Wow I was so relieved to leave! My professor tried to get me to stay longer and even offered to let me stay at his house so I could finish some things up, but I had to politely decline. (the thought of staying made me shudder).
when I got back home though, I discovered that my Dad has been in a state of denial for the past year about my atheism. Now he is having to face it and is having a difficult time coming to grips with it. He threatened to kick me out of the house this last week after kindly expressing my desire not to participate in scripture study. keep in mind I had only been home for two days. If my exit plan hadn't fallen through then I'd probably have moved out already. He apologized and now doesn't ask me to participate, but I don't think I can ever forget that I was almost thrown out of the house for something so stupid. It still makes me mad just thinking about it. So now that I'm home, I do miss Provo, because at least there I had friends that didn't care what I believed. Here, I don't really know anyone but my family. I hope that soon I'll be able to find somewhere I can move to in Seattle temporarily until I can get a job and an apartment. Only then will I truly feel the proverbial anvil lifted off of my chest!
Really? there's no language center? Wow I guess I always assumed that every process within the brain was organized into neat little compartments. I think it would be an interesting experiment to see if an atheist's brain lights up in the same areas when talking about the grandeur of the cosmos as a christian when he talks about God. Is the love of God people feel just the self generated love of mystery? Hmm if I only had some fancy machinery and electrodes... So have you done post graduate schooling, or are you considering it?
Well, it just seemed to build up over time. Reading various things. Growing up Hindu in a Christian world. Learning about Native American ideas on creation and religion. I'm sure dating a very "fundegelical" christian had something to do with pushing me in that direction. But in the end, I realized that whatever the answer to the ongoing debate is, the debate itself seems pointless because we'll never have any definitive answers. And in the meantime, there are things to be done in the world that require real work.
I am not totally sure I'm an atheist. I generally think god does not exist. But whatever the answer to that question is, I tend to agree with the "ignostic" or "nontheist" stance which is: the question of god is meaningless because it has no verifiable consequences. I came to this realization over the course of the last couple of years. I'm not sure what spurred it along. Probably the current political climate and general lack of critical thinking skills. What about you?
Only a week and a half left! Then I can wash my hands of this place! (knock on wood)
I'll be heading off to Washington to hopefully find a job in he Seattle area working in a lab. I don't really know what I want to do either. All growing up it was my goal to be a child prodigy in something like math or even ping-pong, but when I turned 20 I finally realized that it was time for me to make a plan B. I guess I'm no good at making plans either. However, I feel forced into research right now because it is the only marketable skill I got from college. So here I am looking at online listings to see which jobs I might qualify for.
neurolinguistics? sounds like heavy stuff. is that where you attach electrodes to someone else's head to see what parts of their brains "light up" when they speak?
WOW that is a hilarious mental image. Wouldn't that be a funny prank if someone was able to somehow broadcast that clip on that huge screen during the halftime show at a BYU football game? I don't know how that could ever be topped. I'll have to look that show up.
So what do you do? Do you actually live in Georgia or is that where you're from? Hopefully you're someplace else making sure your potential doesn't get flushed down the toilet...right? I don't envision many linguistics jobs in Georgia apart from a university setting.
Lol! As soon as I learned about the birds and the bees, I thought to myself, does that mean God was watching everyone have sex? He was watching when I was being pounded into my mother?! Nasty!
I graduated with a degree in genetics and biotechnology. I attribute my position as solidly atheist to the firm support genetics offers to evolution. (It also has proved the BoM false) what exactly I plan on doing with that is still a mystery to me. Maybe I'll end up in medical school.
Also about the philosophy (theology) class, I took a philosophy of science class with Dr. Grandy mostly for the purpose of arguing. Lately that is my favorite thing to do. These people here have some ridiculous ideas that go unchallenged, so I feel obliged to make them look like the morons that they are. Anyway, during this class the professor recounted a story about a young man who had been denied a temple recommend not to long ago because he believed that man had evolved from a common ancestor with apes. He went to several authorities around the area, but the general consensus was that you couldn't keep a temple recommend and believe that. If that's the case, I know of several BYU professors that need to have their temple recommends revoked. I also learned from that class that there is a distinct battle line at the university that divides the science departments from the religion department, with a long history of confrontation and animosity. some of the religion professors still refuse to shake hands with some of the science professors.
I served in Cape Verde, a small archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa. Great people. Incredibly humble. It was difficult to go from there to the US and see the opulence dripping from every rooftop.
I don't regret coming to BYU for the same reason you mentioned - money. I could never have gotten this kind of lab experience somewhere else for the price I paid. I though of transferring several times, but realized I would have to start over at some other place doing menial lab stuff when I had a graduate level project at BYU.
I almost fell off my chair laughing about your religion teacher:) (although it shouldn't be funny considering we are a major contributor of arab linguists in the military...) It's so true though. Even among the sciences there are an enormous amount of idiots. I did an unofficial poll in the lab to see how many people believed that Eve was literally created from Adams rib. I was dumbfounded to discover that there was about 20% that did. Another thing that absolutely gets me floored is when you mention the precarious state of the environment and people simply shrug their shoulders and say something like "I don't worry about it because Christ will fix it when he comes." AARRGH!
Anyway, I agree that it is completely liberating when you don't have to be afraid of big brother watching you every minute of the day, making his list and checking it twice. I think the biology majors are full of closet atheists. Just recently I discovered two of my lab colleagues were. I think people are afraid of the fallout that might happen with loved ones and friends. That's what I was afraid of, it turned out to be just about as devastating as I expected. But I have no regrets. I could not live a lie.
Isn't it interesting that losing your faith is like waking up from a good dream? Try as you can you can never restore it after you realize it's your imagination. I became an atheist shortly after returning from my mission and getting a taste of science and evolution. It sort of snuck up on me and before I knew it I realized that all I had learned had categorically eliminated the likelihood of there being a God.
I'm graduated but am working on a lab project here for another month until I get a job. Hopefully somewhere in Seattle or Portland doing something biotech related. I like how you put that question, 'have you "escaped."' I actually had a dream the other day that I was stuck in a town that wouldn't let me leave. then I woke up and realized it wasn't a dream. I have since been anxiously sending out resumes.
So by your personal statement, it seems that you would have come to the realization that there is no God during your time at the Y. How was that?