I’m Not An Atheist

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Many people jump to the conclusion that I am an atheist because I am not religious anymore and can be very critical of organized religion. However, I am not an atheist. I do often listen to atheist podcasts and read atheist books, but I also sometimes listen to and read material from spiritual or religious sources (even the crazy ones, although I listen to them more for amusement). I find myself overall agreeing more with secular thought, but I do feel that differing points of view are essential for having a realistic, down-to-earth view of life.

If I had to choose a label for myself spiritually, it would be agnostic. I’m not really sure what the hell is going on. I’m not a deist, because I’m not positive that there is a greater being or consciousness, although I hope there is to an extent. I don’t believe in the specific gods of any earthly religions, but I wouldn’t mind if there were some wiser (and hopefully caring) beings, or at least some sort of a meaning to all that is.

Because of the state of the world and the suffering, abuse, and slaughter of the innocent, I find it hard to believe in an “all good” being in power, unless that being gave us a choice about being here and what we would face. If earth were some kind of “school” where we choose the lessons we want to learn or the experiences we want to have, then I could see how the powers that be could still be moral and have values. Otherwise, their absence and inaction in the face of so much injustice and pain speaks volumes.

I do not believe in “original sin”. I do not believe in a God who must spill innocent blood in order to be able to forgive someone else for doing something wrong (seriously, how is that even ok???) I do not believe in a being that has such a huge ego all they want is to be worshiped for all eternity (too Donald Trumpish for my taste). I do not believe that there is necessarily an afterlife or heaven/hell, but if there is I would not be shocked or upset unless there was some kind of tyrant running things. If there is some sort of being in charge of it all, I simply hope that they are just and kind, but not cruel or punitive.

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6 thoughts on “I’m Not An Atheist

  1. I think it’s significant that both your post yesterday on assisted suicide and then your comments here on why you don’t believe in an omnipotent good God seem to turn on the same point of seemingly unbearable/meaningless suffering. I certainly agree (as do humans in general over millennia!) that this is one of the toughest problems there is. Have you read books on this that do approach it from a theistic/Judeo-Christian worldview? Probably the two best I’ve come across are C.S. Lewis’s “The Problem of Pain” and Peter Kreeft’s “Making Sense Out of Suffering.” Anything I could say here would have already been expressed better by them. But I hope you’re at least aware that there have been numerous people who’ve wrestled with this problem both deeply/existentially/painfully AND with intellectual rigor, and have concluded that an orthodox understanding of an all-powerful, all-good, all-loving God actually does the most justice to the gravity of suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually have read CS Lewis’s book, in fact, I’ve read many of his books. I do like the way he thinks, but can’t say I agree with the conclusions he came to in some ways. Still a very good writer and thinker though. Not sure if I’ve ever read Peter Kreeft before though.

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