How I Did It

(Via Jerry Brown)

From my earliest years I was indoctrinated with what I call the Pascal/Graham Syndrome: Believe a cruel, inhumane story or be punished in hell eternally for doubting it. And, since I couldn't prove the story to be false, I had better believe it, because "eternity is a long time.) The problem was, I couldn't.

Fear, even if irrational, is hard to dispel, especially if pounded into one's mind at an early age. But about 1990 I decided that I had to try. In a public library I found a magazine called American Atheist. I read the works of Robert Ingersoll. I read cosmology, physics and biology, including the evolution of life forms.

The more I read, the more absurd theism looked. I found out that religion is just what I'd long suspected but didn't have the courage to admit - superstition. Further research told me why it originated and why it persists in spite of hundreds of years of contrary evidence.

I subsequently severed all ties to paranormal belief, and became a full-fledged, unabashed atheist. I call it my great enlightenment; it has been the most intellectually rewarding experience of my life.

1 comment:

Sarah Trachtenberg said...

Speaking of Pascal's wager, it's a concept I noticed in people, but didn't know it had a name, Pascal's Wager, until much later. It's a childish concept. Besides, won't God know you're believing in him "just in case" and not be impressed?
Calvin and Hobbes fans will remember that Calvin made a Pascal's Wager on Santa Claus. Santa: god for kids.

Sarah
Not My God, www.sarahtrachtenberg.com