My path to atheism. Why I joined Think Atheist.

Hi, my name is Jacob. I’ve been a member of think atheist for a while now but I haven’t spent much time here because of dial up internet. Anyways, I live in rural southern Wisconsin and have been an atheist for two years now. At my high school(Im only 16) there are a few atheists but only one is really open about it, most of the school is Christian, but religion is rarely talked about and few are "hardcore" Christians. But most don’t believe in evolution as I discovered in biology, where someone also told me I was going to hell for not believing in god, even after I helped him pass history and biology. Only a few people know am an atheist one being a conservative Christian, he was really freaked out when I told him, but he got over it, now hes trying to "save me" while I try to "convert him".

My faith has been dissolving for years. I went to a catholic school for nine years and hated it because I couldn’t ask questions and they had a terrible math program.(I still have trouble with math to this day because of that.) I was always different than the rest of the kids because I seemed to have a built in lie detector, it maybe because I loved to read when I was young and my father told me that the most reliable books are the newer ones, these books told me the world was billions of year old not 6000 like I was told in school so I began to doubt most of genesis from the beginning. When I told the teacher that Jonah couldn’t of survived in a whales stomach because the acid would kill him, I had to sit in the corner for a while.

My mom also doesn’t know I'm an atheist, but me and her can sort of read each other minds at times and I think she might know. But she appears to be OK with it, unfortunately I still have to go to CCD. One other person who know is my English teacher who is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. In February he introduced me to twitter which helped me become more open about my atheism and after I found TA on twitter I decided to join. I also joined in order to get in contact with other atheists something I don't have wereI live. Later I’ll post a more complete story of how I became an atheist, this will have to do for now.

Jacob Byrnes

Views: 34

Comment by Rox on September 22, 2009 at 12:06am
You are doubly blessed/cursed with intellectual curiosity. I'm sooooo happy to see it. Welcome to the fray, Jacob :)
Comment by Reggie on September 22, 2009 at 12:15am
Hey! Welcome and thanks for posting! I hope you stick around and post more about your thoughts and experiences.

I was always different than the rest of the kids because I seemed to have a built in lie detector, it maybe because I loved to read when I was young

Awesome. Reading books tends to educate people which, in turn, tends to be a detriment to faith. I can relate as my reading and curiosity kept me from fundamentalisms grasp, yet it took awhile for me to embrace atheism and science.

But don't fret too much about your awkward position now. What you should do is concentrate on education and not theism versus atheism. Avoid it if it will cause social pains. Just educate yourself and don't trust anyone but your own intellect. Examine even the atheistic position with the same candor and skepticism you would any religious claim.

Basically, my uninvited advice is to develop your critical thinking skills and take control of your perception of reality. Don;t let us or them tell you what to think.
Comment by Reggie on September 22, 2009 at 12:17am

Comment by Jacob on September 22, 2009 at 11:14pm
Wow! Thanks for the feedback and the twitter mention Godless Girl!

Im not to worried about looking akward, I like to be my own crowd, in other words Im a non comformist.
My debates with Tyler are more of a "just for fun" thing. They aren't as important as my education.
And Ive done quite a bit of religious exploration already. After graduating from my Catholic school I left the catholic faith and became an agnostic for about a year and studied many different religions, but I was dissatisfied with them, many of them had similarities to myth and if myth aren’t real are these religions real? So one day I just said Im an atheist now and I haven’t been struck by lightening yet.
Comment by Reggie on September 22, 2009 at 11:59pm
Non conformity: all the cool kids are doing it! ;)
Comment by Dave G on September 23, 2009 at 11:19am
Welcome to the site, Jacob!
Comment by Henry Ruddle on October 25, 2009 at 10:23pm
There are a lot more nonbelievers out there than it seems, Jacob. You are in good company. It's easy to go along with the crowd, and takes real courage to question what everyone else accepts as obviously true. Remember, the burden of proof is on the guy telling the fantastical story, not on the guy who says, "I doubt that."


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