Michael Battalio

Friday, September 27, 2013

This I Believe (part 21):

        After about four years it is time for a revisit of my “This I Believe” series. As before, I’m still having trouble defining exactly what it is I prescribe to as a worldview. I hope to figure some of what I believe here. Now a revisit on what I’m believing.

        It is very hard to shed ideas on the universe that have been indoctrinated in you since you were a baby as you've been taught by every adult you respect that the universe was created by this mythical entity with whom we each have a special connection that is also only one way.  I will provide an anecdote.  When I was in seventh or eighth grade I went to a band camp at LSU.  I befriend someone who was unabashedly atheist.  I was shocked; I couldn't comprehend how someone could deny the existence of God so vehemently.  I remember staying up nights thinking how could he continue sanely living knowing that he would just flash out of existence when he died.  He told me that merely being remembered by those around him was enough.  I was floored.  How could someone be an atheist?  I am still stunned that a 14 year old was so far along in his intellectual development.  I guess that's how it goes when you aren't indoctrinated into a religion from birth.  How interesting would society be if we weren’t all indoctrinated from birth? What if we could choose what we believed instead of having belief presented to you by the people who care for you and love you? If that isn’t Pavlovian in nature, I don’t know what is.

        Presently I think I'm making the same gradual journey from agnosticism to atheism that I made from Catholicism to agnosticism.  With every passing day I realize more and more that God doesn't exist.  I really want him to; again, I don't want to cease to exist at some point, but I just don't think he does.  I also am beginning to look with more and more disdain at people who do believe in some sort of religion.  (Some might take issue with my disdain. I’ll explore that in the next entry.) I wouldn't say that I think they are stupid, but I do think they are either misguided or deluded.  I have stopped going to Mass, but I do miss the interaction with people.  As we've talked about many times churches are one of the primary methods of meeting people.  It would be nice to have that here in TX.  I read an article a few days ago about an atheist "church" where they have a service that is explicitly for meeting like minded people.  That’s what draws most people to religion in adulthood I think – the community. So what if we could have community without all the religious baggage?

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