Hey Kevin, for what it's worth.. here are my stats:
----- Original Message -----
From: Kevin Grishkot <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Date: Sat, 6 Feb[masked]:24:49 -0500
Subject: [atheists-55] Web content question(s)
> So, I was thinking, (never a good thing), in order to give us an accurate profile, I need some background info. So here goes.
> 1. What does everyone do for a living? I know we come from all walks of life, but I'd just like to know officially.
Professional web developer working primarily with PHP and MySQL but done enough with other things to fake my way through fixes and changes.
> 2. Who, and how many, of us have abandoned religion?
I was raised Catholic, but not very strongly. My grandmother is pretty devoted to the church, but not preachy and not too big on the Bible thumping. I went to Sunday school and had my first communion, but never got 'confirmed. I was essentially given a choice (not even asked, but if I had said I wanted to do it, it would have been accepted) if I wanted to be confirmed, but I remember thinking even back then (9th grade?) that I didn't see the point.
I called myself 'agnostic' early on (maybe middle school years.. maybe high school) because I "just didn't know". In other words, I didn't feel like I had an answer to "is there a God" so called myself agnostic. Not long out of high school, I switched to 'atheist' because I realized that while I didn't know, I also didn't believe in some cosmic puppetmaster or sentient entity that controlled us and/or made everything in the universe but had no origin story of their own. So while I still "don't know", I believe there is no supreme being or beings so that seems to make me an atheist.
The shot answer to the question is that I never abandoned religion because I never had it in the first place. Childish unawareness turned to teenage apathy turned to adult concious understanding of what I never believed in.
> 3. What fallout from abandoning religion have we faced?
I've never had a direct discussion with any of my family members, but some of them have expressed a lack of belief as well, without using any labels. Some may hope there's a supreme being and a Heaven and all that, but don't don't seem to do more than go through the motions when it comes ot saying 'grace' and other little stuff at family gatherings and the weddings and such that may be church centric.
Out of my Mom and her 4 siblings, one is a "may actually go to church" type, one is a "definitely goes to church" type since he had some hard timse and refound religion as part of his rehabilitation. He's not a thumper, but could be possibly, if the topic came up and the issue was forced.
> 4. How long ago, or at what age, did you walk away?
I never remember believing in God.. or Santa Claus for that matter, but there may have been a time. But probably in middle school (around 13-16ish?) I probably started calling myself agnostic. I don' remember calling myself anything before that.
> 5. What level of education do you have?
High school, some college, a TON of self taught tech skills. I rode the .COM wave and the subsequent tech boom after that. Education wasn't as important as skills. The "high school dropout with piercings, tattoos and long hair" type of tech was in vogue and taken seriously, so I saved a few thousand dollars by not finishing college. I consider myself to have a college style education, though.
> 6. City or country?
Annapolis, MD (USA of course)
> 7. What hobbies do you have?
Movies and TV and video games, for inside enjoyment, biking and hiking and camping for outside enjoyment (I'm a tech nerd, but love the outdoors as well). I actually program for fun as well. I have so many projects and ideas, I'm wondering if I'll ever get around to finishing half of them. hah
> 8. Are you raising kids? If so, are you raising them secular or just not mentioning it?
No kids and no real plan to have any. I'm 37 years old and still haven't reached a plateau where I feel I could give kids the attention they need (for 18 years) without sacrificing all the things I still want to do with my life. Selfish, but reasonable I think.
> 9. What is your vision for GBAC?
No real vision.. just lurking and interjecting when I see something worth contributing to.