Until I was about 40, I watched politics and said "A pox on both your houses!"
When politicians told me to be quiet and pay my taxes (to make some rich folks richer) I became hyperactive.
Now 82, I'm less active but I don't rock and watch; I educate, adding "People who aren't part of a remedy are part of the problem."
Watching, and not hurling an occasional thunderbolt, would drive me nuts.
I would have been a child, probably preteen. My parents, who seldom went to church themselves, but still believed, sent me to Catholic Sunday School. I didn't want to be there. I remember getting caught skipping out once and spending the collection money on candy bars. But on an occasion when I did attend the class, I heard the following story: It seems that there was once a young girl. . . no doubt a temptess, a tool of Satan, who doubted the truth of the Eucharest. After the priest placed the "Host" in her mouth, Satan must have afflicted her with doubt, because she decided to cut it in half! She took it from her mouth on her way back to her pew and actually performed the unthinkable act! Took out the scisors and cut it in half! Blood spewed from the host! No doubt she begged for forgiveness and was converted to the truth on the spot! I have no doubt that she grew up to be a nun. I have a tip for future Sunday School "teachers": Don't use this one for 12 year old boys! Blood gushing from the host, right there in church! . . . Well, the temptation was to great for me! Had to see that! So, of course I tried it. No blood. Just a soggy host. But I did learn something. Gods chosen people lie!
I've always had my doubts about all things related to God or the supernatural, even when I was a kid. Not to say I didn't have a religious phase, but that was mostly for my mother's benefit. She hated it whenever I said I didn't believe in God. Now that she's gone I no longer have to keep the charade up. But I miss her terribly.
I think the first doubts crept in during the 8th grade. I failed catechism. The group met on wednesday nights at this man's house, and it was torture for me. I didn't see the point. One wednesday, i walked into his house and forgot that it was exam day at the church. His daughter screamed, and thought i was a burglar. He told me about the exam. I went there on my bike, and was late. The test givers were pissed and put me at the edge of the room near entrance. I failed the test, and remember not being scared. What will happen if I fail catechism? I didn't get kicked out of my public school, and god didn't reprimand me. So what's the big freakin deal here? I started thinking that i can do what i want and nothing will happen.
This will sound strange, but one of the first things that got me started on the road to skepticism was an ongoing online conversation I was having with a nutjob who thought the writings of a (relatively) recently deceased minister were divinely inspired and had actually superceded the Bible, being inspired by God in English without the complication of poor translations, interpolations, etc. His arguments for his position echoed my arguments for the divine inspiration of the Bible. I was able to show he was wrong by pointing out indisputable errors and falsehoods in the supposedly God-breathed writing of his minister idol, but in the back of my head I knew that I was also proving the Bible did not live up to the standard of divine inspiration that I held it to.
I ended up rationalizing my position by changing my definition of divine inspiration, allowing for the errors and opinions of man to creep into the writing.
Took a lot more time to work my way through the rest.
i'm getting my bachelors in physics in jul'13 too!!! YAY!!! finally! after 3 yrs..painful, but tastefully satisfying =D!
hmm...was a christian as far back as i can rmb(parents->sunday school and all)....but since i was 12 i always had the scratching "this doesn't seem to make much sense" at the back of mind. After much thinking through, i realise, even in the smallest remotest chance it's true, i'm better off believing this is just how the world is alrdy.
what i tot of really only 2 things(which well, could be me deluding myself): if there was no objective good, no such thing as sin, no need for a divine judge. (no evidence of utopia in the future also, so maybe i think the world is already in some sort of equilibrium, it's already in an ideal state...yes murder is not nice, and it's great when we see some kid gives his seat up to an old lady.....but to "believe" that everyone would behave/think like that in the future,when there's no evidence of such a utopia...i just cannot. (doesn't mean i see the world as dark & gloomy, still alot of great nice things here....like physics T_T)
the chaos needed in order to make a planet, some planetesimals also dun make it...just seem like redundant steps, why not just "poof" a planet straight. not thru evolution and everything. just "poof" a human.
yup, that's just what i think, i do accept there might be loopholes in my beliefs, and they may be just irrational. *shrugs*
I started my doubts at a very young age, attending Sunday school and listening to the stuff that they taught us and the little Christian type storybooks we were given to read. Mostly little fantasy books about Jesus, which I thought at the time were quite lame. This was at the age of 8. I sort of went along with it and half believed for most of my early life, up till my teens where I had to choose, when I was sent to a religion based boarding school where attending church and studying the Bible was mandatory. I passed my final year and went to college to study electronics, but ended up doing Information Science.
By then I was also smoking and wanted to give up so I joined a pentecostal Christian group with the belief that the holy spirit would assist in my giving up smoking. Though I found most of the members were frauds, even those who professed to giving up smoking with the help of their lord. I learnt this from their children who described them smoking indoors to avoid being seen (poor children) and running around with the air freshener afterwards in case of visitors. At the same time I was attending our university library where I studied the Koran and books on religious history as well as philosophy such as Voltaire's work. I also lived in a house with 2 Muslims, a Taoist (trainee monk) and a Buddhist. All of which had open theological/philosophical discussions. We got on perfectly, despite our differences and shared the good points of each person's belief system. I particularly enjoyed their different foods and we ignored those customs or rituals that weren't to our liking.
I played a little sting on the tongue speaking pentecostal church and proved the entire establishment as fraudulent.
This ended any chance of my ever being a believer in Christianity or any other religion for that matter.
ohh? what sting? :)
Just a personal sting, because they were stupid enough to have a minister that claims to have the holy gift of tongue interpretation. They have canned that role since, since it leaves them open to such stings as I used. At the time I was essentially a street urchin, no job, no money and nowhere to live. It was a student region so I simply visited student parties and lived on the finger food. I told friends of the minister with the gift of tongue interpretation some lies like that I had just been given a job, scored a girlfriend and found a place to live. Something a truthful holy spirit wouldn't really be thanking any god for. Thus I knew he would hear these when enquiring about my movements. I also fabricated my tongue speak to include fruit, the 'f' & 'c' swear words so I knew I was not actually tongue speaking. It came my turn in church to speak in tongues so I swore my head off, lost count of the 'f's and 'c's, but others didn't detect them, because it sounded just like tongue speaking. To which the minister interpreted my so called personal words to god as I expected: Thank you oh lord for finding me a job, place to live and a nice girlfriend'.
All phony, the tongue speaking and the so called holy gift of interpretation.
The entire organization is thus, just a fraudulent money making organization that request us to pay 10% of our income for fake rot!
Those Pentecostals that were still smoking are "really trying to quit" but their spirit wasn't "holy" enough. Some of them go trough most of their life that way because they don't want to deny the power of "der holly giest."
I quit smoking 14 years ago and the "power" to do so was will. Not willpower, but my WILL. After 35 years of smoking it was the best thing I ever did for myself.
I might add that my now deceased mother always believed that I smoked secretly because that "justified and enabled" my stepfather who never could quit. This secret smoking was something they did between each other while they were going to church. "Oh, thank Jebus."