Saturday, September 28, 2013

Exploring Deism (an excerpt)

December 5, 2012
I think Deism is the natural first response of someone who has reasoned that the Bible is not the revelation of God.  It’s incredibly freeing, not having to muck about Bible verses trying to make sense of it all.  Deists reason that there is a God, a first cause, some intelligence behind life in the universe–because there is life.  Because it is, there must be something that caused it to be.  So simple, so easy.
My reason is at it again. It’s easy to say that, "everything exists so there must be a creator," but there are plenty of people saying otherwise.  My reason demands explanations, scientific evidence for creation and purpose. To believe without evidence is faith, something I apparently am not comfortable with. I may as well have kept my religion. Back up what you believe with reason or don’t bother.
So, now I’m swimming in the extremely vast quantity of scientific facts regarding life, the universe and everything, involving enough branches of science to keep me busy for twenty-eight and a half lifetimes. And I thought religion was complex!
What I’m trying to convince my overwhelmed brain is that it’s okay to not have all the answers today.  Or in this lifetime.  What is important is to live the fullest life I’m able, for the betterment of myself and for those around me.  I know I absolutely cannot do that if I am stressed about answers.  Can I strike the balance of living and searching for meaning and truth without becoming stressed?
A month ago I would have said I would never become an atheist or even an agnostic.  My view of God had changed from God as a personal, involved father figure to an impersonal, uninvolved but benevolent creator.  I was assured by someone close to me (with beliefs similar to mine) not to fear, that my relationship with God was unchanged, or maybe changed for the better, that I could still pray, still speak to God.  I did for awhile, but I soon found myself disinclined to do so.  I was as likely to speak my meditative thoughts to my favorite stars, the trees, my dog, my dead grandfather (never expecting responses, of course).  My gratitude toward my creator hadn’t changed when I laid the Bible aside, but in the last few weeks I’ve found it becoming a general thankfulness, not directed anywhere, just a state of being.

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