Editor’s Note: Back in March, 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. Please welcome Petrucio!
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where do you live, what do you do?
I’m Petrucio – that’s not my name but I don’t really go by my real name anywhere. I live in Florianopolis, Brasil, with my wife, our 6 month fetus, 3 dogs, and a lot of other non-invited smaller living beings. I’m a jack of all trades – I work some hours as a software engineer, I run a garage game company, and I play poker semi-professionally.
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?
It all started when I had doubts about the many names that seemed relevant in the Bible stories – Jesus, Moses, Noah – and I didn’t really make sense of all that. So being the inquisitive little fella that I was, I decided to go on reading the Bible from start to finish to answer all that. I didn’t really got to reading all of it – because frankly, I think the Bible sucks worse than any book I have ever read sucked, despite what most atheists politely say about it being good literature.
But I went from interested theist to disgusted theist, to agnostic, and then to atheist in a slow process that took some 8 years. Reading ebonmusings some five(ish?) or some years back was the closing nail on that coffin.
Do you have a blog of your own, or another site you’d like us to know about?
I have something that I do not really call a blog, despite it being hosted on blog format and on blogspot. It’s more like a repository of more complex articles I intent to post a few times a year at best. Kinda like ebonmusings.org, but without the proper care to organize it in a proper site and with proper formatting. And with more humor and some images to go, in an ebonmusings meets Greta Cristina sorta way. The idea behind it is that there’s so few good sources of information on critical thinking in portuguese, and so many intelligent people falling for all the woo out there that could be thinking differently if only they had access to more information, that I wanted to make my own critical thinking corner in portuguese, if only to make the people close to me understand my views a little better.
At the moment it only has a post on Homeopathy and the translation of your article on The Problem of Evil (hurray, I finally made it!):
All the portuguese speaking readers out there can add it to their feeds – it will have no filler or off-topic posts, only the good stuff. But it will have very infrequent postings, so be sure to follow it.
I also wanted to plug in my game, it’s something of a ‘Magic: The Gathering’ meets ‘Age of Empires’ card game, check it out at:
I’ve made some coupon codes for any readers to pay any price they feel like paying:
DAYLIGHT15 – 25% off for $15 bucks.
DAYLIGHT10 – 50% off for $10 bucks.
DAYLIGHT5 – 75% off for $5 bucks.
DAYLIGHT2 – 90% off for $2 bucks.
DAYLIGHT1 – 95% off for $1 buck.
DAYLIGHT0 – 100% off – $0 bucks, free, gratis, nada.
These codes are good until the end of August.
I hope I can make a skeptically themed game in the future. I think it can be such a great learning tool, with good potential to reach and influence much farther than our usual audience. You can flood my inbox with suggestions if you have any – petrucio at bellatorus dot com.
Have you given to other charities before joining the Foundation Beyond Belief? If so, which ones are your favorites?
I have mostly donated larger amounts to Doctors Without Borders on the “Oh my FSM, the shit has hit the fan!” basis. I have considered donating to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the James Randi Educational Foundation, but I don’t remember ever getting to it. And I also subscribe a small amount to Mr Deity – not really a charity, but very high quality outreach, and I’m a sucker for edutainment.
What membership level did you join the Foundation at?
I started at 10 bucks to get the ball rolling, but I intent to donate at least 1% of all income in the future as the dust settles.
How do you plan to divide your initial donation?
I don’t remember now what the division was, but it’s more skewed towards education, since education is the solution to all life’s problems (like alcohol, but without the hangover).
Is there anything else you’d like to say to atheists who are considering supporting the Foundation or other charitable groups?
Get yo ass out that chair and do it now; with such a great Foundation doing the middle work, you’ve run out of excuses.