To believe or not to believe

It seems increasingly these days that the topic of religion, god or the existence of god is at the forefront of people’s thoughts, probably more so than say 10 or 15 years ago even. From right wing christian fundamentalists to hard-line muslims to the very dry atheism of Richard Dawkins. I just thought I would take the opportunity to impart onto the world a few of my beliefs and views. After all, isn’t that what a personal blog is supposed to be for?

Personally, I consider myself to be an emphatic atheist. Atheism, like any other belief system (I’ll come back to that) has been often mocked in recent times. Some people criticise the organisation and coming together of atheism and atheists as “just as bad as the thing they are opposing”. Whilst I suppose this is true in part, I think it is misunderstood sometimes. Like belief in god should be to people, my atheism is a very personal thing to me. It does not just represent a lack of belief; it represents a total belief in the non-existence of god, which in itself can be construed as a faith. I have not read any Dawkins and I don’t consider myself to be as militant in that respect. I do agree with the fact that we should not mix religion with law, politics or education and am a big advocate of a truly secular society. I dislike the idea of faith schools, especially those which teach only the beliefs of a single religion. It should really be an all or nothing approach, although if I am honest, I really do feel that if people wish to learn about religion, it should be done in their spare time.

When I was a child, I did attend Sunday school and quite ironically, I was christened as a methodist (christening babies is again something I emphatically disagree with). I remember from a very early age, I always questioned the things that they “taught” us to the point of exasperation. I decided at the age of 6 that I did not nor would not believe in something that was to my mind so utterly unbelievable and void of reason. Quite contradictorily, I sang in a church choir when I was around 10 or 11 years old. Even though I still held my belief in the non-existence of god, I just enjoyed singing and it was something for me to do in my spare time (one of a long list of hobbies I tried as a child). As a teenager and well into my 20’s, I was a lot more outspoken and to be honest, very intolerant of the beliefs and views of others as far as god/religion was concerned. As I got older, I mellowed. I realised that I am not going to change the minds and hearts of everybody I come across and to be honest why would I want to? Faith provides a lot of people with a sense of purpose and comfort and if by attempting to remove one, you may remove the other, then that would be a very bad thing indeed.

My ex-wife is a catholic and we had many a debate (mostly friendly) over the years on god and religion. She once told me that quite ironically; she thinks I am one of the most christian people she had ever met. Morals and religion however can be mutually exclusive. I just try to be the best person that I can be and I find that to be fulfilling and rewarding. Just because I do not believe in god does not mean that I am not a spiritual person. I have a deep seated feeling that nature and the universe is at one with itself and that everything is somehow connected and I think karma and fate play a big part in the way of things (everything happens for a reason / what goes around comes around etc.).

There are many things which science has not yet explained and until such a time, it seems senseless to me to waste what short time we have in this world investing one’s time in unsubstantiated and ludicrous answers. People sometimes call me an agnostic for this but I insist that I am an atheist, since I hold the belief that whatever science eventually uncovers, it certainly won’t be a deity.

If you need a mantra in life, then why not refer to Bill and Ted – “be excellent to each other”.

Oh and don’t forget – “party on dudes”!

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By Alec Posted in Blog

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