Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Reason

Since the birth of this blog I've stated that its main purpose is for reflection and not as a pulpit to put down the beliefs of others. And as far as I can recall I don't go out of my way bashing the beliefs of others except when it comes to acts of clear injustices. Just by looking back on my own personal growth I've moved from Seventh Day Adventist-> Theist -> almost Muslim convert-> Theist again -> Pantheist/Agnostic/Humanist. I can't really decide what I am now cause a) I don't really care for titles and b) I don't want to be pinned down to another tribal group again. When it comes to questions about God and the afterlife although I find the questions intriguing at the end of the day I'm not comfortable accepting ANY of the answers provided by any faith. I don't believe our existence in this reality is meant to be spent thinking/praying/hoping for safe passage into the next reality (i.e. Heaven). I just don't find any of the answers believable or even useful in my life. Religious answers can still be useful to others even if I find them useless. If a Muslim finds peace in his daily prayers to Allah who am I to take that peace away from him, and the same goes for anyone else from any faith. I'm not out to convert others to my point of view simply because I understand that the journey I took to get to where I am is something that can take years of reflection and thought. To get to where I am you can't just offer a statement of faith or offer a prayer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, (Praise his Noodliness, R'amen) it is a lifetime of wrestling with unanswered questions and understanding how that struggle makes us human. THAT is what drew me away from religion and towards spirituality. 

I know I posted this video before in my series on Atheist Spirituality but this video captures the beauty of being human, and accepting the mystery and joy of simply being. But just because I'm not a religious man means I'm disgusted or even against religion. I absolutely love listening to testimonials, to simply listen to another person's journey is foundational towards loving our fellow man. I may not accept your beliefs but I respect its importance to you. Your story is a part of who you are, so who am I to destroy your identity? But I do see religion as language and story, but even if I don't accept the story as truth I love listening to a good tale because it describes the struggle of being human. The only thing I am against is whenever story (religion) taken as literal truth causes pain, suffering, and injustice to others. THAT is what I am against, not the religion itself but the pain caused to others. To simply be, love, and experience my humanity is more than enough for me.


Doug B said...

I really enjoyed this post and can feel the point you are making as it is similar to my way of thinking about it. I am really struggling about how much "bashing" I should do when weighing the bad of any given religious tradition or philosophy. Personally, I'm reluctant to give up spirituality, but that doesn't usually go over well with my more atheistic and anti-theistic friends. Sometimes I feel stuck between two extremes.

Don said...

Beautiful! I like your "religion"!

Anonymous said...

How helpful this was. Thanks for explaining why I couldn't say "I am an atheist". So I've been feeling the need to "Wonder" not worship.

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