Interestingly enough I spent my early childhood as a deist, in my later childhood and adolescence became a theist and am now an atheist. My family has always been fairly religious, however, it was considered more of a personal affair. We attended church and community functions, but nothing too incredibly involved. When I was of school age, my parents chose to send me to a private school instead of the public school system. The school was founded on christian fundamentalism, however, supposedly had better curricula versus the public institutions. Within months of attending, my young mind naturally gravitated towards theism, as all of the children and staff incorporated dogma within all of the curriculua. Over the years, all of the pieces of life’s puzzle all naturally fit together. I can remember being taught in history classes that the founding fathers of the Unites States were devout christians, who founded the nation on fundamentalism. I also remember learning in science classes that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Complete nonsense, but a child is incapable separating this, especially when an educator passionately describes the world in this manner. I was forced into prayer, among other practices, on penalty of eternity in hell.
Fortunately, my mind hadn’t quite solidified when I began pursuing a collegiate education after high school. At this time in my life, I had absolutely no idea what academic challenges were ahead. My first year of college, I was exposed to evolution for the very first time (I found out that indeed humans and dinosaurs did not coexist), among many other things. I often found myself arguing with the professors in regard to their false claims. Before completing my sophomore year, I had failed miserably and dropped from school. For a few years I worked and drifted aimlessly through life, clinging to the hope of a better one in heaven. I never quite felt a sense of completion or accomplishment, but that was ok. After all, my religion required no thought, just obedience.
One day, while I was browsing YouTube videos in my leisure, I stumbled upon a debate with Christopher Hitchens. It is apparent what direction that led to, as I am now here. Luckily, I was able to recover from my academic blunder and am now attending college again. Interestingly enough, I am currently working on a thesis for developmental psychology on human tendencies towards being religious.