That’s me, I’m Dave. Then again, this blog is not supposed to be about me. In fact I hope to have multiple regular contributors who are not necessarily also named Dave. First and foremost of those contributors is my wonderful and beautiful wife, Holly. Despite this blog being about atheism, religion, science, philanthropy, and a cornucopia of other subjects I have decided to name it after myself and my atheism and so think my readers ought to know at least a little bit about me. That said, this first post will be my attempt at giving a brief history lesson about myself, as I hope all of our contributors will introduce themselves before getting into any “heavy posting.”
Without giving away too much incriminating information, I live smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt, in one of the most conservative, religious counties in Texas. Though not born here (I am happy to say I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a mere 80 miles from the home of the Freedom From Religion Foundation), this is where I have spent the majority of my life. I grew up here with my mother, a Catholic, and my father, a Baptist.
I was baptized as an infant at a Catholic church; after moving to Texas I regularly attended Catholic Mass with my mother and brother, received my First Communion, and was Confirmed while still young. I’m hesitant to say I really was a believer back then since children don’t have that great a concept of life, the universe, and everything, but I think I may have been. In any case, within about five years of my Confirmation I was an atheist.
What led to my atheism? It could have been a number of things, and I think all of us atheists can relate in some way to what I was feeling as an adolescent. First, there were all the fossils. Fortunately I hadn’t been indoctrinated yet to the point where I would shut my eyes and ears to what we rational thinkers can see as outright evidence that the creation story did not happen. I was fascinated by dinosaurs, like any child, and I took the initiative to learn as much as I could about them. That’s where my knowledge of fossil evidence came from. So now I knew that one of the most important stories in the entire Bible (Genesis) was an outright falsity. That, coupled with the unlikelihood of the Noah’s Ark story, made me highly skeptical.
Second was probably God himself. Without having ever heard of Epicurus, I was already having some very Epicurean thoughts in my early teens:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
God, in all his supremacy, still allows life to be lost, crimes to be committed, tears to be shed, and hearts to be broken. God in the Bible was constantly smiting people, burning entire cities, commanding people to rape and murder, and condoning slavery. A “perfect” god did not make any logical sense to me.
And so I realized none of it made sense. And so that’s me.