ONLY A PAPER MOON

I noticed I have about an equal number of religious and atheist friends. That probably means I’m doing something right. If you get right down to it, I believe in you and me. I believe in intelligence and our right to exercise it as we see fit.

I am a non-believer. This means I neither believe in a particular religion or dogma, nor do I deny the possibility that faith may have its roots in truth.

No one can say for sure there is a god. No one can prove there NO god. It’s unanswerable. I will defend to the death your right to believe whatever you choose. It is your right to believe, disbelieve, question, or argue. It’s my right too.

I draw the line at anyone telling me what they think I should believe.

I dislike dogma. Religion by itself is not a problem. It’s the system, the rules, the dogma that messes up the world. Dogma is a way to categorize everything, to put everything in a box. If it doesn’t fit in a box, the dogmatic believer will beat, pummel, pound, and torture it until it fits.

No boxes for me. I am a box-resister.

Atheism is a leap of faith as are all religions and I think it is a religion. My mother was a declared atheist, but in my opinion she felt betrayed by god. She felt that if there was a god, he wasn’t worthy of her faith.

Since no one can prove the existence or non-existence of god, I think we’d all be better off if everyone would stop trying to come up with “the” answer. That isn’t going to happen.

Leave it be. No one will be convinced by you, so why not let everyone do their own thing, however weird you think it is? Maybe if we let others do their thing, they will let us do ours. It has to start somewhere. Let’s take the first step.

It’s fun to debate god, no god, religion, no religion, faith, no faith. Big ideas, complicated concepts. It’s intellectual exercise. It makes great after dinner conversation, but that’s all it is. When the last cookies have been eaten and the last wine drunk, it’s time to pack up the arguments and go home.

That’s how it ought to be.



Categories: Blackstone Valley, dogma, faith, Personal, Religion

Tags: , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. You wrote: “I am a non-believer. This means I neither believe in a particular religion or dogma, nor do I deny the possibility that faith may have its roots in truth.”

    SO, you are not a firm NON_BELIEVER, but like many of us, would like to see a little proof, one way or the other. I know I would, as we seem to know so little about the universe, not to mention the reason for our own existence. Let me know if you find out anything?

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  2. As I have said many times, whatever floats your boat. If you want to believe in the existence of God and to be religious, that’s fine with me. You do you; I’ll do me. But when the conservatives Christians on the right start passing laws that affect me or others like me, laws that elevate their religious beliefs and deny or even criminalize the beliefs of those who don’t embrace their beliefs, that’s where I draw the line. And that’s what’s happening all across America now. We are fast becoming a religious (Christian) theocracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know this is an issue and a big one, but I can’t worry about everything at the same time. Right now, I’m focused on two things: seeing someone clamp handcuffs on Trump and his cronies — and the environment. We are in a huge mess and with the current supreme court, it will get worse. I frankly despair of seeing anything like actual progress on ANY front.

      I’m not seeing much of anything happening. A lot of huffing and puffing and promises and semi-sort-of promises, all of which end in nothing much. Add one more thing to my list of worries and fears and I might buckle under the weight.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a new favourite term, “box-resister”
    I’ve been called a nonconformist, unorthodox, unconventional, dissident so many times, and by so many people during my life…
    I like box-resister.
    Gracias

    Like

    • You are welcome. I hate boxes. I hate drawing between the lines — unless I drew the lines. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed to anything without checking to be sure it’s what I want. Hey, we could make boxy hats to wear with some cute saying on it. Make millions.

      Nah. Never mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent post! That’s the one I would have written IF I were half as smart as you! Instead I wrote a wordy comment on the post that began this particular thread. I’m not half as clever in getting the thoughts across, but you said it ‘for’ me. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not cleverness. You’re MORE than clever enough. What you lack is 40 years working at it. When you look at something you wrote, look for where you’re repeating yourself with different words. It can be painful to cut sections you like, but do it anyway. I’m doing it now, as I edit this too-long comment. Keep what you need. Ditch the rest. Also, when you get to the end, go back and get rid of all the places you digressed or rambled — at least if you are writing to make a point. If it’s a personal piece, ramble your heart out.

      At the end, if you feel you’ve left something out, don’t tack it onto the end. Find where it should be, put it there, then edit. IF it doesn’t fit, maybe it doesn’t belong there. I often keep pieces of leftover posts in a file in case I find a way to use them later. While you’re editing, eliminate “which” “that” “so” “I believe” “I think” “maybe” — because all of that is word rubble. ESPECIALLY “which” and “that”!

      You’re smart. You can write. Be a ruthless editor, painful though it is. Often after you’ve cut something, the whole piece comes together. After all these years, I’m still surprised at how removing sections can dramatically improve a post.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Max Perkins approves of your last comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the tips. I edited for most of my life actually, but it wasn’t as technical nor important as the kind you did. (having concise directions for using something or telling how someone works a program or software is vital IMO. It’s fallen by the wayside. A picture of how someone would DO a thing isn’t the freakin’ same.) And I know I have much more to learn.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Documentation became obsolete when someone somewhere decided that “online” help was all anyone needed. Then they exported all that help to India and Pakistan and never replaced it with anything. Now, they don’t bother to provide anything. They (whoever “they” are) figure you’ll find a YouTube video or something. I remember. They decided I was obsolete and that was the end of my career. I started it, and ended it in one lifetime.

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  5. You have expressed beautifully exactly what I think, Marilyn. I have no issue with religion but I don’t like the man-made trappings that go with it. A great post!

    Like

    • I think everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe, religiously-speaking. But there are far too many people trying to force us to believe THEIR way and there always have been. Religions have caused more death than politics — and for a lot of years, politics and religion were one and the same. I think we are drifting back that way again. Sad after we fought so hard to get past it.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I saw this and pretty expresses my feeling.

    “Most non religious people wouldn’t have a problem with religion if it was something benign and privately practiced instead of something weaponized to oppress people, justify harmful beliefs and rituals, proselytize and convert and infiltrate government.”

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    • Absolutely. Forget everything except “privately practiced” and you still have a viable area for agreement. I think the pressure to believe a specific way is more likely to push non-conformists away from religion than draw them to it. I’ve spent a lot of time studying religions both in a somewhat formal setting (yeshiva, Israel) and in college. I can get quite caught up in the intellectuality of it, but have never been able to make that “leap” that changes intellect into faith. I just can’t. And I really wish people would stop trying to force me (and others like me) to be something we’re not.

      Liked by 1 person

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