The story of my current atheism and rationalism begins when I was a child; I was raised with no mention of religion and I still do not know my mother’s religious or irreligious views, I was thus left unexposed to any religion which was stated as fact for my early life. Even when I began primary school I did not know a thing about Christianity or any of the other major religions of the world today. In fact the first religion I had any understanding of was the polytheistic religion of the ancient Egyptians. This knowledge was the first time I had encountered religion; it is also worthwhile noting that I cannot quite remember what exactly I thought of it outside of the various gods looked “cool”. I learned a great deal about ancient Middle Eastern history and in particular Egypt from a wonderful set of children’s history books which my school library possessed. I read and reread continuously; absolutely enthralled by both the literary and visual content of these books. However I digress.
I was first exposed to a religion treated as though it were fact as opposed to simply a cultural belief of past times by ancient peoples (like the ancient and long defunct religions were detailed in the books in persistently read) when I was either 8 and a half or 9 years old through what was in my primary school called R.E (Which stood I believe for religious education); a program which when I and my brothers went to school ran and essentially taught you the main events detailed in the bible (Both Old and New Testament). I cannot remember what my initial thoughts were and it is unlikely that I had any of significance due to my complete ignorance of all religion with some exceptions. I cannot remember exactly what was taught during the first lesson of this class however during the second lesson the old woman who taught R.E told the story of Noah’s Flood, according to this absurd story only eight people existed in the world at 2400 BC or thereabouts. I did not quite understand how this was possible because the existence of the Egyptians and Sumeria and other neighboring states definitely had more than eight people because otherwise how were there empires existing at that time and even being formed shortly after this date. This realization lead me to interrupt and state that it’s not possible for there to only be eight people left in the world because Egypt and Sumeria had lots of people. I was politely told that in order to speak I must raise my hand and wait my turn, I thus did so and was promptly ignored which prompted me to interrupt and ask the same question/statement. This generally defiance lead my regular teacher to ask me to either stop being rude or leave. I refused and said I wanted to know the answer to my question. This ultimately lead me to end up outside in the bag area for the duration of the lesson and for the weekly lessons as I refused to not interrupt and ask “rude” questions. This first experience of religion left what was undoubtedly a bad impression and lead me to formulate the opinion that R.E was a dumb class with no point; the motivation for this view mainly being spite from her refusal to let me point out that there wasn’t eight people in the world at any point around 2400 BC.
This general disagreement with R.E lead me to end up being excluded for the several years which this program ran due to the fact that I persistently complained about the various absurdities which became more obvious as I grew older and my knowledge of history increased. By this point I was around 11-12 years old and was an agnostic (Although I didn’t know the word to describe myself at the time) having thought about the idea of a god I couldn’t think of any good reasons for one even though I couldn’t think of any really against either since I had never read anything on the subject and my opinions on the matter at this point in my life were based on nothing more than my own thoughts. My skepticism of not only the bible which had been present since I had first learnt of it continued and grew greater as I entered my teens. By the time I was around 13 I had decided that there was no need for a god and that it is beyond unreasonably improbable for a theistic god such as that of Christianity to exist given the bible’s superb rate of managing to detail supposedly huge events that never occurred as well as the numerous paradoxes and problems that result from this god supposedly being benevolent, omnipotent and omniscient. Furthermore I decided in my early teenage years that any god is neither needed for the world to exist nor is it likely as nothing in this world that we have observed is impossible without a deity.
This view and my atheism holds stronger than ever now several years after I first came to the idea that I am an atheist. Reason and logic compel me to disavow the theistic god’s of our world’s major religions on the basis of the paradoxes and problems raised by their qualities such as in the case of Yahweh; a benevolent being who created a system in which souls are supposedly created WITH the knowledge of this being that they will commit acts which will get then sent unto a place of eternal torture? Which benevolent being creates a system of such barbarity that is akin to Hitler breeding Jews simply so that the SS could kill them? Additionally the extraordinary track record of failure on material matters that are testable by science that is possessed by all major religions that make claims in regards to the material world (and only world); the supposedly flawless and ever-truthful fairy tale known as the Qur’an says a great flood occurred yet this did not happen nor did the great exodus of the Jews from Egypt as detailed in the Old Testament.
Even a deistic god falls in the face of reason for the absence of any reason or necessity for such a being and the burden of proof alone are more than enough to fell such an idea and quite frankly there is nothing more beautiful and spectacular than the wonder of nature and a world so beautiful and grand; nothing greater than not living in fear of cosmic tyrants or eternal torment but simply living for ourselves and those we love today in the magic of reality.