From the Mailbox – “Religious Dogma”
This was a question sent to me via my mailbox. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments, you can leave your own here.
Packard Sonic asks: What was your first moment that you can recall that the whole “religious dogma” in your head just said, that doesn’t make any sense and your mind at that exact moment opened up to the whole world around you? Or did you come from a house on a whole that was already free from dogma?
Well I guess you could say I was never religious as such. I had been told as a child about god etc. from relatives, had to say grace at dinner, attended Sunday school from time to time, but the whole God thing never really feature inside my home. I have a sneaking suspicion that my family only ever identified itself as religious or Christian because it was the done thing, the whole community did so you did too.
Having said that, I thought of myself as somewhat of a new-ager as a teenager. I loved that crap, the crystals, the incense, the reiki and meditation, it was all quite fun, but it wasn’t until I reached my thirties that I solidified my position as an atheist. I became far more interested in the natural world, the sciences and nature and the environment. Add to that that I was studying art at uni, and in art history the atrocities of the past became quite clear to me. This was not why I came to the conclusion that religious belief was delusional, but it lead me on a path of discovery that landed me here.
After reading The God Delusion I felt I had a newly found strength of conviction, and felt less alone in my skepticism of society’s obsession with religion, but remember I live in Australia now, and with over 25% of the population proclaiming “no religion” it’s a lot easier to “come out” as it were.
Just last year both of my parents admitted to me that they too are atheists. This was not surprising but it was good to know. It also showed me that they had raised me right, not shoving belief down my throat but always asking “Are you sure about that?” It gave me strength to be the man I am now.
I do feel bad for anyone who was bought up religious only to discover that religion is not for them. I never had to deal with the change, the scorn from others, or the loss of contact with family that so many of you have. I hope if that is the case, that the discovery of non-religousness will help you to become a stronger person.
Don’t forget, if you want me to answer your question, or have a topic you’d like to see me cover on the blog, send me a message here. And stay tuned for more “From the Mailbox” coming soon to this blog!