1/01/2011 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Brian ~
I grew up in a home with a devout Christian mother and a father who was not religious. My father would rarely talk about religion, or try to discourage those beliefs, most likely out of respect to my mother. Most of my elementary school years were spent at a Christian school. During my early teen years I became rebellious and questioned many things authority figures told me including Christianity. With the help of a kind Christian man from my church I reconnected with the religion and began to really enjoy studying the Bible. I thought that if I studied it close enough I could find out the truth behind where we came from and answers to the big questions in life. I became very involved in church youth groups, played guitar in a band during church services, and even led bible studies later on.
Image by Chris JL via FlickrDuring my college years my beliefs began to shift. The world didn't seem as black and white as before. There were many questions that Christians couldn't answer in a way that made sense to me. Questions like, "If Jesus is the only way to heaven, does that mean the people in the Americas before the 15th century went to hell?" This caused me to go on a search studying various world religions. I figured it was only fair to see what other religions had to say since I'd devoted so much time to Christianity. It all came to a head in early 2005. When I was downloading various audio files on the Internet about different issues, I came across a debate between creationist Kent Hovind, and biologist Massimo Pigliucci, on evolution (it can be heard here http://www.youtube.com/watch?vpj0m6GrFR3A).
This debate took place on Reginald Finley's internet radio show "Live with The Infidel Guy." One thing Pigliucci said caused a spark to go off in my head. It was, "Anything could be explained with the intervention of a supernatural being. There is absolutely nothing, by definition, since a supernatural being can do whatever the heck he pleases, there is absolutely nothing, there is no observation that could possibly not be explained referring to the existence, or the actions, of a supernatural being." This got me on the road to seriously question the value of supernatural explanations. After listening to this show, I went to the infidelguy.com site and listened to more shows. Much of what I heard rang true. It was also exciting to learn things about science and evolution that I never knew before. Evolution is NOT a theory of random chance as I once thought. Being very familiar with the Bible also made the philosophical arguments against the concept of the Christian god really stand out. At first I called myself an agnostic instead of an atheist. It took a while to get used to the label since I used to think atheism was a dirty word. Now I realize that since these god concepts are so nonsensical there is good reason to lack a belief in a god.
This is where I am now. Oddly enough, I still like to study the Bible. For me, it is much easier to understand when you just take it as ancient literature, rather than trying to make excuses for it, or turn it into an idol, as many do. I think it would be a great blessing to humanity if people were not taught these superstitious beliefs at such a young age. Making faith a virtue lays poor groundwork for critical thought. I'd still like the know the truth. This is a better way.
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