This weblog is some kind of megaphone for me, a single Iranian ex-Muslim atheist. I thought I could use it to tell the story and amplify the voice of other Iranian ex-Muslims, so from now on I’m going to interview some Iranian atheists anonymously and ask them to tell their story. This is the second one, Shayan, one of my best friends. Here you can read the first one.
Let’s begin by hearing your deconversion story.
When I was a teenager I studied a lot. I I had not heard of people like Dawkins or others like him all over the world when I lost my faith. I think that’s all i have to say on this.
So you had not heard of any famous atheists. Did you know any atheists in real life? I remember thinking I’m an only atheist in the world and it made me feel incredibly alone. How was your experience? Did it make you feel alone and ostracized, or did you not care?
Everything, or most things, start in me strong. Because I feel strong about these things. Intellect is important for me, and having faith or lacking it directly pertains to our intellect, so yes, it started strong, but it has certainly evolved in many layers and aspects with time. Also I think it needed to be strong, because it is definitely difficult to become an atheist in Iran, even if you enjoy confronting people. The powers of family, society and all its mechanisms, and the government are all against you.
s it a major part of who you are?
Atheism as a + theism, meaning lack of faith, a negative concept, is very important to me. This lack opens up space for other experiences and opens up new horizons that you may never be able to access with a god on your back.
You are right, atheism is certainly also a reaction to the things going on in our society. I think many people get the bravery and courage needed for defying religion by virtue of an anger that is brought about by suppression.
How “out” generally are you as an atheist?
And I guess you have deconverted many people yourself. I have as well.