What happens when we die? Do you fear death?
Everything turns off and that’s it. I suppose I don’t know how to describe it because it’s never happened to me, I am alive. I am a bit afraid of death. It’s something no one has gone through and came out able to talk about. It’s a very alien idea, all everyone I know has known is life.
Do you have/plan on having a career in the sciences? Alternatively: which branch of science intrigues you most?
I’m studying political science, but I don’t think that’s the kind of science this question is talking about. I don’t like the natural sciences much; I find them interesting, but I don’t like the math that goes with them. Biology and Astronomy are interesting to me.
Are you spiritual, or are your feet always on the ground?
I’m not spiritual. It’s hard to say exactly because so many people have a different idea of what “spiritual” is, but I don’t think I am. I don’t think people have souls, all that we are (our personalities and sense of self) are chemical reactions and neurons firing. After we die, that’s it our brain turns off and we are no more.
Even though you’re an atheist, have you ever experienced a moment that could be called “religious?” Like an epiphany about the world or complete peace?
No, I haven’t experienced anything like that. And if you know me well you’ll understand that I am not a peaceful person.
Except for God, do you believe in anything supernatural or pseudoscientific? (Ghosts, alien abductions, spirits, souls, demons, psychics, magic, Harry Potter, etc.)
Sometimes I get really creeped out at noises or “unexplainable” things happening in the night, at those moments I believe in ghosts and spirits, but most of the time I don’t. I think that aliens probably do exist somewhere in this vast universe. Are they smart enough to take people away for a while and then return them? I don’t think so. I don’t believe psychics, magic, or demons exist, though my friends and I do a lovely satanic/demonic voice.
Did you lose any friends because you decided to be an atheist? Did your family flip out?
I have not told my family so they have not flipped out, but I think they would if I did tell them. I didn’t lose any friends over it, most of my friends are in similar boats, not all atheists, but some state of non-believer or non-mainstream follower. It may have prevented some acquaintanceships from become friend ships, that could have been my general awkwardness though, so who knows. I tend to surround myself with accepting and understanding people so it’s not that big of a deal.
Do you think religion is obsolete and should be wiped completely off the face of the Earth, or does some good come out of it?
I think that if Religion does die out over time in a natural way, which I think it will, it will be a good thing overall. I don’t think outlawing it would be good right now, that would just make people mad. I think religion does help people who believe in it by giving them a sense of comfort or hope and the realization of there not being anything “more” would bring a lot of discomfort to people if they were somehow forced to see what I see as true. I don’t think that religion is the only thing that can bring that comfort though, but I know people are used to seeing it that way and just can’t imagine anything else.
Are you a more outspoken or more apathetic atheist? Why?
It really depends on who I’m around, none of my close friends are members of the three monotheistic religions so I’m very open around them with my beliefs and why I hold them. Around most people though I’m more apathetic, especially around my family. I think that most people I know know that I am an atheist, but my family still thinks I’m christian, and some even think I’m still catholic (something I left behind long ago). So around my family I make it a point not to talk about my lack of religion. I’m afraid of what they’ll think or do to me, not being catholic was even a big deal so I don’t know how much more they can handle. I’m also very interested in Arab culture and hope to one day work in an Arab country or work very closely with Arabs and I think boasting my atheistness won’t go well for my goals.
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, at least very strongly, some time this past January or December. I think I was always “destined” to be an atheist. I was raised in a Catholic family, and I still live in one, they don’t know I’m an atheist. But there’s a story from when I was younger, around 3 or 4 I think. I heard from my parents, that once when we were in church I was being a big rambunctious, so my parents told me to stop and pointed to the priest and said, “the priest is talking, so be quiet,” apparently I responded, “I thought that was God.” So even as a youngster I didn’t quite get the concept of an invisible man that controlled anything. And as time went on I just liked science stuff a lot, watching Discovery and Nat Geo all the time and it got confusing as a kid when I learned about cave men and lucy and realized it conflicted with the Adam and Eve thing.
Overall, I just see religion as something that was necessary long ago for humans to satisfy their need to understand the world around them. They didn’t have the means to find an explanation so it had to be something “bigger” something we can’t see or understand, and that’s how I see religion, an explanation because we can’t find the real reasons. Now though we can investigate further than ever before and we don’t need those “explanations” like we used to and I feel it’s time to retire them, so I have, at least in my own life.
I’m going to do it. I’m not going to start now, but I’m going to do it. Probably later today I’ll do day one, but now I sleep.