I'm happy to join in such a bright community and would like to introduce myself very briefly.
I am from Turkey and as you could guess I was grown up in a muslim society. I thought I was a muslim but I always had ever-lasting questions in my mind. I was wondering why I find the idea of God strange and not reasonable. In a period of time I was actually trying to be a believer since every single friend of mine was so. I even went to Mosque many times with my friends and fast several years (not eating in Ramadan). To get answers to my questions I was talking to imams after pray. None of them liked my questions and eventually they told my friend not to take me to the Mosque anymore. Well, now I feel thankful to them.
I have always been intrigued in biology both practically and theoretically. When I encountered different stories of "creation of life",I got even bigger questions. Then one day I read Quran at the age of 16. It took just 20 pages to start drawing smiles next to the ridiculous passages (Well, after a while I had to stop it because it was taking more time than reading.)Having read the Quran, I put myself in a race to know all about religion history. Therefore, if you ask "what did make you an atheist ?" I dont sayt "Dawkins" but Quran. The best atheist-maker books are the sacred books,with a little requirement: "Ability to think". Anyway, then I got to know the grim history if Turks made muslim by sword in extremely barbaric ways. Knowing more about muslims and their goals made it so easy to understand religious/political issues all over the World.
When I picked "Selfish Gene" in the same year, as the next book to read about biology, something much more amazing and beautiful started to be clear. Life itself.
Right now I am not living in Turkey (its quite hard to stand ignorance) and working in Europe as a software engineer hoping that one day I switch to my dream job, evolutionary biologist.
Yup, Turkey's a shithole.
As Utah Philipes once said, 'Utah is a great place to excape from.'
Should we add Turkey?
Hey James, you've been missed! Hope all is well.
Welcome to TA
Welcome to TA :)
Welcome to TA! I like that your religious text made you an atheist. :)
Actually I have never been a former muslim, I was just trying to convince myself that I was. Naturally I was feeling weird not to believe while everyone around me believes.
Well, when I was around 13 years old I was banned from several mosques since I was asking questions that possibly ignite more questions in their minds which is very dangerous for their faith.
When I was leading a community defending secularism, feminism, revolutions ..etc I was threaten several times by Islamist. But nothing bad happened.
Welcome to TA :)