Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

How I became an atheist

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Many of the stories in the bible have some insight into human nature but many are full of hatred, revenge, persecution and prejudice. The bible has to be seen as it is: a book written in ancient times. It has historic value, that’s all. But it’s filled with ignorance, with an almighty revengeful god that scares people.  In those days, with few rules, rampant illiteracy and no knowledge of science, the figure of god was used to put people in line. Nowadays we have information, law and education.

For instance, if the crop was bad or if there was a bad storm, people thought it was “god”  being mad at them because someone  in their tribe had “sinned”. Now we know they are natural phenomena.

The most enlightening thing that happened to humanity is Scientific development. How can these religious ignorants reject evolution when it is more than proven (DNA sequencing, for example, which has demonstrated the human migration pattern-did you know that the Irish have the same genes as the Basques in northern Spain-they were Celts whowent to the British Isles?).

I have always been fascinated with Science.  Science is based on facts and investigation.Since I was a little girl I have never been a believer of fantasies and myths. I stopped believing in Santa around the age of 6 (it was already my skeptical nature showing) while other kids were almost 10 and still believed in “him”. I started seeing that some nuns were not good and saintly people, but very troubled women.  And when I was around 11, at Catholic school, I started noticing that many priests acted “different”. Now I know they were closeted homossexuals (the Church has been the hiding place for gay men for centuries-it was the only way they could be accepted into society-homossexuality in those days-until the 60’s, was considered an awful disease). So skeptical I became.  Additionally, I would raise questions to myself about the impossibility of many things religion taught us:

1) How could all animals in pairs come to Noah’s ark?

2) What was the selection criteria for people going to hell, heaven and limbo? How could hell affect them if they were already dead? What would people do in heaven all day for ever and ever and not get flat bored? How could one man (“God”) have so much power-like a dictatorship?

3) And the role of the catholic church (it’s the biggest just because it is the oldest) during the Inquisition?? They were murderers! And the role of the Catholic church during the Second World War genocide? They closed their eyes and allowed the killings because the victims were jews!

So these questions swirled in my mind since an early age while others never stopped to think about them and accepted all these teachings blindly.

At 13 my parents enrolled me in confirmation classes. Me and my best friend at the time (very very intelligent,  she is now a famous journalist in Brazil) would play table tennis and totally not pay attention to the brainwashing, ooops, class.  We would make fun of everything. I was alway skeptical. The whole hell and heaven thing for me never made sense. I questioned everything.

At 18 I told my parents I no longer wanted to go to church. Sometimes I would go with a friend of mine only to have something to do as if the church was a social club to see and be seen. Just like most poor people do when they go to their Baptist or Evangelical church/mass/religious event. A social club for the poor. We would stand at the very end and check the scene. This was a small hip church which attracted younger people instead of the little old ladies.

In my early 20’s I liked to read Scientific American and was fascinated with articles about evolution. Things started to make more sense to me.  In my late 20’s I helped a 3rd grade kid get better grades in Science at school. That year he was studying zoology. That’s when the whole thing hit me: we are all related!! All of us animals! There is a clear sequence. Some animals share stomachs and hearts, some have lungs, but they all have links to us. You can see the clear development of fish into reptiles into mammals. That is when I became firmly an agnostic. I was a bit afraid of using the word atheist because of its negative connotation. Many Americans still equate communists with atheism. That is one thing that Marx and Lennin got right, the atheist side.

Forward to 1998. I already had good internet access. I started browsing sites like www.freethought.com

I was really flabbergasted. What I was always thinking had a confirmation. There were people out there, many people, who thought just like me! Then I found the American Atheists site and I joined some local meetup groups. How wonderful it was to meet intelligent  folks who called themselves atheists and have some really intelligent conversation!! They helped me become an OUT OF THE CLOSET atheist. I was not afraid of calling myself an atheist to people anymore. I even became very proud of doing so. I am fortunate though to live in an area where there are many intellectuals. The Washington D.C. suburbs have high income and educational levels. I also work with Scientists, most of them atheists as well. So I have never encountered prejudice. Some of my more religious friends continue my friends but know they cannot talk about religion to me.

Now I am an activist. I am being helped by the New Atheism movement which is making it more mainstream and understood. Let’s stop equating religion with morals. I have plently of morals and so do my children and we are atheists. No hypocrisy here.

Richard Dawkins actually suggested using another name for atheists, like Brights. That is a good name in the sense that most atheists I have met are exactly that: bright. But I still think we have to take the stigma out of the word atheist and see it as what it is: a person who does not believe in god nor likes religion but other than that is very very normal. And good. And moral. And well behaved. And respectful of others. Ellen Johnson of the American Atheists is an example. A family woman. Margaret Downey of the Atheist Alliance as well. Married for 35 years. Kids. I am like them.

Religious talk baffles me. People seem so childish when they say things like: “god wants me to….”. Wake up folks, there is NO god. There is you and the people who like you and love you and will be there for you.

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October 2, 2007 - Posted by | atheist

14 Comments »

  1. can you explain how nothing became everything?
    And how new information is never added to DNA?
    Have you seen the 50,00 transitional forms (fossils) required to evole from one spiecies to another in any spiecies?
    DNA and Microbiology create a bigger problem for evolution like how did the complex mechanisms within one cell form simultainiously.
    How was tabulating the evidence 5 million years ago when all this evolving was happening SCIENCE is observable.

    Useing Science to disproved God baffles me.

    If I put a pile of metal in the garage will I come out to a new corvette or does the second law of thermo dynamic apply in my garage as well as every where else?

    Comment by Brent | January 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Brent, just go the Earth Museum, in Ithaca NY, and many of your questions will be answered.

    Science and religion are totally incompatible. One is based on facts and proof, the other one is based on fear of the unknown and fantasy.

    Comment by brasilmagic | January 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. “And good. And moral. And well behaved. And respectful of others.”

    If you indeed deny the only true God (Jehovah of the Bible- revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ) let me ask you but one question: what is your morality based upon? What is the standard by which you judge goodness?

    If there is no God, you have no basis for such things. No basis to say one’s actions are good or evil. The most you can say is that you don’t like what they do, but you have no reason to say their action is immoral.

    Let me ask you this: do you think child molestation is evil?

    I certainly do! It is an abomination and an utter evil. How can I say that? Because God has revealed Himself in the Bible and has shown us what is good and what is evil in His Word, which is a revelation of His character.

    You being a stated atheist cannot say that a child molester is evil. You have no standard to base that upon but your own opinion. Thus, coming from your presupposition that there is no God, you cannot say child molestation is evil. You cannot say murder is evil. You cannot say that anything is evil or anything is good. Everyone merely has their own preferences about what they like – some people may like to build an orphanage to take care of kids, others may like to kidnap children and molest them. In your view that there is no God, both of these would be fine since there is no standard for morality.

    If there is no God, there is no morality.

    By the way, there really is no such thing as an atheist. Those who claim to be atheists merely suppress the truth in their unrighteousness. Read the following:

    Romans 1:18-32
    (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    (19) because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
    (21) For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    (23) and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    (24) Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    (25) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    (26) For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    (27) and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    (28) And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
    (29) being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
    (30) slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
    (31) without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
    (32) and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    Comment by Bradley | February 25, 2008 | Reply

  4. Bradley, evil for me exists as an abstract noun, such as Happiness. Meaning, when someone does something “evil”, “mean”, “nasty”, “cruel”, or etc, they are acting in a way that is harmful to others. These people range from mentally ill (child molesters are very disturbed and dysfunctional people) to people with issues. These issues can have originated from their childhood, mental and phsysical abuse, abandonment, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual abuse and many times brain dysfunctions. Compare the knowledge we have about the brain now and only 40 years ago. We now know how the lack of certain substances in the brain can impair judgement and create mood disorders.

    Therefore, they can do something bad (evil). Evil per se does not exist. Such as goodness per se does not exist, but acts of goodness.

    Morality comes from a sense of what is right and wrong. What will harm others and myself. You learn that from your parents and family, teachers and society. For human beings to have survived in groups, morality was necessary (part of the evolutionary trait). Our intelligence shows us how to behave morally.
    By the way Brad, the bible you recite is a book full of hatred and revenge and prejudice. It gives me goosebumps. Written by men in the dark ages, what can you expect….

    To protest against child pornography, go to: http://www.lightamillioncandles.com

    Comment by brasilmagic | February 25, 2008 | Reply

  5. I think you should continue to use the word atheist to describe yourself because it means one who does not believe in God. That others link it to communism is their error, not yours.

    Comment by Amanda | December 14, 2009 | Reply

  6. One can not be an atheist and believe in Science. To be an atheist one must believe their is not “God” in any form. The Prime Mover is “God” .The Prime Mover (I am now going to refer to it as He as it is easier)is the starting of everything. In science their is a cause for everything. The simple nature of any system. Be it making toast, cooking a burger, doing a dive into a pool ,a thermonuclear weapon and the Universe as we know it and will ever know it has had a cause. If you go back as far as you can their must be something that came from nothing and caused the rest. Now the real question is what is this “God” is it as the bible say and is an omnipotent and omniscient God that can do and know everything that can possibly ever happen. Or is it simple an event that occurred miraculous and never had any other impact on anything every again? Is it a being who just created the beginning and than can no longer effect it? Now it is certain their is a “God” it might not be as the Church and the bible teach it but it is a “God” none the less because it created everything from nothing. Now all this being said would you rather believe that this God is just a single one time event and that your mine and everyone’s else lives are completely useless than I guess you could live an unhappy life or you can have hope that it is the God as described in the Bible and by the Church and that you actions during this time have an impact on you in the after life and that their even is an after life after the short years you are on earth and alive.

    Comment by Gallin | July 10, 2010 | Reply

    • “One can not be an atheist and believe in Science”. Huh? There is no such thing as belief in Science. Science I’d made of proven facts and theories.

      Comment by Brasilmagic | July 11, 2010 | Reply

  7. Much of science is unknown. We do not see what makes up and atom but we have an idea and faith that what we think makes them up actually makes them up.

    Regardless of that one line that is not what the majority of the post was. It was that science itself proves the existence of a “God” in some form because everything must start somewhere. Something must of happened to cause the first thing. Something must of existed before anything existed. Even if their has been 6.02 times ten to the 23rd big bangs and the universe is just one large cycle something must of been their in the start of it all to get to ball so to speak rolling. This is what has to be considered “God”

    Comment by Gallin | July 11, 2010 | Reply

  8. I wanted to say hi and give you a lot of props for a post such as this. In the future when someone says they love “god” etc etc. To get them to shut up just ask them “If your supposed god created everything, then who created god”

    Your done and there will only be silence at that point…and the conversation is over.

    I know this post is old but hey its an awesome read.

    Comment by Brasilmagic is awesome | May 3, 2011 | Reply

  9. Who created God? Well, if God was created by another, then obviously “God” created this “god”.
    Everything has its beginning, and that is God. This is why He is referred to as the Alpha (the beginning) and the Omega (the end).
    You got some reading to do. Your view or opinion on “God” is skewed.

    Comment by Luke Parsons | May 4, 2011 | Reply

  10. Did you even read what you wrote Luke? You sir are an idiot…”Everything has its beginning, and that is God.” What you wrote only makes sense to you.

    If the Alpha is “God” who created the Alpha? Is he asexual? All religions on this planet if they began from somewhere or something, as some like to believe, then they too, have to have a creator and the cycle keeps looping and that creator would have to have a creator and so on and so forth. You have some schooling to go back to. Your view and/or opinion on life is skewed.

    Comment by Brasilmagic is awesome | June 15, 2011 | Reply

  11. I won’t stoop to name calling as that invalidates the argument. But everything has an absolute, there is an absolute beginning point somewhere just as there will be an absolute ending point somewhere. Just as in math, the absolute answer to 2 plus 2 is four… there are no other answers to the question. Something to ponder.

    Comment by Luke Parsons | June 16, 2011 | Reply

  12. In math there is no absolute beginning point or ending point, math is infinite. But nice try.

    Have a good one Luke

    Comment by Brasilmagic is awesome | June 22, 2011 | Reply

  13. What does an absolute beginning or ending and math have anything to do with my previous response? It doesn’t…

    Comment by Brasilmagic is awesome | June 22, 2011 | Reply


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