Happy Thor’s Day
I remember as a pastor helping people through so-called tests of faith. Now as a more deistic person in search of a rational divinity, I would say that it wasn’t so much a test of faith, but a person running into legitimate problems with their religion and their rational mind trying to get them to see that. A lot of the times this doubt of ones religion is interpreted as doubt in one’s faith and that is only partially correct. Regardless it is not a bad thing, but rather our own mind trying to help us see that we have bought into a pack of lies.
Religion doesn’t seem to have very many positive purposes. It is used to control and manipulates through fear or by creating imaginary concepts that are passed off as read to change people’s thinking and thus their behavior. Occasionally a religion might talk about virtue or character that human beings should have or exercise and in that regard religion might do something positive.
For myself, this transition into being a deistic humanist with pagan tendencies is about firstly a search to see if a rational god can be found. Secondly, I am trying to throw off the trappings of religion to embrace a more spiritual and practical philosophy of living my life. I work to be spiritually attuned to the world around me but rationally grounded. Mostly though I seek to be free of religion’s negative effects and thus freer.
Time to Look Through the Eye:
I have faith that there is something beyond ourselves. We talk of romantic love for another person but there is no rational reason to believe it is anything more than hormones being exchanged. Yet, there we are talking and very much believing we fall in love, that making love is more than just hedonistic pleasure for the purpose of procreation, etc. Concepts such as beauty and friendship fall into this category as well, there is more to human senses that the five senses and more to determine what is true and real other than the rational mind. I have faith that this is so still.
I avoid religion as much as possible. I find people who are religious to be inherently self-righteous as much of religion centers on “we have found the truth about the divine”. It is this belief that leads people to think they have arrived in some place that is superior to others whether they openly say so or not. They find themselves looking at others either as poor wretches who still need to find ‘the truth’ or ‘sinner in the hands of an angry god’. There are inherent condescension and hubris to any religious belief.
My theology as a deist pretty much does not have a divine entity or entities that intervene in human affairs. I won’t say that I don’t believe miracles are possible as even Einstien conceded in his probability based universe, all things are possible no matter how unlikely. I have just seen too much as a Pentecostal believer to believe miracles are as common as they say. I have seen a tremendous amount of con artist fraud and sleight of hand magician’s tricks to buy that it happens. I don’t fall into the deist problem of believing in the larger miracle of creation and not believing smaller things called miracles can’t happen, but I also have found that most miracles have a rational explanation and usually it is some form of deception followed by a large amount of confirmation bias.
I would consider myself no longer religious but spiritual. My rational mind is part of that spiritually. I just think there is more to mankind that a computer lodged in the head of a biochemical body. If there is any spiritual practice that has changed for me is I don’t spend a lot of time praying, if at all. I realized that people when they get a result they wanted often cite that as proof prayer works. I challenge such people to rationally do an experiment for a bit. Keep a record of everything you pray about and be absolutely honest about how all of the things on that list are ‘answered’ I know when I did this about 20% of the things I was praying for came about. 80% either didn’t happen at all or things went a completely different way from how I was praying.
No, I spend more time thinking and meditating on things to understand them these days rather than praying. I find it leads to far more freedom of thought and a better way to navigate through life’s challenges.
I became a diest because of ignorance. I think the human race simply does not know enough to dismiss the possibility of the divine. What I also am fairly sure of is that most religions are irrational and are basically attempts to either fool people or control their thoughts and behaviors using appeal to divine authority to do so. I search for a rational divine, not one which is defined by others through religion. It has been a very liberating choice.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.