What I Believe (James, paranormal investigator)


James is a photographer, gallery owner, musician & paranormal investigator from Wellington.

1. What are your spiritual beliefs?

I have no spiritual beliefs. Even the word Spiritual has an uncertain meaning for me. It seems a bit of a catch all for anything that is not material, or energy (in the scientific sense). People may mean different things when they use the word.

I was not brought up to have religious beliefs (thank God). I have vacillated between agnosticism and atheism, but these days I’m a full time atheist, having read The God Delusion and been a member of NZ Skeptics for a while now. I wouldn’t say I’m a hard atheist, as I have plenty of respect for others’ religious beliefs and I don’t try to disabuse them of their faith. That would just be bloody rude.

People around me (not my family so much, but friends and acquaintances in general conversation) have always referred to the human soul as if its existence were a given, and if you reply that you don’t necessarily buy into the concept of the soul, it’s either a conversation killer or an argument starter.

The most concerning thing I’ve heard a fairly smart, educated person say is, “I don’t need to question what I know to be true.”

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What I Believe (Paul, optometrist and father)


Paul grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Tasmania, Australia. He is an optometrist and father.

1. What are your spiritual beliefs? (and) 3. How did you come to have these beliefs?

I blame Lennon for my atheism. Not Lenin ― Lennon, the Beatle.

I grew up in a pretty non-religious household. Not anti-religion, just that religion was kind of a non-issue. I donʼt recall it ever being discussed.

When I was in late primary school, we had Bible Studies. It was optional ― parents were allowed to have their child opt out. My parents asked me if I wanted to do it. I said sure, why not? I had no reason to want to avoid it, and my parents didnʼt discourage me.

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What I believe (Dylan, cartoonist)


Dylan is a cartoonist, writer and illustrator in his mid-forties. He lives in New Zealand with his wife and two teenage sons, a dog and a cat. He is the initiator of this blog.

1. What are your spiritual beliefs?

In short, I don’t have any. I’m an atheist. I believe there is no such thing as spirit or soul, no God or supernatural beings. Magic and religion are myths – stories people have (collectively) made up. The universe is not conscious or self-aware; it does not care what happens to us or even itself, because there’s no “it” to care about anything. The universe is simply a vast, complex system of matter and energy that’s driven by the laws of physics. All human values (good, evil, love, fate, beauty, etc) are our own subjective constructions (shaped by biology and culture); they have no objective worth or meaning. Consciousness is an illusion created by the working of our brains and nervous systems. The illusion ends when our bodies die. Eventually, all cultures, species and – ultimately – all of life, the planet and the universe itself will cease to exist. We will not care, because we will no longer exist either. This is neither sad nor meaningful. It simply is.
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