"THIS GUY MUST BE ANGRY WITH GOD".
No, I was not abused by Catholic Priests, or by anyone in any way.
Nothing catastrophic made me "angry with God".
There was no single event that lead me to atheism; rather, it was a long
and very gradual journey of examining the evidence, or it's absence, of gods and demons
allegedly at work in my life that lead me to this conclusion.
Examining facts, falsehoods & myths, actually cross-referencing history from
sources both from within and hostile to various religions force me to reject supernatural claims.
Atheism literally means "without religion".
After all, atheism is the default position. I am not the one making the claim
that there is a god, afterlife, ghosts or demons or anything supernatural.
It is religionists that make the claim(s). The burden of proof is on them.
Carl Sagan used to say "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".
And instead, we are asked to take these wild claims that defy physical law
on "faith". But what exactly is "faith"?
" 'Faith', noun:
Yup, that pretty much sums it up. Belief based in ignorance, not information.
No supernatural all powerful all seeing "God" exists,
standing above time and space, able to will the behavior of
every subatomic particle that has ever existed or ever will.
I assert with all conviction that atheism is the necessary and sole destination of
any mind capable of unbiased examination of the supernatural claims made by religion.
Here on this site I can share only some of that exploration, as each journey is unique,
as is each mind that examines the exact same information.
But again, any functioning human brain capable of independent thought should arrive
at many (if not all) of the same conclusions as freethinkers throughout history have.
You probably already strongly agree or strongly disagree with various religion's claims.
Very few people will come to this site "neutral" to religion.
I doubt I will change many minds here, which is too bad,
since Christians are constantly adding to their ranks but freethinkers are rare,
and rarely organize on such large scales - and Christians attack in full force against
any perceived threat to their teachings or the freedom they enjoy to spread it.
Freethinkers must NOT be afraid to ruffle the feathers of religionists
or hurt their feelings. If someone makes a declarative statement in your presence,
and it is incorrect or logically unsound, you have the option, nay the responsibility to speak up.
But if it's about "God" or "Jesus" or "Allah" or religion at all,
you're not supposed to disagree or express dissent because it's bad manners, right?
Please. These people NEED to have their feathers ruffled.
"It is better to believe in nothing,
I was born in the late 1960's to Roman Catholic parents.
I was baptized, raised, even confirmed a "Roman Catholic".
But to be truthful, despite all my best efforts, I never really bought it.
I really wanted to believe, after all, it's a very comforting thought!
Just imagine, to be able to survive your death!
(The term "oxymoron" comes to mind...) But the idea IS comforting.
It eases the pain of awareness of mortality,
it gives you hope of seeing dead loved ones (even pets!) again,
and seems to make sense of all the "big mysteries" of life and the world.
And talk about peer pressure!
From birth until age 5 AT LEAST, every single human being I knew was
a Christian; it was all I was exposed to until I started kindergarten.
Think about that for a moment; if everyone you knew from birth spoke
only in french, in what language would you be speaking, and thinking?
If your thoughts, which are in language, are subject to the same limitations
and bias that language almost always employs,
how then can you think in an unbiased fashion about anything?
From birth I was taught about "God", that he existed first of all, was a given.
I was told to accept something so seemingly impossible as "God"
and in support of this claim I was presented with the Bible and
an onslaught of believers (including family).
Like I said, I tried to believe. I wanted to believe.
However, said without religious rhetoric,
it's a claim that there's an invisible man in the sky,
one who sees everything I will ever do, knows everything there is to know,
is all powerful and all loving, (along with "jealous") and if I'm good in my life,
I'll go to "Heaven", but if I'm "bad", I'll go to "Hell".
Somewhere around the time I gave up on Santa Claus,
I recognized the parallels between Santa and "God".
If I'm good I get rewarded by a supernatural humanoid who lives forever.
(When exactly was Santa born, and what's his life expectancy?)
And if I'm bad, I am punished; no reward for me, only lumps of coal!
(Coal? To fuel the fire?? Stoke the flames? Interesting metaphor...)
"God" seems to be Santa Claus mythology taken to the next level...
I have always been a questioner, and fortunately had a brain capable of
seeking and examining answers to my many questions.
(In plain language, I was a smart kid).
PBS was perhaps the earliest culprit in helping me think for myself.
It wasn't long after learning my ABC's from Oscar and Big Bird
that I was watching NOVA and other PBS shows;
shows about nature, animals, oceans, life, astronomy...
Then in the 1980's came Carl Sagan's "COSMOS".
More than anything else, COSMOS stirred me. It really got me going.
The sheer scope of the issues explored dropped my jaw.
The late great Carl Sagan was a master at making the most complex
scientific fields of study seem simple, and he explained them simply.
One does not go around trying to make theoretical physics entertaining,
and yet, somehow, he did. Scientific facts filled my mind with appreciation
for the natural world around us, and the Universe beyond.
From that time to this, it has been science and reason that govern how
I think. I am not, and never was, the type of person who would accept
something "on faith" unless it could be demonstrated to me. . .
and of course, religion never can.
Indeed, once you can do so, the need for "faith" has been removed.
ON TO PAGE THREE!