I'm a self-employed internet developer, voracious reader, and natural skeptic. I have deep interest in philosophy, religion, science (especially astronomy, physics, cosmology, and biology), mathematics, as well as strong interests in history and warfare.
Among my favorite authors are Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Rick Atkinson, Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, and Brian Greene.
Musically, I have a very wide range of interests, from Miles Davis to Notorious B.I.G. Pink Floyd is my favorite band, and I enjoy everything from classical rock and blues to funk, hip-hop, metal, and electronica.
Why are you here?
Looking for a community of interesting and intelligent like-minded skeptics and rationalists who seek to utilize reason and empirical knowledge in building a better world.
The religion you left
Why you left your religion.
I was never really a 'Christian' in that I realized early that Christianity was a fraud. I was raised in a caring liberal family who only occasionally attended Presbyterian churches for mostly social reasons. I loved singing in chorus and bell-ringing (part of my much larger love of singing and music). I never believed that an invisible man in the sky could hear my thoughts, though I do recall having prayed a few times more as mediation and mental focus than as anything else. At times, as a child, I did invoke 'God' as part of that prayer, but only as a matter of custom and not with any real belief that 'he' could hear me.
I remember a babysitter when I was around 9 or 10 who was bible-thumping religious. We played a game of charades, and I acted out a human, classifying it as a 'mammal'. She couldn't guess 'human' and was furious with me for calling man an 'animal'. I still recall her rant about that subject, though only in retrospect did I realize just how utterly ignorant she was. At that point, I already had a hunch that Christianity was one big fiction, but given my early interest in science, and a knowledge that man was indeed an animal, her attitude certainly didn't hurt my eventual recognition of my atheistic stance.
By my teen years, I had established my natural skepticism as dominant and never really had to 'lose' my religion. Only as an adult did I really even consider my own 'label', choosing Atheist mostly for clarity and impact with those of theist beliefs. I consider myself a 6 on Dawkins' scale of 1-7.
I still have a personalized, engraved copy of the NIV Bible which I received at around age 8. I was thrilled to receive it at the time, but not because it was The Bible, but because it was a free book. Still love getting free books :). I have since gotten copies of the Quran, I Ching, various Buddhist scriptures, and many other canonical texts as I build a library of books around me.