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Guest aldous

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Guest aldous

I'd been raised catholic. I know, lots of stories start out that way, and infact, a lot of evangelical types say I can 'hold it right there, that explains it,' but I honestly feel that my intellectualism trumps the silliness imparted on me by my catholic upbringing, so here it is.

 

I was a curious child, reading all the time. I went to catholic school until the 6th grade, (again, this is where the evangelicals insist I must have 'gone wrong,' but still, no it's not there.) We had this thing every week called 'library' in which we were all encouraged to go to the school library and check out books. I used to get things like 'the illustrated guide to the human body' with the bits about the reproductive organs ripped out of them gratuitously, if you'll pardon the pun. I was hooked on science, and never once did it occur to me that the concepts being presented in illustrious color platelets actually conflicted with the teachings of the school which I was attending. Apparently, the thought escaped the administration of the institution as well. I didn't notice yet. I kept reading. I eventually stumbled on Arthur C Clarkes 'Library of the Universe' book series. I read every one. I couldn't get enough. I read every one in the library, and when the local supply had been exhausted, I went to the public library to get the rest of them. I was 10. Round about this time, I had discovered that the science I was investigating was called 'astronomy' so I proceeded to follow the subject in other series. I can't say exactly which book it was that made things click, but it was somewhere between Clarke's 'Mars' and Hawking's 'A brief history of time.' I was somehow awakened to the fact that I was holding the forbidden fruit every time I opened the cover on any one of my scientifically oriented works. It caused me a great deal of greif to get an earful of religion all day long, and at home, not even to mention church, and I was able to fill in all of the 'magical' gaps that religion seemed to leave out with science. I couldn't stand it anymore, so I decided I was going to rescue my faith by reading the bible. By this time I was about 12. I opened the bible, starting on Genesis, I began the nightly regimen of reading at least one chapter a night before bed. By the time I was 13, I had finished the entire thing. I can't even remember exactly what the series of bible was, I know it wasn't KJV, but it wasn't NIV either... it was some annotated series, they had a bunch of them, each geared to a different age group or demographic, one for kids, one for teens, one for students, etc... I had the one for students (college students.) I usually read the annotations too, which for the most part, I tried not to laugh at because I thought somewhere god might be listening and get angry at me for mocking him. One day, I was particularly distraught about the entire inner conflict emerging in me, and I was assured by my mother that gods angels would intervene if they had to and help me to see clearly. That was it.... Angels? I went to bed at a first comforted by the thought that angels would be helping me out, but I couldn't shake the absolutely absurd feeling that overcame me when I even Thought the word 'Angel.' I decided that was it. I couldn't stomach the concept anymore and I realized that people who were selling me this religion thing were all deluding themselves. There was so much more out there to be realized. I was 13, and I didn't break the news to my parents for another 5 years when I was in a particularly rebellious stage fueled by both my raging teen angst and the freedom I needed to have from this awful thing on sunday mornings called 'church.'

 

I finally broke the news when I was nearly 18, and I felt the most wonderful freedom I'd ever felt. I can imagine how liberating a gay man must feel when he finally comes out, which I'd imagine is a similarly liberating experience. (No, I'm straight, but I can definitely identify with the feeling, from the tightly guarded secret knowledge to the persecution that admitting your true nature brings on you in every facet of your existence.)

 

I told my parents that I wouldn't wish the concept of Hell on my enemies, not to mention the fact that it was barely mentioned in their sacred literature, the bible. There's a kicker for you... The word 'hell' as it currently is interpreted is actually a substitution by the post catholic era for the hebrew word 'SHEOL' which actually means 'state of the dead,' not firey place of punishment. If it were left uninterpreted the modern concept of Hell wouldn't have ever taken shape... Ask your neighborhood Jew about 'SHEOL' and you'll see that it's not anything like what you've been taught... Just one example of many... but my real belief in no god stems from the ability of science to explain things, not in the possible myriad of mistranslations and 'willful misconstruations' of the words in the bible themselves.

 

Sure, science can't explain everything... yet... and most likely will never be able to. This notwithstanding, I still refuse to ascribe anything we haven't been able to explain logically to 'magic' or 'supreme beings.' As ridiculous as it sounds, the most logical religion in my mind is Scientology, but even it's pretty silly if you ask me. (Yes you can read their leaked documents online if you look hard enough ; )

 

I'd encourage all of you people out there on the edge to just do what the christians are telling you to... read the bible. Most of them obviously haven't. The bible, a great piece of literature, and despite its drab reputation is quite an interesting read, will give you, the scientifically minded individual, all the closure you need. People will tell you of it's symbolic nature.. but don't be fooled; when it was written, it was 'the word' not 'something that when pondered under the guidance of someone inspired by religious zeal would let you understand the nature of what the word would come to mean after two thousand years of being eaten away by scientific evidence.' It's not a figurative gesture. It's actually written by people who believed every word. That was all I needed, and now, instead of looking to live 'a good life because I will go to hell if I don't' I find myself occupying my time on earth with the task of simply 'living a good life because I feel like it.'

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yeeeeeup. i was just like you. i was raised catholic, but i read books on astronomy, biology, paleontology, philosophy, and world history as a kid. so pretty much i was always one of those "catholic (or christian) by name" people.

 

because of that, i never even bothered to read the bible because it just seemed ridiculous from page one.

 

welcome to the site :grin:

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I can relate to so much you are saying. LOL, when I was little I read my parents' set of encyclopedias. Oh, and I'm an ex-Catholic too.

 

Glad you've found us here, and welcome! :)

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Guest aldous

I can relate to so much you are saying. LOL, when I was little I read my parents' set of encyclopedias. Oh, and I'm an ex-Catholic too.

 

Glad you've found us here, and welcome! :)

 

I actually found this a good while ago, but you know, I work about 90 hours a week between my day job as a systems programmer, and my night job as a bleeding edge code monkey. It pays ok, but I have no time to spend anything, and even less to read good stuff anymore, so it's one of those "Long time listener, first time caller deals."

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I can relate to so much you are saying. LOL, when I was little I read my parents' set of encyclopedias. Oh, and I'm an ex-Catholic too.

 

Glad you've found us here, and welcome! :)

 

Hey, I did the same. I was nine and reading about physics and chemistry. Some of us are just born weird. I must admit that we didn't have a TV set.

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