Réflexions, idées et autres élucubrations plus ou moins organisées dans un mondre tout à fait désorganisé.
Thoughts, ideas and other stuff, more or less organized in a totally disorganized world.
Fier de collaborer à la "Out Campaign" - Proud participant in the "Out Campaign" - Go take a look
Since I am now listed on the Atheist blogroll it was suggested that I write a short note to introduce myself to the blogroll readers. I submitted it to the Atheist blogroll, but here's a copy.
If you got here from the blogroll, thanks for visiting, there's a lot more fun things to see below.
Like many other atheists, I was raised in a religious household in a very religious family in a small village in Canada. I never questioned our faith and practiced “religiously” well into my twenties.
In my early twenties, I chose to become an electrical engineer and was introduced to critical questioning by many of my teachers and professors. Nothing to do with religion but more to understand before I applied something I learned. To understand, one has to question, to study, to analyse and I was turned on to this approach.
This brought my religion into question. Why this and why that. How does THIS make sense? Is it reasonable to believe A, B or C? So as a matter of course, I decided to study further into my own Roman Catholic religion and took it upon myself to obtain a certificate in theology from the University of Montreal. A “certificate” is one of many potential degrees one can get towards a full Bachelor’s degree. Students are assigned to a mentor, in my case a most intelligent and articulate priest who was assisted by a deacon. For 3 years, I learned the foundation of religions, of faith and of my own religion. In order to obtain a certificate, students are given “missions” or responsibilities. I was assigned to accompany the dying and those who were left behind. Not a fun assignment but with God’s help, I was sure I could make it work.
My first very deep question came one night when I was visiting the parents of a 3 day old baby who had died before being baptised. The mother told me: ”What hurts the most is knowing that he will never enter heaven, that he will linger in limbo for the rest of time and that we will not see him for eternity” I had no intelligent, or even “faith based” answer to this one. I could not believe it myself but this was the teaching of our Church. “I am sure God will see to it that your child will join you when the time comes” I said. “But this is not what the Church teaches”, the mom said.
I went home that night with the seed of doubt firmly planted in my soul.
To tell the rest would take too long but my faith slowly ebbed, my reasoning took over. Regularly, I saw inconsistencies and contradictions in the bible and in the Church’s teaching and actions. I did not set out to prove I was right; I simply looked for things that would make sense. Finally, I simply stopped asking questions (to myself and to others) and just let this part of my pass fade away.
Two years ago, my son gave me “The God Delusion” from Prof. Richard Dawkins. That was the key that opened the floodgates. It EXPLAINED, in simple terms why religion is wrong, why evolution is right and why “there is probably no God”. I then read Sam Harris’ “Letter to a Christian Nation” and “The end of faith” which put a different color on the subject and then Christopher Hitchen’s “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”, which put a totally different twist on the whole thing. Since Mr. Hitchen is a lot more confrontational and direct than either Harris or Dawkins, his message comes off a lot stronger. His position that it is morally wrong, even abusive to teach religion to children is totally aligned with my own point of view.
I therefore decided to “come out” and simply, without patronizing, confirm that I was an atheist. I joined the “Out Campaign” and even translated Prof. Dawkin’s introduction letter to the campaign. The next logical bit was to add these elements to my already existing blog which has now taken a definite turn presenting the wrongs of religion, the abuse of so called “religious models” (such as priests molesting little boys – a far too common occurrence). In my life, I have simply stopped “respecting” religious people just because they were religious. I have started to speak to people who want to represent me in our governments (local, school, provincial etc) asking them what their stance is on the separation of church and state.
One of the most important events of my atheist life was brought to me again from my son, and his girlfriend when my grandson was born about a year ago. They decided that he would not get baptised. This is important in that his parents are the first of their generation in our family to live by their true values. If he wants to adopt a religion, he may do so when he’s grown up – hopefully he won’t, but that will be HIS choice, not an inheritance from other people’s beliefs.
Well I do run off at the mouth don’t I?
All this to say that I thought I would share this bit of life with you dear reader. Nothing earth shattering, nothing that will change your life no doubt. Just another drop in the ocean of disbelief and of rejoicing in the amazing beauty of nature, of life IN THIS LIFE and in the liberating feeling one gets in “coming out”, simply stating who I am and why.
If you want to know a little more, just visit my blog. It's not all about atheism. It's about humor, photography and the quirky things I see here and there.