October 17, 2013

Why Do I Write About What I Write About?

English: IBM AT Keyboard
English: IBM AT Keyboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of all the questions I receive here from atheists, the most common has to be "Why did you write about [specific topic of post]?" I have noticed that the question is almost always asked by someone who disagrees with what I have written. This leads me to suspect that the questioner might not really be interested in learning about why I wrote the post. And yet, this could be an unfair assumption on my part. Perhaps the question is genuine and the person asking it really does want to know why I wrote a particular post. Fortunately, I can provide an answer that will cover every post I have written and will foreseeably write in the future.

I write about the topics I write about because I find them interesting. It really isn't any more complicated than that. If I don't find something at least somewhat interesting, I'm unlikely to write about it. Most of the time, I write about atheism and related subjects (e.g., what is happening in the atheist community, skepticism, separation of church and state, secular activism). I write about these things because I find them interesting and not because I feel some sort of obligation to keep writing about them. Should the day come that these subjects no longer hold my interest, I will cease writing about them.

Why do I sometimes write about conflict or drama within the atheist community? I have many reasons for doing so (e.g., relevance to the atheist community, desire to minimize hypocrisy and promote rational skepticism within our community, displeasure over the damage I believe some are doing), but the primary one is that I find the subject interesting enough to be worth addressing. I do not find it interesting enough to focus on it exclusively, but I do find it sufficiently interesting to address from time-to-time.

I write about other topics too - those that are not directly related to atheism at all. I find that I really enjoy many of the off-topic posts I find on other atheist blogs. A little variety is a good thing, and I like to read about what some of my favorite atheist bloggers think about other subjects. I don't think that many of us are so one-dimensional that all we ever think about is atheism. And why do I select the off-topic subjects I write about over others? You guessed it! I select them because I find them interesting.

Does this mean that if I do not spend much time writing about a particular topic that I do not have any interest in it? No, not necessarily. It might mean that I am simply more interested in other things, but it could also mean that I do not feel like I know enough about the topic or have a strong enough opinion on it to be able to offer much. And in a few select cases, it might mean that I do not consider myself emotionally capable of writing about it. There are not many topics that I avoid for this reason, but there are a few.

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