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How I Became Skeptical

There are many atheists I know who say they are atheists because of science and reason. They say that science proves there can be no deity because there is no proof per the scientific theory, which is based on observations, hypotheses, and theorems. I became skeptical because of reason only, not science, although I love science and the scientific theory does help to rationalize my skepticism.

Although I can’t remember having an “aha” moment, my natural skepticism took on a deeper tone when I signed up for a cultural anthropology course at the university I was attending at the time. It was there that I learned that every culture has a religion (I think I was aware of this, but not consciously). I started to think that if every culture has a religion, why would I think mine was the correct one. Christians would tell me that it is written in the Bible and therefore it must be so. Playing devil’s advocate, I would answer back that the Mormons believe their religion is the right one and the Jewish people believe theirs is the right one as so on. Their books also tell them so. I also like to tell my Christian friends that if they were born Muslim, they would believe as Muslims do, etc. They, however, do not see this reasonable aspect of them being a product of their upbringing and environment and deny it. I don’t understand it.

Another reasoning method that increased my skepticism involves how a story can evolve over such a short time as a few minutes and even more so over a few millennium. Many of you may be familiar with a game that involves perhaps ten or more people. The first person whispers a few short sentences to the person next to them, who must whisper it to the next person and so on until you get to the last person who repeats it out loud. The story changed so much that it wasn’t the same story. I questioned how accurate could the Bible be if its story was so old and was retold and reworded and translated so many times over the centuries. Even today in my observations someone will say that there is no exact translation of words from one language to another and they have to “paraphrase”. How many times has the Bible been “paraphrased” due to translation or someone’s preference? The website, biblegateway.com, has 30 Bible translations in English. This does not include other language translations.

Due to reasoning on my part as a thinking, skeptical person, I decided that being a theist and following the Bible was not for me.

Believe not in the story of today, for tomorrow it will change. – Theresa Faulkner

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