My very good friend (who has been extremely and tirelessly patient with me throughout my questioning process, answering everything the best way that she can, and for whom I am extremely thankful) sent me this video this morning, saying that it reminded her of me. I’m not sure which part reminded her of me: we once had a discussion where I asked why God won’t restore amputees if he performs other miracles; it could be the end when he urges the listeners to not give up on God. Whatever the reason, this video was good for me. It has reminded me of what I would be losing if I decided to turn against my faith and towards something new.
If I were to keep on with my faith (which would be different now, as I could never go back to my old beliefs) that God exists, there would be various advantages. When things happen that are less than desirable and confusing, then I imagine that I would have some sense of security that things will turn out alright in the end because God is taking care of me. I would have a feeling that something good is coming after death. Many of the friends who I have from church (or otherwise) would be able to connect with me on a spiritual level and probably would keep thinking of me in a certain way. Without God, there would literally be nothing after this life.
I’m just not yet convinced that all of these things can’t be replaced or even improved upon with the right attitude, an attitude common to most atheists that I know. When bad things happen, instead of thinking that they are for a bigger purpose, I would be able to properly mourn for whatever has happened and then move on by my own strength and the help of those around me. I would be more responsible to myself, in this way. Instead of thinking that there’s a heaven that I’m aiming for, I would know that every second that I am alive on this Earth counts immensely and I would have more of an attitude to enjoy life and to help others be able to enjoy their lives as well. And as for friends who would drop me because my views change, well. Isn’t there a saying about “those weren’t your real friends to begin with?”
There was one moment in which I did get scared because of my lack of current faith. I have Bipolar Disorder, and this lends itself to occasional adter-midnight, suicidal ramblings. I was deeply worried at the time about my ability to be a wife and a mother, and whether I would become a hindrance to my future husband and children. I started to say, “There is no purpose for this. There is no reason that I am this way beyond a genetic predisposition mixed with unfortunate circumstances mixed with nature telling me that I’m not one of the ‘fittest.'”
Clearly, this means that atheism would give no hope for me, right?
Well, in the time since I have been reading more, and now recognize that my internal, natural drive to survive is what I should be listening to (could this take the place of God?) and that I’m not losing in the race of survival of the fittest- I’m just helping to redefine what “fittest” means. While my mental disorder is a hindrance sometimes, it only gives me more motivation to overcome and do even greater things, probably more motivation than a mentally “fit” person has.
I’m not sure where I will end up months from now, as far as beliefs go. It is quite possible that I could learn more about other areas of Christianity in which the Bible isn’t taken so literally, and decide that this is a good middle-ground. It is quite possible that I could end up being either atheist or agnostic, and, from this, becoming a humanist and naturalist. Wherever I end up, I have faith in myself that it will be what is best for me, what is best suited for me, and it will be a natural selection.
(Har, har, har.)