Name: Doug Skeggs
What type of work have you done?
Early on I picked apples and tobacco to make some money. Pay was pretty good on tobacco, not so good on apples.
My education background is in journalism, and I worked as a journalist in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta early in my working life.
I then moved into government and spent 29 years as a communications speclialist and issue manager with the provincial natural resources ministry in Ontario, including 11 years as the communications leader in a natural resource science and technology transfer unit.
How would you identify yourself in terms of religion/spirituality?
Raised religious, but have always been an atheist.
I have a spiritual streak. My spiritual experiences have almost always involved nature, whether in the Great Rift Valley in East Africa, or trekking in the Himalayas, or running rivers anywhere.
What are some of your reasons for joining KASHA?
Community. I need to interact with people who know what I’m talking about when I speak on issues that I am concerned about…the natural environment, liberal democracy, anti-theism.
But I also have this compulsion to work, or to convince myself that I’m trying to make a difference on issues I care about.
Are there any books or movies that have had a big impact on you?
Sure, lots. When asked if I have a favourite writer, John Steinbeck easily climbs to the top. When I want to be humbled and embarassed about my own writing, I read Steinbeck.
On-topic, Dawkin’s book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, is incredibly informative, and is probably his best work.
What were some of the defining moments that led you to the point where you are now, in a religious/spiritual sense?
It has been a long journey, from being in the belly of the beast as a 6-year-old in an Anglican Sunday School, to being confirmed and singing in the church choir as a youth, to recognizing and embracing my atheism as a teenager, to living as a closet atheist for many years, to coming out to friends and family as a young adult, to a long, slow, evolving and growing realization that religion has been and continues to be a blight on humanity and the source of much misery and evil. Today, I tend to label myself as an anti-theist (in the Christopher Hitchens sense of that term).