My Deconversion

I was a catholic until the age of twelve. I live in Canada where we have public Catholic schools, which I went to. I went to church with my mother during the second grade when it was required to pass first communion, and did just fine in religion class. In the eighth grade, my slippery slope began. It was time for confirmation, and I decided that I didn’t want to have to go to church every Sunday again, so I told my parents that I wouldn’t be a confirmed Catholic. To me this had nothing to do with whether or not I believed in God, which I did, it was simply a matter of me coming into puberty and deciding I’d like to sleep until eleven on weekends.

It wasn’t until High School that I began to doubt. In my grade nine religious class, I began asking questions, many of which my teacher could not answer. My classmates were the first to thrust the term “atheist” onto me, asking me if I were such as if being inquisitive of the religion we are told to take on faith instantly put me onto the other side of this proverbial fence. At around the same time I discovered my favorite show on television, “Penn and Teller: Bullshit!” which I instantly could not get enough of. Something about me, when I watch a show, I watch the entire series as quickly as possible, and this was my first encounter with Penn and Teller. Though I know Penn and Teller’s views align for the most part on religion and politics, Penn has a voice, and certainly was loud in a time when I was looking for answers. A quick YouTube search after Bullshit and I saw all these videos of Penn speaking about atheism, and I was hooked.

Once I found Penn, finding others was easy! Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Barker, and so many more, there were countless nights I spent awake in bed watching interview after interview until four or five in the morning, I was an atheist. I am an atheist.

The Moral Landscape

This is a wonderful book by Sam Harris that I began reading after a small debate with a man at work. This man, being a man of faith, made the argument that it would not be possible for our consciousness and furthermore conscience to exist without God. Much like how Christopher Hitchens describes in his book, “God is not Great”, coming to the realization that our eyes adapted to our surroundings, God did not make the trees green for our eyes, conscience, it would seem is the same principle. While Sam’s book does not cover the argument that I gave at work, regarding Evolution and why the human species may have evolved to the state of consciousness we now have in order to thrive as a species, and our morality is simply this consciousness further evolving to not make it desirable for us to kill each other, strictly because of the requirement for us to continue to grow as a species being that we aren’t all dead.

But really, when we think about morality at it’s core, what human morality stems from in most people is the lack of desire in seeing people hurt. This could easily be the evolution of our species at work through natural selection. We realized at an early stage, if you kill someone, as the tool makers that the human species are, having that person dead results in one less person to provide for the tribe.

A common atheist argument against the morality that creationists preach, being that it was instilled by God when he created us, is that the bible is full of immoral acts, and then if we get our morality from this book, why are atheists not murdering everyone. Atheists pose this question wrong, in my mind, because it is so easy to dispute. Just because we are atheists, doesn’t mean God didn’t still instill morality into us when we were created. What atheists should be focusing on, is that The Bible is the word of God, and therefore is the morality that God would instill in us, and if God is perfect, why did he choose to instill flawed morality into us. Why did he not instill the same morality into everyone? How are psychopaths and sociopaths explained? If all men were created equally, and all equally moral at the beginning of their life, how come some just don’t have morality? That seems an oxymoron. People who had a perfectly normal upbringing end up unable to show affection of any kind, and murdering people.

The focus of Sam’s book is morality in science. He makes a case that a scientific theory could be devised on morality, and lead us to better understanding it’s laws, if any can be found. Using examples in the extreme, his hypothesis aren’t difficult to wrap your head around. When getting closer to the average conundrums our morality faces on a daily basis, creating hard lines of where morality lies becomes a much more difficult task.

Doubter’s Alert

The Simple Atheist

I am not an Evolutionary Biologist like Richard Dawkins, nor a Theoretical Physicist like Lawrence Krauss, I’m not even an asshole like Penn Jillette. I’m simply a line cook at a restaurant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As a young atheist, with a Christian girlfriend and Catholic family, I desperately seek to understand what my lack of faith means, and learn as much about why there isn’t a God as I can to answer questions I am often asked by believers.

This blog will serve as a personal journal on my road to being a better informed atheist, including notes and opinions I write as I read books on atheism and science that may contradict theism, or podcasts, videos, etc.

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I am sure I will enjoy writing.