Editor’s Note: Last 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 Ergo Ratio!
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where do you live, what do you do?
This is actually my most private moniker, so I’ll just say I’m a former neuroscientist who is currently in marketing, which is both fitting and ironic, given I am completely numb to advertising. You see that big red “CLICK HERE” button on that website over there? I don’t.
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?
My grandfather was a minister and I was raised in a Christian family, so faith was just assumed and never brought up. As both my parents are educators who value knowledge, growing up I also just assumed that everyone secretly knew it was all nonsense. Realizing I was an atheist was just a gradual process that came with my education.
Four years ago, I couldn’t pretend anymore, and I formally announced it to my family during Christmas, sending them each a copy of Sam Harris’s “Letter to a Christian Nation” with a hand-written letter to deliver the punchline. Since then, I have urged atheists to open up to their families, the people who are most likely to grant us an audience.
Do you have a blog of your own, or another site you’d like us to know about?
Talkislam.info (not IE-friendly) is a community blog hosted by one of my best friends, Aziz Poonawalla, for sharing and discussing Islam-related world news. If it’s happening, they’re talking about it.
Have you given to other charities before joining the Foundation Beyond Belief? If so, which ones are your favorites?
FFRF.org has been my staple for a while. I have also donated to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and various children’s hospitals.
What membership level did you join the Foundation at?
I started at $50 a month as well.
How do you plan to divide your initial donation?
Right now I’m allocating it all to education.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to atheists who are considering supporting the Foundation or other charitable groups?
One percent of your income can do more good than any ten percent tithe.