As a child I have little memorable recollection until my Mother remarried in 1964 (I was twelve). Both my mother and step dad were previously married and both had children with those marriages, but with enough money and the proper paperwork they were allowed to remain catholic. Of course all this was arranged by bureaucrats in god’s name. I do not care what anyone chooses to believe as long as it doesn’t impact me personally (any more). I have never been overly concerned with what other people think because it was difficult enough for me to make my own mind up and I supposed they were busy making theirs up too. These life commitments (atheist or theist) should not come lightly nor should they be based on hearsay. I was raised and baptized catholic before I could spell my name so I had no choice in the matter. Even went to a catholic ‘institution’ for several years to no avail as it turned out. I was one of those kids that found the basics of life very simple and because my parents had other concerns, I didn’t try very hard at life until I got to the 9th grade and met the two most wonderful teachers ever (IMO). My algebra teacher somehow convinced me that math was important and how to play chess. My US government teacher was an ancient human being and as obnoxious as I was, she took me under her wing and well we developed a close rapport and somehow bonded and it changed my life, not exactly sure how. Spent a stretch in juvi (for running away from my catholic inquisitors’ hahaha) and was still smart enough to completely bypass the 5th grade … system outsmarted by a ten year old, got to love it (another story though). Eventually we moved to (many different places) Georgia where my parents became born again christians of the southern baptist type and of course I did too (teenage options???). God didn’t seem to bring much into my life besides a drunken mess as good as most I suppose. I joined the USN in 1970 and discharged in 1979 as a first class electronics tech and a nuclear reactor operator. Life was good and I abused is well as I could without a concrete direction. Geese there are some amazing stories I could relate but at this point in my life, they probably wouldn’t be proper in a relaxed forum. When I was ~45 yo, I decided to figure out a thing or two for myself, things that had bothered me for a long time. I decided to find god and so I read the bible. Then I read it again and started making comparisons and so on. I do not read Greek or Latin so all my decisions had to be made in English. Well I am not much besides a layperson with a fundamental and practical education (they did that back in the day) and I chose to commit to reason and things I could actually understand and comprehend. I decided I was intelligent enough to make my own mind up especially on things that concerned well everything. I am not an elitist, a PhD or a scholar nay just a concerned individual who values the perception of proof, especially for extraordinary claims. In short, I discovered that people should put up or shut up. Abject belief in anything is nothing else besides belief which is based on nothing at all besides hearsay; he said she said he said etc. If you have proof or evidence you don’t need faith or belief because you have proof and evidence. If you do not have proof or evidence, then you have to have faith to force yourself to believe what only children could believe otherwise.