Live and let live
A friend did a soft pitch intro to the idea of saving me this weekend and I explained to him an idea I’ve been thinking of:
“Isn’t it important how I live my life, not what I believe in? If I live a just life and follow many of Christ’s most important teachings, isn’t that the most important thing? (Here’s where I got him) I live a good life and do good things for others and care about the environment, humanity, my community, the oppressed and downtrodden. And I do all these things because I care, because I am a good person who wants to help, to make this world a better place. I’m not doing it for the promise of eternal salvation, so doesn’t that in fact make me a better person than you?”
Boom. Obviously my goal isn’t to tear him down, to make myself feel better. And I don’t actually think I’m better than him or most people. My goal was just for him to realize that non-theists or those who practice other religions aren’t lesser than him or really any different. We all make mistakes, experience one day at a time, try to make the best of what we’ve been given. Many of us want to make a positive difference while we’re here and should be commended for it.
If there is an omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent being that rules over the Universe, I’d believe he’s not a jealous, petty individual who needs people to root for him to gain self-worth. He also wouldn’t damn people to burn for all time who were kind-hearted do-gooders their whole lives that just didn’t accept with all absolute trust that he existed without any worldly proof. Especially when they’ve grown up in a world of science, that is firmly grounded in the testing of theories through rigorous studies and consistently proven results.
These are just my thoughts, of which I don’t bring up unless asked (on occasionally on this blog). If you are religious, go for it, it’s fine by me. I just try to always analyze my beliefs and values regularly to make sure they are solidly based. I play devil’s advocate (haha) against myself and try to identify weaknesses in my arguments, then work to seek a new, more logically supported position. Obviously faith is different, but the religious tenets and church stances can still be held up for scrutiny.