Sent in by Harry McNichol
I believe this is the fourth time that I have posted here. This time, I am as spiritually confused as ever. The good thing is I've gotten over my obsession with Islam. Now I am starting to question my own faith in the Church and questioning everything really. Last post, I believe I said that it seemed like I was afraid of the truth because it was staring me in the face.
This semester at school I am taking a Theory and Methodology of Religion class and the prof is an atheist. The readings I have been dealing with have really made me question the validity of religion and faith.
John Lennon's song "Imagine" is kind of my theme song. As far as hell goes, I don't believe in that. As far as heaven is concerned, who knows? Then I got to thinking, wouldn't it be nice if there were no religions in the world? No 9/11, no fundys banging their bibles or the alter boys, no murder in the name of Allah, Jesus, God....etc.,
To me, religion is man made. That's a given. As for the scriptures, they have about as much divine origin as these words on this page: these are my words, not God's. The bible and the Koran, and every other scripture for that matter, were written by men/women who wrote down their ideas about the super-natural.
Am I ready to accept the concept of Atheism? I'm not so sure. I'm probably more leaning to Agnosticism right now, but then again, what is the point of label's anyways? I am a free thinking human being, intellectually trying to sort out what I know and think I know.
FACT: I am Alive. I still view life as a mystery, though this mystery need not be from divine origin. Then again, the answers aren't always there. I acknowledge that I don't have all the answers, but the more I look at life and religion and my background in Christian belief, the more I am doubting it.
Genesis in the bible was probably copied from Babylonian myths and transferred into Jewish stories to explain the mystery of life. Fast forward through time and the Bible as it is today was decided by men hundreds of years ago, who decided which books were inspired and which books were heretical. Any book that didn't fit their perogative was burned or thrown out.
The origin of the universe is a mystery to me. How did this universe come into existence by itself, if there was no divine intelligence behind it all?
When I think of the concept of "God" I question the idea of eternality. Sure, we are finite and in time and space and our finite minds can't grasp what was before time. But God would have to exist before he existed. God had to have a beginning, just like the universe. So what really happened? Was God sitting up there in heaven and decided to create us? Who created God? And if God does exist, why did he create "Satan" and the demons and stuff, knowing full well in his omniscience that evil would run rampant in God's "perfect" creation? An omniscient God would surely have the insight to not create such a mess as we find ourselves in today.
The religionists would like us/me to believe that God has a plan. He has a plan for every single person on this earth. Life is a test and if we pass then our life will continue into eternal bliss. If we fail, then doom on us forever.
My preliminary beliefs as they stand now: Yes, indeed there is an eternity. When we die, time stops. Our lives we lived come to a finite point and we go into that abyss of eternal sleep. To the end of time, the materials that make us what we are mesh into the universe. All our atoms and molecules join the other atoms and molecules in this universe of ours.
What happened to my dog when we put her to sleep? Did she float off into some magical heaven where she can chase rabbits forever and ever Amen? We had her cremated and she sits in our living room to this day. The molecules and atoms that made her what she was spread out with the wind. Maybe she is still a part of us in some way, I really don't know.
Like I said, there are a lot of things I don't know. But I do know that if there is a "God" he/she/it is not some being that points fingers and says: "thou art bad, thou art going to burn forever in hell". If there is a "God", then God is merely the life force that is inside all of us. Then we are all connected to each other and to the universe. To me, that has a lot of bearing on how we should treat others. A morality based on mutual respect and understanding.
Biblical based morality would be a disaster, in my opinion. Imagine a world based on biblical morality where every person you disagree with, you are allowed to murder them. Every homosexual killed, every lesbian killed, every non-Christian killed. Every Atheist, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. you are allowed to murder. I know that on this point I am rambling and my knowledge may be somewhat limited, but I do know that when I read the bible, Old and New Testaments, I don't see a lot of love for fellow human beings. I see a bunch of laws that are oppressive and some that are down-right barbaric.
I believe that if the world is to make progress, then the religions of the world have to start looking inside themselves and realize that they are just as human as the rest of us and that hatred and killing and disrespect is no way to treat a fellow human being.
I still go to my United Church, when I'm not working Sundays. But do I believe what I hear there? Not neccessarily. This anti-religious tone of me, is not something I'm overly used to. But the more things that start to make sense, the more I realize that the rest of it doesn't make sense, and that the statement I just made doesn't make a whole lot of sense. LOL :)
What I've just written here today is a manifesto of sorts, a description of what I'm going through right now. I have no idea if my thoughts will change, or stay the same. I admit that I have rambled on here, but that's just my personality and me writing down my thoughts as I think them.
Like I said, there is a lot that I don't know. But if I live my life to the fullest and treat my fellow human being with dignity and respect, then maybe that's all I really need to know. If there is something beyond this life when I die, then I'll know it. And if there is nothing after this life, then I'll know that too, though I guess in that case I really wouldn't know it, eh?
My life as a paradox. That seems like a good title for my anti-testimony. Any support that you all reading this can give me, would be greatly appreciated.
Take care, and may the force be with you all. :)
email: spare AT accesscomm DOT ca
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)