22 November 2011

Finally, Through It

Well, I really got into studying the Bible for a while (I mean minutely).  I had always heard about contradictions, but had also heard that those could be explained away.  Well, I cannot see how they can be.  After going through a time of agnosticism, I eventually came to atheism.  I really believe that there is no god other than those made up by the human mind and changed to fit the current need of humans.  One of the first steps I came to, when I was looking at the Bible closely was: if "God is love", then he has a strange way of showing it. 

Then, I began to look at the world around me and think about it in terms of this god.  If he truly loves humans, then why does he let them suffer?  If he can do nothing about it, then he is not almighty, and so, not a god.  If he can do something and chooses to do nothing, then he is wicked.  So, either this god is 1) impotent rather than omnipotent or 2) a masochistic fiend worse than any devil in his Hell or 3) (and most likely) he is imaginary. 

I decided from what I saw and experienced that he was imaginary just like Zeus, Odin, Jupiter, et al.  And so came to atheism.  This is just my choice.  I’m not a zealous, militant atheist like some that are out there.  I simply made my choice and am living accordingly.  I don’t party, I don’t steal, or kill or any of those things that are called sin.  I simply live by a set of morals and ethics that I have inside of me naturally.  Partly, I observe the Golden Rule, which by the way, is much older than Christianity.  Because of this, I cannot and do not judge other people, nor do I let them judge me.  I have no guilt, because I am not a sinner, I am a human being.  And if I do “wrong”, it is my choice and my responsibility.  The responsibility does not fall on my parents, grandparents, a god, a demon, or anyone else.  It is mine.  If the wrong happens to be against the law, then I might have to pay by going to prison, but that is not something I think will happen, because I generally abide by the laws of the land.

During my agnostic phase, I thought a lot about human inability to prove that a god does or does not exist.  I cannot prove that he doesn't and someone that believes he does cannot prove that he does.  All the experiences are subjective, personal.  What I find interesting is that most religions have these same kinds of personal experiences to "prove" the existence of their deity/deities.  The similarities between the Bible and so many other mythologies is just icing on the cake, so to speak.  It was the Bible itself (along with what I could--and could not--see for myself in the world) that turned me away. 

I'm still interested in the myths (including the Judeo-Christian one), mostly because of their influence on literature.  And I use myth in its denotative meaning.  That is, according to Joseph Campbell, all myths are true in their contexts.  So, there are "truths" (though not absolute) that can be taken from all mythologies, and it is often these truths that are borrowed from one and passed on to another; or truths that are represented by the metaphors, symbols and themes in the myths.  Death, burial, and resurrection, for example, are simply references to nature and agriculture.  Jesus even is quoted as saying, "Unless a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die it beareth much fruit."  While this, of course refers to himself as a fertility god, it also refers to plant life.  Those themes only came into the mythologies once the people who believed them were agrarian.  Those themes do not work as well for hunter/gatherers.  They had a completely different set of myths based on a completely different set of truths, or ideologies.
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