My name is Remy and I am a 22 year old student from South Africa. I have been an atheist for about a year now (I was previously Roman Catholic) and I must say, it is such a pleasure to have somewhere to speak to like-minded people.
I'm looking forward to seeing how other people think about atheism and their views on the world. I'm sure I will learn a lot here and hopefully contribute as well!
I am a MASSIVE Stephen Fry fan, if their are any others out there, make yourselves known :D I think I have pretty much covered the basics, hope to chat to lots of you soon!
Where at in SA? My wife is South African and I lived there for a year in Joburg. I miss the food!
Welcome to TA :)
You're from where I believe Richard Dawkins' is from!!!!
I am curious, what are the demographics like in the area which you live?
I think Richard Dawkins was born in Kenya! Defininitely not SA though :)
The demographics of SA are very interesting. The country is about 79% black, 9% white, 9% coloured and 3% Asian or Indian. That;s obviously the most basic way of looking at it. Within the black community there are tons of different 'sects' or 'tribes', like the Zulu, Xhose, Venda, Sepedi etc.
South Africa has 11 official languages, that gives you an idea to the diversity in our country. You get predominantly black areas and predominantly white areas, neighbourhoods that are absolutely world class and then of course, sadly, all our townships and poor rural areas. The poor far outweigh the rich and the gap in-between is massive. It really is a remarkable and beautiful country, unfortunately our crime does stain our reputation in the eyes of foreigners, not to mention the apartheid.
There is just too much to say! Here is the Wiki link to SA's demographics in detail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_South_Africa
Hey there Remy. Good to hear from you.
Where are you from in RSA? I was there back in 2009 for the British & Irish Lions tour, as you can probably gather from my profile picture... I loved the country and am looking to head back at some time soon, though it seemed pretty clear to me it's a very religious country. I have a few stories about religion from my time in South Africa, but they can wait for another day.
Also, it'd be curious to hear how and why you came to dis-believe in a god, especially coming from a Roman Catholic background. I always find these stories very interesting.
Sorry about the Lions performance, no hard feelings I hope :D I'm glad you enjoyed your time here, it truly is a remarkable country!! If/when you decide to come visit again, let me know! And I'm very keen to hear your stories about religion from your time here.
My story of becoming an atheist is really not that enthralling. I grew up as a Catholic, as my parents are Catholics, and went to a Catholic primary and high school. We had Mass every Thursday and RE every week. I wouldn't say the Catholic doctrine was shoved down our throats but we were of course raised according to Catholic ideals.
I am very happy that I was raised how I was, the school was strict but not overly so, and there were many many people at the school of different religions. Muslims, Hindus, a few Jewish guys. I think that is the benefit of growing up in SA, even at a Catholic school, people of all faiths are allowed. This I think is due to our constitution based on human rights, and wanting nothing like the apartheid era of discrimination to ever repeat itself.
Basically, I just started thinking about religion in general and I came to the realisation that it really made no sense, for a whole bunch of reasons. I thought about it for a while, discussed it with my girlfriend (who has always been an atheist) and I pretty much 'saw the light' and from that day on I was an atheist. No one forced it on me, I just started thinking and questioning for myself.
Hope that kind of answers your question :D