One year before I left school I decided to become an atheist. This was an unusual decision since I still believed in God.
However, my mind worked in an unusual way. I had reached an age where I was beginning to scientifically test my hypotheses. I set out to spend a year trying to think like an atheist. I figured that if God and my belief were both real then, no matter how hard I would try to think like an atheist, the truth would always find ways to reassert itself. So I tried.
It was a very cheeky thing to do. As an adult I wouldn't do such a thing. I would think it came under the heading of 'thou shalt not tempt God'. However, I was still only 14 and I 'thought as a child' so I tested the hypothesis.
A year later, as I was leaving school at 15, I resumed my religious belief almost as if nothing had changed. In reality something had changed. I had gained a few different perspectives on things. I had thought seriously about various different religions and philosophies. And I had begun to develop my own individualistic way of working with ideas.
I also tested the hypothosis that fairies, leprechauns or pixies might be found under bluebells. I went walking over the North Downs in Surrey, looking under bluebells for evidence of the wee folk. I figured I couldn't really disbelieve in something until I'd actually disproved it.
I began to write immature attempts at science fiction and I spent large amounts of time drawing. I drew various comic book superheroes and re-drew some comic pages by artists I admired.
I sent some of my work to DC Comics in New York and they returned the package with a very encouraging letter. They told me I did have talent but needed more experience. They also said they'd be happy to see more of my work anytime. It was one of the most encouraging things anybody had ever said to me.
I left school and went to my new job as an office boy at Rupert Murdoch's 'News Ltd of Australia'.
To read the rest of this chapter go to the main book site at: http://how-i-came-to-be.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-i-came-to-be-dangerous-subversive.html
(This is a chapter from my book: 'How I Came To Be' which is published on the internet under a Creative Commons 3.0 licence - It may only be copied for non-commercial purposes. Any copies must carry the author attribution (written by Peter-David Smith) and there must be no derivitives. As long as these rules are followed the work may be non-commercially distributed. I would appreciate a message being left here at my blog to inform me when the writings are being used elsewhere. And the same applies to all my blog entries. Thanks).