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Magicjax

"What happened to make you stop believing?"

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Posted (edited)

Atheists are not typically anything other than non-believers. Its mildly offensive that someone would think atheists are amoral and I'm not even atheist. How is sexual promiscuity emotionally damaging to women? Why isn't it damaging to men? My best friend Jade has had a lot of partners and she is one of the happiest most vibrant people I know. It's great that you are happy now, but calling atheists amoral isn't any different from insulting religous folks. Sure, I dissagree with a lot of things religous texts say, but I wouldn't insult someone for their beliefs- unless they were being a jerk about it.

I think you misunderstood my post. I said that I was a typical amoral atheist, not that atheists are amoral.

As for the physical and emotional damage caused by promiscuity, this isn't the thread for that. But what I mean by promiscuity is, for example, easy, casual sex with 20 strangers (not at the same time, of course), not many relationships, or sexual preference, or dressing a certain way. I don't know for sure if it's damaging to men, but it is damaging to women, in general. Not all people/women are the same.

Edited by Parsip

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I think you misunderstood my post. I said that I was a typical amoral atheist, not that atheists are amoral. And I said amoral, not immoral.

As for the physical and emotional damage caused by promiscuity, this isn't the thread for that. But what I mean by promiscuity is, for example, easy, mindless sex with 20 strangers (not at the same time, of course), not many relationships, or sexual preference, or dressing a certain way. I don't know for sure if it's damaging to men, but it is damaging to women.

why not at the same time ? :devil: Extending an analogy to breaking point is a good way to ilustrate the validity of the basic point. So having sex with 20 stangers at one time is obviously damaging and the reasons why are clear. working back; having sex with 20 strangers over 20 consecutive nights is also damaging for the same reasons. The n having sex with 20 strangers over a year is also damaging if perhaps to a lesser extent or degree.

And of course for the same basic reasions, having sex with just one complete strnager is not a safe idea, and potentially damaging. I would argue that, while women, especially youngish women, remain more vulnerable, (for many reasons ) men, and society, are also endangered. I often have to deal with the long term effects of casual sex, both professionally and personally. It is often destructive, and sometimes catastrophically so, resulting in great personal turmoil for young men and women, and sometimes even death.

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Posted (edited)

If this was you as an atheist, you clearly weren't doing it right.

You're not describing an atheist there. You're describing a tw4t and an @rsehole. And before you say it, I realise that they're not necessarily mutually exclusive.

I get the impression you're still quite a young fella. Seems to me you just took some time to find what was right for you. Maybe you'll change again as you get on in life. Have you tried Scientology yet? :P

I've known many young atheists who are like I was, but I know not all atheists are the same, and I suppose rebelling against moral norms is common among young people in general, atheist or not.

Yes, I'm still quite young, and I have a feeling I'll become a Christian in the future. But I don't know a lot about the religion and what I do know doesn't seem enough to get me to convert. People usually call me a Christian anyway due to my habit of defending Christians from radical atheists. :P Funnily enough, not many people have called me a Muslim despite my location being the Middle East.

Edited by Parsip

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I think you misunderstood my post. I said that I was a typical amoral atheist, not that atheists are amoral.

As for the physical and emotional damage caused by promiscuity, this isn't the thread for that. But what I mean by promiscuity is, for example, easy, casual sex with 20 strangers (not at the same time, of course), not many relationships, or sexual preference, or dressing a certain way. I don't know for sure if it's damaging to men, but it is damaging to women, in general. Not all people/women are the same.

To say that a behavior is typical is to say that the majority of those people behave that way.

I'm not debating if having a lot of partners is or is not emotionally damaging. I'm asking why, though indirectly, you said 'especially women'.

That is another reason I dropped Christianity like a hot potato. It says women are weak, to be owned, cause problems, are dirty. They're not. Weak women are only weak because they let themselves be weak. Now keep in mind I am not talking about anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from working out. Women are not dirty. They bleed, big deal. If they didn't, there wouln't be any men. The bible says that because of that they are unclean. No one can own another.

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I've actually asked this question of myself when I first 'really' realized I was atheist. After looking back through my life I came to realize that I don't think I ever really believed in God.

Edit to add: I didn't see PA's post before I started writing mine and it gave me a good little chuckle because my second sentence is exactly what he's talking about. :P

You have a good "point" (I try to avoid using the word "excuse," for it makes one sound rather superior). The strange thing is, a person, who gets a concrete proof of something greater than himself/herself and a promise of something even greater, still turns away from that path, even for just a moment.

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Sometimes it really is as simple as that. Boring, I know.

I have no testimony to explain why I don't believe in God. I don't remember a time that I ever did. My parents were catholic and we went to church. Some of my earlier memories are of sitting there during the interminable mass and wondering if everyone else there really believed all of it.

A "real" religion is to prepare you to have that one-on-one connection with the Holy Spirit, Power, or Shakti. It's a concrete experience, not just a belief. Pentacost hasn't stopped since day one.

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Have any of you atheist been asked this question when someone finds out you don't believe in god?

I don't generally talk about my religious views with people. Mainly only here in this section of UM and with friends that are also atheist. But on occasions it does come up and it's very common for people to ask me something along the lines of, "What happened to make you stop believing in god?"

There seems to be this misconception that a traumatic event has to take place for someone to stop believing in god. As if the act of no longer believing is the result of anger or fear. Some seem to think that something had to cause them to not like god and as a result disown god. Like a parent might disown a child that turned into a murderer or something. So in a way they think that atheist still believe in god but something happened to them and they blame god and say they stopped believing as a way of expressing their anger.

This strikes me as silly because it's more common for a person to "start believing in god" from a traumatic event. We hear about it all the time. The drug addict "finding god" or "being born again". The loose of a loved one causing someone to turn to god as a way of coping with their loss because of the idea they're in heaven now instead of gone.

In this line of thinking we should be asking any Christian "what happened to make you start believing in god?"

For me and I'm sure there are many that have a similar experience as I did. I really never believed. Oh, I tried to believe in god. I tried to believe because the society I live in taught me that god makes you a good person. You have to believe in god to be happy, be loved and avoid eternal hell. I tried with all my heart to believe this because I was suppose to. No, I HAD TO BELIEVE IN GOD!!! This is what the world told me. But inside I always battled myself with this. I never really believed in god. I just tried very hard to and kept my doubts to myself. When I stopped trying to believe and just realized I really have no reason to believe in god other then what others seem to feel is a necessity to be happy. So I just stopped trying and the result is that burden being lifted from my life.

I have a friend that I found out also doesn't believe in god and his feelings about it are pretty close to mind. And he feels the same way as I just mentioned above about never really believing in god but use to try to. Well about 4 years ago his father died. About six months later his mother died. Then another six months after that his brother passed away. A family of 5 went down to a family of two in just a year and a half. You can't get much more of a traumatic time then that in a life.

I consider him one of my best friends but he lives a few hours away so we only hang out in person 4 or 5 times a year. The last time we hung out a few weeks ago we talked about religion. It started as a recollection of the time thus total stranger came up to me after I did a magic show and told me that I should join her church to rid myself of the evil spirits that allow me to perform my magic. But that opened the topic of religion. I thought about all he's been through in recent years so I asked him if all those losses made him change his mind about religion.

He said that a part of him wishes it was true because it would mean he'd see his parents and brother again. But he still doesn't believe in god. This lead to him telling me some stories about the people he lost. Most if which where very funny stories and he laughed a lot.

He had just seen them again. He relived those moments with them and in a way he just spent time with them again. In a way this is more profound then the thought that we'll see those lost loved ones after we die. Because we don't have to wait, don't have to die and don't have to wonder if we will see then again.

Trauma doesn't cause people to stop believing in god. It's often what makes people start believing in god. Because its an easy patch to fill that void of the unknown and unanswerable. I know this isn't always the case. But I'm sure trauma had turned more people toward religion then against it.

There's a word for this, for the 'end of beliefs'. It's called knowing!

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Don't know one particular thing that made me become an atheist. Knowledge of the world helped. Knowledge of other religions helped, especially the ancient ones. My CCD teacher probably helped by giving me my first book on Egyptology.

I had a better knowledge of the Bible when I was younger, and that helped to. Lots of things that didn't make sense. Rape, pillage and plunder. Treatment of women, the weaseling of believers to fit these into modern society. The general evolution of religion over time which doesn't give it a place of moral certitude for me.

Much of the greatest teachings of Jesus are found in teachings around the Eastern world and in the Greek world as well, far prior to his supposed existence.

That and just so much other bits of straw finally caused me to drop religion.

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Have any of you atheist been asked this question when someone finds out you don't believe in god?

I don't generally talk about my religious views with people. Mainly only here in this section of UM and with friends that are also atheist. But on occasions it does come up and it's very common for people to ask me something along the lines of, "What happened to make you stop believing in god?"

There seems to be this misconception that a traumatic event has to take place for someone to stop believing in god. As if the act of no longer believing is the result of anger or fear. Some seem to think that something had to cause them to not like god and as a result disown god. Like a parent might disown a child that turned into a murderer or something. So in a way they think that atheist still believe in god but something happened to them and they blame god and say they stopped believing as a way of expressing their anger.

This strikes me as silly because it's more common for a person to "start believing in god" from a traumatic event. We hear about it all the time. The drug addict "finding god" or "being born again". The loose of a loved one causing someone to turn to god as a way of coping with their loss because of the idea they're in heaven now instead of gone.

In this line of thinking we should be asking any Christian "what happened to make you start believing in god?"

For me and I'm sure there are many that have a similar experience as I did. I really never believed. Oh, I tried to believe in god. I tried to believe because the society I live in taught me that god makes you a good person. You have to believe in god to be happy, be loved and avoid eternal hell. I tried with all my heart to believe this because I was suppose to. No, I HAD TO BELIEVE IN GOD!!! This is what the world told me. But inside I always battled myself with this. I never really believed in god. I just tried very hard to and kept my doubts to myself. When I stopped trying to believe and just realized I really have no reason to believe in god other then what others seem to feel is a necessity to be happy. So I just stopped trying and the result is that burden being lifted from my life.

I have a friend that I found out also doesn't believe in god and his feelings about it are pretty close to mind. And he feels the same way as I just mentioned above about never really believing in god but use to try to. Well about 4 years ago his father died. About six months later his mother died. Then another six months after that his brother passed away. A family of 5 went down to a family of two in just a year and a half. You can't get much more of a traumatic time then that in a life.

I consider him one of my best friends but he lives a few hours away so we only hang out in person 4 or 5 times a year. The last time we hung out a few weeks ago we talked about religion. It started as a recollection of the time thus total stranger came up to me after I did a magic show and told me that I should join her church to rid myself of the evil spirits that allow me to perform my magic. But that opened the topic of religion. I thought about all he's been through in recent years so I asked him if all those losses made him change his mind about religion.

He said that a part of him wishes it was true because it would mean he'd see his parents and brother again. But he still doesn't believe in god. This lead to him telling me some stories about the people he lost. Most if which where very funny stories and he laughed a lot.

He had just seen them again. He relived those moments with them and in a way he just spent time with them again. In a way this is more profound then the thought that we'll see those lost loved ones after we die. Because we don't have to wait, don't have to die and don't have to wonder if we will see then again.

Trauma doesn't cause people to stop believing in god. It's often what makes people start believing in god. Because its an easy patch to fill that void of the unknown and unanswerable. I know this isn't always the case. But I'm sure trauma had turned more people toward religion then against it.

I have been asked this many times by Christians. I am currently an atheist Hindu.

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I think my answer always confuses people.

See, they think because I grew up in a religious area of the country and my family is deeply involved in their religious beliefs, I grew up drowning in the faith, since the age of 8ish, bible studies, theocracy group meetings, out in service door to door et et that I would automatically believe in god.

SImple truth is, i never really did, not really. i went through the motions because as a child that is what you do. you do what your parents tell you or face punishment or 'upsetting' them.

I just never really believe. To me it was just a bunch of old stories from long ages ago and turned into a religion. the words 'god was looking out for you' when i would childishly make wrong choices that could have come out horribly bad, made zero sense to me. why would i be more special then those kids starving in other countries or those kids killed on the turnpike in a horrible semi accident a week or so previous? i wasnt any better then them.

some people of different faiths then what i grew up in (Jehovahs Witnesses do not believe you go to heaven when you die) who believed in heaven sometimes made comments 'Oh that person was so wonderful that god wanted him with him!'

well that certainly did not make sense either. i was a darn tootin good kid. so were many of my friends, guess we wernt wanted in heaven so we had to stay in our homes.

others would say things like 'you are going through your horrible times because it will make you stronger', ummmmmmmmmmmm no?

it never made sense,no matter what faith it was. it all sounded like fairy tales set in real cities, like loads of books today. I mean, harry potter is set in england, which really does exist! doesnt mean there is an alternate magical world within our own where there is school for magic! the 'stories' of the bible, majority cannot be proven to be true, one is told to 'take it on faith'. well, if i am going to take something not proven on faith, then how about i choose another story i like better and is funner to read. i like harry potter and the magical world within our own, so i think that would be more enjoyable to 'take on faith'.

or even better, maybe i can take on faith that i will get all i want if i do one of those 'work at home deals' if i just send $29.99 for the paperwork! or amway!

people can scream 'prove to me there is no god', and i will laugh at their silly jest, because really. you cannot prove 'without faith', that their is a god. i do not see god, i do not smell him or feel him physically or any other way. i do not breath him, i do not drink him. he has not manifested himself in such a way to show proof he exists. for someone who seemingly talked a lot to his people way back when, he sure has shut up as people advanced in inventions and industry. perhaps if he did exist, he decided he would rather be someplace else and left?

in my heart he exists? hrmm, i feel the love i have for my family and i can see and feel their warmth of love. i do not feel any other being tugging at my heart strings. and really seriously, if he is the great father of all, he would know how to tug at them, because people, we parents are wonderful beings and we PUT those heartstrings on our kids so we can tug em and get their attention.

no one is tugging at mine.

so i spose the answer of

i never really believed in god any more then i seriously believed in santa clause or the easter bunny (though in reality i would not have as JW's do not teach their children to believe in such things), and in my heart, i never believed in god.

but i do believe in people!!!!

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others would say things like 'you are going through your horrible times because it will make you stronger', ummmmmmmmmmmm no?

I don't agree with your questioning of this part, religion or not.

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I don't agree with your questioning of this part, religion or not.

there is no way anyone can convince me that through some cosmic/spiritual whatever thing i am expected to go through horrible things in order to get stronger.

life is life. sometimes you have bad things happen and sometimes you do not. life does not care if you get stronger or get weaker.

some people hardly anything happens, they have a 'golden' life. does not mean they are 'weak'. some people have bad thing after bad thing happen to them, does not mean they are stronger.

things happen.

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Posted (edited)

there is no way anyone can convince me that through some cosmic/spiritual whatever thing i am expected to go through horrible things in order to get stronger.

life is life. sometimes you have bad things happen and sometimes you do not. life does not care if you get stronger or get weaker.

some people hardly anything happens, they have a 'golden' life. does not mean they are 'weak'. some people have bad thing after bad thing happen to them, does not mean they are stronger.

things happen.

Life is what you make of it. Including hurting, and/or learning from your good and bad experiences. Doesn't have to be anything religious or spiritual about it. Life doesn't care if you get stronger or weaker. But you do. Can't really think about how it relates to other people's lives. You don't know their lives like you know your own. But you know yourself, to some degree. That's what you should base your ideas off of.

Everything that happens to you is a learning experience. Just some take them negatively when they're painful, and don't want to look past the surface, out of fear. But even in the most painful experience, there can be a lesson, if only in how to overcome that pain. If you can manage that, you become stronger for it. And what a good learning experience that would be, to be able get past a strong, negative part of your life. To deny yourself the capability of being able to learn good from bad things that happen to you, because you think it has to be tied to something you don't believe in, I hope you don't have a strong negative time in your life. You are gonna have a horrible time, and a horrible outlook. Then again, maybe it would take that happening to change your mind.

Edited by _Only

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Life is what you make of it. Including hurting, and/or learning from your good and bad experiences. Doesn't have to be anything religious or spiritual about it. Life doesn't care if you get stronger or weaker. But you do. Can't really think about how it relates to other people's lives. You don't know their lives like you know your own. But you know yourself, to some degree. That's what you should base your ideas off of.

what makes you say I didnt base my ideas off of myself? Isnt that what opinions are all about? YOURSELF?

I have experienced life. I have experience no god. I experienced life. You seem to be under the impression (this is an assumption) that I am saying you do not become stronger or weaker due to experiences. I am not.

I am saying that no life force (cannot think of another way to say god/spirit/another deity-depending on your faith-cosmic force/universe force plan, et et et) has made it 'oh you get stronger with adversity'. I am keeping with the origional post who stared this thread.

life is life. you make of it what YOU make of it.

no life force (you know what I mean) has decided from the beginninng 'oh i will test you, give you trials to make you grow', no life force when i die will be saying 'i loved you so much i wanted you with me!', no life force is responsible for the good fortune i had when i narrowly escaped death! I am no more important and needing rescued by a deity than the child in the next state over who is perhaps being killed by someone and no rescue by some life force for said child!

hense the origional message

i do not believe in a spiritual being looking out for us, protecting us, laying out tests for us or even existing

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I have been asked why I stopped being atheist ;)

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I have been asked why I stopped being atheist ;)

Did you realize you never where? :)

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Did you realize you never where? :)

Do you realise you have lost me.... What do you mean?

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Posted (edited)

My poor attempt at a joke. Many of us atheist are saying we never really beloved. You turned around by saying you use to be atheist.

As comedians learn to do when a joke goes bad. Just say "anyway…" and move on to something else. So that's what I'll do now. :)

Edited by Magicjax

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You seem to be under the impression (this is an assumption) that I am saying you do not become stronger or weaker due to experiences. I am not.

I am saying that no life force (cannot think of another way to say god/spirit/another deity-depending on your faith-cosmic force/universe force plan, et et et) has made it 'oh you get stronger with adversity'. I am keeping with the origional post who stared this thread.

Thanks for clarification, because that line I originally quoted didn't specify. Felt out of place with the rest of what you were saying.

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I wouldn't say I am an Atheist, I would say show me the proof, God wants my love and adoration, he needs to come and say hello. He could come knock on my door and hand me a pamphlet.

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I am a theist, pantheist being the closest, so I don't believe in the Christian concept of a single God who watches our every move, nor in the concepts of heaven & hell. I came to this by studying the belief systems of other cultures, by not being so ethnocentric, and by careful & long thought. Every spiritual tradition has a creation myth, has their dogma, their core belief system. Almost all of them require suspension of critical thinking and acceptance on faith, have their religious heirarchy, and for most of them women are not nearly as important in their stories as the men are.

So I looked for a tradition or philosophy that spoke to me, as a woman, that I could speak with my daughter & grandaughters about, that would encourage them to be proactive, that would honor and value the feminine as being just as important as the masculine, that would empower them. I do not hold with nor believe any dogma from any tradition that holds women as less than.

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Have any of you atheist been asked this question when someone finds out you don't believe in god?

I don't generally talk about my religious views with people. Mainly only here in this section of UM and with friends that are also atheist. But on occasions it does come up and it's very common for people to ask me something along the lines of, "What happened to make you stop believing in god?"

There seems to be this misconception that a traumatic event has to take place for someone to stop believing in god. As if the act of no longer believing is the result of anger or fear. Some seem to think that something had to cause them to not like god and as a result disown god. Like a parent might disown a child that turned into a murderer or something. So in a way they think that atheist still believe in god but something happened to them and they blame god and say they stopped believing as a way of expressing their anger.

This strikes me as silly because it's more common for a person to "start believing in god" from a traumatic event. We hear about it all the time. The drug addict "finding god" or "being born again". The loose of a loved one causing someone to turn to god as a way of coping with their loss because of the idea they're in heaven now instead of gone.

In this line of thinking we should be asking any Christian "what happened to make you start believing in god?"

For me and I'm sure there are many that have a similar experience as I did. I really never believed. Oh, I tried to believe in god. I tried to believe because the society I live in taught me that god makes you a good person. You have to believe in god to be happy, be loved and avoid eternal hell. I tried with all my heart to believe this because I was suppose to. No, I HAD TO BELIEVE IN GOD!!! This is what the world told me. But inside I always battled myself with this. I never really believed in god. I just tried very hard to and kept my doubts to myself. When I stopped trying to believe and just realized I really have no reason to believe in god other then what others seem to feel is a necessity to be happy. So I just stopped trying and the result is that burden being lifted from my life.

I have a friend that I found out also doesn't believe in god and his feelings about it are pretty close to mind. And he feels the same way as I just mentioned above about never really believing in god but use to try to. Well about 4 years ago his father died. About six months later his mother died. Then another six months after that his brother passed away. A family of 5 went down to a family of two in just a year and a half. You can't get much more of a traumatic time then that in a life.

I consider him one of my best friends but he lives a few hours away so we only hang out in person 4 or 5 times a year. The last time we hung out a few weeks ago we talked about religion. It started as a recollection of the time thus total stranger came up to me after I did a magic show and told me that I should join her church to rid myself of the evil spirits that allow me to perform my magic. But that opened the topic of religion. I thought about all he's been through in recent years so I asked him if all those losses made him change his mind about religion.

He said that a part of him wishes it was true because it would mean he'd see his parents and brother again. But he still doesn't believe in god. This lead to him telling me some stories about the people he lost. Most if which where very funny stories and he laughed a lot.

He had just seen them again. He relived those moments with them and in a way he just spent time with them again. In a way this is more profound then the thought that we'll see those lost loved ones after we die. Because we don't have to wait, don't have to die and don't have to wonder if we will see then again.

Trauma doesn't cause people to stop believing in god. It's often what makes people start believing in god. Because its an easy patch to fill that void of the unknown and unanswerable. I know this isn't always the case. But I'm sure trauma had turned more people toward religion then against it.

Our civilization needs to grow up and stop believing in non existent deities and start relying on each other

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Posted (edited)

I think my answer always confuses people.

See, they think because I grew up in a religious area of the country and my family is deeply involved in their religious beliefs, I grew up drowning in the faith, since the age of 8ish, bible studies, theocracy group meetings, out in service door to door et et that I would automatically believe in god.

SImple truth is, i never really did, not really. i went through the motions because as a child that is what you do. you do what your parents tell you or face punishment or 'upsetting' them.

I just never really believe. To me it was just a bunch of old stories from long ages ago and turned into a religion. the words 'god was looking out for you' when i would childishly make wrong choices that could have come out horribly bad, made zero sense to me. why would i be more special then those kids starving in other countries or those kids killed on the turnpike in a horrible semi accident a week or so previous? i wasnt any better then them.

some people of different faiths then what i grew up in (Jehovahs Witnesses do not believe you go to heaven when you die) who believed in heaven sometimes made comments 'Oh that person was so wonderful that god wanted him with him!'

well that certainly did not make sense either. i was a darn tootin good kid. so were many of my friends, guess we wernt wanted in heaven so we had to stay in our homes.

others would say things like 'you are going through your horrible times because it will make you stronger', ummmmmmmmmmmm no?

it never made sense,no matter what faith it was. it all sounded like fairy tales set in real cities, like loads of books today. I mean, harry potter is set in england, which really does exist! doesnt mean there is an alternate magical world within our own where there is school for magic! the 'stories' of the bible, majority cannot be proven to be true, one is told to 'take it on faith'. well, if i am going to take something not proven on faith, then how about i choose another story i like better and is funner to read. i like harry potter and the magical world within our own, so i think that would be more enjoyable to 'take on faith'.

or even better, maybe i can take on faith that i will get all i want if i do one of those 'work at home deals' if i just send $29.99 for the paperwork! or amway!

people can scream 'prove to me there is no god', and i will laugh at their silly jest, because really. you cannot prove 'without faith', that their is a god. i do not see god, i do not smell him or feel him physically or any other way. i do not breath him, i do not drink him. he has not manifested himself in such a way to show proof he exists. for someone who seemingly talked a lot to his people way back when, he sure has shut up as people advanced in inventions and industry. perhaps if he did exist, he decided he would rather be someplace else and left?

in my heart he exists? hrmm, i feel the love i have for my family and i can see and feel their warmth of love. i do not feel any other being tugging at my heart strings. and really seriously, if he is the great father of all, he would know how to tug at them, because people, we parents are wonderful beings and we PUT those heartstrings on our kids so we can tug em and get their attention.

no one is tugging at mine.

so i spose the answer of

i never really believed in god any more then i seriously believed in santa clause or the easter bunny (though in reality i would not have as JW's do not teach their children to believe in such things), and in my heart, i never believed in god.

but i do believe in people!!!!

Same for me, and it wasn't for a lack of my trying to beleive in g-d or my parents lack of exposing me to the idea.

Catholic school, included. I just knew deep down I would be walking a different path.

I have had mystical experiences as an adult that didn't do it either.

The idea of g-d just doesn't work for me.

I really think that for some the g-d gig works for them, I'm just not one of 'em.LOL.

Edited by Sherapy

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I read the Life of Pi, looked up the word 'agnostic' and the rest is history. Still not sure if I'm really agnostic or just plain atheist

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I hit the age of reason, and instead of covering my eyes, looked it full in the face and said "give me your best shot." ;)

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