is meant to be read as my thoughts, memoirs and reflections.

It also isn’t all about belief. Sure, belief affects everything but focusing in on that bedrock shift is essential to moving forwards. That is why things like faith, religion and life in general come into question, and why I want to honestly share my journey with you as I talk around those things.

I want this blog to be real and I want it to be something I look back on in ten years’ time and say ‘wow, look at how much has changed’. From a panicked Christian who is scared of the path they are on, to someone who has their thoughts and morality attributed to something else. What that something else is, is the journey, and I obviously don’t think it’s supernatural anymore, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

My wife is the one who taught me to enjoy the journey and to not try to live for the destination. I want to be on a journey, because I think the truth is, we are all on a journey regardless of if we realise it or not. Recognising there is a journey enables you to be honest with where you are now, and then to see how things change.

The Logo

The logo for this blog might seem random, but it holds so much meaning to me. Many of you know that I first started to question my religious beliefs in 2017 on a holiday in the Lake District.

I remember walking with my wife talking about how shocked I was that I had just realised I might not actually believe everything that I thought was the central purpose of my life. I read, talked and lived that week out so much. Looking up at the hills and wondering if they could possibly be there by any other means than a creator God.

Their beauty and their size made me realise how incredible this world really is, how massive our solar system is, and how tiny that is in comparison to the whole universe. It dawned on me that if we are truly alone then we are so fortunate to be aware that we are here and that we have a responsibility to look after the world we inhabit.

If God isn’t coming back to restore all things, then we need to roll our sleeves up and stop living like He is going to. We need to care for our environment, and we need to enjoy as much of this life as we possibly can.

The hills and the lake in the logo are a representation of Lake Buttermere, in Cumbria, England. A place that holds a wealth of memory and meaning to me and my loved ones. I also happen to think the logo is super simple, clean and clear.

So, why ‘When Belief Dies’? Because it tells the world what has happened, because it is honest and raw, and because there is a story on the other side, and we all know how powerful stories can be.

_End of Blog Blurb_

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.

Podcast: If you like what you read then you could always check out the podcast ‘When Belief Dies’, it is available on all major podcasting platforms or you can listen via YouTube. Dave and I upload and publish via Anchor FM each Wednesday at 7 am.

Grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation: I am massively dyslexic. It has taken me years to get to the level I am currently at with writing and I have done this mainly through reading. I want to be better and ask you, reader, to please forgive any errors in my writing. I hope you notice improvement upon improvement over the coming years.

Time Frame: This blog is roughly six to nine months behind where I currently am at in my journey out of religion. It’s important to remember that when reading and commenting.

If you want to connect with me, then you can get in touch via any of the social media links that can be found at the top of the page. If you want to get every post straight to your inbox then you can do that by either following directly via WordPress or with your email address, whichever you prefer – the links are to the right.

I’ll see you back here at the same time next week 🙂

-Sam

Farewell For Now When Belief Dies

It's time to stop, even though it breaks my heart. This episode serves as my reason why.   -Sam
  1. Farewell For Now
  2. When Belief Dies #100 – 'Psychedelics, Philosophy & God' with Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes
  3. When Belief Dies #99 – 'Open and Relational Theology' with Thomas Jay Oord
  4. When Belief Dies #98 – 'The Take Over' with Daniel Kelly & Roger Bretherton
  5. When Belief Dies #97 – 'The End?' with Daniel Kelly

2 Comments. Leave new

  • I love the logo! It always perplexes me now when a Christian says “This beautiful landscape is evidence enough that God exists!” Of course I want to ask about cancer, bubonic plague and parasites that eat their hosts alive… As a non-believer I can enjoy the beautiful, try to mitigate or eliminate the ugly, without agonizing over why both exist in this world, and indeed existed long before there were humans around to “sin”.

    I’m interested – and gratified – to see you refer to yourself as an agnostic atheist now (a label I share), rather than just agnostic. Interesting because I’m familiar with the initial aversion to atheism and atheists. After all, these were things – and people – that we once abhorred. It takes time to accept that we hav changed so profoundly in one way, while not having changed at all in others. Gratified, because I think it’s important for us to use the term as part of seeking to overcome the stigma attached to it. I am an agnostic because I am not certain, I could be wrong. But I am also an atheist because I now find all the god claims to be not credible. I’m not on the fence in that respect: I disbelieve in gods until I can be convinced otherwise. That said, labels are not the most important thing. At the end of the day, the person who most cares that I am an agnostic atheist is myself.

    Reply
    • whenbeliefdies
      December 12, 2020 7:17 am

      I’ve recently dropped the term atheist and have been talking about it on the show.

      But after a conversation (separately) with Matt Dillahunty, David C. Smalley and Graham Oppy I know I need to do more reading and thinking.

      It’s semantics on half, as in your view and most peoples view I am an atheist. But that outworks from being a naturalist. I think.

      Lots of posts on this in the future. I’m sure you’ll find the journey interesting.

      Reply

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