Greetings, Dana! I notice you haven't been very active at Atheist Nexus lately. <sigh> Sometimes it can seem a bit fragmented, with different groups for every interest. Please consider a group for socializing, where we talk about whatever's on our minds, Hang With Friends. :D You might feel more at home.
Well said! I never really thought about religion as a stack of premises before. Deconstructing religion reminds me of that game Jenga. The tower (religion) might be able to stand when a few unimportant pieces (premises on which we base belief) are removed because we are able to throw the weight onto another piece. But eventually, as with religion, only a few pieces can be removed before the entire thing topples over. But with science, if one theory is seemingly incorrect due to contrary evidence, then we are not left with a toppling stack, but another strong basis of evidence of which we can further work off.
This is why I love sites like this and a community of people like you; they allow me to think about things I would never have thought about before. I hope you don't mind if I steal your analysis and analogy for my website- I promise to accredit it to your name.
As coincidental as it may sound, I've been working on a sci-fi novel for the past couple of years :D it's a Star Wars-based novel, but sometimes I get there are all sorts of strange influences to it, from Henry James to H. P. Lovecraft.
I am familiar with it, but haven't read it. I guess it will have to be another book to add my ever growing pile of future-reads. I love the way you described your experience as you turning on a light. For me, it was my interest in science in high school that made me question the existence of anything supernatural. I then began reading as much as I could on science and where it confronts religion. So what kind of fiction do you write? It's always been one of my dreams to one day write a book.