Mav (chrismaverick) wrote,

on losing my religion...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
So earlier today, bryguypgh posted a link to an essay defending atheism. Bryon went on to point out that he's agnostic and not an atheist, but that the article still pretty much held. So being intrigued I read it.

It's a good read. Its not really me though.

So here's the deal. While not by any means fundamentalist, I'd say that I was raised in a reasonably religious household. I think mamarayne would say that's a fair statement. I went to church and Sunday school. I went to catechism (classes that are part of the process of being confirmed as an adult in the Lutheran church), but unlike all the other other kids who were forced to go to those classes, I actually paid attention. I mean, I really paid attention. I think I learned a whole lot about the Lutheran faith and Christianity in general. Probably more than most "christians" ever do.

The problem is over the years I've more and more come to the conclusion that I just don't care.

It would be wrong to say I was an atheist. I just don't feel as though I am certain enough about anything to say that there's definitely no God. Certainly not anything metaphysical.

And saying I'm agnostic. That's not quite right either. Because its not skepticism. Its not that I'm unsure if God exists or not.

It really is apathy. I just don't care. At the end of the day the existence or lack of existence of a God really doesn't affect my day to day activity. There are ten commandments. I more or less try really hard to keep like two or three of them and the others I kinda let slide. Its just that I have my own understanding of what is and isn't right and I do those things for me. Not because I am afraid of going to hell. Or hoping that I get into heaven. Or afraid some invisible man in the sky will hit me with a bolt from the blue. Or afraid Santa won't give me a present. I just do things cuz I think they're right. Or moreover because I want to. Its enough for me. I complicate my life enough with my own brain to have to deal with worrying about what external cosmic forces are doing. Either I'm making the right decisions and I'll be judged accordingly, or I'm not and I'm going to hell. Or there's no heaven or hell and it just doesn't matter. Either way, I think it best to go on behaving as I am anyway.

But what if I did believe in God? Wouldn't the same be true? For all you God-believers out there, christian, jew, buddhist, wiccan, whatever, if you suddenly find indisputable proof tomorrow that your religion is wrong, are you really really going to change anything about your core behavior? If it turns out that my prophecies are right, and Jay-Z really is the higher power, are you suddenly gonna be like "fuck... and all this helping my fellow man is for nothing. I'm gonna go out and bust a cap in somebody's ass!" or are you going to assume that HOVA wouldn't want you to go through that, cuz HOVA did that... and try to be good boys and girls anyway? Or are you just not going to think about it and keep on keeping on as you always did and not worry about it?

Isn't that the essence of faith? You believe in some higher power and you're not sure that you're right, and you just kinda believe anyway? If you're sure you're right, then its not faith anymore. It's fact, right? Its all about what you know vs. what you believe in. And I guess that's the thing. Whether the mormons or the catholics or the satanists or the taoists or followers of odin are right, its doesn't matter. What matters is that at the end of the day faith gives you something. And that's what gives people inner strength.

Sometimes, I wish I did have faith in something. Even if I were truly agnostic and the one thing I was sure of was that there was no way to know if there was a God. That simple drive would be something, wouldn't it? And having something to believe in, I think just makes life a little easier. Even if it turns out you're wrong. Sometimes I think, maybe if I tired harder. Maybe If I kept reciting all of the prayers and scriptures and whatnot over and over again, then sooner or later I would start to believe. And you know what, maybe I would. Maybe deep down I already do. Maybe I don't. I honestly don't know. Despite this rambling little rant here. I really don't think about it that often.

Of course the problem with me, is that at the end of day. I really don't care.

But I do care what other people think. Where do you lie in the realm of faith? Do you believe? if so in what? And why? If not, well the why again? I'm pretty interested in getting a wide net of faiths and beliefs here, so even if you just write a couple lines, that'd be great.

To quote the great philosopher, Dennis O'Neil:
"Booze, sex, prayer. Whatever gets you through the night.

Maybe the secret is all three.

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