So you may have noticed a couple of weeks back that my blog completely disappeared for a few days... that's because, dear friends, for those of us on the quarter system it was finals week and I really couldn't afford any distractions (except Facebook, for reals). It was a crazy stressful week and I was spending a lot of time on my blog, so I decided to deactivate it to avoid the temptation until finals were over. And now that that hellacious quarter is over and done, I can start putting some serious work into the blog again. Yay! :]
Of course, now that I'm back I have no clue what to write about... so instead of going off on some useless tangent while watching a marathon of "Undateable" (guilty pleasure), I'm going to start this nifty little meme I found on Tumblr. It's called the 15-day Atheist Challenge, and basically it's 15 thoughtful questions to get your writing going... I think it'll be interesting to share these answers with you guys, and hear your answers too. Leave me a comment with the answer to the day's question and your thoughts, or if you decide to do the challenge yourself then point me in the direction of your blog and we can do this together! :]
Day 1: At what point did you know you were an atheist? Why did you become one? What were the factors leading up to the decision, if you weren't always one?
I realized I was an atheist in November of 2010, so I haven't really identified as atheist for very long. For about two years (starting in November 2008), I considered myself a "hardcore" Christian. I was crazy into mission work, an avid reader of C.S. Lewis and John Piper (and the like), and I spent an average of 10 hours a week in church or church-related activities. I was always a bit of a doubter, but after I got home from a mission trip to East Asia in January 2010 is when I really started having serious doubts about my religion. I could never justify the actions of Christians with the doctrine of "agape" love.
Around October 2010 is when I stumbled across an atheist blog that kind of slapped me in the face (it hasn't been updated in a while, but that didn't stop me from reading all of the posts). Weeks of feverish research followed... documentaries, books, articles, debates, every bit of information I could get my hands on. I joined a few atheist communities online and found that they were populated by kind, intelligent, open-minded people who encouraged me to make my own decision, something that a Christian would never do. Through my research I was able to find answers to questions that I didn't even realize I had. I realized that the reason I couldn't justify my faith was because my faith was unjustifiable.
I know I made the right decision in leaving my religion behind. In the past few months I've become a much more confident person and I definitely don't take bullshit like I used to. When I was a Christian, we were told that we should never be too happy or satisfied with our lives, lest we begin to pull away from God. Now that I'm an atheist, I've come to realize that you know what?? It's okay to be happy. Happiness, satisfaction, intelligence, rationality... these are not things to be ashamed of.