Actually, it all started on August 13, 1975, the day I came into this world. For me, at least. I guess the question is what “it” is that is starting here, and for our purposes, “it” is the beginning of this blog. It took me forty years and a lot of pain to start questioning everything I believe – to strip my worldview naked and begin the process of reasoning my way through life outside the trappings of the faith discipline I was raised in. The purpose of this blog is in part to journal my thoughts and experiences as I re-evaluate why I believe what I believe (or disbelieve), especially as it applies to ideas about God, Christianity, and organized religion in general. I wish this examination had started long ago, and I’ll get into why it didn’t. But here we are now.
Right out of the gate, so there’s no confusion or unnecessarily prolonged mystery, I was raised Christian, and I now consider myself agnostic.These titles or positions need some explanation, more than I can do in a paragraph or two, because they can mean different things to each individual, so I’ll describe to you what they mean to me in upcoming posts.
Regardless of what I believe, I find the subjects of religion, faith, morality, the universe, and the origin of life infinitely interesting. To be an observer in in this universe, one of billions of human beings on this planet, spinning through space and time and able to even ask questions about what it all means, is an amazing privilege; not to be taken for granted. Whether there is an all-powerful creator or not, the acknowledgment that we live on a relative speck of dust in a cosmos that stretches out for billions of light years (an estimated 13.8 billion, based on what we are able to observe), is immediately humbling. Even so, human beings are inclined to unbelievable arrogance; one form that arrogance takes, in my opinion, is religious dogma. The idea that one has the Answers, and must impress those answers upon others, erases the bright line between what can be known and what is believed. That being said, dogma exists outside of religion, too. To say authoritatively that “there is no God” I think is a step too far, and one that many of the New Atheists are too quick to to take. This cannot be proven. This is not scientific. This is dogma.
That’s about as deep as I want to get at the moment. I don’t intend this blog to be a biography, a chronological account of the evolution of my personal belief system, a dry exercise in agnosticism or an apologetic of any kind, but more of a journal. I will get into my story to lay the foundation, but I will also go completely off the rails and write about whatever strikes me on a given day. I hope that there is some value in it, that it’s worth reading for someone out there. Things are actually important on this speck of dust, and people’s experiences matter. We’re all in this incredible story together, searching for truth, and there are things we can learn from each other.
Maybe we’ll learn that we’re all wrong.
For now, I’m proceeding skeptically.