So I had a AIM chat earlier today with a friend that was 8 minutes short of being two hours. Yes, two hours, which can be proven by the timestamps! HA! What can I say, I’m a fun person to get in good discussions with! ;)
Anyways, we were chatting about religion and I’m going to post a portion of it here and let you comment on it. And I might post other portions of it later on.
Friend (7:57:13 PM): so lemme ask you. do you not believe in God?
Me (7:58:13 PM): as a highly religious person...i'm sure you know what an agnostic is. Am i correct in my assuming?
Friend (7:58:48 PM): i've heard different definitions, but i know what one is to me...what is one to you? (haha now THAT sounded like a therapy question.)
Me (7:59:59 PM): i claim the definition straight off the dictionary.com site...."One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism." Having said that...i can't say i believe in God, nor do I completely believe in his nonexistence
Friend (8:01:12 PM): so what keeps you from choosing to believe one way or the other?
Me (8:01:22 PM): my head
Friend (8:01:39 PM): what about your head?
Me (8:02:33 PM): i think too much...and, had you read my blog, you'd understand that i just can't convince myself that all the religion stuff actually happened
Friend (8:04:33 PM): well even at that, there's a difference between believing that the "religion stuff" happened and believing in God...Jews, Muslims, etc. believe in God but not in Jesus as His son.
Me (8:04:53 PM): okay....then....as for why i'm not a Christian...i can't convince myself to believe in all the Bible stuff
Friend (8:06:05 PM): well of course not. heck, if i wasn't sure i believed in God, then i certainly wouldn't buy into the Bible. that makes sense. So do you have a theory about the creation and all that jazz?
Me (8:07:39 PM): nope, but with me, i don't care. Who cares how we got here…we are here aren't we, why does it matter, why do we have to explain things that aren't worth worrying about
Friend (8:08:49 PM): oh c'mon. you always say that you like to think about the hard-to-explain things (i.e. purpose of life, etc.), don't you?
Me (8:09:00 PM): yep
Friend (8:09:06 PM): so what are those things?
Me (8:09:19 PM): but like i said....why does it matter...if there is nothing we can do about it and we are already here, we know how to get more of us here don't we? so why does it matter, however i totally understand that a lot of people must have answers to everything, so religion is good for them. i on the other hand....personally have no interest in creation
Friend (8:09:55 PM): alright then. how bout what happens after death? any theories there...that you're willing to tell me? ;-)
Me (8:11:15 PM): honestly....i don't know what happens after death...i lean toward saying nothing....you die you die...that's it, but that's too hard for most people to swallow....so religion is good also for help to sooth the idea of death for those that need it
Friend (8:12:26 PM): so, are you striving to decide one way or the other about the whole God/no God question?
Me (8:12:52 PM): what do you mean? am I sitting here today wondering which route will i pick?
Friend (8:13:58 PM): haha. no. i just mean do you eventually want to decide for yourself whether you believe in God or whether you believe that there is no God?...not neccessarily this very second. lol
Me (8:15:02 PM): well sure.....but as the other definition of agnostic says..."One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God"....i might never know whether there is a God or not; therefore....i just continue to live my life as i am....knowing i can't spend my entire life trying to figure it out, i have to live my life...and if along the way i can make a decision...that's cool
Friend (8:16:08 PM): i'm just curious b/c that seems like an important question to answer for yourself b/c if there is a God, then obviously, we should be living our lives in one certain way, but if there is no God, that way of life would be a waste of time...that question determines a lot of things.
Me (8:17:08 PM): i'm confused....what is the "question" that determines a lot of things? The question of "whether there is a God" or what?
Friend (8:17:18 PM): yeah
Me (8:21:00 PM): i suppose it seems like i lean more toward the idea of not believing, though i don't go to the extent of saying God is non-existent, since I can't prove that.....and with leaning toward the idea that religion, as i put it in my blog, can be viewed as a large form of therapy....a superb form of helping the human race to cope and survive, i don't see that "question" as important as say a totally religious believer like yourself does. does that make sense? I suppose the "importance" behind the question is on different levels pertaining from the perspective you take
Me (8:22:10 PM): look at it like this.... a Christian puts urgency on a question like that with the backing thoughts that "God could return any day now and if you're not ready when he comes it is too late"....well one who doesn't buy into the whole religion aspect doesn’t view it in that nature in that they don't see any sense of urgency since they don't acknowledge a "judgement day"
Friend (8:22:30 PM): well if you can chalk up religion as a form of therapy...you can do the same for science, relationships, love, chocolate...anything that helps us to understand, cope, or feel better
Me (8:23:38 PM): i didn't say you couldn't
Friend (8:26:35 PM): well i view it like this. if there is a God, then you're going to want to live a Christian life: serving, praising, worshipping, etc. in hopes to go to Heaven and to bring others with you....if there is no God and there is nothing after death, then you should make this life as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. i mean, you wouldn't have anything (other than the law) keeping you from doing everything to make this life as fun as possible. So to me it's an important question for anyone to answer simply because it will/should greatly affect how you live each day...for yourself or for God. i'm not refering to the urgency of Christ's return or anything.
Me (8:35:46 PM): ha ha.....yeah....that is how a religious person would view it....but i think your life can be guided by other things as i think you so PERFECTLY pointed out earlier...some of the other "therapies" in which case you don't see yourself living life either just for God or for yourself....it leaves it open to other options; another "therapy" as you might call it. Plus...in the sense you made it come off...and unfortunately as most religious people do....if you're not religious and you're "apparently living life for yourself" then you are led to do bad things....you made it sound like if a person is only out to please themself, they are going to do all these "bad" things. i don't see that as the case. yes, some people do that, but i suppose i look at it like this...and in my life...i suppose you could say my "chosen therapy" to guide my life is love...and with that as a guidance, it doesn't necessarily guide me to do bad things. Make sense?
Friend (8:40:43 PM): sure it makes sense. and i wasn't (purposefully) saying that all "self led" people did bad things...just self pleasing things...like love. ppl fall in love b/c things feel good for themselves. they get married because it feels good to them to be with one other person. these things aren't bad...they're just (if they're not God serving) self serving. but i'm an MFT, so i obviously don't think relationships or love or marriage are bad. make any sense?
Me (8:43:50 PM): yes...that makes sense, but i think we are on two different pages when we talk use the word love.....yes, love between two people leading to marriage is great too...and yes, that can be some of the love i'm talking about, but that's really not what i think of when i reference love....i think of the power....love for a quantity....loving people (in general)....loving life....loving what we do....loving _______ .....if we are led by our love for things or people or something i think that is such a powerful source.....similar to how highly religious individuals are led by their beliefs involving God; As for your self-pleasing comment....i'd say this...i have basically been sold on the idea that everything we do in our lifes has a selfish basis...granted most of the time I don't think we do it with that state of mind driving us, so many times it is unconscious, but still. I think even religion and being religious is led by selfish motives
Friend (8:45:37 PM): absolutely true. love like that is very powerful. but it still exists to please the self.