Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the next in that series of interviews, which will be posted each weekend. Please welcome ANTLink!
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where do you live, what do you do?
My name is Gabe, and I’m a 28-year-old freelance Japanese to English video game translator living in Japan.
If you’re an atheist, when did you first become an atheist, and how long have you been one? If you’re not an atheist, how would you define your beliefs?
I was born into a Jewish family, and was more or less agnostic for most of my life (though I never liked going to synagogue, and would have forgone my Bar Mitzvah had my parents given me a choice). At times, I would lean towards the atheist side, and at others towards the “Maybe there really is a God after all” side. In 2006, like many others, I read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, which convinced me of the rationale for the atheist position and helped me to realize that it was what made the most sense. I have been an atheist ever since.
Do you have a blog of your own, or another site you’d like us to know about?
I have my own site, but it is still essentially 99% content-free. Currently the only place I update regularly is Twitter, although I rarely touch on atheistic topics there; most of my tweets tend to be about Apple or gaming. If that interests anyone here, you can find me at http://twitter.com/GGlick.
Have you given to other charities before joining the Foundation Beyond Belief? If so, which ones are your favorites?
I have given to other charities before, but I can’t say that I have any favorites. Being a freelancer, my income is very irregular, so I’ve tended to give on special occasions or where there is an obvious need; the most recent example being Chile.
What membership level did you join the Foundation at?
For now, I have joined the Foundation at the most basic level (see above about irregular income), but I plan to upgrade to higher levels in the future as circumstances allow.
How do you plan to divide your initial donation?
I was unable to choose between all the worthy causes, so I elected to go with the “greatest need” one and have them distribute my donation as they see fit. A great option for the indecisive activist!
Is there anything else you’d like to say to atheists who are considering supporting the Foundation or other charitable groups?
Man, this is a difficult question… All right, this may sound kind of corny and/or be overly obvious, but I guess my message would be: even if you don’t have the money to contribute to charity, I would encourage you to think about the kind of world you want to live in, and do what you can do to help bring it about, even if it’s just a tiny bit at a time. This is almost certainly the only time we will get in this world, so let’s all do our best to do what we can to make it that much better for ourselves and everyone else sharing it with us.
P.S. Adam, I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a while: you’re a wonderful writer, appear to be amazingly knowledgeable on a number of subjects, and explain every imaginable aspect of what I consider to be the ideal freethinking position in ways I can only dream about. Thank you for making Daylight Atheism and Ebon Musings, and for all the ways you help, and help others, contribute to making atheism a positive force for good.