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swimchica255 (profile) wrote,
on 3-25-2005 at 7:24pm
Current mood: accomplished
Music: the beatles-lady madonna
Subject: is there a god?
i've been seriously asking myself this question for a little over a year now, and the answer has consistently and logically popped into my head as "no". i'm having a crisis of faith...well i guess not a crisis, more like a continual void. i guess i should start at the beginning.

i was baptised catholic. when i was little, i went to catholic church every sunday with my grandma. i went with her because my dad's family is technically non-practicing serbian orthodox and my mom's side forced her to to go catholic church at least once a week for 18 years so she hates it now. anyways, i liked going to church back then. not for the religious aspect, but because i love my grandma and thought she was cool and wanted to spend time with her. i mean, i believed in God in a very abstract sense; in my four-year-old mind, he was a guy with long hair and a beard who was in heaven and made babies and animals and the earth and decided whether or not you could get into heaven once you died. okay, so, i went all the time, liked it, and made my first communion when i was eight. fun stuff. pretty dress, presents...the whole deal. after that, when i would go to catechism, my new teacher was a bitch, i hated the class, and i started to get a little bored by going to mass (since every single one is basically the same thing and pretty much cult-like to me now that i look back on it). soooo, i gradually stopped going to catechism, and i would go to church once in a while when i felt like going, but it was no biggie.

after that, my entire life, i remember believing in God but always wondering where the proof of him existed. Even when i was really little. i've always been one to question stuff like that. i mean, just because the bible says something doesn't mean that it's necessarily least for me; i'm not the kind of person who just throws a bunch of blind faith into something. anyways. by the time i was in middle school/first year of high school, i pretty much never went to church or did anything religious. i was a busy girl.

in the middle of my sophomore year, my grandma told me about a youth group at st joe's, the same church i had always gone to, and thought i might like it. so, i took courtney and allison with me and went. they met on sunday nights when i had nothing better to do, and i could hang out with my friends and eat popcorn and stuff like that, so i didn't mind it. they didn't really force anything religious down our throats with the exception of the occasional church service or reference to god, which was good, because if they had started to force crap onto me, i would have been out of there. so i did that for the last three years of high school, and it was fun. whatever.

for the past year or so, i've seriously been contemplating the god issue. i mean, why should i believe in a religion (particularly catholic) that forces blind faith in and fear of god and says that any nonbelievers will burn in hell? that's just not for me. politics have influenced me a little bit, too. i do not in any way believe homosexuality is wrong; the whole gay marriage issue has gotten me fired up...why shouldn't they be able to get married? i also believe in a woman's right to choose whether or not she wants to have an abortion...stuff like that. basically christianity has completely gone against it and condemned those who don't, which is not my deal. the combination of those among many other issues have made me become pretty much anti-christian in the past year.

so, i had at least made some progress in figuring out what i believed, or didn't believe. i knew that i was not a christian, for sure. a while back, i heard someone mention the word agnosticism, which i was unfamiliar with, but knew that it was something about being unsure of the existence of a god/goddess and the nature of the universe. i didn't think too much about it.

this semester, in philosophy, we have been reading a lot of arguments trying to prove or disprove the existence of god. basically, every argument was either based on blind faith, once again, or so easy to disprove that it was totally unconvincing. further proof for me that i didn't have to believe in one. i had been riding the fence, seriously leaning towards atheism, until the past few days. i've been hearing agnosticism mentioned randomly and i've been thinking about it a lot, so i decided to just learn more about it, which i am in the process of doing. here are some of the things from the first website i came across:

"Definition of Agnostic:
Agnosticism is a concept, not a religion. It is a belief related to the existence or non-existence of God.

An agnostic is a person who feels that God's existence can neither be proved nor disproved, on the basis of current evidence. Agnostics note that some theologians and philosophers have tried to to prove, for millennia, that God exists. Others have attempted to prove that God does not exist. Neither side has convincingly succeeded at their task.

An agnostic usually holds the question of the existence of God open, pending the arrival of more evidence. They are willing to change their belief if some solid evidence or logical proof is found in the future. However, some have taken the position that there is no logical way in which the existence or the non-existence of a deity can be proven."

and more...

"Famous Agnostics:
Charles Darwin, a 19th century British self-taught geologist and writer. He attended a course in theology at Christ's College, Cambridge. Darwin wrote in two places in his book "Life and Letters" about his personal faith:

"The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."CD

"I think an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind. The whole subject [of God] is beyond the scope of man's intellect." CD

"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear". --Thomas Jefferson ""

and more...

"Further definitions:
George Smith, the author of "Atheism" divides agnostics into two types:

Agnostic theists: those who believe that a deity probably exists;
Agnostic atheists: those who believe that it is very improbable that a deity exists.

Another category of Agnostic is "empirical Agnostics." They believe that God may exist, but that little or nothing can be known about him/her/it/them.

Still another category are "Agnostic Humanists." These individuals are undecided about the existence of God. Further, they do not really consider the question to be particularly important. They have derived their moral and behavioral codes from secular considerations. Their ethical behavior would not be altered if a deity were proven to exist.""

sorry if i'm boring you with information, but i'm experiencing a serious turning point in my life, and i feel like writing about it.

first of all, i think that charles darwin's and thomas jefferson's quotes are some of the most clear and beautiful and meaningful words i have heard in a long time. they make a lot of sense to me. if this website is really exemplifying what agnosticism means, then i am agnostic. i feel like i identify particularly strongly with the agnostic humanist category. actually, right now i identify perfectly with that group.

i guess it's more of an opposite to religion than a religion. it's not pretending to know everything (like almost every other religion does). i don't pretend to know anything about the nature of the universe and where it came from, and i don't plan on it until someone proves it to me. it's interesting to think about it, and i'm content with not knowing. some people might be too self-righteous or scared to admit that they're not sure how we got here or why we're here, but i'm satisfied.

i guess the feeling that's been in the back of my mind since i can remember is something that other people have felt and contextualized for years. that makes me feel really good. not because i can finally identify with part of a religious group (because agnosticism is not a religion), but because i know i'm not stupid or alone for thinking the way i do. sure, christians might think i'm burning in hell, and that's fine with me. i don't believe in hell, so screw it. other people can believe what they want, but i just don't want it pushed into my face anymore. it's the most stifling thing in the world...another reason that i feel gw should not be president, but i won't get into that. i'm just really peaceful all of a sudden. i guess i'm really glad that i can stop wondering what i identify with.

i mean, i'm still not sure. i've been looking into buddhism a little, and even though the initial history of it (siddhartha) is a little sketchy and mystical for me, i think the concept of impermanence, cultivating the good, eliminating the evil, and purifying one's mind are great. i could deal with that too. maybe i should start a religion called agnostic buddhism. who knows. i don't know why i feel like i should be part of some group, but i feel like i should. or at least, i want to know that other people think the way i do. it's a comforting thought.

i'm kind of afraid to tell people about it, though. i mean, i've sort of expressed my thoughts in a very very toned down way, but i don't want to deal with all the crap i might take if i decide to become agnostic or buddhist or an agnostic buddhist. ha. i know my grandma would probably have a heart attack or disown me, and i'm pretty sure the rest of my family would be weirded out by it. i dunno. i think i just need to be myself and forget about what other people want if i want to make myself happy.

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