Monday, March 21, 2011

How I became an atheist

My journey to atheism is rather uninteresting, but I'll tell it anyway.

I was raised by a family that rarely discussed religion.  I still have no idea what my family members believe.  For most of my life I had no religious affiliation, but I was not an atheist either, as I had not rejected the belief in the supernatural.  There might have been times when I believed in some sort of god, because I used to pray, and I used to fear going to hell.  Despite this, I still would not have called myself a christian.  I have always felt that the Christian beliefs were hokum.

One of the key events that led me to atheism, happened in the 6th grade.  I'm not sure how much this event affected my view of religion, as I had no view on religion and didn't think about it much.
I still think I would have ended up an atheist had this event not occurred, but it would have probably happened later, but that is something I will never know.

The event that took place was an exchange between a student and the teacher.
The teacher was a practicing christian of some sort and would occasionally talk about her beliefs, which I'm pretty sure teachers aren't allowed to do, but whatever.
The student said that he did not believe in god, and the teacher replied "well, we'll talk about why that's wrong later."  She wasn't angry and said it nonchalantly.  Later on, the same teacher said something along the lines of "atheists don't go anywhere when they die, they just die."
One of my regrets is that I did not challenge her.  I wish I had said "and you know this, how?"  "Have you died, if not how can you possibly know what happens to people when they die?"

Nothing of significance happened after that point, that I remember, anyway.  Perhaps it got me to start thinking about religion and god more.  All I know is that I became an atheist in the 7th grade, which is a time when I started to change significantly.

I was somewhat of a passive atheist.  I wasn't open about it.  I didn't read the works of atheists.  I didn't watch debates between theists and non-theists.  I was just an atheist.  It didn't affect who I was.

Sometime in high school, I saw a video on youtube by a user going by the name "TheAmazingAtheist."  From there I was introduced to other prominent youtube atheists.  I started to hear the arguments made by theists and non-theists.  I started to learn more about atheism, theism, religion, and everything related.  I was no longer an atheist without reason.  I learned why I was an atheist. I learned why I didn't believe in god or any religion.  I was introduced to prominent atheists like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett.

Soon, I evolved from a passive atheist into a militant atheist.  I realize now that without these outspoken atheists, I would not be who I am today.
Everyone's beliefs are influenced by other people, whether they be family, friends, society, or people from the other side of the planet.  Without atheists forming groups, writing books, making videos, having debates, and generally working to promote the views of atheism and non-theism, atheism will never progress in society.

2 comments:

  1. im more of an agnostic, leaning toward straight up atheist/not giving a fuck-ist. haha

    ReplyDelete