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John S.


Denver, CO

Member since:

April 26, 2012

What factors influenced you to emerge as a non-believer in a believing society?

When I was very young, in the third grade to be specific, I was outside playing, when I had the realization that religion was something that people made up to explain the world around them that they did not understand. It hit me like a thunderbolt it was so profound a thought!. The next day in the religion class (Catholic school) a student made a similar statement to the nun who was teaching the class. She was very gentle with the student, but it was clear that you didn't say things like that. I went underground after that. To me scientific explanations made more sense. My parents were somewhat religious, but were also superstitious. I took the counterpoint position to all of this belief in the paranormal and other junk. I tried to make religion work, but by the time I graduated from high school I didn't really believe in any of it. In college I was "agnostic". Today, if you ask me I am "non religious".

What do you hope to get out of this group?

Connections with other like-minded individuals.

What do you feel you can offer the group?

Another point of view. I don't think that we should be opposed to religion per se. What we really should support is freedom of religion as it exists in the US. I would call that American Secularism. When the original colonies were formed, they were havens for different religious groups. The notion of the secular as the common meeting ground of all people is what the US brings to the table. No state religion, no recognition of titles of nobility (no divine right of kings), class mobility, and a breakdown of the stratification of society. all of these are necessary for the American concept of freedom to be realized. We definitely must oppose the attempts by certain groups to sneak religion into the classroom via junk science such as creationism and intelligent design. That is not opposition to relgion, but opposition to junk science.


Hi, I am John Stockwell. I am a research associate in the Department of Geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines.

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