Hello all
#1
A big hi to every one of my fellow rationalists.

My name is Srinivas Kowtal. I am 32 years old and have lived all my life in Bangalore. I work for Texas Instruments. I have been an atheist for almost 18 years now. In all these years I always wished that I could meet more people who share my views and exchange opinions. I finally got to know about Nirmukta via an article posted on Pharyngula.

I am glad to know that a community exists in India and Bangalore with whom I can interact.

I hope to get to know you guys well.

By the way, when is the next meeting in Bangalore? Who can I contact to get to know more information about the meeting.

Regards
Srini

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. - Christopher Hitchens
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#2
Hi Srini,

Nice to e-meet you. The Bangalore group meets once a month (second Sunday of the month). We are skipping this month because we are organizing a workshop for freethinkers on 19th and 20th of Feb. It will be great if you can register for the workshop -- you can meet several fellow freethinkers there. Please visit http://yukti.nirmukta.com to register for the workshop.

I will send out a private message to you with my phone number etc.

Cheers,
-Pankaj

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#3
welcome srini. so how did you become an atheist that young?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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#4
Hi Srini

I work at ADI and have a lot of friends inside TI too smile. Welcome on board!
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#5
(07-Feb-2011, 01:56 PM)mohankarthik Wrote: Hi Srini

I work at ADI and have a lot of friends inside TI too smile. Welcome on board!

Hi,

MohanKarthik,

Who else do you know in TI. I am part of the WTBU {OMAP4 Multimedia} division.

AstroKid,

My journey to atheism was a long one. It happed due to many reasons.

I was born in a brahmin family. My parents are very orthodox and religious. They observe all the hindu rights and ceremonies. They also made me and my siblings part of the rituals since the earliest time I can remember. However, they never put the "Fear of God" into us. That helped me question lot of things with out being afraid. I think the fear of god is what keeps many people from questioning their faith.

I have never accepted anything just because my elders told me so. I have always questioned things. Also, I have been a voracious reader, since I was very young. By the time I was about 12, I had read most of the Hindu religious/mythology books. I constantly asked my parents questions on why so many fantastic things used to happen in the earlier times but not now. The standard answer was that we are now living in the Kali Yuga, the age of decadence, and God will appear only after the pot of sins of humanity flows over and Pralaya occurs and the earth is cleansed of most of humanity. I was horrified to hear that God can be so apathetic and let so many people die. Further more, based on my understanding of God at that time, I asked if this is the age of decadence, it made more sense for God to appear now and show the right path to humanity. But I never got a satisfactory answer to my questions.

Starting from my 8th standard, I started going more often to the government library that was close to my home, and started reading about the world history including about other religions. One thing that became apparent to me was that I was a hindu by chance due to the place of my birth. I could as easily have been a Christian if I had been born in US or a Muslim if I had been born in any of the middle earstern countries. Once you get to know more about all the religions that have been part of the human history, the question of which religion is the right one arises naturally. I thought about this question over couple of years and by the time I was in my 10th standard I was convinced that none of them are right. It is more likely that all the religions are made up by people. Further more the barbaric things that were done in then name of God didnt help the case either.

Another big question I had was where all the things in this universe come from. The answers I got from various people boiled down to "God did it". My next question to my parents was "Where did God come from?". And the standard answer was that "there is no aadi or antya to god". But this struck to me as very illogical. I felt that if God can create the universe, he must necessarily be more complex than the universe. So I felt that it is far better to have the belief that universe it self doesn't have beginning or end instead of creating one more level of abstraction.

So, by the time I was out of high school I was like 80% atheist. Since then the more I have read and thought about the issue more atheistic I have become. In the true spirit of rationalist tradition, I cannot claim with 100% certainity that there is no God. But I believe it is far more likely that there is no God. I guess I would rate my self a 6 on the scale of 7 that Richard Dawkins describes in his book The God Delusion.

There are many other things which went into shaping my beliefs. But I think I have captured some of the important ones above.

Regards
Srini
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#6
interesting. Those public libraries are indeed very useful, huh? you just need to read religious books to lose your religion LOL
I too broadened my horizons significantly after reading world history. the very realization that there are so many other peoples/cultures out there, and so much has happened/evolved in past generations to each of them, makes you realize that you are just one more and nothing unique about your belief system.
I am just noticing that there are so many independent ways to reach atheism.. study any of a wide variety of natural sciences and you can tell that religious claims are bumkum. study history.. same result.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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