Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(794)

Jan 30, 2013

I'm an indonesian atheist. I was born and raised in Indonesia, a country where there is 0% official atheists. You can choose between 5 acknowledged religion, but u can't choose to not choosing. My family and friends is all religious, and most of them fundamentalist. Religion is everything in Indonesia, and people are being judged by their religiosity. Mysticism in our culture is very strong, and merged quite nicely with religion. The lack of education makes it worse. People have almost no sense of what science is, and why we must trust it. Even religious 'thinking', use our feeling more than your rational thinking, is being praised as a very good thing to do.

I'm very fortunate to have a great curiosity since i was a little kid. And a scientist, with research and inventions, is my dream of what i want to be like in the future. Discovery Channel opens my eyes to the great things in science, to evolution and natural selection, that being cursed and demonized in every church that i visit by many person that don't have any clue of what is it. I became liberal, and i'm working by reading a lot of books to find a solution, to unify evolution and religion. That works at first, until i learn much more about science. The pressure is greater and greater, and at some point i really think religion as just abstraction, metaphors, legend, as a goodwill story that tells u how to live your life better. But is it really better?, is it better to let religion controls your life?.

At last, last year, after a lot of self denial, a lot of 'running from the reality', i've realized that i'm not religious anymore, and not a believer at all. I watched every interviews and appearence of Richard Dawkins & Sam Harris, that i knew for the first time from the Beyond Belief conference. And i've learned that: Living as an atheist is not easy, but living as a theist is much much more unbearable. I begin my journey to coming out. To face the reality with open eyes. And my life is much happier & much better after that.

Karl Karnadi.
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