GUEST POST: I am Tom, Joe's twin brother. You can read my blog Journey to Disbelief here.
I do not believe in god. I do not believe there is an eternity out there for us when our bodies fail and seep into the earth once again. I do not believe we are merely animals though, biologically programmed to eat, sleep and procreate. I believe in our humanity and the power of love and compassion.
I am a bruised, battered and scarred human being. I used to believe god could bring me hope and healing from the darkness, as I did not have the strength to do it alone. There was healing. There was redemption. For a time. There was also transference. Instead of being utterly extreme at partying, I became utterly extreme at proselytizing. For a time. I mellowed and asked more generous and loving questions about life, faith, belief and love. The more I asked the more my journey took me to disbelief.
I am yet to find peace. I found peace briefly when I was a Christian. I also found peace with when I realised I no longer believed. Throughout it all, I have yet to find peace with my identity. Something I grapple with and mull over and think far too much about.
I do not believe atheism is right or wrong or belief in God is right or wrong. I believe in unconditional love and being the shoulder to cry on, the hand to hold, the emotional punch bag so someone you love doesn't hurt themselves.
The scars on my arms remind me of times when I hated myself. The areas where there are no scars remind me of the times a friend took my emotional pain on their shoulders. Those moments continue to astound me as to the power of love humans can share.