Originally posted by aimlessly
My heart is heavy reading this thread. For the past few years I have been struggling with the existence of God. My inner voice/reason tells me that
it does not make sense. My upbringing in the church leaves me feeling guilty and ashamed for doubting.
My mom and dad made us go to church every sunday, most sunday nights and some wednesday evenings. My father is a believer in the bible, literally.
If it says God made the heavens and earth in 6 days, then it took 6 days. There was a world wide flood, and heaven and hell are real places.
My mom is a little more flexible in her beliefs, but holds steadfast to them.
My 2 brothers both believe and have gone so far as to tell my husband that because he was not fully emersed when baptized that he is going to hell.
The more I think about it, the more confused I get. For example, I think that the whole Garden of Eden story makes no sense at all. If God didn't
want them to eat the fruit, why put the damn tree in the Garden in the first place? Only to damn them for eternity when they do eat it? It's like
putting an arsenic laden candy bar in front of a child, telling them not to eat it, and then walking out of the room. I have a hard time with the
concept of hell also. A creator that will condemn a soul, his creation, to burn in hell simply for not going to the right church, or for not going at
all. We have free will but will only be saved if we use it to fulfill his will? Then, good ol guilt starts to visit. I start wondering if it 's
just the devil trying to make me doubt.....and I get all confused all over again.
It is a conundrum. To believe, or not to believe? You should know that, on the topic of God (or lack thereof), all
of us are just guessing.
To me, the lunacy of religion
is in living your entire life on the premise of what is to come after we die. So much so, that it interferes
with and dictates how we spend the short time we have here on Earth. As humans, we have an insatiable desire to know and understand everything. To
combat that reality, Man has constructed a framework (generally described as 'religion') to neatly explain that which is unknowable. Out of that
framework comes faith, or belief, that it is true. Whether it is or not makes little difference because faith satisfies that human need to
One of the most dangerous things about religion
is that it interferes with the equally-human ability of reason and critical thinking. Dogmatic
indoctrination imprints upon the mind ideas and concepts that cannot be accepted by the logical & rational mechanisms of the "left brain", and
impedes the holistic and unifying reconciliation that should be provided by the "right brain". This diametric opposition results in continued
internal struggle between what you have been indoctrinated into, and your natural tendency to seek out logic and reason.
Atheism or creationism. Just like the charade of the two-party US political system, these are not your only two options. It is my contention that
there is, indeed, a 3rd position to take on the matter, and that is spiritual deism. In this structure, or should I say 'lack of structure', there
is a God or supreme power responsible for the existence of anything and everything (the true Alpha and Omega), but it is not an omniscient,
anthropomorphized character who lives in the sky and watches over us, casting judgment, determining where our souls will spend eternity. Instead, it
is merely the concept and understanding that there is more than what we can know, that our reason for being is of no importance, and that as humans,
we should focus on our lives here and now, and not on some unknowable future beyond our realm of physical existence.
I'm not going to go into every religion, but the general premise of most world religions (and all Abrahamic religions) is that if you don't follow
their teachings, you are going the hell. You could be the best Cristian in the world, but if Islam is right, you're going to hell. You can be the
best Jew in the world, but if Christianity is right, you're going to hell. I propose that none of them are 'right'. Given the massive numbers of
people around the world born into a multitude of cultures, do you really think that this God-figured supposed by the major faiths would banish them
all to an eternity of conscious suffering simply because they didn't follow a faith that was prevalent in another part of the world? God may work in
mysterious ways, but I don't think that the malicious condemnation of billions of souls on the basis of their Earthly faith is part of the plan.
There is true solace in accepting that the matter of God is one we, as humans, will never understand. It clears the mind of paralyzing internal
struggles and allows our physical lives, here and now, to be lived to the fullest.