Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Day I Became An Atheist Meme

I have been tagged by Barefoot Bum with a meme. So here goes...

Can You Remember The Day That You Officially Became An Atheist?

Not really. I was never really religious, probably because my parents were never really religious. We never went to church or ever even talked about religion much. When I was a kid, we'd celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas, but that was the extent of our religious celebration. We did Easter to the extent that we painted eggs and got candy, but that was about as religious as Halloween.

I've never talked to my parents about atheism in particular, though I suspect that both may be there themselves, or close to it.

As such, I never really had any religion or religious upbringing to really break away from. I just at some point figured that it was pretty obvious that, given the rather human-centeredness of religion, it couldn't be true - or as I figured, if you asked rabbits who created the universe, you'd find out that god was a giant bunny rabbit. Which tells you more about the rabbits than it does about the universe. In the end, there simply isn't any evidence to support there being a god, so the only rational thing to do at that point is to conclude there isn't one.

While I can't remember when I first put this all together, I was probably a teenager when I put any degree of thought into it.

Do you remember the day you officially became an agnostic?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think that the evidence clearly shows that all human-created religious notions of god are nonsense. While this could theoretically leave open the possibility of some abstract "god" entity that bears no resemblance to the Christian god or any other religion's god, from a practical perspective, that would make you an atheist - just ask any Christian what they would call you if you told them that their god was a myth and did not exist.

However, as I indicated before, absent any evidence in support of a god (on top of the fact that the evidence clearly shows relgious notions of god to be false), the only rational conclusion is that there isn't one. So I've never been an agnostic.

How about the last time you spoke or prayed to God with actual thought that someone was listening?

I am not sure that I ever really did this, though I do have a memory of, when I was little, wishing fervently that I could find the bowcaster (weapon) that went with my Chewbacca action figure and then within a few days, my mother found it under the stairs. That's about as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. Heh.

Did anger towards God or religion help cause you to be an atheist or agnostic?

I have no anger towards god because there is no god. I never have been angry with imaginary beings - just like I never got angry with Santa Claus for not giving me the presents I asked for. I figured out pretty early on that my parents were the source of the gifts (probably with my older sister's help). Now, there's a lot about religion to be angry about, though in the end, I'm not even really all that angry about that any more either - it just sort of is. I do wish people would think more, but that is a discussion for another day.

Here is a good one: Were you agnostic towards ghosts, even after you became an atheist?

No. Though I had a brief fascination with ghosts as a child (I loved in particular certain ghost stories and books with "real" pictures of ghosts, I never took them all that seriously and, as I grew up, I realized the evidence there was as thin as it was for god (i.e. non-existent). Still, ghost stories are fun. They just can't scare me anymore.

Do you want to be wrong?

This is such a silly question. What I want is to know what really is. I'd rather know an uncomfortable truth than a comfortable lie. Given the basically evil nature of the god described in the bible, I find it unfathomable that anyone would actually wish that god to be real.

Oh, and now I tag any atheist who reads this and hasn't done this already.


tina FCD said...

Your story sounds just like mine, can I copy and paste it in my blog? Just kidding! But it is really close to my story.

DBB said...

Heh. Well, you can certainly paste in the meme and give your answer - if cut and paste and some editing saves you some time...

What I do wish was that I had someone to talk about it with when I was a teenager (and after). It can sometimes feel so isolating, though in my case, it probably wasn't as bad since my parents never were in church circles to begin with.

hedera said...

Am I tagged with the meme if I'm an agnostic deist?? I actually do believe in the possibility of a higher power - I just don't believe that it intervenes at the individual human level...

DBB said...

Hedera - sure, why not be tagged? And really, another point on the pointlessness of a diest/non-interventionist god is that really there is no point - if there is no intervenor, there might as well be no god. Same thing, really. And a diest start leaves open the possibility that the universe was created as a science experiement in some other universe. Either way, it makes prayer and religion kinda pointless, don't you think?