Journey to Atheism, part II

This livejournal musing on the nature of god/ religion/ etc. comes from February 2007. At this point, John and I were no longer separated and were once again living together.

Hawaii, 2007 (8 months after reconciliation)

Hawaii, 2007 (8 months after reconciliation)

During our re-dating phase, we’d spent a lot of time talking about our religious, social, and political beliefs, which was an eye-opener to both of us. For some reason, I thought my husband was a priesthood-holding TBM conservative Republican (possibly because he kind of was when we got married). He thought, apparently, the same thing about me — and neither of us had confided our growing differences in political and religious views out of fear of alienating each other (ironically).

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So here we are, having suffered through an unhappy 6 month separation and now back together and working on our communication, and we realize we’re both socially liberal Democrats. John also indicated he no longer believed in the LDS church, but demurred from discussing his beliefs in too much depth with me.

I had the impression he was agnostic, but I wasn’t really sure, at that point, how I felt about it. I still believed in god. It didn’t really matter to me if John was atheist, agnostic, or religious — I just appreciated that he wasn’t pushing his views on me. He’d listen and be my sounding board, but he didn’t try to influence my opinions (other than occasionally arguing devil’s advocate for the religious side). So here’s where I was, internally:

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Is God Humble or Egotistical?

February 20, 2007

I’ve never taken theology. I haven’t even finished college. I can’t claim to be a student, much less a scholar of religion. That said, I think God must be either extremely egotistical, or exceptionally humble. I say this because the kind of egotism that requires that billions of people worship you on an hourly basis is just . . . um. Yeah. Remarkable would be an understatement.

I mean, as far as I see it, most people believe that you must show an active worship of God. I’m not talking about just Christlike actions, I’m talking about “preaching the word” and attending church, etc. etc. So, either God will die without all this attention (which doesn’t seem all-powerful to me), or he doesn’t even care what’s going on with his image down here. Or he doesn’t realize. I don’t know.

I’m thinking that it’s a mortal thing. I mean, we’re desperate to make our mark, to leave a memory, a proof that we existed. So we see God (as an extension of ourselves) as wanting or needing that same thing. Seems to me that our actions – how we treat people, the respect and kindness we show – would be more important than all the words in the world.

Tangential to that would be the question about professionally religious people. Are they inherently humble or inherently egotistical? To claim you know the mind of God, an all-powerful, omniscient presence seems to me egotism in the extreme. To be able to speak for Him on earth, to claim you know His will. (I use “He” in an objective sense. I don’t even begin to argue the gender of God. That’s a useless argument. It only matters to the war of the sexes; the nature of God does not change being male or female. Besides, like we’ll be able to settle the argument down here. ‘Hey, God! Show me your Johnson!’ Right.)

Anyway. Back to professional religious people. On the other hand, maybe they are humble. Maybe they recognize their own ignorance, and are only trying to guide others along the best path they perceive. Or maybe I’m generalizing, and there’s six of one and half a dozen of another.

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One thought on “Journey to Atheism, part II

  1. You said: "Seems to me that our actions – how we treat people, the respect and kindness we show – would be more important than all the words in the world." I tend to agree.I have aversion to "religion". I personally believe Christianity as it is today is so far off the mark… I don't think most people know what they're doing. I won't push this today. Just expressing my disdain with it, is all.Thanks for sharing your story!

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