So, my volunteering came to an end and so I have literally nothing to do. So, I’m putting forward a challenge for myself: Write a post everyday for the next week. That means that starting from this post, I have six more to go.
Okay so I was asked to expand on my post on belief systems. What it means to be agnostic and not atheist, and my past encounters with religion.
[personal story time] When I was younger, toddler years to fourth grade, I was enrolled in a private Lutheran school, Lutheran as a sect of Christianity. I sang Christian songs, read the bible, went to church, believed in God. I was fully invested (as invested as a child could possibly be), I took all the lessons to heart-I still remember a lot of the bible stories. But when I switched to a local public school for fifth grade, I stopped putting in as much faith into Christianity. It wasn’t because all the other kids didn’t believe-it was because at the time there was nothing to keep reinforcing that faith. Nothing to keep the belief alive. As I moved through middle school and high school, science and literature firmly stoppered any possible fully-fledged belief I could have fostered for religion. I remember being asked if I was Christian in 7th grade and I remember replying that no, I’m atheist. But I was wrong. At the time I had no idea agnostic was even a thing. But I’ve always had a belief in a possible higher power and I’ve always fancied the idea that maybe some aspects of the supernatural exists-like magic.
While atheism is basically believing that there are no deities, gods, or higher powers. Agnosticism is believing that while its possible that a god or higher power exists, its unknown/rather its untestable and unknowable. So, that’s how I came to identify as agnostic.
So, the only time when I was exposed to anything relating to religion was when I was at school. My parents never really talk about religion all that much-they allow me and my sisters to be free to believe in whatever we want-so long as we are good people (by society’s standards) and we’re informed (not ignorant, not blindly walking in).
I remember wondering how diehard atheists and Christians could ever get a long with such contrasting beliefs. But, I’ve noticed that people just avoid the topic of religion and beliefs in general-unless they’re with someone who’s beliefs are known to them already.
I’ve wondered how so many people with contrasting opinions in the same areas could still call themselves Christian when some of their core beliefs are completely different. So, we have to assume perception of the same reading, the same religion has to be different but similar enough that people form sects. But that seems so exclusive-especially when they’re all worshiping the same deity.
There will be some that will say that I have no right to judge when I’m for lack of a better word-an outsider. But I will say this, the core beliefs of religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam-and all the other polytheistic religions-all promote a system of morals that contribute to our societies. This contribution provides a baseline for what is good and for what is bad.