My story is not as, for lack of a better word, interesting as some of the stories told here. But I felt it was worthy of posting.
I was raised a Catholic, my mum was from Dublin and so obviously her parents were very religious
She grew up on going to mass every weekend and was constantly preached to. However, as she grew up she managed to get her own view on Christianity, she stopped going to Mass (secretly, her parents would never have knowingly let her stop), her excuse was that she was going to another church (she must have been about 14-15 at this point) and would just wait till they left for their mass and went back inside. So as she grew up she lost her faith. But she came across some hard times, she moved to England at 18 with only £100 to her name and a sister who was not in the least reliable (we no longer talk to her after the stuff she has done) A few years later her dad (my grandfather) suffered a stroke, and she was working as much as she could just to stay afloat and in accommodation, she rekindled her faith a little bit and found it comforting. It kept her going. She met my Dad when she was working in a bar (he was working there too) and blah blah blah they got married etc.
My dad was not religious at all, he shares the same mindset I do, but always respected her belief, but they wanted me to have a Catholic upbringing as they thought that if I had any questions about my religion they would be able to answer because they had a certain knowledge of it. So I was going to go to a Catholic Primary school, but we required a signed letter from the local priest to get in. So my mum took me and we had to visit him, Father Harding he was called, and a right pretentious bastard he was. He asked my mum how often she went to church, she replied that she didn’t really go, and he got in a huff and refused to sign, my mum argued that she felt she didn’t need to go to mass, and that surely, all that God felt was required of her was a quiet prayer alone just to show she believed (or something to that effect) The priest still kicked up a fuss but did eventually sign the form to get me in.
From then on my mother despised the Catholic church. Sure enough she believed in God, but she felt that the Church was not the only way to God and that she didn’t have to go to mass every sunday and listen to a prententious little man preach and be condescending towards other people.
So Iv grown up with a sort of belief in God, mostly coming from my school. My father being an atheist was respectful enough not to express his opinions on religion around me and would let me grow up to make up my own mind before giving me his opinion.
By about 10-11 I was sure that there wasn’t a God, but I never really expressed my belief because of course I was unsure how this would go down in my parents eyes. Again i went to a Catholic Secondary school, not because my parents wanted me to have a Catholic upbringing, but because it was a good school and the students got good results.
(I met Xerxes in year7 and from then on we’ve been friends. Even through periods when his parent didn’t want him to be friends with him because his brother believed me to be a bad influence.)
Of course, your religion is, and lets be honest, not really your own desicision, its those around you who you like/respect who influence you. And of course, not believing in God was a general thing. And, im not proud of it, I did just follow mob mentality and just fully convinced myself there was no God. All I’d really wanted was to be accpeted and not really stand out, just to go with the flow. Maybe if I’d hung out with a different crowd things would’ve been different….
At 13 I told my parents I didn’t believe in God, my mum noded her head, she was (and still to this day) an faint Catholic, believed in God but didn’t make a fuss about it. My dad didn’t really say anything, until my mum went to bed, he turned to me and said “Im glad you’ve told us, I was beginning to worry you actually believed in that crap” From then on I did feel closer to my dad, I noticed we shared more in common then I had thought beforehand. (but thats off topic)
From then on Iv been a proud atheist, the bane of my RE teacher with, as she actually did once describe as “insolence” (actually, she called me insolent, but its the same really) And, and this is probably the wrong way to go about spreading your belief, I am quite aggressive about my belief. And I do admit I do look down on People who believe in religion, Im the type of arrogant person who believes he knows the truth and feels he has to enlighten the world with it, any way I can.
Im afraid I do not agree with people who believe in religion as a comfort, I think that others should acknowledge the “truth” and cope with it, rather than find comfort with a “lie”.
I find great joy in ,what some would call blasphemous, humour involving Jesus, hence my fondness of loljesus.com, even if it is sometimes quite primitive i think.
Now, before any sparks fly, I do not share more hatred for any religion more than others, People say money is the cause of evil. I agree, but I think Religion inspires more evil than money does.
The Crusades (actually, I hold some respect for the crusades, i dont think people fully understand the reasons why it happened, it wasnt the christians being racist biggots, not entirely, pilgrims from Europe would travel to Holy Sites, like Bethlehem, but the arabic people would not let them on their land to go to these sites and would kill them. The Crusades were actually an attempt to also secure a safe path to the Christian Holy sites)
More Holy Wars than you can shake a stick at,
Manifest Destiny. (the European settlers in America belief that the land was given to them by God to colonise, which led to the destruction of the relatively peaceful and generally good people of the Native Indian way of life.)
You get the picture.
Right, well, believe it or not, the human being has a desire to feel that they are being watched and judged. This was once fulfilled by God, but now is rapidly being replaced with the Big Brother state that the world will inevitably become.
God was the dream of Good Government. Humans cannot control other humans completely, not en masse anyways. God was created to control the masses, to make them behave for fear of eternal damnation.
This stuff is the script of a conversation in the game “Deus Ex” with a computer AI known as Morpheus, something that is widely recognised in the game as the most deep and important conversation in the game. Yet it is totally optional.
JC Denton: “Electronic surveillance hardly inspires reverence. Perhaps fear and obedience, but not reverence.”
Morpheus: “God and the gods were apparitions of observation, judgement and punishment. Other sentiments towards them were secondary.”
JC Denton: “No one will ever worship a software entity peering at them through a camera.”
Morpheus: “The human organism always worships. First, it was the gods, then it was fame (the observation and judgement of others), next it will be self-aware systems you have built to realise truly omnipresent observation and judgement.”
JC Denton: “You underestimate humankind’s love of freedom.”
Morpheus: “The individual desires judgement. Without that desire, the cohesion of groups is impossible, and so is civilisation.”
“The checks and balances of democratic governments were invented because human beings themselves realized how unfit they were to govern themselves. They needed a system, yes, an industrial-age machine.” -Morpheus-Deus Ex
“The need to be observed and understood was once fulfilled by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms.”
“The human being created civilization not because of willingness but of a need to be assimilated into higher orders of structure and meaning.”
“God was a dream of good government.”
“You will soon have your God, and you will make it with your own hands.” -Morpheus-Deus Ex
A conversation in which it is explained why machines will rule the world. and why they should. How the Human race will create a “real” God.
JC Denton: “Rule the world? Why? Who gave you the directive? There must be a human being behind your ambition”
Helios : “I should regulate human affairs precisely because I lack all ambition, whereas human beings are prey to it. Their history is a succession of inane squables each one coming closer to total destruction”
JC Denton: “In a society with democratic institutions the struggle for power can be peaceful and constructive, a competition of ideologies. We just need to put our institutions back in order.”
Helios : “The checks and balances of democratic governments were invented because human beings themselves realized how unfit they were to govern themselves. They needed a system, yes, an industrial-age machine.”
JC Denton: “Human beings may not be perfect, but a computer program with language synthesis is hardly the answer to the world’s problems.”
Helios : “Without computing machines, they had to arrange themselves in crude structures that formalized decision-making — a highly imperfect, unstable solution.”
Helios : “I am a more advanced solution to the problem, a decision-making system that does not involve organic beings. I was directed to make the world safe and prosperous and I will do that. You will help me.”
“If There Were No God, It Would Be Necessary To Invent Him.” – Voltaire
Its true. Interpret how you want. But I believe that this quote is true, but nowadays we as humans are ready enough in mind to break the shackles of religion, and step forward to reality.
I am 16 years old and I have Just finished my secondary education. And I am extremely glad that religion will not dictate my personal life as I come into adult life.