My Aha! Moments  

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Exterminator started this (as he often does) with a comment about aha! moments.

I’m always struck with the fact that there must have been an aha! moment, an unexpected insight, a sudden flash, that undermines their entire worldview
EnoNomi followed up with a full post titled Looking for That A-Ha Moment, which made me think about my own aha! moments now all week.

And it turns out that I can remember several. These were the ones that really got me thinking and in the end changed my world view.

1) In fourth grade we studied the history of the church and I learned about the development of the New Testament canon. This was in a Christian school, so it was a sanitized version, but it always kind of bothered me that canon was decided by people and conflicting texts were destroyed.

2) My fiance in college explained to me that even though he wanted to believe like he did as a child he couldn't force himself to have faith.

3) I took a class in college on the religions of the Mediterranean. After reading the Eridu Genesis, Enuma Elish, and The Epic of Gilgamesh, which had myths similar to the Bible, I began to question whether the world views of those cultures were incorporated into the Old Testament.

4) As I was sitting in church at my niece's funeral listening to the preacher talk about how she had gone on to a better world all I could think of was that Christianity was a death cult, created to give us comfort as our loved ones died.

5) I asked a friend of mine who believed in magic what the difference was between coincidence and magic and he said there wasn't any. Then he went on to explain how coincidence was magic. I was shocked. I thought to myself, if magic is no more than random chance, what's the point?

And that pretty much chronicles my transition from Christian, to deist, to spiritualist, to atheist.

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4 comments: to “ My Aha! Moments

  • The Exterminator
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 11:03:00 AM CST  

    I took a class in college on the religions of the Mediterranean. After reading the Eridu Genesis, Enuma Elish, and The Epic of Gilgamesh, which had myths similar to the Bible, I began to question whether the world views of those cultures were incorporated into the Old Testament.

    More people would have that kind of aha! moment if professors and textbook publishers were honest. Many years ago, shortly after Gilgamesh was written, when I was in college, I took a similar course. The aim was to examine, comparatively, a number of ancient civilizations, their cultures, and their gods. When we came to the Hebrews, the textbook suddenly started capitalizing the g and omitted the qualifier "their." The teacher, too, neglected to use that qualifier. After suffering through about ten minutes of a lecture one day, I raised my hand, was called on, and announced my annoyance. The professor, to her credit, said that it was the first time anyone had ever objected, and that she agreed. From then on, at least in my class, the Hebrew god was their god and the word began with a lowercase g when written on the board or a handout. Interestingly, no one complained about that.

  • John Evo
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 5:49:00 PM CST  

    I believe religion should be actively taught in schools. COMPARITIVE religion, that is. Once you become familiar with the various mythologies of every culture that has ever existed, it really does put Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. into a context that even an idiot could understand.

    Hey, I don't care if atheists are brighter than others. I think they are right now, for good reason. But if we ever get to a point where most people are not believers in the supernatural, there are still going to be the same amount of really stupid people. At least they won't be stupid on that ONE TOPIC!

  • the chaplain
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 6:29:00 PM CST  

    I took a comparative religions class in high school and loved it. But, it was an elective and very few people took it.

    I think meaningful comparative religions subject matter would have to be integrated in a range of subjects, such as literature, history, etc. It would also have to start in elementary school and go right through high school.

    Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) Christianity would have to lose its privileged position and be subject to the same type of scrutiny as other beliefs. And we all know that, in the current US political/religious climate, that ain't gonna go down easy. Still, it'd be worth the fight.

  • Vistaluna
    Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 3:47:00 PM CST  

    The most powerful "Aha" moment I remember was when I was about 3 years old and I had just learned the difference between "left" and "right".

    I was standing by a swimming pool thinking "The pool is on my left". And then I turned the other way, and I realized the pool was now on my RIGHT!

    How is it possible that my left hand is always left, up is always up, down is always down, but the pool changes from left to right as I turn around!??!

    I was stunned. I was a weird little kid who would fixate on concepts. But I really think that moment planted some kind of seed of "relativism" in me at an early age. :)

 

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