Taneka Aristidou

tanekaName & Location
Taneka Aristidou, Kent

How long have you considered yourself an Atheist?
I have only been an Atheist for about 4 years. I always questioned religion but was afraid to take the step. I finally made the step to rejecting it all and acknowledging my atheism my junior year of college. It was very liberating!

How do you prefer to describe your non-belief?
I describe myself as a positive atheist and a naturalist. Since I am a scientist I put more trust and hope on evidence, science and what is experimentally verifiable.

Can you describe a personal event or discovery that had a major influence on your non-beliefs?
Well I was at church one day and the pastor got up and closed his eyes lifting his hands to the sky and said, “I just heard from God that 5 people are going to give $1000!” He proceeded to guilt people into giving this money. Surprisingly 5 people did get up and give the money. All checks except one bounced. All I could think about was, who the idiot was whose check didn’t bounce. That was the last day that I went to church. About four months later I met my husband and he was an atheist. That made me want to research it more. I finally took the step to reading the bible. And that was it for me. It made no sense.

Why did you join Seattle Atheists?
I moved to Washington with my husband and we didn’t know anyone here. So we joined to meet people with similar beliefs. We were both very active with organizations in Louisiana, so it was part of our lifestyle. Although we could not be as involved as we would like, lately due to work and the new addition to our family.

What do you consider to be a common misconception about atheists?
Some people think that atheists are amoral. This is very ignorant because most atheists are very nice people and would never hurt anyone, physically or emotionally. It is interesting that many people who even know atheists will say this but will somehow exclude the person that they know from the group.

What is the meaning of life?
I don’t think there is any inherent meaning in life. However, life will take on the meaning that you give it. For me it is my family. I also want to leave a better world for my son when he grows up.

What are 1 or 2 of your favorite atheist-related websites?
http://www.atheists.org: The American Atheist site helps me keep up to date with atheist issues across the USA.
www.infidels.org: This site had great articles and discussions.

If you could have a serious discussion or debate with one living person in the world, who would it be?
I think that I would most like to have a serious discussion with Richard Dawkins. I am really interested in evolution and genetics. He holds so much knowledge that I would love to hear about. I am sure there are many scientific ideas that could really strengthen my arguments as a evolutionist and atheist.

Share a favorite quote.
“Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.” Thomas Jefferson
“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.” Friedrich Nietzsche

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