I sometimes find that I need to ask myself if I am religious or not. Truth is, I don't know. I don't think I am. I don't think there is a religion that speaks to me the way it may speak to others. I suppose I find so many problems with religion that contradict my own moral ethics and to devote myself to a religion that, say, forbids the union of same sex couples, or denies a woman the right to get an abortion, I just can't do that. And in any case, I want to believe that religion is more than just about self-discipline. I think it's constantly misrepresented and many religious fanatics take their beliefs out of context and create a situation that solely centres on one matter (ie. Westboro church), completely distancing themselves from what is meant to be a belief in a "god".
So if I am unable to devote myself to a religion or deity, perhaps I should look into Agnosticism. I think Agnosticism is the belief that there is a god or deity that exists, but it's unknown what that god/deity is, and it is impossible to know. I know many of my friends who can't accept religion have opened up to Agnosticism. I think for a period in high school I subconsciously believed that there was something out there that could make sense but I wouldn't know it until I died. Then I came up with the theory that once we die, we just relive everything over and over again, which, when I think about it now, could explain deja vu. I think I clung onto that for a few years. A lot of my friends see merits in different religions, and they've applied "no sex before marriage" rules to themselves. Again, I have no problems with it as it is their choice and it doesn't hurt anyone.
I've been thinking about death a lot recently (and not in a "I want to kill myself" way, mind you). I try to imagine what death would be like, and all I can think of is sleeping. When I sleep and dream, I don't realise I'm sleeping or dreaming. I don't realise I am breathing (or not breathing) either. If our organs shut down, would we notice it? Would it hurt? I don't know. But that's dying, not death, I suppose.
When I think about Atheism, I always feel like it's the mean bully in the play ground that tells religion and Agnosticism that they're stupid and dumb. I suppose my experiences in philosophy classes has made me think that Atheism can be really mean, or to be more precise, certain atheists can be really mean. There are some atheists who are just as bad as the religious fanatics, who condemn other beliefs, telling them they are ridiculous. What makes them better than a person who is religious? Sure, religious people don't have proof that their belief/religion is "real", but Atheists don't have proof that religion is not "real". There are some people who are so against religion and so pro Atheism that it seems like Atheism is their 'religion', and I don't see how that is "better". It's disrespectful and insulting.
But of course, not all atheists are so intensely against religion. I know so many atheists that see it just as their belief and not something to be pushed onto others. I have religious friends who don't care that their friends are atheists or practice other religions. I just think, if it doesn't hurt anyone then why is it another person's business that they are of a certain belief?
This is why I hated The Merchant of Venice so much. In the play, these Christian or Catholic characters force a Jewish man to convert to their religion after he loses a bet. Sure, this guy was a bit of an arse hole, but to force him to be Christian or Catholic? That's terrible! That is one of the worst things that I can think of at the moment. It's so insulting. I was very upset with the play.
Anyway, I'm not here to piss off religious people/Agnostics/Atheists. It's just my way of seeing things. These are my thoughts. I don't know what I am and to be honest I'm probably happier not being boxed into a definition. But I just want to say, whatever you practice or believe, it's your own choice and I respect that. We should all respect that.
What are your thoughts?