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It was a long evolution
JohnH
As a child I was more or less forced to attend sunday school and church. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 13 years I started making a fuss about this. Not sure if it was the boredom or the fact that I was missing early 49er games or games with my mates. Whatever it was, my mother finally relented and I quit going. I motored along for a few more years comfortable in the knowledge that a rational god would not punish me if I was reasonable in my dealings with others.

At about age 19 I had a realization about my own life circumstances which caused me to embrace first socialism, and frankly as I have aged even more radical political beliefs. Negating for me, at least, Winston Churchill's famous quote. Regardless I started viewing socioeconomic issues in a different manner. At the same time I, through the fact of my ethnicity, became interested in the Icelandic sagas and then viking history in general. The history was revealing to me in that I saw how small or large kingdoms aligned themselves with the church for the church's money and influence to develop the states that exist today.

Then around the age 22 or so I started taking an interest in ecological matters. I thought of the church's various edicts about going forth and multiplying or mans dominion over the earth and I realized that the bible was in fact a negative force in mans understanding of its real place on earth.

Finally and slowly I started adding all the things together, the obvious lack of scientific or historical fact, the use as a mechanism for human control, the lack of understanding of mans true place on earth. I came to the realization that religion was not just based on questionable information but in fact was an evil influence on human behavior.

I moved from a sort of Pascal's wager believer to a non or questioning believer to an adamant disbeliever. Proudly for the last 30 years or so I am an avowed atheist.

I feel sorry for some of you. My own experience in the San Francisco Bay Area is much more comfortable. I once on the way to the bar, 15 or so minutes away, developed a brilliant argument about how god was an human construct. I went in preparing to dazzle my bar mates with the argument. The rather deflating response was "tell us something we don't know".
Edited by JohnH on 10/22/2008 03:39
 
catman
JohnH: Excellent post. Your progression toward atheism mirrors my own in some ways, although I'm not Icelandic in ethnicity. My mother also gave up on making me go to Sunday school when I was about 12 years old or so. As I was conscious of overpopulation by humans, I too found the Bible to be a negative force. I studied the history of Europe in general and the role of religion, and found it sadly lacking.

I envy you more than I can say. Anyone going into a bar around here and arguing that god is a human construct would be lucky to live through the repercussions.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Hypatia
Enjoyed reading about your evolution through indoctrination to atheist. Thanks for the post John.



 
derF
Nice post John. Thanks for the insight. I too am lucky to live here on the west coast (Monterey) and do not have to fear nitwits who feel that lack of religion is incentive to violence. I grew up in Mormon country and their silly religion was easy to see through. Thanks for the interesting article.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
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