Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This just might get me out of gate guard duty.

Apparently, I'm having an "existential crisis". I've decided that, in search of answers that I doubt I'm going to find, I will start attending church. I truly do not know what to believe anymore, but I suspect that in the last few years I have slowly become an agnostic theist.

I have no patience for structured religion, and while I believe it was established with the best of intentions, like so many other things it was been twisted and corrupted by man to suit his motives, ambitions, and desires. It cannot be trusted, and so I have nowhere to look for spiritual guidance; I can only rely on myself and my own judgment. As I have stated on many occasions, I do not know if God exists or if there is an afterlife. But I do follow a set moral code, and in the end I hope that will be good enough for whomever judges me when I die.

On a side note, Forrest and this other guy give me plenty of food or thought. After reading some of their entries concerning morality without the trappings of faith, I have begun to wonder if secular humanists, who pretty much do that right thing because it's the right thing to do, have more integrity than theists, who do the right thing because they feel they're being watched. Kinda like the kid who doesn't eat cookies before supper so as not to spoil his appetite, as opposed to the kid who doesn't eat said cookies because he can't get away with it while Mom is watching. If that makes sense.


Anonymous said...

I see your point of view, and mine is a bit different. A Christian who does the right thing because they're "being watched" is not being very Christian at all. I will point out what I believe to be the three main motivations for a Christian to do the right thing, in order of precedence.

1. A Christian will do the right thing in order to glorify God, not because they fear God, but because they love God.

2. A Christian will do the right thing because it is right.

3. A Christian will do the right thing because they want to go to heaven.

If they are not in that order, then I believe it takes away from the good deed. We should love Christ so much that we want to follow his example. A "secular humanist" will do the right thing, but what is that standard for what is "right"? The Judeo-Christian tradition seems to have left its imprint even on those who do not with to "tie themselves down with a religious label". I believe that the faith is pure, but humans are certainly not. It is unfair to judge any religion on the actions of individuals. Calling Christianity (or Catholicism) "a corrupt religion" is like calling Islam "a violent religion".

TOTALLY my opinion and I may have missed the mark completely. I'm a fan of your writing, so keep on bloggin'! I'll take your spot in Doha if you come up to Alaska...


Forrest said...

Must... hold... tongue...

Ok, so today I won't start a flame war on Davi's blog.

Depending on who's asking, I'll wear the "secular humanist" moniker... the word "Atheist" has massively negative connotations in the American popular consciousness, whereas "secular humanist" is less well known and usually needs to be defined, thereby bypassing the first of many potential red-flags.

At the core of everything you'll find that your personal ethics are patterned after things you've learned very early in life, and require a great deal of conscious effort to modify. As Catholicism was a part of your upbringing, it makes sense to retain that sense of morality even if you find yourself moving away from the dogma.

Something you may want to look into is Unitarian Universalism; UU's have an acknowledgment of the social power of church-like congregations without adopting a particular dogma. I've been to UU "services" where a Wiccan priestess has expounded on the philosophy of the three-fold law (a variant on the golden rule) followed by a Buddhist monk leading a discussion on the Zen principle of "no-mind". So, it's a real grab-bag but can be a very positive boundary-redefining process if you're looking to expand your horizons with regards to religious or moral philosophy.