Something I Can Get Behind
Well, I started thinking about this because of another EP user who I have to say is quite respectful and that is refreshing. Although I know we don't have the same belief it is nice to know that I can have a decent conversation about it without it turning really ugly. I have never really outright declared that I am an agnostic before, so this takes some resolve. I dislike being labeled for my beliefs most of the time, but in this case I'll make an exception. Maybe it could be helpful to label myself before others do. The problem I have with being "Agnostic" is the connotation behind the word. It's similar to "Atheism" in that it always seems to have a negative meaning to a lot of people. That included myself until recently. I've decided to stop having such a problem with it. Most people seem to think that Atheists and Agnostics are total downers, or that they are unbearably cynical. I don't think that I am cynical for being an Agnostic really. I think I am just of the mind that it is silly to say that I believe beyond a reasonable doubt in the existence or non-existence of a higher power. I think that religion is fascinating, but I can't seem to commit to being on either side of the fence. I prefer to sit right on top of the fence, seeing as that is an option that too many people don't consider. Fences are nice vantage points some times. You can see what's going on on either side. No, they are not soap boxes and I do not agree with preaching my ideas to people. I like to discuss them though. It bothers me when people think i'm being standoffish. I am never out to make someone look foolish, change their beliefs or make them feel bad in any way. I just enjoy hearing other people's opinions and sometimes I find it hard to understand how people can be so uncompromising or not consider other possibilities. There is nothing necessarily the matter with that, I just find it difficult to comprehend. I suppose that's part of the allure of talking about it with people. As long as they don't get offended, I'm all for it. Maybe I just like to test my empathetic abilities. I grew up in a home with two fairly religious Roman Catholic parents, but by the time I was about 14 or 15 my entire family had stopped going to church. For me, I felt like we could have stopped going a couple of years earlier because it was more of a chore than anything. It was only about three years ago though that we stopped attending Christmas and Easter masses too. Both of my parents have told me that they have become disillusioned with the Catholic Church as an institution as well as the Pope and they will no longer go to church because they believe they would only be encouraging what they thought was wrong. I tend to respect my parents a lot, so perhaps I've borrowed from some of their opinions. It sounds cowardly to say that I guess, but humans don't usually form opinions out of thin air even if it sometimes seems like they do. I just always feel like it's next to impossible to have such unshakable faith when there are so many conflicting messages out there and so many good arguments for either side. I think I will forever be wondering about it all. That's OK with me I guess. Things have a way of working out.