As many of my readers know, I am fascinated with the topic of faith, religion, and spirituality. I pretty much cover the gamut on this, but more from a historical lens than that of a theological one. I love drafting posts about how people view faith and how their sense of faith transformed or is transforming human history. There are many atheist who are just bitter. They hate themselves and thus force their own sense of disdain for humanity on to others. This is true of religions too. There are those who believe in certain values which are pushed on to others. I was recently asked by a student to share my thoughts on both ends of the spectrum. Though I find this video to be very very good, it is flawed in some ways. Give it a listen and you might see why. As for me, the atheist arguments that are without validity are:
1. There cannot be a God because good people suffer and die
2. Religion causes too many wars and conflict
3. Religious people are evil and do evil things
4. Religious people lack intellect
5. Christians are the reason for racism
As for Christians, I find them silly in that they:
1. Believe the entire book of the Bible is the inherent word of God; we know this is not true as man has self selected pieces to define this cannon
2. Make silly arguments regarding time and space vis-a-vis dinosaurs
3. Seem to believe all members of society should live by their legislation
4. To be one of them — one must behave in an overly outward way of expression
5. Nonreligious people are immoral
Why I Admire Agnostics?
I have a great sense of admiration for those who define themselves as agnostic; it is here that one has not fully reached a point of distinction; he or she are still wrestling with the merits of two extremes. I mean on one hand, you are asking a person to simply have faith in that a man was born of a virgin to combat the natural elements of the universe, only to be resurrected three days later. Further, man must contend with the notion of biblical inconsistencies, particularly those in the book of Geniuses. On the other hand, science cannot explain so much about humanity nor man’s sense of place. Hence, this opens the door back up to the agnostic as he continues to seek truth.
The reality of seeking truth for this agnostic is that he may never find it. But, the thing I admire about agnostics is their lack of a solid conclusion.Paradoxically, I admire the atheist who studies Christian and religious beliefs and seeks to understand why they have their values — this being true for the atheist’s respect of Muslims, Jews, and Hindus. Religious people must also seek an understanding of why their “will” and “faith” cannot be pushed on non believers. Many have spent a great deal of time coming to this conclusion.
I myself respect the values of all people. Because of that, I concluded this past year that I cannot nor will I ever teach at a religious school that discriminates on the behalf of their belief. I have found such institutions to be narrow in seeking to understand that the world can exist outside of religious dogma. I am at a point in my career that I can demand better. To reject others and limit the knowledge base and diversity learned by students is not fair to them, nor does it fully allow for real intellectual engagement.