Birth of a Skeptic

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Skeptic

I was, what one would consider, a typical British Pakistani Muslim boy. I had periods where I would be deeply religious – pray Namaz, read the Quran, thank God at every opportunity, not eat Haram food or drink, everything a good Muslim boy should do, but I was also a skeptic. Not a skeptic of religion, not till I was about 26 anyway, no. I was skeptic of anything supernatural. I had a hard time believing in ghosts, the paranormal, and invincible forces that had a mind of their own. To me, this was all rediculous superstition. There had to be a better explaination as to why cars roll “up-hill” at a forest in Essex when left in neutral than “supernatural forces are at work”; or why a person gets possessed by the devil and starts making strange noises, contorting their body in what might seem impossible postures. I’ve never believed in such stories when friends and cousins got together and started sharing anectodes of such events which may or may not have transpired in their own personal lives, or in someone else’s whom they knew. There were better, more plausable explainations available and I always looked for those – and found them, 100% of the time.

I remember when I was about 10 and in Pakistan, the kids and teenagers on my street would congregate outside their houses playing cricket, or just having chats. They were all convinced that one house further down our street was haunted and the shadow on the balcony could not be anything but a ‘jin’ (a ghost). I, however, thought differently. I knew there was a better explanation to this so instead of staring at the shadowy figure from a distance and wondering in ignorance, I went forward and investigated it. Turned out to be a metallic bucket with a mop casting shadow on the wall behind. Like I said; always a skeptic.

When it came to religion, I never applied the same logic and skepticism. It was only after years of doubt and self reflection that I realised that religion, like with everything else, is not exempt from criticism, and we must respond to its claims of the supernatural and its suspension of the laws of physics with the same degree of skepticism and credulity.

It was with this, that I started this blog. To explain my deconversion and acceptance of science, logic, critical thinking and reasoning.

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