Who is CADman?
Hello to all of you that read "Goosing the Antithesis" blog! Franc invited me to post here and I must say that it is indeed an honor. I have enjoyed many articles written by Franc over the past year and he has helped me more in understanding the god concept than the professors I had in college.
I grew up in what most would consider a fundamental conservative Christian home. Our home was not a bunch of rabid fanatics but we did hold to many ideas that are contrary to science and sound reason. When I declared my atheism about two years ago it came is a huge shock and I am still feeling the repercussions today. My family and I are all generally kind in face-to-face conversation but the overall overtones are those of cool feelings and bitterness.
I went to college somewhat aimless but found friends who were more than happy to give me a direction - one that I really didn't fit into well. While in school I became part of the charismatic movement and cast demons out of people, buildings and just about anything else that God revealed to us where demons were lurking. I saw people with bone breaks healed and basked in the light of the Holy Spirit. Over time I began seeing that this was really a bunch of emotionally driven garbage and decided that my original upbringing would probably be a good place to head back to.
I earned a BS in educational ministries - really a glorified liberal arts degree with a ministry twist. I wanted a BS in bible and religion but did not want to spend the extra cash and time when I no longer sensed a call for ministry. With a four-year degree under my belt I moved on to greener pastures.
My wife and I were married a year later and we moved to South Bend Indiana. She hoped to get her masters but what happened was that I began to have a kind of "age of reason" in my own mind. I began having strange ideas like "a mind is the only thing that a man has that no one can take away from him." Essentially it was the start of my own reasoning autonomy instead of church dogma. I also began understanding my own objective view of morality as based in long-range goal oriented action. I saw values such as kids in the near future and a means of sustaining them as values I wished to achieve and planned a way to take care of them. Essentially I grew tired of waiting for God to come out of the blue and answer my prayers and I began making my own way in life.
A few years later my wife and I connected to the evil internet and it was at this time that my life truly began growing.... growing away from the faith. I began studying Judaism and their conceptions of God. I enjoyed what I considered a clearer picture of the divine but what began changing my mind were certain catch phrases I learned from Judaism. The fact that faith and actions (commandments) are synonymous and law and freedom are also synonymous. Truth, love, righteousness, ways, paths etc all connected to the Torah which allowed me to read some of Jesus' words in a new light and also parts of James became much more Jewish in flavor.
I then found Jewish Christian groups that put a whole new spin on the New Testament. I began seeing all kinds of Gentile corruptions of Jewish ideas and it was then that I realized the Christianity could not have been the religion of Jesus. But as I grew to know more about Judaism I then began searching out Jewish sites that are basically counter missionary organizations. It was then that I realized that the claims of even the Jewish Christian groups are not Jewish either.
I dumped this in favor of becoming a Jewish proselyte. In all of my wandering away from Christianity it was my goal to know what God wanted - his truth, his ways. I continued to learn but then began to wonder why I should hold Judaism in special favor as I had done with Christianity. It was then that I realized that all religions were pretty much the same in the sense that they rely on gaps in knowledge - and even when gaps don't exist the knowledge is interpreted in ways to fit their own dogmatic ideas. It was here that I made a break with religion and began searching out a viable alternative to religion.
The book that pointed me in the direction of what is called objectivism was George Smith's "The Case Against God." His book made it clear for the first time that the quest for God is hopeless - in fact one can't even begin due to the non-cognitive nature of the term. He mentioned Ayn Rand and a rational ethical system. I am not a Randist but I do embrace a lot of objectivism's ideas - I would rather label myself as a conceptualist. I continue to learn today and am happy... enjoying the life that I have - living free from religious dogmatic superstition.
That's who CADman is in a nutshell.