Colorado native, currently living in Denver, CO, Lindy Hopper, amateur photographer. On the weekends I'm often in the mountains 4wheeling in my 4Runner or learning to play my new to me ukulele.
Why are you here?
I like to be around intelligent people. It's a lot easier to meet a balanced, rational, and curious mind in a group of Atheists than a witch hunt. The thought of making friends with people that actually understand the merits of the scientific method is encouraging.
Why you left your religion.
My folks brought me to a Buddhist church until I was old enough to legally stay home alone (age 12). I never liked losing half of my non-school day to listen to the Reverend preach common sense. Looking back I'm glad it was Buddhism that I was raised in. There were no absolute rights or wrongs and the responsibility was still on the individual.
At near the same age I was at a sleepover at a buddy's house and as we stared up into the darkness he asked me "So you really don't believe there is a God?" When I told him that I really didn't, I could hear the disbelief in the silence. I asked him if he really believed there was a God. Same thing. I stared up for what seemed like slowed time wondering how he could believe such a thing. I think he was thinking the same thing. We were really close friends until he and his family moved away.
My first girlfriend was super Christian. Really a sweet girl but I think it was just too hard on her thinking that I was going to end up in eternal hellfire. I was alone in my car looking out over some fields and feeling really frustrated that religion was getting in the way of our relationship. I began to wonder why I didn't feel comfortable yelling at the top of my lungs daring God to strike me down with a bolt of lightning if he is real. It took me a while to realize that I didn't have doubts of his existence and would have felt equally ridiculous yelling the same thing out to the Easter Bunny. I got the feeling of being embarrassed mixed up with faith. Ain't that funny!?
I think one of the best things I learned in school was the concept of the scientific method. It can be applied to everything and is the best tool I know of to stay sane. I never had an epiphany leading me to be comfortable in saying that I'm Atheist. It was the countless repeatable and verifiable things that contradict the fables in the bible.
The fact religions can't seem to out prove each other, only out kill each other, is evidence enough for me that a lot of people are wrong. From a neutral point of view as an Atheist, no one is more likely to be right and all are just as likely to be wrong.
Despite feeling that it can be hard to be Atheist here in the states, and knowing lots of great people out there that have a strong relationship with Jesus or some other religion, I still would rather experience the greatness and gratitude that a finite time on earth allows. I choose to be a good person now because this is all I have. The logic in Pascal's wager could also be applied to treating everyone well while alive. There's no benefit in being a jerk whether there is an afterlife or not. If there is a God he gave me free choice and if he condemns me to hell for being a good person then he's a God I choose not to follow, for as a mere human, I can see the injustice in that. He of such powers and knowledge should be able to know the same basic thing that even a child can understand. That is, if he were real.
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