Essay on My Atheist Journey

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The best way to understand why atheism is so important to me is to start with a little background. I grew up and still live in Texas, the region other Texans regularly refer to as the religious part of Texas. So my experience has also been shaped by my environment. I don't want to focus too much on emphasizing how religious the culture is, but I do want to give an indication. For example, few people I know accept the theory of evolution or the Big Bang; non-creationist scientific theories are largely perceived as bullshit with the infamous “just a theory” argument. Perhaps an anecdote can help illuminate further:

I volunteer at a small place that helps low-income people without prescription insurance obtain medicine. I have no idea
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it's just a phase; he's mad at God; it's in his nature to question everything), and I'm sure I've met people who delight in the thought of their preferred deity torturing my soul after I die.

Living where I do provides some advantages, however. It has forced me to confront Christian beliefs head on. I was inculcated to believe as a child, my beliefs were reinforced by Christian apologetics as I matured, and they were further enforced by the fact that they were accepted by everyone around me as true. My journey away from Christianity was rather difficult, there was always an inner voice refusing to let me be content even when I wanted to embrace the familiar.

The relentless urge to see the world as it truly is was always in me, but religion is a particularly effective antidote. It's especially effective on the young and the uneducated. Hence, during my journey to becoming less young and less uneducated I was forced by my inner urge for truth to spend many sleepless nights pondering Christianity, and I was forced by society to spend many hours listening to the same poorly thought out arguments for god/religion/Christianity. The only conclusion I could ultimately reach is that they're all untrue or non-existent. I can't be intellectually honest unless I declare that god doesn't exist. Unlike apatheists, that conclusion significantly shapes who I am.

That belief is so important to me

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