Hi everyone. My name is Kevin and I’m from Canada. This is my first post to the forum. I am actually excited to tell my story, but I’ll try and keep the introduction as concise as I can. I was raised as a Catholic but was never practicing. My dad is Catholic and my mom is Anglican, but neither are practicing either. In that sense I’ve had a fairly easy go of it because religion has never been pushed on me at all, even though I was put through Catholic school for most of my life. I would say that I always believed in the Catholic version of the Jesus story just because I was exposed to it through my education. At the same time it was never in question that evolution wasn’t real and that the truth was, allegedly, “God divinely put each of us here for a purpose”. The religion was kept entirely out of the science class and vice versa.
My first realization that religion was kind of bunk was when I was in grade 11 religion class and we had to learn about other world religions. Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, etc. The one thing that I noticed almost immediately is that each of these other world religions posited to be the correct version of faith and the correct way to make it to the afterlife. This didn’t sit right with me. I couldn’t wrap my head around how so many other people in the world believed something else, solely as a product of where they were born and raised, and that God would condemn them for not believing in Jesus. Makes no sense whatsoever.
After high school I went to a predominantly Christian community college for my first two years of post-secondary. I started taking science with the goal of ultimately achieving a Bachelor of Science degree. (I should preface this by saying that growing up I’ve always been incredibly interested in math and science and to this day have a deep love of both subjects.) After my first two years I transferred to a large university and finished my degree in Science. Once I transferred to the university I decided to study anthropology and I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends with me in the same faculty. Her and I had known each other from junior high and for about 7 years at this time when we started in university together. At this point in time religion played no role in my life whatsoever, but I still considered myself a faithful person. I believed in God, but did not subscribe to any organized religion, it was more of a personal relationship with God. I was taking classes that explained evolution and it made so much sense. I never really questioned it because of this strange thing called evidence. (You guys hear about this thing? It’s pretty awesome!!)
In 2009, my friend who I was studying anthropology with was set to graduate. She finished her degree with honours and won an award as the top student in the faculty. She never got to receive her award because she took her life right at the end of the semester. After she died it hit me like a ton of bricks that she was gone, I would never get to see her again, and that I would never understand why she did what she did. I think that I, out of all of my close circle of friends, had the easiest time with her death because I realized that right away, so I didn’t have to keep rationalizing it. (That sounds cold, but it was a harsh realization). This was the first time that I would have classified myself as an atheist, but I still didn’t dare say that word out loud because of the stigma associated with it.
After I finished my B.Sc, I decided to go back to school and get in to business. I went back to the same Christian community college to start taking the introductory business courses. I met a bunch of really nice people and a bunch of very religious people (not that these religious weren’t nice). In the student lounge there was a pool table and between and after classes I would go shoot pool with a bunch of people. Going back to this school made me become very outspoken about my atheism, because I met so many people who adamantly denied evolution, the true age of the earth and universe, and said that science was a joke.
Actually seeing people for the first time deny things that could be proven through science and evidence really made me want to do more research in to the Bible and Koran (to actually find out what they said about everything). I also started watching Thunderf00t’s and The Thinking Atheist’s videos on youtube, and started reading Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and anti-theist writers. I also started reading more science related books as well, like Carl Sagan (who might be my favorite person in all human history), and Hawking, Brian Greene. I became a sponge to arm myself with the appropriate intellectual ammunition to debunk anyone’s bullshit creationist argument. I also found it funny that most of the christians I was debating with knew nothing of the Bible (which is always a win for me right away because they can’t even back up their own argument with anything other than “God did it”)
I guess I should bring this to a conclusion, since I’ve become outspoken about the absurdity of religious belief and my atheism I’ve found out that most of my close group of friends also think pretty much the same way I do. It’s a fantastic thing to have a bunch of close friends in my life that I can talk to about this subject without anyone getting offended. I also want to thank all of you for this forum. It’s a great way for likeminded people to connect, especially because I’m sure a bunch of you have not had an easy transition to apostasy. Thanks for reading my story,