11/04/2010 | Share this article:By WizendGeek ~
The first thing I would like to start with is a thank you to the creator(s) and members of this site.
I have debated with myself where to start after having been reading this site for over two years and I have decided to start with the beginning as I have read from others.
Sunday school every weekend, and even when I spent weekends with my father, an agnostic, he would take me to Sunday school. I would ask many questions in Sunday school to try to correlate what I was learning in school with the fictional bible and I got some vial responses from the Sunday school teacher. I also spent time praying in my closet as that is what the bible said I was told to do yet I didn't get any answers. When I was in junior high and high school I was a sports comes first student, stopped going to Sunday school, went to church once or twice a month, was involved in the high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) group and spent time with friends to help each other grow and have fun. A couple of my friends at that time where non-believers yet we had no problems with each other. I went to a xtian college to play football and become a teacher and coach like the great ones I had in high school.
In the days/years at the xtian college there was always some interesting learning in class and outside of it. For a big paper in an Educational Psychology class we were required to interview professionals off of campus. One of my interviews was with a non-believing psychologist. During that interview the Dr. actually let me know he had helped a handful of the college students in his time because they were either of a different denomination, or agnostic, and the way some of the same denomination college students treated them, and how he helped them. Another interesting aspect of the Ed. Psych. class is when reading the book it was known that the writer and/or some of the quotes from other professionals where non-believers and the class professor would give a talk on what piece we should take from the book and what "god" says we should do. I should have asked that professor about sparing the rod and spoiling the child as even back then I struggled with that piece of the supposed great book but I some how refrained.
I spent three years teaching and coaching in a xtian school. One of my interesting times was when a player let me know he added a prayer to win the game after our team prayer and we won. I asked him what if one of the opponents had done the same thing but I didn't share that I had used the same keeping us safe prayer when I was in high school and college yet during a high school basketball game I jumped up, grabbed a rebound, came down on an opponents foot, turned my ankle and spent three days using crutches. His reply back to me was also interesting and I am sure he was never aware of how much thinking I was doing on all of the events of that game and that topic on the drive home.
While teaching I started working on a Masters degree but got more interested in another subject and wound up with yet another Bachelors. While working on the second degree, at a public university that time around, I had several professors from different countries. One of them that I thoroughly enjoyed is from China and at the end of the first of two class I had with him and before our final exam I had a nice talk with him both on and off topic and when we were done I thanked him and told him to have a nice holiday break and he thanked me very much for that and also added that only a few students in his career had used that wordage with him. Another professor that I enjoyed is from Austria and in one of the classes I had with him he spent a long time talking on a Pascal thing. When the class is done and as I am putting my book and notepad into my bag I started thinking about that famous mathematicians wager and well I am at a public university so I can use the word wager instead of the words that I would at that time use at other places, with other people, and where I was at that time with belief. So, I brake down and ask, joking and serious thinking going on, the professor once all of the other students are gone what he thinks of that great mathematicians wager and that professor immediately tells me twice to think differently.
Since that question was asked and quickly answered during a summer class, once it was completed I began a big web reading for the rest of that summer on freethinking, humanism, agnosticism, and atheism. After all of that I was done with Sunday school but still in church and doing things with members.
"If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things." So I finished that second degree and moved into the business world and started working with parents and still doing some coaching but not at a school. I started having a weekly dinner with work friends and we were open to a plethora of discussion topics and had a few debates. Of the work friends that showed up regularly, one is atheist, one is agnostic, and one is a xtian that struggles with formal worship. I have always been open to hearing all sides of thinking, us analytical personality types do that, and then processing what was said and always look for something good and throwing out the rest.
I had a grandparent pass away five years ago and that was the human that helped me the most in my life with anything and everything. There was a time when I called the nursing home to talk and she didn't even know who I was. It took me a couple months to recover from her passing away and the help from a work friend who had experienced much of the same life with his parents and had a grandparent that had helped him and had passed away.
Three years ago I went through a health problem and after going through that I was told how many people had prayed for me, what a bonus point for them. Before fully leaving faith behind I said many prayers using several mythical supernatural beings from current ones to historic ones: Mithra and Horus just to name a few of the older ones. Sorry for that much detail but I hope it gives a smile as well.
I now have a library of atheist books: Sam Harris, "Letters to a Christian Nation"; Christopher Hitchens, "God is not Great"; Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion; John Loftus; John Paulos (I am a mathematician as well); Victor Stenger; William Lobdell; Michel Onfray; Dan Barker.
In retrospect of 30+ years of following the biggest fiction, there are times where I think about one of my high school friends and one of my high school coaches who never believed and what more I could have done if I wouldn't have. I also think of some of the great times of teaching and coaching yet some of the bad things of the school I was at. I think of IQ and in reading Dawkins book despite my IQ I was in the there is a god there is a god category. I did know a big professor at that public university outside of the campus that was also a xian and a couple of times while walking to one of the classes I had that was in the same building he was teaching in we had a few good conversations. I have always been about learning and wanting to know everything about everything despite that fiction book. One of my favorite quotes is from Descartes,
"If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things."So my final saying: Free at last. Free at last. Thank you reasoning, we are free at last.
Again thank you to everyone here and sorry if I was too verbose.
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