Moving On And Beyond Religion

"There is only one good... knowledge, and one evil... ignorance."(Socrates)

Rediscovering Me

From 1985 to 2003 I considered myself a Christian; From 2003 to 2009 I thought of my self as agnostic but really didn't care. In the beginning of 2009 I heard this somewhere "When people have children they often turn to religion." I myself had been contemplating starting a family so this made me think what would I teach my children. Since I wasn't sure if I believed or not I started a self discovery journey that I had come to the conclude that I no longer believed. That left me with a empty spot in my foundation of who I was. I started to contemplate what would take the place of religion? If someone were to ask me the question "What Religion do you belong to?" how would I answer that and what would I tell them? For a while I thought atheism was a good stance but the more I looked at the more I saw that it was lacking. Atheism could not answer the big Question such as where does atheism stand on morals and good and evil?; How does Atheism regard life and death?; and How Does Atheism treat other people? As I looked further into Atheism all it said was that it did not believe in a supernatural god. That didn't tell me much of anything or answer any of those questions.

One day while surfing YouTube I came across this Video Are You a Secular Humanist? I gave it a watch to see what his message was about and if I was a Secular Humanist. After watching his video, that sounded like that could be me, but like he said in his video each person has to come to it on their own. I had to find out more about what a secular humanist was and how it answered the big questions. 

This is what I Found out:

Secular humanism describes a world view with the following elements and principles:

  • Need to test beliefs – A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
  • Reason, evidence, scientific method – A commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.
  • Fulfillment, growth, creativity – A primary concern with fulfillment, growth and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
  • Search for truth – A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
  • This life – A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
  • Ethics – A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.
  • Building a better world – A conviction that with reason, an open exchange of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

I must say the more I learned about Secular Humanism the more it seemed like a good fit. 

  • a Secular humanist is for Freedom of Speech for everyone
  • Secular humanists generally initiate and support secular programs/legal action for equal rights for homosexuals, gender equality, racial equality, anti-poverty, health, peace and non-violence, and environmental protection
  • They Support a womans right to chose what she does with her body
  • They value separation of church and state
  • They take a secular approach to divorce and remarriage.

There is still so much I have to learn about Secular Humanism but in many ways I feel I have always been a Secular Humanist. I just had to shed the unreasonable believing. One thing I have learned is that most people who are atheists are also Secular Humanists and its really sad that the religious people cant see that. Quite recently when I was having a discussion on religion and non believing, I did state that I lacked belief in any gods so that made me an atheist but I had moved on past my lack of belief and considered myself a Secular Humanist. They didn't bother to find out what a Secular Humanist was and made this statement "You might even see me as naïve. But if there is no God how do you know what Naïve is? Again what’s good? What’s bad? You can’t. Your way of thinking is just your opinion, no ground, no foundation." If they had bothered to look into what Secular Humanism was they would have seen that its mainly about doing good deeds and leaving this earth better then you came. This discussion started out with me asking the question "Have any of you actually read the WHOLE Book Cover To Cover?" I really didn't want to debate the existence of god but more discus the why and how they could believe in a book that went against so much of what we know today and how we think people should be treated.

When I have discussions like this I want to inform and educate people on subjects that they should not be dismissing. I want to educate people on why there should be same-sex marriage and why it wont harm the church's institution of marriage. I want people to see that allowing abortion is necessary cause when a girl has to drive 8 hours out of state to have an abortion that will save her life, we have a problem. I want people to stop being so ignorant and learn more cause learning can help save the world.

I would like people to stop listening to the pope when he says condoms spread aids. I don't want abstinence only sex education in school, kids should be taught alternatives like ************ and its OK to ********** and if they are going to have sex they should be taught that contraceptives are OK that the pill is OK and condoms are OK. Kids should get certificates showing that they have had the proper sex education making sure they know how to put on a condom not that they have been shown but they have done (may it be on a banana). I myself was told to just say NO but I was also raised to not have sex before marriage and I did not have sex with anyone till I had found the one that I planned on marrying, but I can’t say everyone else will be like me and they need to have to tools to make the right decisions. I want people to understand that Separation of Church and State is very important to making sure their rights to believe are not infringed upon. And just cause it say in "god we trust" on the dollar that America was not founded on Christian values.

Living Life to the Fullest with no Regrets

One thing that I find important about being a Secular humanist is the concept of death. Since neither I nor anyone else can really know what happens when you die, this life becomes so much more precious. I can't be guaranteed an afterlife so what little time i have well it’s all i got. I don't like the idea that the church promises people an afterlife... All they have to do is devote this life to something they have to take on faith. These people ask me what if I'm wrong? Then I’ll miss out on heaven. But what if they are the ones who are wrong? They will miss out on their one chance to experience heaven here on earth. There would be nothing worse than to realize on your death bed that you squandered this life. Believing that this is our one and only chance here on earth; the value of everything increase immensely.

With the idea that this is my one and only chance to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done it has really changed my priorities in life. When I was 9 years old my Pa (grandfather) passed away. My memory of that week is not very clear, I do remember going over to my grandparents’ house many times that week to visit. It was quite common at the time for us to go over after dinner for a visit and maybe have some dessert. The night before he died my mom believes I went over that night, but I'm not so sure part of me believes that was the night I wanted to stay home. Cause of this uncertainty I do my very best to tell everyone my honest feelings. Words mean so much more now and even a smile means more than it has ever meant in the past. There are times when I may forget to Verbally say Thank you and when I do it doesn't mean I'm ungrateful, I just forget that people cannot read how grateful you on based on your facial expression.

One of my new Priorities is Knowledge and sharing that knowledge with the future. Whether or not I have children of my own to share my knowledge with; I want to expand my own knowledge and hopefully add to it so that I may contribute the knowledge I have gained to future generations. One way I can start today is to share the knowledge I currently have and hopefully inspire others to continue learning as well. So many of us have just a basic understanding of the world around us and quite often we leave it at that not bothering to understand it any further. I have gotten into some discussions where the other people would not take my basic understanding of how things have come to be and cause they wanted answers to something that it could not answer they said it couldn't be true. Their refusal to seek the possible truth in the words I was saying has only fueled me more in my quest for knowledge. There is so much wonder in the world that it just makes me wish there was a way to download this information into their minds for them to see for themselves. So Now I'm off to learn more and more and maybe one day if I do something significant enough people will remember me and that might remind them how precious our time here on earth is and just how valuable Knowledge truly is.

Please remember this You should never stop learning cause you are never too old to learn something new and until your last breath there will be something else to learn!

ReinetteRenee ReinetteRenee
22-25, F
1 Response Mar 7, 2010

Can you take a moment and explain to me what’s so wrong with this?

“YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU; that YOU may prove yourselves sons of YOUR Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous. For if YOU love those loving YOU, what reward do YOU have? (Matthew 5:43-46)