You choose your belief
I’d love to be wrong, I really would – but unfortunately this is all there is. That means belief in spirits, other realms, and even escaping the cycle of death and rebirth is all in your head. Their only real reality lies in the psychological impact those notions have upon you and your emotions.
To put it another way, it’s as if you had a red sweater but you imagine it’s blue – you do this because it makes you feel happier and you wear it more often that way.
Continue reading “Believing is Seeing”
Come, come in, welcome! Here, sit down by the fire. I prepared it just before you showed up, and the space has just begun to warm. Let me take that heavy cloak off your shoulders; I’ll just put it over here. There. My poor child! You’re frightened, I can see that. Yes, and hurt by what you’ve seen in the world… I can see the bruises, cuts and scrapes that the hard edges of the world have inflicted upon you. I believe you!
Well, you’re safe in here. This is your place in here. Now, tell me, why have you come here? What can I do for you?
You heard that I know things did you? Well, I am a person, yes, and people speak words. Yes, that’s true too. But you see, I only ‘know things’ if you don’t already. If everything I know, you already knew, then you would feel that I don’t know ‘that much’, that I can’t teach you ‘that much’. So let’s have a chat and find out, shall we?
Continue reading “A Fireside Chat with Meru”
Many people (atheist and theist alike) see ‘having real faith in God’ as the complete and utter surrender to [its] omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence – to know in your deepest core that [it] exists and works its work in the world for you and through you. The epitome of this ‘real’ faith should allow us to leap off a cliff and if we have ‘enough’ faith, God will find a way to intervene – be it by bringing a gust of wind that will press us against the cliff face and slow our fall (we may break many bones in our body as we bounce off rocks etc. but at least we didn’t reach terminal velocity and splat on the ground. We’re still in a state where doctors can helps us recover), or cushion our landing (we may hit a very tall tree, and every branch on the way down, but again, at least we’re alive and can recover), or if we’re really faithful, even make us fly!
That’s not what faith should be. That’s not how it works. Jumping off a cliff and ‘having faith that it will all work out’ is stupid, and irresponsible. God will let you fall to your death – after all, you’re the one who jumped off a cliff ya dumbass!
I don’t know whether God exists or not but I deliberately choose to believe [it] doesn’t. Yet I am not faithless. Why? Let me tell you how I see it. Continue reading “Real Faith is No Faith”
I had lived my life from a worldview which was handed to me – through education and authority (parental education/influence) – and which I had never properly questioned. It was a world filled with the amazing discoveries of science, and a lack of a deity simply because there was no room for one. As I grew older, I became so content with my atheism and so disgusted by theism that I began to physically manifest that disgust (actual shudders, or rolling my eyes, or an audible expression) whenever I came across the slightest mention of “God” or “Jesus” or any of the Christian words/names/concepts (merely because I lived in a Christian-majority area – my aversion would have been the same had it been Muslim or Jewish or any other theistic religion). Understand that I never once suspected that ‘believers’ were in any way on to something that somehow the non-believers had missed. Instead it was an instinctive rejection in reaction to the condescending attitude most ‘believers’ had towards non-believers – they pitied us, which I found reprehensible; they acted so smug and self-assured because they felt ‘wrapped in the love of God’ or whatever turn of phrase the person would use. But that love somehow wasn’t unconditional – they were quick to reject anyone whose beliefs didn’t align with theirs, which smacked of hipocrisy which I wouldn’t accept (nevermind that I was oblivious of the hypocrisy in my own rejection of religions!). Today, I call that period my ‘atheist adolescence’.
The change of belief
But about five years ago I experienced a very banal event that still managed to spur me into actually taking the time to stop and question my worldview. My fiancée and I were watching one of those American sensationalist ‘documentaries’ (riddled with pre-commercial-break cliff-hangers as the American formula goes) on the topic of past lives. It was pretty-well constructed and seemed fairly… if not convincing, at least intriguing. And what got me thinking was this line of thought: “Suppose it was true… I don’t think my worldview can handle it. It has answers for everything but past lives. I don’t think I’d know how to fit it into my system of beliefs.” It then dawned on me that I didn’t actually know what my own worldview was – and so that set me off on a quest of discovery that has absolutely shattered my worldview and brought me such enriching insight that my life has been forever changed. Now I’m far more laid-back about other people’s beliefs. Now I respect the human being who expresses their enthusiasm for their god’s love. I see why they might think that there is a god and especially, I see that their ‘god’ is my whatever-I-call-it.
So how about you: Do you know what your worldview is? Do you understand how you understand? I dare you to find out!