sent in by Deamond
(First, a warning; this story doesn't get interesting until well after I became an Atheist.)
Perhaps it was a mistake for a catholic school to bring children on an excursion to a museum, because such places, unlike schools, encourage you to THINK.
When I was a kid, I had a tendency to question everything. I would never do anything I was told unless they explained to me why I should. I knew, from an early age, I would never be a very good soldier.
I once believed in God, and back then, I also believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Witches, Vampires, Bugs Bunny, you name it. I think I believed in Santa longer than God, actually. I think Courtney Love said it best; "I don't really miss God, but I sure do miss Santa Clause!"
After I became aware of the contradictions between Religion and Science, I began thinking about it. During that time, I didn't know the word "Agnostic", but that's what I was.
I was also aware of other religions, and became aware of the similarities between them. In Australia, there are about 500 different aboriginal tribes, each with their own language and culture. They too have their own genesis stories.
In one story, the Tortoise and the Echidna (An Echidna is a small, ant-eating, semi-subterranean marsupial with a long nose and long sticky tongue, and its back in covered in quills, like a hedgehog, only smaller.)
The two animals were fighting, the Echidna was throwing rocks and the Tortoise was throwing sticks, and somehow the resulting injuries were passed down genetically from one generation to the next, WITH the sticks and rocks, resulting in the shells and quills of today.
The same theme can also be seen in Christianity; the idea that an injury (The loss of a rib) can somehow be passed on genetically.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that Christianity is no different from Greek or Egyptian mythology, whereas Science is actually based on evidence. I also suspect that belief in God is actually very similar to belief in Santa in many respects, is the "Mommy wouldn't lie to me" thing.
It wasn't until long after I became a Atheist that I found out about my parent's own religious doubts.
My Dad was raised Catholic, as I was, and he believes that there is a god, but he doesn't believe everything the Church or the Bible says.
Mum is religious but not a fanatic. She has a sense of humor, she's interested in saints, but she told me once she doesn't believe in Angels.
(Here's where the story gets interesting)
my older brother is a Christian. He's also a liar, a smoker, a drunk, a drug user, a hypocrite, a dickhead, an asshole, a thief, and basically an adult toddler with a drug habit. He claims he is not addicted, yet he has yet to quit, at least, at any given time, he'll usually have used "Choof" as he calls it more recently than the last time he claimed he quit. He's completely selfish and self-centered, he has little concept of logic, and he has a self-serving sense of right and wrong (As I says, he's a hypocrite).
The "Choof" by the way is the cause of his schizophrenia, yet he keeps using it. He was always an asshole and always will be, but now he's a STONED asshole. The first time I saw him really out of it (Just before we put him in a mental ward) he was talking about religion, but not all of it made any sense. The words were English, but the sentences were, I dunno.
I think there are two kinds of "Victims", one is where the word "Victim" is a simple matter of fact, as in someone to whom a crime occurred. The other is where the word "Victim" is a personality trait. Everything that ever happened to you, including your own actions, is everyone's fault but your own. A lot of victims are criminals, because, how can you feel guilt if your own actions weren't your own fault.
My brother is easily the second kind of Victim.
(Here's where it gets real interesting)
New Years, 2000/2001, 3am, a night no one concerned will soon forget.
I was asleep at the time, but Mum woke be up at 5 to tell me what happened at 3.
My brother stole mum's car and smashed it repeatedly into his now ex girlfriend's car (I won't say her name). Also;
*he was drunk
*didn't have a license
*took car without permission, and mum soon reported it stolen (I don't think she reported it stolen until after the fact)
*Earlier that night, already got in trouble with cops for disturbing the peace
*Also used Mum's car to destroy a big mailbox (In Australia, some people live in "Flats", which is basically a small group of houses all paying rent to the same person. like an apartment building only flat. In this case, all the flats share one big thing made of bricks which contains mail boxes for each flat.)
Apparently, he was angry at her for two reasons; one minor, the other imagined. The minor one was that she went to a party to which SHE was invited and HE wasn't, because he's an asshole. The imagined reason was that she was supposedly cheating on him. (If there was another guy, why the hell would she hang around this asshole?)
I think it's safe to say that she leered a valuable lesson the hard way; if your boyfriends own family warn you to stay away from him, not because they don't lake you but because he's an asshole, they probably know what they're talking about. She's the nicest person in the world, but seems to make poor choices in men (case in point)
But all that is not the worst of it; at the time, my nephew was three years old, and the girl in question is his mother.
Since then, Mum and my nephew's Mum want absolutely nothing to do with "What's his name" as I like to call him now, both families hat him (Us and my nephew's mother's family) and what's-his-name has been disowned.
As for me, I've been telling Mum that we should've kicked him out ages ago, and no one argues with me anymore.
I'm just glad my nephews Mum's a Baptist; Baptist ministers can marry, and are therefore less likely to be pedophiles.
Then, of course, there's September 11th, which conformed some of my theories, liken that religion is evil, or at least has been corrupted by humans.
Became a Christian: About 0 or 1
Ceased being a Christian: About 14
Labels before: Roman Catholic
Labels now: Atheist, or Darwinian
Why I joined: Children will believe anything you tell 'em
Why I left: I became an Agnostic because of the difference between Christianity and Science, and an Atheist because of the similarities between Christianity and every other religion on the planet
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)