My journey went the other way around, and I came full circle back to being an Atheist. I feel so much more relieved finally realizing there is no god because thinking there is an all-powerful being up there that allows all this suffering happen on our tiny little planet is a very scary, and very sad, thought.
If you’ve not heard of Jennifer Fulwiler, you should get acquainted. She is a sharp, witty, young wife and mother from Austin, Texas. She is also an ex-atheist. The story of her journey from strong unbeliever to passionate believer is a great example of the intellectual struggle that is experienced by everyone who seriously grapples with the God question.
In addition to the video above, check out an expanded version of her story on her blog, Conversion Diary. She offers this analogy for her atheist friends who insist there’s not sufficient proof for the existence of God:
If you are standing back and waiting for the data alone to convince you that God exists, that’s like holding a piece of litmus paper above a solution but never dipping it in. You can have a complete understanding of how the hydrogen atoms in the liquid would potentially interact with the dye…
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Years ago, I was teaching a preschool class where the topic was the letter g and, wearily holding up the alphabet card, I asked the group of 20 if they remembered the letter, not really expecting an answer. “G,” came a little voice, and when I turned to see who it belonged to, I almost tipped over from shock. It was Josh, a special education student who had been a crack baby and on whom – I hate to admit – I had just about given up.
From that point, I stopped seeing myself as a glorified babysitter and by the end of the year, Josh was reading and more advanced than the rest of his peers, including the two-thirds of the class that made up the general ed population.
Josh had been a champion napper and in the following years I noticed that those kids who were the best sleepers were also the best learners. I chalked this up to coincidence until recently. Research now shows that during sleep, especially the REM variety, short-term memories are transferred into long-term. This also makes way for new memories, which means catching a snooze is important not only after learning but before-hand as well. Studies show sleep helps in learning whether you’re a college student, a senior citizen or a fruit fly.
Naps wipe the brain’s memory slate clean, a new sleep study says http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/02/100222-sleep-naps-brain-memories/