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This seems to be an intro

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:12 am
by blind7125
Hey there guys,

I guess I should introduce myself a little.

I'm an atheist fresh out of the closet if you will. More on the "out of the closet" part later. Prepare for wall o' text

-I am in currently majoring in ASL interpreting for the Deaf. However, this is most likely going to be changed to a double major out of either computer sciences, organic chemistry, or physics (I wanna get my ass over to LHC).

-Living in Arizona

-I love my video games and honestly picking through science videos or research journals. My friends usually laugh at me for the latter as they believe to be weird I find studying a hobby. Additionally, I dabble in disc golf, recreational shooting, hunting, and debating (mostly fundy Christians)

Onto the out of the closet part of the spiel. I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household right from the get go, yet even from my toddler days I questioned the theology being rammed down by throat. As a 4 year old I somewhat remember telling my mom during a Bible study "Mommy, I think this book was written by someone a long time ago to make a lot of money" (Come to find out, the book was sold for exorbitant sums in ancient times.) Growing up, I attended 1 Catholic school, 3 Baptist schools, and finally homeschooling at the start of high school. Many around here might think "Oh god, homeschooling", but this is where my ember for curiosity exploded into an inferno. Rather than strict lectures provided by my parents I was handed a textbook and homework while I had a laptop I bought in years past (The computer is where my ember began), and left me to my own devices to understand the material. Understandably there were many times I had to consult the internet to understand the material, and at first I didn't do well until I learned to evaluate sources. Now, my parents being the Christians they were handed me creationist science and Christian based history books/homework. I regularly failed the homework for these classes even though the sources I was pulling information from seemed extremely reputable since I was pulling from state colleges or research journals. After many failed grades I made a hypothesis about the books surrounding it, and proceeded to pull all of my material from Christian websites (they almost never had citations other than the reasoning agreeing with the bible.) To my astonishment I immediately saw my grades shoot up to A's. At this point there was no going back, I had to fact check biblical reasoning to compare it with modern research, or actual historical records. Every single time I found a disagreement, which was especially so in the areas of science, the non-biblical material always seemed logically sound.

I was left with no other conclusion than turning to question the bible itself. What I found completely surprised me, I found nothing but inconsistencies (Was it 66, 70, or 75 of Jacob's males that went to Egypt?) and more surprisingwere the moral grievances. The more I read with a skeptical mind, the less I believed in the validity of the bible. In some way I wanted to disprove my line of reasoning since I didn't want to go to hell. I consulted my Grandmother, a creation biology teacher, and she could not provide a single substantiated fact for creation other than hypotheses that agreed with the bible. I of course fact checked these and discovered that observational science never lined up. On questions of morality and contradiction I consulted my pastor uncle and my own mother. They didn't even let me present my questions, I was immediately shut up and told to have faith. I was desperate for answers and no one on the faith side could provide me with a single reason. However, every single time I had a question and asked science about it I could immediately find ten different places with the answer. I was finally made the following decision I later heard echoed from AronRa which is "If I can't be provided one reason to believe it, then that is every reason not to." My abandonment of faith curiously ignited a fire of pure wonderment for the unexplained parts of the universe and I had to know more. At this point I was in college studying to be an ASL interpreter with my girlfriend (luckily she already "got it"), and my explorations started with simply reading science journals for fun. I then stumbled upon the wonderful works of AronRa, Thunderf00t, and Logicked. I'm burning through their videos with a rapid pace which got me to thinking. when I run out of discovered material to read where will I go next? It was then that I decided I needed to be on the frontier helping to discover these things myself. I told my parents back home of my new choices and was met with indifference which was better than I hoped for. Over the holidays I have returned home to visit, and was met with what seemed like coldness in the air. My mom tried to bring up the bible and why I needed it, and I responded with the problems I found during my earlier inspections once more. I won't go into much detail because its pretty fucking hurtful, but everything I said was twisted, reversed, and brutalized. No matter what facts I rained down, I was essentially shouted over and told to shut up (even though she started it.) At a family gathering she somehow found a way to work in the exchange, and decided to pretty much lie about the entire discussion to my family with a very obvious desire to paint my me as completely rude (I'm fine with people living in fantasy land, just don't make me believe it.) I tried to defend myself, but she and the rest of the family screamed over me. The damage was done, there was nothing I could say to bring reality to light, and I am now the black sheep of the family. This is quite astounding considering I work full time, pulling two majors pretty soon, already an A-student, and live on my own which the poster child cousin of the family has utterly failed to do.

I doubt the likes of AronRa will read this, but thanks for igniting my curiosity even if it cost me something dearly. Ass :)

Re: This seems to be an intro

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:37 pm
by Gnug215
Hi, and welcome aboard!

Sorry it took me so long to approve this post. I've been quite busy with having our child #2.

Anyway, I liked hearing your story, even though it's typically sad, and sadly typical. It's sad that the cognitive dissonance in your family's heads is so strong as to basically opting to shun you, instead of listening to what you have to say.

Thundef00t and AronRa were also some of the first channels I encountered when venturing onto YouTube for the first time. That was in their heyday, at the height of the Evolution vs. Creationism "war". Those were the days. :)
Aron still makes some good and relevant vids on the subject, whereas Thunderf00t has mostly gone in a completely opposite direction. But there are a few other channels that also have some great videos on the subject, and I'll share them here if you don't mind:

AntiCitizenX - This channel has a really awesome series on the psychology of belief. If you want to understand some of the illogical things going on in the heads of your family, this series is a must.

C0nc0rdance - One of the nicest, most reasonable, most level-headed people I've ever seen on YouTube, and he's a scientist, too. He's also a fantastic science communicator. He doesn't just deal with Evolution, but pretty much every video he makes is great.

Evid3nc3 - This guy made the most awesome series about his own deconversion. It's worth watching all of it, I think.

NonStampCollector - This one is more light-hearted. The guy makes small cartoons that point out contradictions and absurdities in the Bible. Fun stuff. :)

potholer54 - this guy is a science journalist that really knows how to present things in an entertaining and interesting way. (He's the origin of the "THERE'S NO #%&@ING CARBON IN IT!!!", if you know that one.)

QualiaSoup - This channel is more philosophy/psychology oriented, but it has some truly awesome vids.

Valerie Tarico - Mostly about psychology of faith, but this time by an actual psychologist.

Well, not sure if you already knew any of those channels, but those are some of my favs. Sadly, all those channels have one thing in common these days: low to none video activity. But still, their back catalog is well worth an exploration, and they do make the occasional vids.

Well, I hope you enjoy your stay on these boards. :)

Re: This seems to be an intro

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:12 pm
by WarK
Hello and welcome.

Gnug forgot to link a few more YT channels, I keep forgetting how forgetful he is:





The first 3 channels are more serious and deal with philosophy mainly. CoolHardLogic went on to actually examine geocentricsts' claims which resulted in a more sarcastic/funny kind of videos.

Wait, why are we linking to YT channels? I thought we had a separate topic for that :)


Re: This seems to be an intro

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:56 pm
by Inferno
Blind7125, welcome. The board is usually slow over the holidays, but it'll pick up again. If ever you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. The most important thing is to always challenge yourself and be challenged.

I know a few people here (including me) stopped watching Thunderf00t a long time ago. I stopped when he went crazy anti-feminist and raging against Muslims. There's a lot of merit to his earlier videos and maybe even some newer ones, I wouldn't know. However, Gnug and Wark already provided you with some of the best resources out there. I especially recommend QualiaSoup and his brother, TheraminTrees.

Gnug wrote:Sorry it took me so long to approve this post. I've been quite busy with having our child #2.

Congrats, you never said anything! Pics! :D

Re: This seems to be an intro

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:40 pm
by Gnug215
Inferno wrote:
Gnug wrote:Sorry it took me so long to approve this post. I've been quite busy with having our child #2.

Congrats, you never said anything! Pics! :D

Thanks! :)

I have some pics, but they're on a personal site, which I'm not entirely comfortable making public. Soooooo.... I guess I can PM you.

Re: This seems to be an intro

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:15 pm
by Prolescum
Welcome, blind7125. Good to have you on board!

Also, Gnuggers... Well done :-)

Re: This seems to be an intro

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:38 pm
by Gnug215
Prolescum wrote:Welcome, blind7125. Good to have you on board!

Also, Gnuggers... Well done :-)

Thank you, yes, I was quite proud of my enormous and well-planned efforts.