I had a long, and lengthy, discussion with a friend of mine on the topic of religion and beliefs. For the longest time, I thought of myself as a pagan. Then, when belief failed me, I turned to atheism. Now, I am not so sure what to call myself. I cannot say there is nothing out there, but I cannot definitively say something is out there either. I simply do not know.
What I can say with certainty is there is much to this world that we still do not understand.
I believe gods were created out of necessity. People needed something to put their faith in to believe that everything would be okay. This could be anything from the weather patterns, food, fertility, even death. Every culture, every people that has walked this earth, has held some form of belief. By the time Christianity was conceived, tens of thousands of cultures had been long dead, and with them their gods died as well.
We must then choose to belief that there is something, or there is nothing. Furthermore, we must then decide who is right, and who is wrong. But what if the truth was no one was completely right, and no one is completely wrong?
I am of the belief that true faith comes from acknowledging the fact that we simply do not know. We can strive to find answers, but ultimately, we just do not know. We want to be right so badly that we sometimes miss the fact that answers can lie in unsuspecting places. Religion does not explain everything, and science does not explain everything. If you were to put the two together, however, you get more answers, and the divide between people is thinned. If you acknowledge that answers can lie within multiple religions rather than just one, more answers are presented.
I do not believe in absolutes. Nothing is absolutely bad, and nothing is absolutely good. Nothing is absolutely correct, or absolutely wrong. Bad can have good intentions, and with bad comes lessons. Good can have bad intentions, and good can also have its own set of lessons. While we argue incessantly over who is right and who is wrong, we are missing the biggest picture of them all; we are all human beings sharing an earth together, and our bickering is leading to our own demise.
Religion, and even a lack thereof, has led to countless centuries of bloodshed. Our earth is covered in gallons of blood from fallen warriors willing to die for what they believed to be correct, and its the age old chess match. There is no winner when there is death. The biggest armies does not mean one is more correct than another. A religion with a massive following is no better than a smaller following. The number of followers does not dictate the level of faith a group of people may possess. The only thing numbers provide is a larger army from which wars can begin, and how history will remember the fallen.
Going back to a point I made earlier within this post, I believe gods were created from faith, and that faith came from necessity. As people moved from land to land, they took their gods with them. The people changed, evolved, and the gods were forced to do the same. That is why we see so many who call themselves by the same name, yet believe so differently. This is why we see so many beliefs that are similar to other religious beliefs from countries we’ve never visited. What I see now, however, is stagnation. The world, like it or not, is constantly evolving. New gods are being created out of necessity, new beliefs are forming from necessity, yet people cling so dearly to the old ways they have always known. This is not the way the universe is supposed to work. This is not to say, of course, that we should completely abandon the “old ways”, but we should not stay stuck in them. If we remained stuck, you would not be sitting at your computer, or holding your phone, reading these words while constructing your responses. We must learn from the old ways, and bring the old into the new. We must take the lessons we’ve been given, but continue to move forward. We will be ancient history one day. Our future generations will look back on this generation in disgust, as we look back on certain aspects of our ancestors, and wonder “How could people sit by and allow this to happen?” Stagnation.
There must be a balance, a harmony. The longer we continue to allow ourselves to be divided, the more we see the world being destroyed. Soon, there will be no one to argue with of right and wrong, because there will be no one left to have an opinion.
I do not believe faith comes from a book written by men. In fact, I believe religious texts are one of the poisons of our society. A book that teaches people how to live can easily be rewritten, or mistranslated, to sway the public opinion. We have seen the evidence of this, in fact, with the changes made to the bible over time. Faith comes from within, belief comes from within, and we create our gods out of necessity. Each person serves a purpose, and therefore we must also accept that “bad” people also serve a purpose. With the recent popularity in Ted Bundy, I’ll use him as an example. Ted Bundy did terrible things, but from those terrible things, we got a unique insight into the way the mind of a serial killer functions. We have a better understanding of just how terrible the human mind can be, and we saw warning signs. We bettered our understanding of the evolution of a serial killer, While we focus on the acts done by the man, we also looked at the victims. Each death gives us more answers about the human body, the human vessel. Each day we continue to move forward and learn, and that is the way we are supposed to be. We are supposed to move forward and learn more so that we may have stronger beliefs in the capability of mankind.
From all the negative things that have happened, good has come out of them. Every experience shapes who we are as people. While some events have a bigger impact than others, we cannot point fingers and continue to hate one group or the other. Instead, we take the information, good and bad, and we learn from it. The situations thrown upon us are up to us to decide how we are going to react to them. Bad can be changed to good.
Perhaps I’m getting a bit rambling, and perhaps I’m even not making sense now. I honestly cannot tell. I can only hope these words make sense to someone out there. I wish these words could help the progression by helping people realize the importance of accepting change, of accepting progression, of accepting we do not know everything, and accepting that absolutes simply don’t exist. No one is right, no one is wrong, no one is bad, no one is good all the time. It is simply impossible. Change, evolution of ourselves, however, is very possible, if we’d simply allow it to happen.