I joined this community a few weeks ago because I was searching for a place to share my thoughts. This is not possible on my work (they ridicul me for being, and outing myself as an atheist, even if most of them have similar thoughts), and with my friends I discuss mostly other stuff. Don't have many friends, more work-friends and forum-friends. And no, I do't mind. I'm perfectly happy with my life as it is. Nice and quiet. :)

Anyway, simple stats:

Male, 31 (32 december 15th), living in mostly secular Holland (Europe). Just an office klerk. I wasn't raised very religious, althoug I'm officially Roman-Catholic, but a die-hard atheis now (number seven on the "Dawkins-Scale"). Having been christened/baptised (don't know the exact translation), my second name is Maria. Yeah... Go figure... I would actually like to change my name to just my familyname and given name (Remko), but haven't looked into that much. I thought about doing a "reverse" ritual to undo the name, but that would actually acknowledge the original ritual... ;).

My hobbies include reading (both novels as well as a popular science, and comics), and I have many, many books. I also collect scalemodels of heavy equipment (heavy haulage, cranes, excavators etc.) as well as customise those. And I love movies, and TV. Science Fiction, thrillers, just about every genre, and my DVD collection is rather... Extensive.

Well, this is me in a nutshell. I've written a few blogposts, and more information aout me can be found there. I haven't contributed much to this community, mainly because I can't find the time for it.

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Welcome Remco. I am Mark. Nice to meet you.
Welcome Remko. I find it odd and interesting that your coworkers ridicule you for being an open athiest. I've never been to Holland, but I imagined people would be more secular there than most are in the US. But you did say most of them have similar thoughts as you, maybe they are just going along with what they think they are expected to say. Off topic, what do you and others in Holland think of the impending Greek default? I have some German friends who would like to go back to the Deutschmark, while another thinks it's Germany's turn to help their neighbors, like they were helped after WWII. Though after so much help Greece is still sinking, so I don't know how the situation can turn out well.
People are more secular here than in the US, there's no doubt about that. TV stations like FOX News (essentially 24/7 commercial for Christianity) won't get a chance here. But that's also the reason why Atheism isn't understood very well. Many people (including quite a few coworkers) don't believe in (a personal) god, but don't call themselves atheists, simply because the term isn't used that often in the media. So you get comments like 'I don't believe in anything, not even in atheism'. Yes, I know, toe curling isn't it. If they only knew what a dumb remark that is...

About Greece... Well, most people I know (including myself, with the information I have from the common media), think that most Greeks are a couple of charlatans. Their main goal is to NOT pay taxes, live the easy life, and retire at 55. We need to keep working until we're 67... They shouldn't have been allowed in the EU without them being at least equal to other European countries in terms of retirement age, taxes etc.

I disagree however in returning the gilder over the Euro. I like the Euro, eventhough the government got it to cheap. They should have gotten a higher price for the gilder.
So does EVERYONE in Greece get to retire at 55? Here it is mostly just police officers and fire fighters who can retire at 55. And people in the military can retire after 20 years of active service. Yeah, that's messed up if all Greeks can retire 12 years before you can.
Welcome Remco! Nice to meet you! : )




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