About Me

Name: Fabio
DoB: 23/04/87
Nationality: Italian
Profession: Student
Philosophical leanings:
 Strong Atheist
 Scientific Humanist

Welcome to my Bio. Hopefully you're here because you took an interest in the ramblings I fill this blog with. Maybe you're an atheist, just like me, or somewhere on the fence, and wish to know more about a fellow unbeliever; or maybe you're a gods-fearing person who takes great pride in that and all you wish is to give the enemy a face. Either way, stick around. Might be interesting.

How do you become an atheist in Italy?

Much the same way people turn to atheism in other countries, I suppose. Living next door to the last absolute monarchy in Europe does nothing but provide people with even more reasons to be disillusioned and dissatisfied. I suppose it's true, though, that the Vatican's influence still prevents a strong and influential atheist movement from forming in Italy. It's not so much that those who profess themselves to be believers do so out of true conviction. In fact, most "Catholics" in Italy are such out of mere family tradition. Most of them, however sceptical of religious folklore, fail to see an alternative because of the social stigma that still comes with publicly acknowledging one's lack of belief. I am merely one of the few who have decided not to live a lie. 

How did you become one?

I suspect the experience of growing up surrounded by mindless superstition and the ridiculous - yet dominant - mix of Christian-Pagan folklore would have affected me a lot more, had I not been lucky enough to be born to more rationally-inclined parents than the Italian average. Marginally Catholic by name and tradition only, they have always lacked the necessary religious conviction and had too much common sense to successfully indoctrinate a child in any significant way. So I grew up in a modern household, surrounded by popular science books for kids and my mum's English books and tapes. In retrospect my familiarity with the English language proved paramount in my evolution as a person. I was able to feed off the primary sources of the atheist-theist debate online and abroad from around the age of 14, years before they became widely available in my homeland, and by they were I was already a convinced atheist. Philosophy, biology, physics, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, history, politics; just about every new notion I acquired did nothing but convince me of two things. The idea of a deity is fundamentally incompatible with everything we know about reality and, even if that were not the case, no religion ever devised by humanity would ever rise above the level of superstitious dogma.

I bet there's more.

In a sense. My lack of faith pre-dates my discovery of such a formal position as "atheism." While receiving the same religious indoctrination - kindly provided by the Italian Ministry of Education under gentle Vatican prodding - as all other kids of my generation, I think my personal circumstances shaped my early years in a key way. Having been born with a form of Spina bifida and having to face disability's hardships as a child led me to eventually develop my very personal version of the Problem of Evil. No matter how many times I was told that an infinitely loving deity was always watching over me, I could never reconcile my personal situation with the notion of a benevolent god. Growing up and learning about the state of the world only made that clearer, and no amount of theological straw-clutching or "original sin" nonsense from apologists could convince me to give mythology precedence over reality. Far from it. Being told that my health condition, and the nightmarish few years my parents had to go through as a consequence, were the result of some originally sinful action perpetuated by alleged, very distant ancestors in a situation that, even to a child's mind, appeared like an obvious setup, wasn't simply ridiculous. It was downright insulting. I must admit that my confidence in adults was severely shaken by the realisation that so many among them actually bought into the talking-snake story. Then a few years ago my maternal grandmother started displaying the first symptoms of dementia. Seeing her progressively robbed of herself by a process that betrays all the astonishingly lack of design in this universe provided all the confirmation I needed - if I needed any - that faith in the metaphysical is only a departure from reality.