My close friends could not believe I was once an atheist. It all happened when I was in university. Even today I still could not figure out how I winded up being accept to study at our national university, where I never paid any tuition fees. If there is one thing we really really thank the Americans for, it is that they gave us education. My university was established by them and almost all of the professors there have been trained in some American university somewhere in USA.
In my first year I was undecided if I would major in physics or mathematics or switch to engineering since my father and his brother are engineers. Since I was good in algebra, I picked on mathematics. However, in that system, you are given lots of elective subjects. So in a way, they want you to pick a major and a minor. I was becoming philosophical so I picked on philosophical subjects as my minor. It was because I was becoming sceptical about life. Life was becoming absurd and meaningless to me. This scepticism grew and I found myself being sceptical about God too, not to mention that I was reading the works of existentialist philosophers which added fuel to the fire. So I started denying God. At that time, I was in the school's philosophy club wherein there were only two kinds of people - agnostics and atheists. I was on the second group. I was like this up until in my last year.
One early morning I was waiting for my lecture so I sat outside a cafeteria where there were trees and seats. I sat under one of them. It was quiet, I remember looking on my left staring at the ground with these thoughts - "What is life? what is this for? So you are born, you grow, you go to college, get a career, get married, have children, grow old, you retire and then you die. What is up with that? What is the sense of that"?
I was also taking mathematical physics and for some reason, my prof one day decided to show us slides of the universe, the nebulas and the galaxies. They were very pretty pictures. That kinda impressed me of its beauty.
So again, one morning same scenario, seating under the trees. But this time as I waited for my class I started staring up at the trees in front of me, how they swayed with the breeze and since it was still morning, the moon was there in the background. Then these thoughts - "it can not be that these stuff just simply happened. It cannot be that they simply happened by accident of nature, it is just too suspicious to have this randomly happened. I could not believe there is no God who created these stuff".
From then I posited that there must be a God. But you know, when I said that - I became terrified, because if there is a personal God, I know for sure I do not know him and I am absolutely lost. Not knowing him is synonymous to me as being lost.
What happened to me? I guess what happened was that I became sceptical of the things I was sceptical about. I think at that point I became an honest atheist - honestly recognizing there must be God. Though I was terrified at my conclusion since I did not know who this God was, the solution for me was not to deny him so I can drown my fears of him, I felt the solution was to find him. He certainly was not the one lost, it was me instead.
So I went to the library and borrowed books about religious beliefs. I worked on reading Confucius, the Budha, and Taoism. I remember I borrowed so many books, I had stacks of them my two hands were not enough to hold them. None of these satisfied my inquiry. I can tell you why in another post. This is another story.
Here is a thought though: I would love to see Richard Dawkins debate Antony Flew.