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Who or what was the most influential thing that brought you to who you are today?

By MikMor7one43
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The internet, Dr. Ray Hagins, seeing what was actually in the bible....

Realist9 Level 5 Nov 22, 2018

Culver Military Academy
U.S.Army aviation (Vietnam)
Finally, at 40 something, finding the right woman.


Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy"
A book that quite literally changed my life.


It's hard to rank the many influences that made me who I am today. In fact I don't think there's any one that would have done it by itself. I will say though that my professional life has been my most consistent anchor and source of hope and sense of progress in life. It has sustained me when relationships have failed for various reasons, and even at its low ebbs, it has never put the prospect of starvation or economic collapse on the table (although other factors in my life, such as the cost of experimental treatments for my late wife's illness, have diverted what it has provided -- but even that was something we at least had the option to pursue, even if it was ultimately unsuccessful).

Looking at the promises offered by religion, romance, and such like, I have to say that my professional life has by comparison really delivered. And that's ironic, because I started out disparaging and deemphasizing the value of that, and was confident that my various delusional beliefs were the real trump cards in my life.

mordant Level 8 Nov 22, 2018

My parents! Together, the smartest and wisest people I have ever known for a variety of reasons!

RiverRick Level 7 Nov 22, 2018



Parents that rejected the system..

Varn Level 8 Nov 22, 2018

My mothers love.
My father's dedication to higher education.
My algebra teacher in high school, Mr. Ramsey (ya dad'gum).
The US Army.
The process of getting a BSCE from UCF.
My girlfriend's suicide 7 years ago.
All the things that didn't kill me that made me stronger.
Finally accepting there is likely not a god.


All the adversity in my life. If I hadn't grown tired of all the hate I had I wouldn't be here today.
Still fighting their hate and telling them to "Piss Off". It's so freeing and liberating to be assertive!!!

MacTavish Level 7 Nov 22, 2018

When I was in my early 40s I red a book that changed my outlook how I blame myself for not doing/living my life the way my mother wanted me to. That was very freeing.

Jolanta Level 8 Nov 22, 2018

Growing up in the 70's. 3-13.

powder Level 8 Nov 22, 2018

The boyfriend who I lived with when I was 16 beat the living shit outta me. I became soooo much tougher and marched to the beat of my own drum after that. So to him I say Thanks arsehole, you did me a solid.

Sandy6767 Level 7 Nov 22, 2018

Addendum, not recommended for anyone else, just my story.


The death of my grandfather @57 yo when I was 17. That's when I stopped believing in God and my family started falling apart


I read the bible which is evidence enough against religion

Dirp84 Level 4 Nov 22, 2018

Hard question. I don't have a pat answer.

Many people have had a positive effect on my life. I learn from everyone I meet.


Interesting question! I’ve got a few candidates but I’ll go with a fella who picked myself and a mate up when we were hitchhiking aged 16. He had a little Morris Minor van with the tools in the back for his trade of cabinet maker.

He took us miles out of his way and listened to my religious views with interest, understanding and a spectacular lack of judgement. He then gently suggested there might be more I could find out and recommended some reading.

When he dropped us off we persuaded him to get a beer in the sun with us. I asked if he was any good with that guitar I’d seen in the back of the van and he said with an alarmingly down to earth manner that yes in fact, he was very good.

So obviously we asked him for a quick demo and he obliged. Well: it was like having a private and impromptu concert from Ralph McTell sitting at upside that pub. It was a beautiful handcrafted instrument produced in Ireland: will never forget it.

He changed my life completely though: he was the first person I’d met who truly understood my religious views but inspiringly didn’t share them. I credit him with starting my long climb out of the pit of religion.

Great read.

@Fernapple well you’d maybe know the location being a compatriot: we sat in the pub in Edale at the bottom of Kinder Scout: we were heading up there with packs and a tent for a couple of days.

I love that part of the world and the history: the illegal land invasion of Kinder Scout in 1932 resulted in the law being changed to recognise free access to open land. One for the people!

@OwlInASack I know it a bit yes, although I know Yorkshire better but it is all wonderful. Your story is great, a real trip to Damascus tale. My own drift away from religion was very slow, perhaps because I was never deeply into it in the first place, so I could not tell a story like that.

Great story. I've heard so many people tell similar tales of meeting their life's mentor, sometimes only for a few hours.
Mine was my writing partner Chris, possibly the wisest man I have ever known, who unfortunately died at the age of only 52, not a day goes by that I don't draw on one thing or another that he taught me, encouraged me in or helped me perfect. I was lucky enough to know him for 30 years as a friend guide and mentor.

@Fernapple I grew up in a cult so I was always going to end up being devout or pretty militant atheist...!

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