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Aerik's deconversion

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Written 14 June 2007 02:26 AM USA Central Standard Time at Center for Inquiry Forums [1]

Up until the year after I got out of high school, I was an agnostic, but when pressed would cowardly say I was a deist, because “It’s a miracle we’re here at all.” — I thought that theistic evolution, that a God may have jump-started evolution Abiogenesis was a rational proposition.

2 Augusts after I got out of high school (15 months) I discovered podcasts. Simultaneously I learned of Skepticality and thought it was cool. One of their early interviews was with Michael Shermer. They also mentioned Richard Dawkins.

In my Composition II class, I was trying to pick a skeptical thesis (inspired by recently stumbling upon Bad Astronomy!) for an assignment when I came upon an essay entitled ”What Shall We Tell the Children?” by Nicholas Humphrey. It’s a fabulous read, go ahead. He mentioned Richard Dawkins, too, as well as Daniel Dennett and David Attenborough.

So when I started listening to Skepticality, I hit the library. Hard. I read every book Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer have written, and eventually got around to reading some Daniel Denett. Talk about jumping in head first! Attenbourough I like to watch on YouTube. I even read (and kept the books long overdue) Steven Pinker. Skepticality pointed me further to James Randi, Jennifer Michael Heicht, and through their associative links and looking for other podcasts, Richard Carrier, Massimo Pigliucci, Center for Inquiry, Rational Responders, Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Atheist Experience, Atheist Viewpoint, Steven Pinker, the non-prophets and more.

When I realized how vacuous my only reason for brushing with deism was, I became a strong atheist. That was it. All through high school, since I made myself known as a skeptic I was assaulted with invitations to Evangelicalism, Wicca, and Buddhism (preppies and goths and emos, oh my!). But when every single thing any of them ever said about science, religion, “spirituality” and reality was patently false, I tuned it out. Now I had to face the fact that my deism was cowardice. And I’m proud to say I came through the shock of it well.

Then last year this whole “Intelligent Design” debacle started up, with growing media coverage and then the Kitzmiller trial. I realized I had heard of Intelligent Design before, long long ago at the boards at bolt2.com. Shit, I couldn’t believe people would buy this crap. But then long ago, I pretty much did. Fuck.

Now because of that, I’m very active in skepticism, atheism, and the defense of science, and I have come to recognize that religion is bad, by its very nature.

That’s my story.


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