The God Delusion and End of Faith (Sam Harris) reignited my faith in one common Humanity. I was raised a devout Lutheran and, for 18 years, did everything in my power to spread the Word of Jesus. These books did not convert me per se, because I converted about 14 years ago. For me it was about not being able to be 'certain', just like Bill Maher and Richard. I was raised with a reverence for Life (which is one reason I am a vegetarian), but was confused when I read about Krishna, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Zoroaster (to name a few). These were all 'prophets' with a great message for how one should live their life. My Pastor at the time called me a sinner for even reading the books. I was floored since the “Tao te Ching” is one of the greatest books ever written, and PEACEFUL. This made me start questioning everything I had been taught from day one. I am completely open to the idea of a “God”, but cannot stand by and watch how MAN is corrupting the idea of “God” by dogmatic beliefs. I LOVE to wonder in the glory of the Universe. I also LOVE to glory in the Mystery. Why do we HAVE to explain everything? Our minds cannot fathom the age of the Universe, let alone the ins and outs of WHY. Believing in something bigger than yourself IS a natural phenomenon. Why do 95% of people in the world need to believe that what some MAN (St Paul had an agenda and used it to foster a political movement against the Romans) wrote 2,000 years ago actually explains the Universe? It is blissful ignorance and I recall being ignorant for a time in my life. However, since I made the conscious decision (since we have cognition, we should use it) to live my life to help preserve Humanity and Earth instead of “Yahweh”, “Allah” or whomever, I have found myself completely happier and a much more relaxed person in general. ALL religions have a Human component to them and that is where I fail to see the validity of ANY of the major faiths Dogma. I could write for DAYS about the historical inaccuracy of the Bible (I majored in Comparative Religion in college). It was a political book written at a time when no one truly understood the world to get back at the Romans and subjugate people into believing.
I was not aware that people believed what I did until recently when I saw the resurgence of Atheist/Agnostic thought. I am not an Atheist. I am not a Deist, Pantheist, or Theist. I am Agnostic because I believe whole-heartedly that “We Cannot Know”. So, ANYONE saying they know, either Religious or Atheist, to me is wrong.
Jesus of Nazareth was a great man with a great message. Notice HE never said anything about being the “Son of God”, it was the people around him that built it up. Buddha was a great man with a great message, as were all the major prophets throughout time. I also feel the Mohandes Gandhi is a prophet in that sense, and if you look at what he believed; “I am a Christian. I am a Hindu. I am a Buddhist. I am a Muslim. I am a child of this great Earth and hope to make a contribution to end the suffering of people.”
I hope that Religion is removed from our daily lives and we can finally start basking in the Glory that is our Common Humanity.
Thank you Richard Dawkins and others for making this possible.
A Former Lutheran who saw the Light