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Bulldog

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello one and all.

A late starter to this forum I'm afraid

I'm 27 and currently reside in Brampton, outside of Huntingdon.
I should imagine my particular life story of my path to (true! ) enlightenment shall ring a few bells with most of you! (don't worry, I'll be brief )

A few events spring to mind....

A little background, I was christened C of E in 1984, although my mother tells me it was "what everybody did at the time."

First memory of my critical thinking coming up against Religion.
My primary school; Abbots Ripton C of E, was, as you can tell by the name, a faith primary school. I was always a voracious reader, despite not being academically gifted in other areas.
At the age of 7, I was obsessed with dinosaurs (who wasn't?)
had already had a trip to the National History Museum with my Father, and had devoured several books on the subject (I should imagine most of you have already guessed where this is going ).

As a consequence, even at that age I had a rudimentary idea of the big bang theory, that the earth was some millions years old, and dinosaurs hadn't been around for A really long time.

I remember this vividly. My head-teacher at the time, who shall remain nameless, sat us all down, and proceeded to explain about this book the school had, the greatest action/thriller/romantic, and exciting book ever. AND IT'S A TRUE STORY CLASS!! I was dragged away from my daydreaming out the window, and had my interest peaked at this amazing proclamation! I had exhausted all our books in that particular class, and was much excited about this new amazing book!! maybe it had planes in it!! And dinosaurs!!!

No.

It was the Bible. (A sense of crushing disappointment overwhelmed me, the likes of which I wouldn't feel again, not least until I got to secondary school )

Good old HT proceeded to start at chapter one, with Genesis, and the creation myth.

Now this was the first time I had paid attention to this, and I was curious.

Why, the vicar had been in to assembly, and had told us all how "truthful" this book is, and here is my HT reading out genesis, and there are no dinosaurs mentioned? And the earth is only 6000 years old? So I politely ask about these discrepancies, and how does this story pertain to the exhibits id seen last week with my dad?
I am told to "shut up and stop disrupting the class."

Then all was quiet for the next 15 years, I went to secondary school (Hinchingbrooke), had an unspectacular academic career (again, I thing I was too "disruptive" for my own good! asking too many questions, or attempting to start debates, especially in R.E; "Well, they can't all be correct can they miss? so what if none of them are?" Sent outside again.)

Then two things occurred that opened my mind to the world of atheism.

9/11 happened, whilst I was in 6th Form. That really stripped away my ignorance of religion that had sustained me up till that point.
This sense of:  "I'm aware of these various hocus pocus beliefs a lot of people seem to have, but they don't affect my every day life, so I'll ignore them."
9/11 showed me graphically that it didn't matter, Religion could quite happily and menacingly manifest it's way, violently if necessary, into my life.

The second was Richard Dawkins "A Virus Of Faith" being broadcast on Channel 4, I would have been about 22.

The only time in my life, where my mind was literally blown away. Who was this guy? Where did he come from?
All the disquiet I had felt all my life, being slightly uncomfortable in church, the (to me) sheer incomprehensibility of religion and how it pertained to me and wider society, the violence and suffering in the news daily coming from something that was supposed to be "a moral force for good."
All of this coalesced into sharp focus. It was a veil being lifted from my eyes, an almost (I type this with a huge sense of irony) religious experience.

After viewing that, I immediately purchased the God Delusion, devoured that, and haven't looked back. I had a name for myself now, no longer was I a woolly agnostic, I was atheist!

What prompted me to join here and the NSS?

Good old Benedict. I've never responded well to being told what to do (bit of an independent streak, something most atheists I've met share. hence the "herding cats" metaphor.) and I respond even less favourably to being called a Nazi. Triple the offence having this from a guy in a costume.

His visit pushed me from my apathetic well read stance, to where I am today.
Most of my friends are agnostic or lapsed religious people, with no interest in debating or discussing the presence of  a dangerous resurgence of the prevalence of religion being increased in all our lives. (IMHO)
So here I am

I did try and keep it short, seems yet again brevity is not my strong suit

Look forward to chatting with you all, is there another meeting soon?

Best Regards fellow Freethinkers!!
 



 




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"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." – Gene Roddenberry
Jessie

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Bulldog

Sorry about the delay in anyone replying to your message.  It has been a bit quiet on this site but I'm interested in helping to revive it and I hope others will be too, so do please keep posting.

I found your message very interesting and I'm delighted to see that something positive came of Papa Ratzi's visit!

Bulldog

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Weyhey!! It's not abandoned!! Excellent!! Nice to meet you Jessie, if you and Graham want any help resurrecting, message me and let me know, I'll be glad to help!

BR Bulldog


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"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." – Gene Roddenberry
graham

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Hi Bulldog

The Cambridge Secular Society is just over one year old and we haven’t really moved on. Jessie and a few others were keen to meet but we just didn't get round to it. Perhaps this year we can do a bit better. It’s good to see your enthusiasm and read your comments on what motivated your atheism. For me too 9/11 was a turning point and Dawkin's influence has raised the profile enormously.

I will send an message to all members and see if we can get things moving.
JulesK

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Reply with quote  #5 

Hi Bulldog,
Prof Dawkins had that effect on me too. My father and I are very close although I only see him perhaps a couple of times a year. After a bottle of port and lengthy discussion about life's trials we got onto the subject of religion. He recommended I read The God Delusion so I downloaded it to the ifone and soaked it up. Wow, that man is a genius and he’s inspired me not only to choose a side but to shout about it and get active. I figured I best read the Bible if I’m going to get wound up about something I know so little about. How anyone in their right mind can call it “The Good Book” is beyond me. In the beginning there was nothing… this is the only sentence in the Bible I can believe. I remember the stories from school about Moses, David & Goliath, King Solomon and so on. Moses was responsible for the killing of hundred of thousands of innocent men, women and children simply because they didn’t follow him. David was a murdering, backstabbing rapist whose son was an incestuous rapist. They didn’t teach us that in school.

I signed up to be a member here because I’m sick of religion in our schools. I have a 6yr old son in a C of E primary school… needless to say they’ve poisoned his mind already and i'm ready to fight back.

Jules.



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