Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Go With What You Know Part I – My Agnostic Experience


"thinkin' 'bout the way that I
Don't understand anything at all..." - The Flaming Lips

** You are not at all required to read this!!

So for the first 15-16 years of my life I was a devout Catholic. I went to church most Sundays and listened as best as I could, though being young my attention span couldn’t always hold out. I prayed to God each night. I kept a cross around my neck and believed in God and Jesus as the church would like me to. There was even a time where I said the Rosary once a day without fail for some three years straight, starting around the age of 11. If I forgot one day I would say it twice the next to catch up.

But then the natural urge to rebel, that is common in teenagers, kicked in. I questioned the existence of God, the practices and methods of the church, which would be very odd if I hadn’t been doing them my whole life. There was the relevance of the church and its expectations of seemingly blind faith. With this my faith began to slip and by 17 I had stopped considering myself a Catholic or a Christian or anything. Anything to do with religion became irrelevant. I became an atheist.

Even at that point, though, I still respected what I had taken out of the religion. I felt I had developed a sense of compassion and morality, but I no longer needed everything that religion said to know of these things. Even now I look back and recognise that saying the Rosary is a form of meditation and I must have gained a sharper mind from the focus and discipline it required without knowing or intending to. I wasn’t regretful about what I took from the religion despite how reassured I was and am now that Christianity is not for me.

So time passed in my assumed state of atheism. Science was the only logical process in my field of existentialism (which at the time was not even a word I understood the meaning or significance of). But eventually my belief system was to take another shift. It was as if the momentum of my release from structured religion carried me to almost the opposite extreme. But that simmered and I analysed why I left my religion – it lacked consistency in its purpose and holes in its logic and method. So what do I have now? I have a theory of evolution that traces back to a point of unexplained mystique. The Big Bang!

Wait, wait, wait. So I stopped believing in God because the proofs are just from some book that said he created it all out of nothing. Now I follow a theory that says it was created out of… Oh right, nothing…

And there I was: Quite certain that I had no reason to believe in God as many had described the concept to me. Yet equally certain that, following that logic, I couldn’t not believe in it. I realised that I didn’t know anything about the subject at all. The sheer scope of thought and experience needed to know this ultimate truth was so far beyond my grasp that I would be lying to myself to say yea or nay. I became agnostic.

I positioned myself firmly on the fence. I wasn’t defined by any religion or view of life except to say that I don’t know. My new philosophy was to let others be free to believe or disbelieve in what they wanted. I was free to believe in what I wanted (nothing as yet) and wouldn’t force that opinion on anyone else.**

- Eden (while listening to Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd)

N.B I do, however, love to discuss my ideas openly with someone with similar or differing views.

N.B.B. If, however, we do engage in a discussion you will realise that my truth is, however, the right truth.

N.N.B.B. I, however, am, however, writing a book about it, however, and if, however, you read the book and follow the seven, however, teen simple steps I outline in the book you will be converted into one of us or go to hell. However.

Part II

6 comments:

  1. I think that most christians/religous people deep down also don't know, because how can you be sure that the tree fell in the woods if no-one was around to see it. What it comes down to is faith, and putting that faith into a belief system/set of values that you identify with. I know that the church is not my game - maybe I'll place my faith in water, and when I die I will become the ocean. Tell me that doesn't sound a million times cooler than eating fairy bread with St Peter!

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  2. Yeah I agree Russ. I think there is actually value in putting 100% belief in something. It makes you focused and gives you a basis upon which you can live your life, instead of just a bottomless pit of doubt. But then when I felt I was an atheist it was like that became a belief in itself. And again with agnosticism. The problem I had is I needed something that could ring true to me and at this point it was agnosticism.

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  3. I'll post a serious comment now. There was a time when I too believed in God, but only 2 months later I'd tell myself otherwise, and back and forth this would go. The only reason I ever went to church is because my father paid me. For real. The thing with Christianity... I just never really clicked with it, or I guess I might say I never really "fell" for it. Perhaps thats the wrong way to put it... I consider my father to be a very intelligent person and hes a christian, so to say he's fallen for something I consider to be unreal may not be right.

    I completely identify with how you've come to be an agnostic. Realising that the cosmos to so fantastic that our reasoning cannot be applied, our gods, even our science cannot explain it... its best to just be open.

    Yes I'm on the side of science if we're taking sides, but to say definitively that you know there is no god is just as stupid claiming there is a god. I still stand by my original post.

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  4. Your last two paragraphs sum it all up. Science in itself has to become religion at some point because the theories can't be proven. String theory, big bang, multiple dimensions and stuff. How is that any less ludicrous than saying God is all powerful and watches over us. Maybe God is just some being from the fifth dimension that naturally passes divine energy down to us. Maybe God has its own God in the tenth dimension doing the same.

    I could choose to believe that and then I pass on to the fifth dimension when I die to be with God, just like Russ passes to become the ocean.

    There is no reason for any religion or any science to dictate to me what I can and can't believe in, and I should follow suit by not dictating to them...hence - agnostic

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  5. I realise I said you summed it up, by I guess I had to sum it up again

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