Name: Adam Lee.
Where I live: New York City.
Where and when I was born: New York City, March 13, 1982.
Family: A mother, a father and a younger brother, all freethinkers. Godlessness, I’m happy to say, runs in my family! I’ve also been married for just over a year to my wonderful wife, Elizabeth, an ex-Roman Catholic turned Unitarian Universalist.
Education: A bachelor’s degree in computer science from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a master’s in computer science from Columbia University, plus as much reading as I can fit into my spare time.
Occupation: Software engineer for a major New York technology firm.
How I got where I am today: I’ve been a voracious reader all my life, which laid the seeds of my atheism. When I was a kid, I especially loved Greek and Roman myths. At the time it was just because they were great stories, but in retrospect they primed me to recognize the similar stories in the bible as equally mythological when I encountered them.
Thankfully, my parents chose to raise me without religion and let me make up my own mind, for which I’ll always be grateful to them.
Where I’m headed: My lifelong ambition is to be an author, and with a little luck, I hope to realize it someday soon. My goal is to write novels and also (especially) books arguing for freethought and making the case for atheism as a positive worldview.
Person in history I admire and why: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who defied family, clan, culture and religion — the entire universe of her society aligned against her, all teaching that a woman’s role is to be a pious, obedient slave — to assert her rights as a woman and a human being.
She retraced the span of human progress in one lifetime, from the daughter of nomadic herders to an elected leadership position in a modern, secular democracy.
A quotation I like: “We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” (Epitaph of two amateur astronomers, John and Phoebe Brashear, quoted in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.)
These are a few of my favorite things: The boundless beauty of nature. Finding fellow freethinkers whose ideas resonate with my own, especially those who’ve had the courage to reject harsh and oppressive religious upbringings. Reading a poem or a story and finding that one perfect image that sends shivers down your spine. Reading nonfiction and finding an argument so concise, so eloquent, so compelling that all I can think is, “I wish I had written that!”
And, I have to confess, I love cathedrals. I can’t help admiring the craftsmanship, the colors of light in stained glass, and the vast, lofty spaces — even if I think the beliefs of the builders were complete nonsense.
These are not: Racism, sexism and prejudice of all varieties, especially the subtle kinds. Bullies who flaunt their power by persecuting the defenseless.
Anyone who’s content in ignorance. Any person or idea that claims an authority not earned by its own merit.
My doubts about religion started: In my first year of college, when I found out that a good friend of mine was an evangelical Christian and a creationist and thought I was going to hell. The shock of hearing this from someone I respected was enough to send me on a quest to investigate which, if any, of the world’s religions had the facts to prove its beliefs were right. As it turned out, I discovered that they were all wrong.
Why I’m a freethinker: Because the world needs as many of them as it can get!
Ways I promote freethought: Aside from writing (usually outraged, sometimes complimentary) letters to politicians and media, I spend a great deal of time blogging for my own website, Daylight Atheism (daylightatheism.org).
I’ve also recently joined the speakers’ bureau of the Secular Student Alliance, an excellent organization which nurtures and supports young freethinkers in colleges and high schools throughout the nation.
And, of course, I’m an FFRF Lifetime Member and happy to support the superb work FFRF does!
Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.
Meet one very nonbiblical Adam
Name: Adam Lee.