So to set the stage, I should probably state that I was raised Roman Catholic at my maternal grandmother’s behest, and so my mother obliged. I was never personally interested in the catechism classes in my younger years. When I got to high school, the grades were grouped together into a sort of ‘youth group’ wherein there was a lesser focus on the religion itself and a greater focus on the principles it is intended to impart. Still, I never had much of a taste for the religion myself, although I did appreciate the moral messages that both the pastor and catechism director helped to convey.
In the years after graduating high school and following my confirmation into Catholicism, I came to learn that I had a pretty liberal upbringing (and view) within the church. I met many a friend in college that were very staunch believers in the principles and stories provided in the Bible, but my doubt of theology on a greater scale had long since been implanted in my psyche. These are the years I birthed and refined my Devil’s advocate attitude to discussions; I learned to do my best to understand the other point contrary to my own, and in doing so, tried to educated the other discusser(s) on the contrary to their own points. I never tried to provoke those who were unwilling to accept evidence contrary to their own beliefs, I only wanted them to see it from a standpoint other than their own. I was insistent on understanding how people came to see religion the way they did, and use that to help reanalyze my lackluster approach.
Over the past few years, I’ve come to a (tentative) resolution on my thoughts towards religion in general. I’ve adopted the moniker of being an ‘atheist,’ but I really more closely align with an ‘ignostic’ on principle.
ignostic – a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God —Taken from Apple’s Dictionary application, referencing the New Oxford American Dictionary
This pretty adeptly describes my stance on religion: I really don’t believe that any of us, no matter how divined we may think we are, have any clue what exactly entitles any sort of a god-like entity. Sure, everyone postulates what ‘God’ is really capable of doing, but it’s all speculation based off of stories.
I’m not unwilling to believe in a god, but I frankly feel that if they are anything like religions or mythology build them up to be, then Joe Shmoe on the street is really going to be incapable of understanding what they truly are at a fundamental level. Much like multi-dimensional physics, it is broaching territory we are completely unfamiliar with.
I’m not unwilling to believe in the supernatural either. I have had a couple incidents that have scared some sense1 into me, so as much of a critic as I was before, I’m growing some doubts.
In any case, I’m not concerned so much about religion. I am more inclined to believe that one should do good in their life, and try to do good unto others. You don’t need religion to be a good, morally sound person. Although, when someone calls an atheist an amoral, corrupt person to my face, it does stir an urge in me to besmirch them with a punch to their thick, myopic skull…but I digress…
1Literally…or maybe more accurately, scared some sense out of me, since it doesn’t abide by normal logic in my head.