Hooray, a place for me to say... anything I damn well please! I guess the first order of business is to share a bit more about myself than I did in the 'About Me' box :)
I was born in Louisiana, raised in Georgia, and now live in Alabama. I was brought up in a pervasively Christian atmosphere. My uncle was a pastor here in Huntsville, and I think my parents wanted to show the rest of the family what 'good Christians' they were, since they'd been the black sheep for eloping. Anyway, I was made to go to church every Sunday, no matter how much I protested. I was 'saved' at 8, but when that event that was supposed to change my life didn't do squat, I think I just started going through the motions instead of actually believing.
I left the church at 14. I had a row with my entire high-school class about what we should do if a homosexual were to show up at church. I said: "We should greet them, introduce them to everybody, and treat them the same as we would anyone else." Of course, to Southern Baptists, this was Wrong. I was told we should greet them, but try to show them, through scripture and otherwise, that their lifestyle was an affront to god. I got so angry that I basically told them they were all horrible people, and I walked out. My parents stopped making me attend after that.
I didn't really start to question the existence of god until high school. I'd given up on the 'relationship' with god, but still held somewhat of a deistic view. I took a college-level biology course when I was 16, and that all changed. All of the great mysteries about life that were explained to me that fall led me to one conclusion: this is an entirely natural universe, with a natural order. There was no more room for god to hide, and so the superstitions I'd grown up with fell away.
The awe that I feel when I watch bees pollinating flowers, continuing the cycle of life, or when I stare at the stars and realize just how insignificant we really are in the universe... these feelings are deeper and more pure than any 'religious experience' I've ever felt. My sense of wonderment is so great, I feel that this is my purpose. To explore, to learn, to know, about human kind and the universe which spawned us.
Sorry to wax poetic, the amazingness of the cosmos does that to me sometimes :P Well, that's not even remotely close to the entirety of my theistic experience, but I'll save those stories for when I need a good 'pick me up' (or 'let me down'?).


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Comment by Stephen Murphy on September 10, 2008 at 10:13am
Hey fellow Hunstvillian! Glad to see a few other non-believers out there amongst the sheep.

I am glad to see the Nexus is slowly, but surely growing.

Josh: good points. I feel that we make our own meaning in life. We can do so much good, much damage, or much nothing with the short, but amazing time we are provided on our tiny planet.
Comment by Just Trying on July 20, 2008 at 10:24am
Great story. I totally agree about the purpose statement. I've written about this in my blog too. The universe itself is a mystery. I will not agree with anyone who tells me his "god" made it. Likewise I will laugh at any scientist or atheist that tells me it is "meaningless". Both are spouting silly nonsense at that point.

I live in Atlanta, but grew up in New York and Oregon. What part of GA were you raised in?
Comment by Jeremy on July 16, 2008 at 4:20pm
Sounds a lot like me. I never bought into religion at all, but I never realized not believing was even an option. When I finally did, it was liberating.

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