Introductions:

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Re: Introductions:

Post  postwaste on Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:03 pm

No need for the mea culpas.

I am Craig. I live in Lubbock Texas, the second most conservative city in the US. I was raised Church of Christ. For those unfamiliar, it's like the Southern Baptists without pianos. I trained for the ministry and that's probably what led me away from the Church. (Reading the Bible and trying to take it literally can be a risky endeavor.)

I became a Unitarian in 1993. I now identify as a Humanist.

My avatar is a picture of me and my wife at Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park. One of my favorite places.
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I thought I'd already done this but....

Post  Stanley on Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:26 pm

I'm Stanley...sort of.

Manchester, England.
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Re: Introductions:

Post  MisterChristopher on Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:04 pm

Oh right, new intro.

My name is Chris (ORLY?), and I reside in Southwest MO (particularly Springfield). If Grant Rapids is the clasp on the Bible Bra, then Southwest MO is the buckle of the Bible Belt.
I'm a student, daycare worker in one of the school districts, and a tennis coach (sometimes). My hobbies are tennis, video games, tinkering with my computer, urban exploring, and geocaching, with various little other anomalies thrown in.
I'm a "New atheist" as many of us are I bet. I have been one for 3 years now (how long does it take to become an "old atheist?"). I think I've littered the forums enough already for you guys to inquire more about me, for whatever weird reason you'd want to
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Re: Introductions

Post  RachelCK on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:46 pm

Hi. I am Rachel, a single mom from southern Illinois. I've been a non-theist and skeptic as long as I can remember, but I did dabble in astrology and numerology when I was a teen, without giving it much thought. Been listening to the show for several months and it's been great reading this forum.

MisterChristopher, I won't argue with you about Southwest Mo. being the buckle on the bible belt. But good ole southern Illinois is home to two national if not international Christian television networks (TCT and 3ABN). That should qualify us for some little part of that belt. Perhaps we are the extra hole that needs to be punched whenever Christians get too fat.

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Re: Introductions:

Post  karyn on Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:50 am

I am karyn, and i come from the SGU forums, mostly. I was so happy to hear this podcast had a forum set up for it. This podcast very quickly became one of my favorites. I live in Kansas, travel for a living, grew up in a secular household and run a charity, a local skeptics group, moderate at the SGU forums and run the Skeptoid swag shop. I like home brews, D&D and 80% dark chocolate. Also, I really like the smiley selection. I have to beg your admin for a set like this. My favorite ---> affraid D00d...that's totally a grey....
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Re: Introductions:

Post  cleanwillie on Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:25 am

Hello!

My name is Ami and I'm a jewish atheist from Finland. My upbringing was never particularly religious and I have never really believed in god. My mom always tells a story from when I was in the jewish kindergarten and one of the teachers told her that I had misbehaved. Apparently I'd been telling the other kids that they don't need to say their prayers and the teacher heard this. She told me that we do have to thank god for creating the universe, to which I replied:"God didn't create the universe. There was a big bang!" So I guess from the day I was born up to maybe two or three years ago I was a uninterested unbeliever but then I read Hitchens' God is not Great. After that I've been interested in religions mainly because it really boggles my mind how so many grown up people actually believe in the supernatural stories of their own (or someone else's in some cases) tradition.

I study musicology in the university of Helsinki and play saxophone and guitar. Unsurprisingly I also listen to a lot of music. I like artists from Jackson Browne to Meshuggah, so genre isn't a big deal for me. For the last three years or so I've been listening to (and playing) jazz more than anything else. The last book I read was Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker , which I loved. Now I'm waiting for the mailman to bring me my copy of The Greatest Show on Earth and I can hardly wait.

I don't really remember how exactly I stumbled upon the RD podcast in the first place, but I very quickly listened to all of them and fell in love with it. To me it's definitely the number one podcast. Nothing else comes even close. So thank you guys for that!
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Re: Introductions:

Post  timmeh on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:18 am

Howdy all,
I'm a New Zealander living in Berlin, Germany. Always been an atheist and have been listening to RD since day dot.
I run a small photo-production studio here in Berlin with an Australian buddy of mine to earn a crust, but in my spare time I like camping, motor sports, PS3ing, movies, drinking beer, killing hookers and eating babies just like any Satan worshiping atheist.
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Re: Introductions

Post  SoYouSway on Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:51 am

My name is Michael. I was raised in a fundlemental christian home. When I was around 11 years old, my family moved overseas from Ohio to Papua New Guinea. My parents were interested in mission opportunities and my dad took a job with a luthern shipping company. (We were not to be confused as being lutherens though.) After three years there, my parents were encouraged to go further into mission work and participate with a group called youth with a mission, ywam for short. They completed the several month bootcamp and applied for one of the bases of ministry..... on a ship! We stayed on the ship for three years. We were all very active on board. I had my 'regular' schooling, my mom worked in the galley, and my dad worked in the finance/banking section. There was anywhere from 300 to 400 people on board at a given time. The ministry's focus was to raise awareness of and support to bring to developing nations along side the christian message. They set up medical and dental clinics and outreach services for agriculture. I continued my own journey, completing a 'bootcamp' and other ministry outreaches with the same group. My sincerity in believing never really faltered through any of that experience. I didn't even know that there were people out there that believed there were actual mistakes in the bible until I was about 23 years old! When I was around 24, had an injury to my hand that caused me to slow down and think things through more thoroughly. Funny to think that one's sincerity could be their beliefs undoing. My reasonable doubts came in reguards to hearing 'the voice of god', and why is it that everyone thinks they are the 'right' ones and everyone else is 'wrong'. The case against my beliefs was of course becoming more and more overwhelming. Someone gave me an appologetic book, which I felt like I tore through with my penciled in side remarks undermining the terrible arguments. My parents remain very fundlemental in their views as does most of my family to this day. We've crossed the battle lines a few times but now mostly stay in the neutral zones. I've been pretty low key about my belief for many years, but I get very worked up when arguing with my sister, that I delve deeper into the world of disbelief. About two years ago I found the skeptic's annotated bible website, then with my iphone a year ago I caught on to the atheist community of austin podcast, then chariots of iron, point of inquiry, and now reasonable doubts! I am soaking it all up! The interviews, authors, and websites, just keep expanding my knowledge of the 'bigger' community we have out there!
I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I am an occupational therapist working in a hospital setting (still a closet atheist at work). My wife and I have been married for 8 years, and she holds very liberal christian views. We have two girls, 3 years old and 1 year old. Not much time for hobbies now but I did enjoy woodworking, lol. Enough rambling. Thanks for a GREAT Podcast, and community forum!
I'm open for questions or input.
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Re: Introductions:

Post  NedStark on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:26 am

Although I already posted an abridged version of my story I'll post it here so it's in the right place.

My real name is Brian, and I live in Grand Rapids. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness (yep, I was a door-to-door religion salesman) and never really questioned it until a few years ago. After getting on social networking sites like Digg and Reddit and actually conversing with atheists and agnostics as well as other theists, I could no longer rationally justify my belief in God to myself. I realized I was only staying in my religion so that I wouldn't lose my friends and family (they completely shun and disown you if you leave the church).

One of the things the Jehovah's Witnesses did well was train me to have a skeptical mindset. I regularly used these tactics to deconstruct the doctrines of other churches. However, critical thinking in that organization is only allowed to be taken to a point. It's kind of a "walled garden" of critical thinking. I practiced it only against targets specified by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, but never against the Society and the religion itself. To question the society was to question God.

But once I learned about what evolution really was and what atheism was really about, I couldn't reconcile my beliefs with my knowledge, and I made the decision to leave the church because I couldn't just keep a straight face and pretend. I'm a terrible liar. So after gradually withdrawing for a few years, the make or break point came. When it was discovered that I had a non-JW girlfriend and that I had "sinned," it was all over. My family abandoned me. To this day that claim it was my fault. I "left Jehovah," so they had no choice. The last time I spoke with my mother she told me that she loves God more than me. Yet, most Jehovah's Witnesses will claim that their religion doesn't tear families apart, and they'll say it with a straight face, even though most of them have a brother or a sister or an aunt or a cousin or a father or a mother they refuse to talk to because of a difference of religious opinion.

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Re: Introductions:

Post  twitchdelamer on Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:27 pm

Well, my name Hardus and I'm a South African.

I was born into christianity with a (then) extremely fundamentalist father, my mother was considered an christian "Oracle" (whether or not that is an accurate description I do not know). My social landscape was composed of grand piety, to holy to fart, because my father (then) put his philosophical history away, and let "Christ" enter his life, really we were walking embodiments of worship (my apt description of whoring out your mind to have it be {choose a special verb} by most-high-faith).

Before my birth, my God-Father (now a famous Texas Evangelist) had given prophecy of my life: I shall be a Psalmist, I will change and alter the landscape of how many view their faith. Although the Psalmist I recon do not fit, but surely I have taken many a minds - and shown them an alternative to irrational thought.

My tale is one that I'd rather not share completely... But happy i am that i have found reasonable doubts.

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Re: Introductions:

Post  Moses on Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:25 pm

I'm Chris.

Born, raised, and still residing in upstate New York. I had a moderate Roman Catholic upbringing- went to church every Sunday, altar boy, private Catholic school through 9th grade, etc. I thought Jesus was a great guy and loved everybody, and that hell was only for the worst of the worst. Exposure to non-Christian friends in public high school further liberalized my faith; I was pretty much a universal salvation type of Christian.

In my early twenties I dated with an evangelical Christian and made a sincere attempt to be "born again." Unfortunately, I was successful. I fell into a year-long depression over the fact that billions of people, including many I loved, would be twisting and turing in hellfire for eternity. I believed in God but was terrified of him.

With the help of xanax (seriously Neutral ), I was able to control my intense emotions and examine Christianity objectively. After a careful study of the Bible- the mythological origins of the Old Testament, the historical and theological contradictions, the falied apocalyptic prophecies of Jesus- I de-converted. I tried to go back to liberal Christianity but it didn't stick- I couldn't see what the watered-down, friendly Jesus had that secular humanism did not. An interest in neuroscience led me to a completely naturalistic view of the "mind" and I didn't bother exploring other religions.

I now call myself a humanist. I'm still interested in the Bible, though- its rich mythology and influence on English literature- and recently went back to school to pursue such study. And I listen to Reasonable Doubts Smile
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Introductions

Post  Aedon on Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:23 am

Hi, My name is Aedon,

I'm from Australia, currently finishing up my degree and working as a research assistant for a Geological research group out of the University of Sydney. I was raised godless but sent to a Anglican High School, who thankfully didn't push the point to hard.

I enjoy running, playing guitar and bass, and travelling.

I came upon Reasonable doubts a couple of months ago while browsing I-Tunes and have been working my way through all the episodes. Its great to be exposed to other disciplines: theres not a large amount of talk within my area of the sciences about religion or creationism and look foward to having some enlightening discussions.

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Hello

Post  CaptainSpaulding on Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:23 pm

My name is Tom Hudson. I was raised in Cleveland, Ohio as a member of the United Church of Christ. In college I discovered Mainmonides, and eventually converted to Judaism. I have two daughters who were raised Jewish. Then finally I "gave up the ghost" and admitted that my god was a classic God-of-the-gaps.
So, in a sense, I went from three gods to one god to zero gods.
I'm a practicing lawyer (http://www.DUISarasota.com) and a thirty year veteran radio disc jockey in Cleveland and Sarasota, FL, where I live now.
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Re: Introductions:

Post  Sosa on Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:32 pm

CaptainSpaulding wrote:My name is Tom Hudson. I was raised in Cleveland, Ohio as a member of the United Church of Christ. In college I discovered Mainmonides, and eventually converted to Judaism. I have two daughters who were raised Jewish. Then finally I "gave up the ghost" and admitted that my god was a classic God-of-the-gaps.
So, in a sense, I went from three gods to one god to zero gods.
I'm a practicing lawyer (http://www.DUISarasota.com) and a thirty year veteran radio disc jockey in Cleveland and Sarasota, FL, where I live now.

Cool, what part of Cleveland were you raised in?
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HELLO

Post  CaptainSpaulding on Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:12 pm

Born and raised in Lakewood. Graduated from Lakewood High School. Went to Kenyon College (a hotbed of neoconservative thought). Back to Cleveland for three years at Case Western Reserve University Law School, living in Cleveland Heights. Seven years as a Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, living in Cleveland Hts and then Rocky River. Then got sick of the winter and moved to Florida in 1996.
TMI?
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Re: Introductions:

Post  Sosa on Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:34 pm

CaptainSpaulding wrote:Born and raised in Lakewood. Graduated from Lakewood High School. Went to Kenyon College (a hotbed of neoconservative thought). Back to Cleveland for three years at Case Western Reserve University Law School, living in Cleveland Heights. Seven years as a Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, living in Cleveland Hts and then Rocky River. Then got sick of the winter and moved to Florida in 1996.
TMI?

Ok, I lived by W. 130th and Bellaire pretty much my whole life.
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Kia ora Koutau Katoa

Post  John Dennis on Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:42 pm

Hi doubtcasters

My name is John. I'm from Wellington, New Zealand but now reside north of Auckland near a beach (for those of you who care). The subject line is in Maori and says "hello everyone" (or words to that affect). It is likely that I am partly Maori too, although cannot be sure as I was adopted when I was just 2 weeks old, by a non-religious, non-Maori couple.. If any of you are bleeding heart liberals, please don't ring your hands, I had a happy upbringing.

The Maori culture here in New Zealand has deep roots in mythology and superstition. They had their own myths of course, but just in the nick of time the Christian missionaries arrived here and showed them that the correct path to ignorance was biblical doctrine rather than their silly ideas about gods of the sun and other absurdities. Once the smile was wiped off their faces, and correct clothing worn, the Maoris were welcomed into the church. They haven't looked forward since.

I have become an avid downloader of many podcasts on scepticism, counter apologetics. I've also trawled around for debates: Hitchens; Dawkins; Harris; Craigs warblings etc, but can I say, that I think the "Reasonable Doubts" podcast is my favourite - just piping "Point of Inquiry" on average (though that is a fantastic listen also!).

Kia kaha! doubtcasters - be strong! Many of you do it tougher than I do here in New Zealand, but I'm right behind you brothers and sisters :)
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Re: Introductions:

Post  John Dennis on Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:21 pm

twitchdelamer wrote:Well, my name Hardus and I'm a South African.

I was born into christianity with a (then) extremely fundamentalist father, my mother was considered an christian "Oracle" (whether or not that is an accurate description I do not know). My social landscape was composed of grand piety, to holy to fart, because my father (then) put his philosophical history away, and let "Christ" enter his life, really we were walking embodiments of worship (my apt description of whoring out your mind to have it be {choose a special verb} by most-high-faith).

Before my birth, my God-Father (now a famous Texas Evangelist) had given prophecy of my life: I shall be a Psalmist, I will change and alter the landscape of how many view their faith. Although the Psalmist I recon do not fit, but surely I have taken many a minds - and shown them an alternative to irrational thought.

My tale is one that I'd rather not share completely... But happy i am that i have found reasonable doubts.
Hi Hardus - That sounds like a bizzare environment to grow up in mate. You've said you'd rather not talk any further on it, and respect for that, but maybe just a bit on how you turned it around?
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bonjour

Post  napoleon on Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:56 pm

Hi
I am from the Canadian bible bra: Alberta!
While completing my BA in religion and theology from a Christian university, I left Christianity (oops! that was probably the opposite of what they wanted to happen).
I am now a French teacher.

Thanks for the podcast and the community
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Re: Introductions:

Post  gorgardard on Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:54 pm

Wow, what are the chances that two Albertans would introduce themselves one after the other in this topic? Hi, Napoleon! What part of Alberta are you from?

I myself was born in Calgary to a relatively agnostic/athiest family(though my dad's side of the family are ethnically Ukranian Jewish, they haven't really practiced the religion for a few generations), but at the tender age of 3 we moved to the northern outpost of Peace River. (which is about 1500 km North of the US-Canada border) Much like other smaller towns, Christianity is fairly common. My parents were always open and taught me to think for myself, and choose what to believe for myself. Of course, I had plenty of friends and neighbours willing to invite me to church, youth groups and religious events, and I did attend some, but found that I could never accept these beliefs. There is a fairly large non-christian community here in Peace River, unfortunately they are largely hippies and "spiritual" leftists who practice New Age fusions of whatever parts of mysticism and eastern religion appeal to them, and believe in pseudoscience and "homeopathy" etc... There are some athiests/agnostics in town, but not that many...
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Re: Introductions:

Post  napoleon on Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:18 am

Hi gogardard...I live in Edmonton. Huh - I never knew Peace River had such a large hippy community
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Re: Introductions:

Post  zntneo on Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 am

Hello my name is Zach I am a 25-year-old college student in psychology.

I have a youtube video of my deconversion/coming out story that I did with my campus atheist group.


If you don't want to watch it and would rather have me just type it tell me

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Hello

Post  MonkeyGo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:29 am

Hi from Texas!
I've been listening to the show for about a year now and thought I'd drop by. I have a wonderful wife and three daughters. I've been an atheist for years now but have probably only started calling my self it for about a year and a half. Honestly, the main reason I came here tonight is a parody of the evolution text book stickers has been running around and I thought you guys would enjoy:
http://www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/textbookdisclaimers/
please realize that each sticker is diffrent before you get angry over the first one. I blew tea out my nose by the time I got to the second row.

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Re: Introductions:

Post  FromHongKongWithLove on Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:06 pm

Hi, from Hong Kong...(duh) but originally from the UK.

Have never been part of any religion and wasn't particularly interested until getting married/becoming a father. Feel it's definitely too important to ignore, especially with the family-in-law evangelicals knocking on our door.

Love the podcast, excellent stuff, keep it up!

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Hi!

Post  chowteam02 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:31 pm

Hello,

Am a big fan of the show and was encouraged to see it won its category in the podcast awards. Lifelong atheist and persuaded alternately by the hard-hitting Dawkins-Hitchens-Harris approach (want to jump up and high-five someone when one of them turns a particularly delicious phrase) to changing hearts and minds and you'll-never-win-them-thattaway types.

Jean
Oakland CA (hellooooooo - is there anybody out there in my neck of the woods???)
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Re: Introductions:

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