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Went to my nieces Christening today. Sat an observed rather than joining in with the service. Although, I think that may sound disrespectful, by joining in I would have been saying things I don't believe in and making promises on things I don't believe, which would have been far more disrespectful to the religion.

I mainly went along, because I knew how much it would mean to Ian (Skye is far too young to care whether her Uncle's there or not really). It's really uncomfortable being in a church service as a non-believer, which ok, isn't a problem as that's not who they're for. However, it has got me thinking about my own faith, or lack there of, so I thought I'd record these thoughts here.

I was brought up a christian, but lapsed in my habbits of going to church whilst I was very young. Mum stopped going to church after the divorce, she doesn't like the way the church conducted it's services and in more recent years turned to being a Jehoviah's Witness (another thing that got me thinking a lot about my own thoughts on the subject).

Dad did however, take me to church when I was round his for the weekend. Something which I loved at the time, but that was at least in part because I was best friends with the Vicars son (and being that young didn't really understand about faith, etc). However, when the vicar and his family moved away I stopped going and as a teenager began thinking of myself less and less as a christian.

I have a lot of very mixed up thoughts on the subject, but I know I'm happy with the theory of evolution and intelligent life being just a natural part of that. As such I can't see humans as being any different from other animals, we're just another species on this planet.

This then naturally leads me to think if there was a higher being, why would he be interested in us? In terms of the whole universe, we're actually fairly insignificant. There's millions of other species on this planet and there's millions of other planets out there (admittedly the vast majority of them will be unhabited, but that's not the point).

If there was a higher being, why should it necessarily be infallible? I'm not sure I believe in infallibility. If there was one, I think it would certainly be fallible. Nothing is perfect.

As a non-believer, if I'm wrong I'm going to go to hell? hmmm, that's a nice thought. I don't think I'm generally a bad person (well at least I hope not), I know I've done many things that would be considered as "sins" (some I regret, some I don't) same as anyone else, christian or otherwise, but I think I'm generally considerate to others and the environment around me. Yet for the fundamental reason that I don't believe/I don't worship/I don't live my life as a christian I shall go to hell. Does the same apply to cats and dogs and things, if so what do they do in the way of worship or are they all condemned?

So, I shall be highly blasphemous now. I think that if there is a higher being and by not worshipping/believing in him/living our lives the way he wants we're going to be condemned to eternal damnation, then this higher being is necessarily selfish. If that's the case, then I don't think I'd want to go to heaven. I'd perfer to go to hell as a martyr.

Maybe that doesn't capture my thoughts into words properly, but it's an attempt and maybe gives a vague idea of what I think...

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
yellowrocket
12th Mar, 2006 20:25 (UTC)
Interesting thoughts.

On the other hand, if everything was created by a higher being, then everything and everyone might seem equally important, not equally insignificant. I know I can concentrate on more than one thing at once, so it doesn't seem too unlikely that a being powerful enough to create everything could concentrate on many, many things at once.

As for the heaven and hell thing, the criteria for getting into heaven have changed many times and vary depending on what you read and who you ask; the Crusaders certainly thought they were doing God's will as Christians and were bound directly for heaven when they broke 'thou shalt not kill' by butchering the Saracens...

As far as I'm concerned, a good and honourable person (or animal/plant/whatever) who respects the planet and everything on it is far more holy than someone who goes to a religious meeting every week and spends the intervening time condemning people who don't subscribe to their particular religion.

I'll get off my soapbox now :-)
hmmm_tea
13th Mar, 2006 18:53 (UTC)

Certainly all religions/faiths/whatever vary according to personal interpretation.

I wish I could have made a better attempt at explaining my thoughts on the subject then I did. There's certain a lot of small things that make me question the existance of a higher being, like the ones mentioned.

However, there's something much bigger encompasing these points that makes me immediately say "there can't be one, I just can't believe that", but I can't put it into words or really explain it. Not sure I really understand it.

Perhaps I just need to talk to more people about there beliefs in order to figure out what it is...
ex_robhu
12th Mar, 2006 20:37 (UTC)
That's a nice post. Are you aware of Pascal's wager? Of course we know now that Pascal's wager is fundamentally flawed.
hmmm_tea
13th Mar, 2006 18:40 (UTC)
No, but thanks. Shall look at them when I get back to London...
ghoti
12th Mar, 2006 21:09 (UTC)
I don't think that actually makes much sense, if Hell is the absence of God. It's not a punishment inflicted by some higher being, it's a choice, with consequences. One chooses to turn towards God or to turn away, and if one turns away, then one has to accept that God might accept that. And it's not a choice made in a moment - it's a series of choices at any point in which one can change one's mind.

What is living in God if not being a good person? Then surely, that goodness must account for something.
hmmm_tea
13th Mar, 2006 18:43 (UTC)
ooo, now that's an interesting way of looking at it.

Hadn't thought about it like that before...

Thanks for that :-)

Think there are a large number of "christians" out there though that don't view it that way.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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