As a fellow atheist (raised Catholic), i have come to admire your works as a great scientist as well as a missionary in the fight for reason. Men like you are what inspires the young generations in this age of information and technology. In short, i truly admire the effort and the time you dedicate towards the education of others. A great teacher and a soldier for science.
I myself, at 22, have to tolerate restless religious movements on a daily basis. Mostly everyone i know and meet at random have a religious affiliation. The social awkwardness at times is almost unbearable. But, although the discrimination from others, i take pride in what i have come to know. Reality. I engage in quite a few online debates at times, only to share my experiences and get others to question their beliefs. Hopefully changing the minds of a few...
A small analogy on how i like to describe reality:
"You wake up in a machine. An enclosed space with only you inside. Strapped. You feel movement, an accelerating force exerted on you.As you try to adjust to the unfamiliar environment, you are suddenly horrified! The machine is speeding down a road...at speeds you have never known before. Swerving, braking, turning and sliding. You try to move but fail. You want to scream, but to whom? Heart racing, adrenaline pumping, breath shortening.
What's going on? What can i do? How do i stop this thing? What if it crashes?... so many questions, but short of answers...
This is life.
Somebody who embraces life will accept the fact that he is now in the moment. Regardless of the circumstance he is in, each second is still worth living. This person will come to terms with the fact that he is now part of time and space. And his fate depends on his determination and will to change it. He will not bend the truth, rather accept reality and find a way to make it through and survive. He will look around, observe, analyze and think. Thats when he finds the brake pedal and slows down the machine, grabs on the steering wheel and drives safely, at his own pace to where ever he wishes to go.
Somebody who is terrified of death is someone who does not value life. Since the event is unfamiliar to him, he will perceive it as unreal. The only way out is to wake up to what should, and must be his imagination.Then he starts to sweat. The machine gets louder, his legs start shaking. Reality starts to take over. This person will panic, fail to analyze the situation, fight with the restraints and unintentionally damage the console that would ultimately allow him to control the machine. When he realizes his fate is no longer up to him, this person will close his eyes to everything around him...living in his mind where at least he can imagine and
believe a better outcome. Hoping eternally."
I my pursuit, many have tried to blind my path out of fear for my soul. But i tell them "better have a soul that is filled with knowledge than one which is filled with bullshit!". Sometimes i wonder how can anyone still believe in those ancient fairy tales. And sometimes, you realize that the those people are your parents,relatives, friends...this is when the truth hurts.
Again, thank you for all your support and dedication towards making this world a better place for each and everyone of us.