I am 19, currently completing an undergraduate degree in medical science (laboratory medicine).
I was brought up in a fundamentalist christian home, which followed the Word of Faith teachings of various tele-evangelists. I realised at a young age that the idea of having anything i say suddenly become the truth was quite ludicrous, but held onto my ‘normal’ christianity, attending various churches throughout my teenage years.
I had always had a keen interest in science and chose mostly science subjects in my final years of High school. Evolution was naturally a key component of Biology, but i chose to simply learn the subject matter and quench any doubts with the arguments of creation science, e.g. answers in genesis and creation ministries international. I even subscribed to the Journal of Creation and my parents were keen to give me any pro-creationist material i asked for. I was an avid reader of C.S Lewis, his arguments forming my defence against any attack on my then christianity.
Eventually I started a Medical Science degree at a decent university, more evolution was taught, but while i found it mildly interesting, I decided to stick to the arguments i had heard repeated over the years from various young earth creationists.
It’s hard to think back and consider that here i was completing a science degree with subjects in human biology, microbiology, physics and chemistry and yet i believed that the world was 6000 years old! I was able to live in denial, after all, belief in evolution was no hinderance to my ability to perform laboratory analysis. Mostly 90% of the people in my university program are religious and despite the fact that they are studying science had there own ways of discounting evolution, i figured that if it was ok for everyone else then it must be alright.However of course I was wrong.
Thankfully I was introduced to Richard Dawkins book’s “The God Delusion” and “The Greatest Show on earth”. These books completely opened my mind. Any and all arguments against evolution seemed childish, once i actually researched for myself the actual theories of evolution seemed plausible, I came to realise how much propaganda ‘creation science’ had been using to keep me away from such things and how brainwashed i had become.
Those books were the first step in my eventual journey to atheism. I realised how I used selective blindness when it came to the faults within my own religion, I learnt that i didn’t need religion to be moral, that i didn’t need a god to be happy. I began to pick apart my own beliefs using my years of biblical study to find faults in the text and authorship – I began to read the bible critically and realised that it did not reflect my beliefs at all. I began to understand how abhorrent some of the things in that book were. I saw how backwards my views were on almost every issue.
I decided from that day forward to approach everything critically, rationally to analyse and understand every piece of information that was given to me. I was in a way set free.
Freedom from religion is the best thing that has every happened to me. It was as if I had waken up and everything suddenly made sense. Unfortunately I am still in the closet. Every family member and friend I have are staunch creationists, leftovers from the ‘bubble’ of christianity christians tend to live in to avoid mixing with ‘the world’. I am too scared to tell my own mother or my best friend, out of fear of what they will think of me. Despite the fact that I completely disagree with them on so many things. I’d imagine i would be disowned, kicked out of home. Despite this I am staying strong, after all what kind of society creates such fear, where to be an atheist is considered worse than any sin imaginable? It is difficult when i have no other Atheist friends to confide to. But thankfully due to the internet i can see that i am not alone and slowly but surely the facts will prevail.
I would like to thank Richard Dawkins for being a voice of reason.
Please excuse the spelling and grammar, its 1:52am.
Thank you. Luke.