Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tell me all your thoughts on God (and other bad 90s songs)

I sometimes feel a little cheated that I am a product of the era of religious skepticism. I have really internalized the left-wing, university cliches about the absurdity of religion and how it is one giant political machine with no grounds in actual faith. And, yes, I do have a lot of issues with the modern tenets of Christianity. But, still, it feels a little like we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater, and I don't even know what the baby looks like. Us academic sorts sit up on our pedestal and claim how open-minded we are, yet I know people who are scared to admit they believe in God in an academic context.

Life seems like it would be a lot easier with that kind of faith or meaning. I think a lot of the nihilism and sense of pointlessness in contemporary life comes from the fact that we have theoretically "debunked" religion, but haven't put anything in place to replace it.

It scares me sometimes when I realize that I don't really know what I believe. I've even bartered with the notion of believing in God and the tenets of Christianity just because it may be the safest bet. I know it may seem silly, but the notion of hell petrifies me. I know it's supposed to. I hate the entire notion of it. But, with some thought, fear of the negative is the very worst reason to believe in something. Someone who lives by the standards of what is "right" and "wrong" with no convinctions or reasons besides pandering to religion is not a noble person. Who is noble is the person who does what they believe is right based on their principles. Any belief that claims that the former should get rewarded for following rules with no principles or passion or conviction, whereas the person with principles should be punished because they broke one rule, with wholeheartedly good reasons to break that rule, is not something I can ever endorse. I guess I just need to have faith in that.

10 comments:

Ant said...

Amen to that! (Amen, geddit? :o)

A couple of years ago I gave up the idea of religion because of the negativity. That's essentially what it is that I think motivates folk into believing: fear.

Letting that go and thinking through the problem without a rule-book to guide you has been one of the most (gradually) liberating moves of my life.

I don't know what the baby looks like either but I'm not sure it's worth fretting about. Spirituality comes from within and doesn't follow any specific religion.

Tonya said...

Very thoughtful! I'm glad you have a blog because you are a very good writer! Don't give up those emails though. :) I was raised Catholic but I'm still not sure what to believe. I actually find comfort in science strangely enough but I also like to think there is something bigger out there and mabye a good place to go when I, or my loved ones pass away. Know what I mean?

LMizzle said...

I'm not a believer in religion particularly because every religion that anyone subscribes to seems to have some patriarchal background. Somewhere in every religious writing women are belittled.
I also once read a book that explained religious experiences as sometimes being no more than a problem with synapses firing in the brain, creating things like the "white light" and so on.
I think I believe in something, I just don't have a name for it. Really I guess when we name things we lose them a little anyway.

Princess Pointful said...

Ant- I'm glad to hear your choice has been liberating for you. I think what I struggle with the most is the notion of spirituality without the guidance of religion. People often say "I'm spiritual, not religious", and I think that is something I would like for myself. I think my problem is I'm still not entirely sure how to go about figuring out what spirituality means to me. I think I really need to gain more faith that my principles and morals will guide me in the right direction, I guess.

Tonya- I'm really glad you stopped by! Don't worry, the emails won't stop. I'd rather use this venue to discuss grander things that how I spent my weekend, as you may be one of the only ones who is really interested ;) (Although I can't promise I won't throw in a few self-related anecdotes that I find interesting).
I do understand how the notions of there being something more can be comforting, though. I think the fear of death is probably the biggest reason for people's need for spirituality or religion. It may seem a little odd, but I actually find more personal comfort in the notion of there being no afterlife. I'm just more comfortable with the idea of that then the idea of some sort of grand judgment of someone's worth. I should probably try and find some concept that fits better in-between.

Lmizzle- That is one of my core issues with organized religion. I refuse to adhere to the rules of anything that deems women at the root of all evil or that judges a person as evil for their choice to find love in a member of the safe sex. That is not what the unconditional love a higher power is supposed to provide is all about.
I also believe in something I haven't quite yet defined yet. I guess I should stop worrying about defining it, and just let it come about. As you'll all see as my writing goes on, however, is that I'm often not too good at just letting things be :).

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I believe in the premise of a higher power, but I think it's highly improbable that any of the religions, or science, have got it right.

It's just too vast for us to comprehend as yet.

Princess Pointful said...

Yeah, it's actually pretty egotistical of us to think that Christianity or *insert major religion here* got it right on the first try.
Isn't this something to be better developed as more knowledge is gained?

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Yup.

That's dogmatic evolution

eric313 said...

Hey Princess, I came back by to see if you answered and this gem caught my eye.

I was raised by a fanatically religious familly, so I am a convert and fanatic of not going to church. They just want our money. Jesus threw all the money changers and merchants out of the temple for a reason.

That drives me crazy about religion, things like "the pope is infallible", when, and I hate to say it, Jesus said 'nobody is perfect accept the Father' He exempted himself. He really did, in the book of mathew someone asks J if he's God, to which he said, I am not the Father.

God helps those who help themself. That is the key. Faith is someplace to put those thoughts and ideas that we are unsure of, so we can get on with our lives, that's my opinion. Peace of mind, nothing more or less. Intellectual rigor, or a lack of, has nothing to do with faith in this way, despite what people say.

Imizzle knows correctly.
There are over four hundred books associated with the bible throughout the ages, and three quarters of the number are not in the Holy Book today. Over one hundred of the apocryphal texts, as the rejects are called, were written by women. Two books by women made the final cut--most recent cut, that is, so much for progress. They had a voice in the text, and it was silenced. As is typical.

So, yes, I'm not your average believer.

See you tomorrow. I'm going to get some sleep. My blog didn't work for half the day because of some knid of myspace virus called d5d1, that like half the people out there also had. I was so royaly pissed! But it's OK now.

Sweet dreams to you, friend. I'm still running off of almost three hours sleep--but it's all good, the reading was good, and as always, the typing helps me get peace by getting out the kind of things that I think about. Restless is what I am. Thanks for listening, Princess Pointful. Peace out.

btw
the 'under wear' quote a post or so down was sweet!

eric313 said...

Hhaaha. I just read Mr. Self Disclosure. Why didn't I comment there instead of here? Because I'm feeling a little self conscious! I disclose a lot. Oh my god, a lot. I need to save it for the novel.

Now have a great night with sweet dreams. You're a god writer!

eric313 said...

good writer--but you can be a god writer if you want to.