Before I started writing my book I first went through a period of introspection and contemplation. The road I was on was entirely self-destructive and progressing on it would have ended catastrophically, for me...
During this period I was also occupied with the horrors precipitated in the world, especially by the religious, in this case in the name of islam. Thus i first ventured on a very dark path, criticizing everything I saw them doing. Then I figured that it wasn't worth it, why spend all this effort on negative things? Why keep yourself occupied with things that really hurt, that keep perpetuating the path of self-destruction?
So I figured : "what are the things that I like the most?" I'm not a scientist and yet I love science. I love to see other people explain science, explain how they arrive at finding answers to fundamental questions. So what did I do? I started reading science related websites, especially space related sciences. But also started exploring my own unbelief, since unbelief is often tied to science in some way or another. I discovered that being reasonable, sceptical in the face of false claims is a good way to go forward.
So I ventured into the realm of atheism, I was an atheist all along, but this was a new found passion. Why? Because unreason in the face of evidence is causing too much harm in the world.
Keep in mind that most of my time is being spent on science related matters, I love to see the discoveries made by other people.
I started watching YouTube video's of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and at some point I found a guy called AronRa.
What I liked in particular about AronRa was his knowledge, clarity and inquisitiveness. When faced with people who believe, he always does his best to figure out what a person believes in and why, subsequently presents a very clear argument against that belief and sincerely tries to convince the people he is talking with. He also seemed to be very knowledgeable about Biology, a beautiful subject that captures my imagination. This really appealed to me, so I decided to subscribe to his channel and keep following his progress.
And now for the lucky break part, about a month ago I discovered that he would be speaking at Utrecht, so I was elated, I told my wife I would go. I got in contact with the organization and secured a spot in the audience.
I decided to go early in order to catch some of the preparations. A chance meeting with the organizer, Leon, changed my luck. I started talking with him, bought him a beer and at some point he started talking about dinner. I hadn't eaten so I was pleased, I would have a bite with him and discuss some interesting things.
At some point it became clear to me that he was actually going to have dinner with Aron and his wife Lilandra and I was invited to tag along. I was really happy!
So we went to this restaurant, we met with Aron and Lilandra, had dinner in which Aron unintentionally was given a pseudo beer and he ate one of the most tiny and disappointing steaks he had ever seen. It was amazing to talk to them, we had a nice and easy conversation about a lot of very interesting topics.
I'm very happy that I took a chance, got a lucky break and met Aron, Lilandra and a couple of other amazing guys with whom I had some very nice conversations!
In the end I got conscripted to be the cameraman, so if the video sucks, it's my fault! Sorry Aron ;)