Converts, Tue, Jan 29 2013 #(74)

Jan 29, 2013

my brief “religious history” and how I ended up becoming an atheist, since there seems to be some contention about how people get “converted” to atheism I hope someone will find my story useful or insightful in some way.

I was born in Europe, Ukraine. My mother is a christian and my father is very keen on religion- indeed seemingly all of it – he seems to search for “the truth” by studying texts as variegated as the bible, the bhagavad gita, kuran, budhist texts, etc and seems to draw inspiration from all of em. Indeed, from a young age I simply categorized myself as a christian, knew some bible stories, etc but luckily my family, as are most in europe, are not of the overly religious type and we didn’t go to church except maybe for funerals or special occasions. I had the great fortune in living abroad during most of my childhood, and got to study and be friends with children of various faiths, be it muslim, hindu or otherwise, and so I had a great respect for differing viewpoints. My general viewpoint for most of my life was of tolerance and that “all religions are a road that leads to god/heaven/etc”. As I grew older and began to compare budhism and the bible I realized that Buddhism was actually way more “reasonable” since there was no great big and angry, capricious God, and that (according to budhism) we are just here because “of ignorance” and there is no great reason to go through this crap and you should just improve yourself and be a moral person and stuff. However I still hadn’t done too much research into any religion – as in I haven’t actually read the bible, haven’t read books of other faiths (books ABOUT those faiths don’t count), so after a while I had to decide what it is I actually was – so I decided to investigate, and decide once and for all which faith was best/the truest – Christianity, Buddhism, or maybe even hinduism. I searched the web, watched many a youtube video, searched for evidence of reincarnation and things like that but the more I searched the more dissatisfied I became. I realized that “you can’t simply pick and choose which parts of religions you like and combine them into your own special blend” – even though this seems obvious to me now at the time it was quite revolutionary to me. I came across some atheist youtube videos on youtube, of people such as the amazing atheist and thunderf00t- at first I simply enjoyed their videos because of their humor but the more I listened to more I somehow began to agree with what they were saying. Then I came across Richard Dawkins – I don’t remember whether he was mentioned in some video or if I simple found him through a search, but wow, his book “the god delusion”, if I can indeed trust my memory, was what finally broke the camels back. I listened to the audiobook version since his british accent is so awesome and he narrated it himself – to all those that think “he is just for existing atheists” you are wrong, for his book had an amazing impact on me. Indeed, the moment when I truly became an atheist was when I was taking a shower and contemplating theism, and decided to take this brave leap and simply “imagine/pretend for 10 seconds that there was no god or afterlife” – I tried it only after those 10 seconds I somehow didn’t want to go back, for everything seemed way more “natural” this way.

I still enjoy listening to shows like “the atheist experience”/ ” the magic sandwich show” -at first I was watching them in hopes that maybe, just maybe somewhere someone presented a great argument, however it was all greatly disappointing with little beyond either logical fallacies or wordplay- these days I still enjoy watching them, more for entertainment purposes. Oh, I’ve also told my mother I’m an atheist- she was like “oh? well, it’ll pass” – I didn’t push the argument further as this seems quite good compared to the many horror stories I hear- then again I’m in Europe. Cheers y’all!

Feel free to publish this review as is or shortened/corrected. Thanks again!

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