Barak Lurie, at a young age of 11, embarked on a quest to discover truth, concluded there was no God, and pronounced himself an atheist.
“It’s a very easy thing for a child to become an atheist because it is a childish philosophy. If you come to the belief that you can’t see, hear, smell or touch God one way or the other, and then say, ‘Well, I can’t see Him. Therefore, He doesn’t exist,’” Lurie says.
But at Stanford University something unexpected happened: while many students watch their faith wither away under the unrelenting scorn of professors, Lurie, who is Jewish, found God.
Surprisingly, it happened as he undertook an undergraduate honors thesis to document the wicked massacres of organized religion.
What his research found was that atheism was responsible for 10 times more killings than Christianity: about 200 million in the last 80 years
Ultimately, Lurie, now 54, who is a profitable real estate/ business lawyer in a well-heeled Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood, turned his undergraduate research into an Amazon best-seller, Atheism Kills, published in 2017.
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Lurie was not raised in an observant Jewish home. While his parents believed in God, they didn’t impose faith on their son and attended synagogue only once a year, he says. His parents emphasized deep thinking and didn’t push him to replicate their faith.
“It’s not as if I read Nietzsche at age 11. It wasn’t any one influence that brought me to atheism. It was the lack of influences. Atheism is almost a natural state. If you’re not raised with God or Jesus, depending on your faith, you can easily end up with atheism in your pocket,” Lurie notes. “It was unique about me that I was very interested in God one way or another. I just chose not to believe in Him. I felt that one needed to take a stand on it.”