I just took a few days off to recuperate and rejuvenate; it was perfect in every way, filled as it was with good friends, good food, and good wine. I had the best time of it.
At one point the conversation turned to the R word and everything that comes along with it, including the G word. We did discuss one religion specifically for the impact it’s having on the world today, and then we discussed religion in general.
Now, I’m surrounded by atheists and spiritualists. I don’t think I have any religious friends, although I do have some acquaintances who would be happy to term themselves ‘religious’. This is fine with me; as I’ve said before, I have no problems with your belief systems. We’re fine, you and I, no matter what it is you believe. We will have a problem, though, when you decide you want to cram your belief systems down my throat. Until then, we’re good. I’ll even celebrate with you; festivals, I think, are the good thing about religion. Someone’s always celebrating – and celebrations mean food and friends and good times.
I like talking about things with like-minded people, and I like a good discussion. I even like an argument, provided it is logical and makes sense. So it wasn’t too long before I was accused of being a fence-sitter by a friend who had a twinkle in his eye as he levelled it at me. I rose to my defence, naturally, and an argument was soon in full flow.
Perhaps it does seem a little too convenient to claim that I simply don’t know. However, that is my position on anything to do with religion and god. I simply don’t know. I cannot in all certainty claim that a deity does not exist, just as I cannot claim that it does. I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen his/her/its handiwork. I don’t believe that the earth is inside Shiva’s throat, just as I don’t believe that the universe was created in seven days. Six days, in actuality, as I believe god apparently rested on the seventh. Yeah. Sorry. Not buying that.
Yet I understand that there is so much that cannot be explained away by science, and so much that science does not understand. I’ve never understood the battle between science and religion, in actuality. I feel like they would have got so much more done if only they’d always been friends. But hey, nobody consulted me. I don’t think anyone actually sat down and thought it through either. Someone who was very bossy once said that science was the enemy of religion, and everyone that ever followed simply followed that. We seem to be very good at obeying orders. Blind faith, here we come.
It is perhaps convenient that I neither believe nor disbelieve, but in actuality it’s not the best place to be in. I am going to live my life gloriously uncertain, until the ultimate certainty claims me (to paraphrase Terry Pratchett). I don’t claim to know or understand death or what happens to us all; I don’t claim to understand souls and spirits. But I do know one thing. I know that _this_ – this time on the planet – this is our one shot. It’s our one opportunity to live. I’m pretty sure there’s no afterlife; no heaven or hell; no living forever. So it’s important to give this one shot we _all have_ our all. If that means accepting that we perhaps don’t know it all, then so be it. If that means believing that we do know that it exists or does not exist, then so be it. Just live the best life you can, the best way you know to live it, and impact everyone in a positive way as far as you possibly can. That is _my_ religion.
So that’s why I’m agnostic. I don’t know. I accept that I don’t know. I accept that this probably means I’ll never know.
And that’s all sorts of okay with me.