Books Read in 2020

I will be posting and reposting the book discussions I have for these books in 2021.

1 Quiet By Susan Cain

2 American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

3 Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

4 Caraval by Stephanie Garber

5 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

6 The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

7 The Sight by David Clemet-Davies

8 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do by Amy Morin

9 Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss

10 Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

11 White Working Class by Joan C. Williams

12 God Shot by Chelsea BIieker

Why I read…

I’ve made a post before on why I read, but now I think its time for an update. I used to read a lot of romance novels. I still do now, however, recently I’ve been craving books that are more thought provoking and books on an animals perspective. Now, book like those are something I would probably enjoy more than a romance novel. Now, I mostly read to try to get a better understanding of the world. I like to see how I can look at the world differently and what I can do to help make it a better place.

I want to have more empathy for others. There are too many times in the day that I think my life couldn’t get any worse and I forget the things that others have to go through. Books help to remind me that I’m not the only person that has to struggle at times.

Reading in some ways has made me a smarter person. Studies especially have helped me with this. I think that too many of us consider reading to be part of the arts and nothing else. But that is simply not true, we need to read graphs, charts, mathematical equations, statistics. I thinking reading fiction is good, but I don’t think it helps us as much as it could. I do think that fiction helps us with imagination and inspiration, but that might not always be what the world needs. I will discuss this more in a literary vs genre fiction post. Obviously, a literally work isn’t a study, but I think the differences and similarities are important to understand in the writing world.

I think that reading has helped to challenge my own beliefs and without it I may not have ever changed them to begin with. However, this doesn’t mean that every book will, too many times, we want to read, listen or watch the things that will just affirm what we believe. Sometimes this can help defend our beliefs, if affirming then is the only thing we ever do, I doubt many us will change for the better.

Why have book discussions?

I started writing book discussions this year. I think it has helped me to gain a better understanding of the books I’ve read. And allowing comments helps me to see the other answers that people come up with. It allows others to see what I got out of it and if their was something that I had missed. I think that having these discussions can help us to connect as well. Here’s the list of book discussions I have so far:

  1. White Working Class

2. Godshot by Chelsea Bieker

3. The Sight by David Clement-Davies

4. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

6. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

7. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

8. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

9. Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss

10. 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do

11. I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi

Why reflections?

I post a reflection at the end of each season. I know it’s weird to a lot of people, but I find them to be pretty important. As long as I do them consistently I think it helps me to become a better person.

Most of us have a lot going on in our lives. Reflections have helped me to organize my life a little more. To figure out what I need to do to achieve my goals and whether or not those goals are realistic. It’s helped me to create a better work life balance.

I think reflections have helped me become a better person too. I’ve looked back on posts I’ve drafted and even published. And I realize that the world would probably be better off without them. Now, I try to make the blog as welcoming as possible. I’m starting to realize the ways I might have directly or indirectly hurt someone.

Reflections have made writing a lot easier for me. Its hard to come up with new stuff all the time so making sure I do these posts once a season is a good warm up.

I think that a lot of people can benefit from reflections. Our world is so fast paced now. Most of us work, then maybe go school, try to keep up with bills and sometimes raise kids at the same time. It can be hard to find a moment to breathe.

But when I write reflections, I can slow down.

Why vegan?

I have been vegan since the summer of 2017. I didn’t realize that it was possible until I had watched What the Health on Netflix. At the time, I planned on being a vet tech and couldn’t stand the thought of killing an animal if I didn’t need to. I went cold turkey. And the longer I researched what it meant to be vegan, the more I began to realize that this wasn’t just for the animals, but for myself and the planet as well.

I soon discovered just how much this lifestyle would help. I wrote an essay on diabetes in college on how dairy affects us in a negative way. I bought The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell. I discovered doctors who advocated for this lifestyle such as Neal Barnard and Dr. Mcdougall.

Others not mentioned above have also discussed how this lifestyle has helped the environment, which all these aspects I will discuss more in depth in other posts.

I choose this lifestyle because I think that if we raise animals just to be exploited and killed we need to have a really good reason or reasons for doing so. I will never turn my nose up at people who live in places where they have no other choice, but for those where chooses are abundant that’s a different story. I don’t think doing something just because we can is the best option. I just think it’s cruel.

 

 

 

Tips for First Time Vegans 

Dogs

 

Why are you an atheist?

I grew up in a church. I have spent countless hours at church as a kid and through most of my teenage years. I will never say that people who believe in religion are mentally ill, but the religion I was in fed into mental illnesses that I had as a younger person. Having to constantly relay on a higher being or something else to determine my self worth nearly destroyed me. Spending every Sunday being told who I should be and how I should act drove me to the point of insanity. I learned over time that my beliefs did not line of with logic, but faith and the need to conform. At the end of day, as I read the bible and listened to sermon after sermon, it seemed no one wanted to answer why?

I think too many people use faith to justify the things they believe in. When I think of faith, I think of the song anything goes. And in the real world, that just flat out isn’t the truth. We can’t change the color of the sky, the amount of money we have or create immortally just by saying it’s so. Life just does’t work that way and I’ve learned I’m better off trying to understand hard truths rather then just pretending they don’t exist.

I couldn’t stand the conformity either. I didn’t realize until I left that the entire church was just one enmoruous echo chamber. New ideas were never pitched, it was all the same thing that people have been saying for far to long. No one thought of other possibilities, like past lives, that maybe marriage didn’t really work for everyone, that women deserved respect or that everything we’ve been taught might just be a complete lie. No one wanted to stand against the crowd because doing so would lead to judgement, disrespect, and even in some cases, disownment.

I’ve learned that too many relgions will contradict themselves and I need solid answers. And I don’t like people telling me that their opinion is a fact. The verse, “sex is a gift,” probably doesn’t really seem like it for people who have been sexually assaulted in the past and assuming that everyone enjoys it can be just flat out insulting to those that have experienced that. It’s okay for someone to have a different opinion than me, but don’t force me to share the same one as someone else.

And all of this is on top of the fact that what the bible or anything other religious book says is really just on giant game of telephone through hundreds of years where it was most likely told orally, since during that time period not many people could even read let alone write. Then is was written in several different languages and then rewritten in more modern languages and I’m expected to believe that the english bible is an exact replica of the original. Even people who have english as their first language can’t even understand Shakespeare that well and his work is more recent than pretty much every religious book.

Now, after getting all of that out of the way, a few people might still ask me why I don’t believe in a god. And to that I say there is not enough evidence for me to believe that one exists. And this has probably been said a hundred times before, but I will say it again. I am not making a claim, therefore I do not need a burden of proof. If someone believes in a god they need to have evidence for that. Once again, faith is not even a logical reason.

Why forever questioning?

Even though I have left the church, there were still a few verses that have kind of stuck with me even as time went on. James 1:6 says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave in sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” There are many verses similar to this in bible, and they are used to prevent us from questioning reality. They were meant to keep us irgonarant, to prevent us from critiscing the things that probably needed it the most —the things we use that control how we go about our lives.

Religion has claimed too many things to be 100% certain. To believe that we are right, without even taking the nesscary steps to analyze our own claims is completely ridiculous and no that’s not an opinion, that’s reality. I have renamed my site to forever questioning(preivously know as priceless books) because I want to learn hard truths to the best of my ability —even if that means changing my own values. Challenging ourselves can be hard, but I believe that changing our foundations can be the hardest of all. It could mean the loss of friendships, activities we used to do, but it could also mean finding people who have also changed their beliefs and why. Things we used to think of as not important are now priortized.

I have changed my blog to help myself to keep an open mind. And anyone who is looking to do the same might find this blog beneficial. I do not claim to know things with 100% certainty, but I do think I’ve done enough research to have made a good decision.

I think that everyone is on their own path, and hope that this blog never comes off as culty in any way. Everyone is probably good at something in one aspect of their life or another. I think that using beliefs to put someone down is wrong. This blog is not intended to bullying people, but rather to give others my reasoning for why I don’t believe in a god.

Why Study Religions?

For a long time and still today, religion has been the foundation of many of our lives. However, over time many people in the US and across Europe have began to lean more towards spirituallity. I still think its important to understand religions even as an atheist. We need to understand what keeps people there, and what ideas people stick to. We are not logical creatures. Many times, we have created bad habits and gone so far into them that we’ve convinced ourselves it good for us. We need to understand what people have believed in the past and how it changed over time. Otherwise, we might end up at square one again.

So far, other than discussing chirstainy I have kind of neglected this part of the blog. I have read a few books on Buddhism, but that’s pretty much it so far. However, I do plan on looking more into isalm, jadism, and hindu relgions. I do want to more what paganism and wiccan, but argubly that can still fit into christianity too.

I will try in some posts to make the information I give out as unbiased as possbile. However, there will more likely than not be posts where I will argue why atheism is probably the best option with what we know right now.

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