Mr. Sommerville was one of my high school teachers. I took his philosophy class, and even though I got a D, I felt that was one of the most influential classes I'd ever taken, aside from drama & food studies.

He had mentioned that he was an atheist in our first class. I couldn't picture an atheist before him, so when I think of the first one, he comes to mind.

My only real debate with him was when he said "Oh my god" or "good god", using god in his exclamations, so when I pointed this out, he said that it's actually blasphemous for a believer to use such language, and since he isn't one, it's okay.

Since then, I can't help but feel that using the word of god would make people think I was a believer.

Anyway he was my first.

Atheist, that is.

Views: 5

Tags: Education, Firsts, Hero, High, Influence, Model, Philosophy, Role, School, Teachers

Comment by Galen on April 27, 2010 at 7:16pm
My first atheist was a child. She was a kid I was close to and babysat for years. Her parents were both atheists, but I found out about her lack of belief first, so she was actually the first atheist I ever met (to my knowledge, at least). I feel rather ashamed that, at age 7, she already knew by common sense what took me so many years to figure out. Of course, all children are born atheist. It's a shame they get that indoctrination to ruin it.
Comment by Christopher McGuire on April 27, 2010 at 7:49pm
The first self-avowed Atheist I ever met definitely made me feel better about my non-belief. For a long time, I thought I was the only one who didn't buy into the whole religion thing (Not literally, but before I heard the term 'Atheist,' I thought us 'non-believers were so few and far between, that I'd probably never meet another one). Then one day during class, my 10th grade Biology (or possibly Chemistry?) teacher, Mrs. Kitty Faulk, mentioned in passing, that religion was all but proven false. I seriously nearly fainted when I had heard that, and after going home and looking it up, I realized that I wasn't alone. I haven't seen her since high school, but if I do, I'll definitely thank her for letting me know I'm not alone.
Comment by Shanika on April 27, 2010 at 8:16pm
My first atheist was a professor too. He taught the Africana Studies class I took. I went back to him after deconverting to tell him thanks for the seeds he planted over 7 years ago :-)
Comment by Shanika on April 27, 2010 at 8:19pm
@Galen...lol..I felt the same way a few years ago when I was reading the story about Jonah and the Whale to my kindergarteners. One of them turned to her friend and whispered, "But that didn't really happen." I said, "Yes, it did happen. It's a story from the bible!" LOL!!! OH GOSH!!! She looked at me like I had three breast and said, "Um...no it didn't...it's make believe.". That really gave me pause. How freakin' embarrassing.
Comment by Gaytor on May 11, 2010 at 1:47pm
My least favorite teacher in high school was a social studies teacher. In 1989 he assigned me a report to do on Iraq. I grew up in a town of 2500 people. There were no sources on Iraq. The stubborn bastard wouldn't let us switch countries and I ended up just getting through the class. Years later though, I've come to realize that he cared more than any other teacher at that school. That sticks with me every time that I see him when I go home.

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