I refuse to believe that which cannot be evidenced, and I refuse to accept an emotional response where logic can serve better. Due to these two traits, religious belief is an impossibility for me.
“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan
I was raised in a largely secular environment, but my school was Church of England. My family were never overtly religious, although most of them had some level of belief. Luckily for me, my mother was more in to the Wiccan/Pagan side of beliefs. This gave me the observation very early on that there were a multitude of beliefs. Even at a young age I realised that this necessarily meant that they couldn’t all be true. In school, I sat silently during hymns and prayers. This occasionally got me into some trouble, but I’ve never been one to toe the line just to avoid trouble. “Because I said so!” is not enough to convince me that something is right. That has been a problem and a ‘blessing’ almost equally throughout my life.
When I was in my mid to late teens, I started to question the bigger things in life. I started to wonder if there was a religion there that actually fit. Wondered if there was some kind of amalgamation of them, or an underlying pattern of truth which could placate the inherent Nihilism of a teenage goth. I read two different translations of the Bible from cover to cover, I read books on Wiccanism, Gaelic Paganism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. All the time searching for something that could hold up as truth. I threw away my previous perceptions as much as was possible. I tried to read with an open mind and a clean slate, but still remain objective. Nothing stuck. Nothing. There was not a shred of truth in any of it that required even the slightest belief in a deity, in the supernatural.
After all of that, I left the topic of religion at the side for several years. It was a solved issue in my mind, and needed no further examination. I was largely ignorant of current events in my own country, let alone those in foreign lands. When that stopped being true, I started to see how much of an issue the topic really was.
Children being raped by priests. Girls being shot, burned, and poisoned, for the almighty sin of getting an education. Apostates being stoned to death by their brothers and sisters. Whole communities being torn down, torn apart and abused by religious belief. Pastors making millions, living in mansions, buying jets, and doing it all from the tithings and donations of the flock that they were lying to. The flock that were struggling and starving, while giving their little to men who already had much.
After seeing these things I got angry. I didn’t know of anything that I could do to stop it. But the least I could do was take to the religious debate groups on Facebook. If I could convince just 1 person to see the error in what they were believing, in what they were implicitly promoting, then I’d have done at least more good than if I’d have done nothing.
I did this many times over, and have had messages of thanks from several people for helping them. As generally happens, and I am still not entirely sure how, I ended up as an admin for the religious debate group that I mostly frequented (I end up as an admin in most of the groups that I spend any real time in.)
Because of my interactions in these groups, I solidified my arguments. This inevitably led to my writing of articles, and joining with my friends here to create the site you are on now.
Hopefully this site can achieve what I hoped to do in the debate groups, but on a larger scale.
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