Can You Remember The Day That You Officially Became An Atheist?
There was no specific day, and I didn't realise it had to be official. Do I need to get a certificate? I can remember the first time I said "I'm an atheist" rather than "I'm not religious", does that count? (It was in the UK so the recipient didn't care).
Do you remember the day you officially became an agnostic?
Again, there was no specific day, it was a very gradual process. My path to agnosticism and atheism is described in more detail in this post if anyone is interested.
How about the last time you spoke or prayed to God with actual thought that someone was listening?
I did mentally recite the Lord's Prayer to myself most nights when I was much younger, but it was more a superstition than an attempt to actually "speak to God". I don't think I've ever done that with any real thought that there was someone listening.Did anger towards God or religion help cause you to be an atheist or agnostic?
As just about everyone else has already pointed out, being angry at something requires a belief in that thing. I'm not angry at God, nor at leprechauns.
Being angry at religion is a much more interesting (and actually valid) question. But no, religion has never harmed me personally, and animosity to religion played no role in my path to atheism. I feel frustrated and yeah, occasionally angry, with people who try to impose their own religious beliefs on others, but that came after my realisation that they are, in all likelihood, completely wrong.Were you agnostic towards ghosts, even after you became an atheist?
This is where you all get to laugh with me (Dr. A has promised that no-one will laugh at me).
I do not necessarily disbelieve in ghosts. I emphatically do NOT believe in any kind of conscious spirit that deliberately haunts the people who wronged it during its life or whatever. However I think it is possible that people sometimes, somehow, manage to see a glimpse into a different time. A replay of a past event that happened in that place. I know too many completely trustworthy people with "ghost" stories that they swear are true. Including my Dad, who saw a fellow student come out of his bedroom and walk right past him in his hall of residence at University. This despite the fact that the other student had fatally broken his neck in a rugby scrum a few weeks earlier, and that his parents had taken away all his belongings and the room was locked up for the remainder of the year since no-one else wanted to live there. My Dad knew the guy well and says that there is NO WAY it could have been anyone else.
Now my Dad is a lapsed Catholic, a skeptic, and enjoys telling a good story, but you have to really push him and push him (and ply him with whisky) before he'll tell you that one. And I've heard similar stories from other people I trust.
There is also this, the most famous of the many ghost stories that come from my home town. The ghosts were first seen before the Roman road was discovered.
I've heard more evidence for the existence of ghosts than for the existence of any god!Do you want to be wrong?
About which god? The one described in the Old Testament? No, he sounds like a mean spirited old bugger. New Testament? Maybe. Buddhism? If I'm wrong about anything I'd like it to be Buddhism. It would indeed be nice (and convenient to ruling authorities) if there really were an omniscient entity or system that rewards good behaviour and punishes the bad guys. And if I could see my Grandma and Nana again. That's why religion is so appealing, right?
I would also like free presents from Santa and a pet unicorn, if anyone's keeping count.I tag: any atheists who would like to play!