Category Archives: This blog, this blogger
How do you say Merry Christmas to an atheist?
Recently President Trump triumphantly announced that Americans “can say Merry Christmas” again! Apparently, he or his devotees thought they couldn’t. (Seems a little silly to me, but every little bit of education helps.) However, his permission did set me to … Continue reading
Yes, I—an enthusiastic and secular humanist atheist—often wish someone a Merry Christmas, and I respond happily to others when they use the term. I react the same way to Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and other expressions of seasonal benevolence. … Continue reading
My steps from sacred to secular
Atlanta’s begun another sweltering, but gorgeous summer. I’m going to take a break from blogging for a few weeks. There are now 154 posts in this blog, all accessible using the listing just to the right of this text. It … Continue reading
A note to new visitors to “John just thinking”
If you’ve joined as a “follower” of this blog later than 2013, you may not know why I write these essays (“posts” in blog lingo), now numbering almost 150. (If that’s of interest, take a look at “Getting started,” Apr. … Continue reading
Slogging to the blogging
Blogging means different things to different bloggers. For me it’s a channel for expressing my thoughts to others, but simultaneously it’s a tool that forces me to sharpen my own thoughts. However, as much pleasure as I get from writing … Continue reading
Why my vehemence against Christianity?
Well, it isn’t just Christianity, but any theism, and even broader, any supernaturalism. But this post concerns the narrower question: what drives my formidable and publically expressed anti-theism. I have been asked about my “attacks” on religion by persons who know … Continue reading
Awe, we can be earnest, too!
I’ve been fortunate in life to have a fortifying sense of awe . . . or maybe I’m just sophomoric and easily impressed. I’m serious about atheism and secular humanism, but the most accurate label that fits my day-to-day living … Continue reading
A belated apology to my father
I just want to say I’m sorry. Fifty-five years too late. John Bruce Carver, Sr., my father, died 55 years ago today. I was not yet 23. He was not an educated man, having gone only through the eighth grade … Continue reading
One hundred blog posts!
The immediately previous post (“What good are Christian soldiers without an enemy?”) was the hundredth I’ve posted since kicking off johnjustthinking.com on April 27, 2013—twenty-six months ago. Now seems an auspicious time to review just why I write this blog … Continue reading
Simplified reader comment feature
As of now, all previous posts (a few over 70) have been edited to conclude with the standard comment section most people expect to find on blogs. (Previously, comments had to be directed to a separate email address, johnjustthinking.com, and … Continue reading
September, then the Fall
Today, September 5, is the anniversary of my “becoming a Christian” in 1948. I was ten years old—about what my denomination called the age of accountability—when I decided to walk down the aisle during the invitation hymn that Sunday morning, profess … Continue reading
My atheism: reason or reaction?
Over the years it’s occasionally been suggested that my adamant position about religion is due to my strict upbringing in a conservative Christian sect. In the experience of other atheists I’ve known, that convenient analysis appears to be common. Sometimes … Continue reading
In a conversation a few months ago I was accused of espousing a particular view because it was “politically correct.” I was briefly offended, since the comment implied that I reached my opinion based on something other than my own … Continue reading
You may have noticed that I’ve not written a new post for a few weeks. It’s likely I’ll not do so for another few weeks. Preparing material that finds its way into this blog requires not only time, but the … Continue reading
Due to the virtually simultaneous deaths of brothers-in-law last week, I’ve just spent three days with fifty or so extended family, not one of whom is an atheist or, at least, an “out” one. Largely, my family’s denominational identity is … Continue reading
An atheist with religious loved ones
My rejection of Christianity began when I was 19 or 20 while posted to an Air Force base in Germany. To my knowledge, my family-of-origin had never experienced one of their own abandoning the faith. Theirs, I should note, was … Continue reading
Retirement né childhood
And I thought my adjustment to retirement was brilliantly handled! One problem (or perhaps blessing, I can’t tell) is that for me retirement was a phased affair over a few years; there was no single cutoff point. As I increasingly … Continue reading
The meaning of life
What is the meaning of life? This ubiquitous phrase poses a storied question. Of those to whom it is seriously put (as opposed to its comedic use), many embrace their quandary, while others are certain they know the answer. Variously, … Continue reading
Beyond sui generis
A recent CNN internet op-ed by Rachel Held Evans (“Hey Atheists, let’s make a deal,” Sept. 14) criticized atheists for quoting “the most extreme, vitriolic voices within Christianity and proclaim[ing] that they are representative of the whole.” To be fair, … Continue reading
Word, yes, but of God?
I grew up believing the Bible to be the inerrant Word (that’s an obligatory capitalization) of God. My parents, sisters, and all our next-step-removed relatives believed it and almost all still do. It’s enough to discredit any memory of being … Continue reading
Words, words, words
I have a thing about words, about language, enough to be thoroughly embarrassed when I get it wrong. I try unsuccessfully not to lovingly nurse my peeves about grammar and word choice. Something grates on me about the incorrect differentiation … Continue reading
The joy and cosmetics of blogging
My experience in writing this blog is pure pleasure mixed, as I expected it to be, with an occasional struggle in expressing thoughts accurately. For a guy who likes to think of himself as philosophically minded and verbally still adequate, … Continue reading
Conversation, not conversion
I enjoy the philosophical topics for which I created this blog. I enjoy in-person discussions, ones that are easy exchanges and ones that are more like debates. Additionally, like anyone else who loves spirited interchange with bright, similarly engaged colleagues, … Continue reading
What’s a nice boy like me doing in a place like this?
My purpose in starting this blog was not to tell readers specifically about me. The purpose was and is to provide a medium to record my philosophical musings about the world. I realize, of course, you can’t neatly separate the … Continue reading
Rules of engagement
This is just a posting of the rules I have for myself as they relate to religious or quasi-religious philosophy discussions. They are, if you will, my “rules of engagement.” There are four situations in which I’ll take part in … Continue reading
This blog was begun in late April 2013 to provide an outlet for my compulsion to commit opinions to words, normally opinions or lines of thought out of step with the majority. Just as this is a new blog, I … Continue reading