Yeah, obviously there is a reason why you are a part of this group :) Personally, I have been a skeptic all throughout my life and it's a natural part of my personality, to doubt things I see and hear.
I'm a skeptic. I've been a skeptic even before I was aware of other skeptics. In many ways I was born a skeptic (though I did believe in ghosts and alien abduction when I was young, mainly cause of that sightings show that was on at the time). And I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one in my family.
I totally agree with you about how the JWs are linked in to the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in Matrix style. It was an awful way to grow up. Being a skeptic is much less painful than being gullible, and having to step out of the machine IS painful, at first, but staying trapped in such a mental prison is a ghastly way of so-called life. Anyway, I took the pill that got me out - which one was that - the red or the blue -- ho hum ...
I was born a skeptic. When I was younger, say 3 or 4, I started making religions of my own to see if anyone believed me, doubting they would. All my friends did.
This made me realize religion was bullshit.
And I definitely admire Buddhism from what I know, but I know very very little, so I guess I can't really have a valid opinion.
I am a skeptic because there is so much utter crap out there; a lot of it is not even related to religions. I just heard a story about a "psychic" who gave some sucker a "reading" that was all "true." I didn't even tell this person about the tricks these charlatans use; I'm sure she's never even heard of James Randi.
Ironically I credit my father for honing my skeptical thinking abilities. I say ironically because my father is deeply involved in his church and truly a believer (let me just say, I really don't get it). However, I also had some great teachers in school and somewhere along the way one or another inteoduced me to the concept of confirmation bias (which led to many a lively discussion with dear old dad-he fully admits he is biased, which is cool). I have always been a voracious reader and am fascinated by the study of myth and culture, none of which makes much sense but people cling so strongly to them. Then finally a good friend gave me a copy of the demon haunted world by carl Sagan and it was like a revalation for me (revelation, haha). Finally I encountered a philosophy that made sense to me. I was thrilled more recently to discover the skepticality podcast on iTunes which gives me great comfort that there are indeed others out there who think like me. Whew! Sorry for the run on sentences, my laptop is on the fritz and I'm tapping this out one letter at a time on my iPhone. How much of a geek am I? LOL
Perhaps like Atheism, everyone is born a Skeptic and only become otherwise when taught or encouraged to accept with credulity, claims for which there is insufficient evidence.
Even those who do not label themselves as Skeptics are nonetheless skeptical regarding some claims, but perhaps not as skeptical on as many issues as someone who would label themselves as a Skeptic.
Even skeptics are not skeptical about everything and they can accept things for which there is not enough evidence to convince someone else. Some Skeptics will sometimes deem Skeptics who are not skeptical on the same issues as they are to not even be skeptics at all.