Saturday, 23 April 2016

Reality Check

I’ve been a strong critic of faith. I rejected a deep personal faith nearly 10 years ago. From time to time I like to take pause and reflect on where I am, what I think. Just to forewarn you, this blog will not mark the return of the prodigal son. But nor will it be unduly harsh or condemning. It has always been the case that the primary reason I am no longer a Christian is simply because I do not think that the claims about Jesus Christ are true. Nor do I presently think that there are any particularly good arguments for the existence of God. Yet, and this is something that’s hugely important to me; I never want to reach a point where I would reject new information out of either pride or dislike of the ramifications. I’ve always maintained that many of the finest people whom I have ever met have been persons of faith. I’ve experience their kindness, their forgiveness, and their hospitality. And I confess that I do sometimes find it hard to be so condemning of the convictions of people whom I value so highly. When I consider whether there exists the possibility of a supernatural realm, whilst I see no evidence I do regard the question as an interesting one. Wouldn’t it be cool to have our understanding thrown on its head, to have to recalibrate all of our pre-established reference points and take on board new possibilities. The closest thing to the spiritual and the numinous I feel is when I look up at the stars, which is something I try to do often. From my back garden I see a vast black sky laced with ice gems, these tiny glints which are in actual fact celestial bodies of a magnitude I cannot comprehend. It awes me. My stomach goes light. Nothing else gets me like that other than perhaps a magisterial view from a coastal path or from the top of a mountain. I recognise our very existence is inexplicable, and immensely improbable, and I try to live in recognition of that. And whilst I do not think I am a creature destined for eternity I do love the day to day joy of simply being. I cannot for the life of me think what could persuade me to embrace any religious worldview, all the more so when I am so well versed on the central claims. It just doesn’t persuade me. It does not seem worth wasting time on. It seems mired in contradiction and, dare I say it, has a very man made vibe about it. Once again, I don’t want to critique when I’ve done so much of that before. I just want to reflect on where I presently stand. I appear to be a humanist, an atheist. What is important is that I never become so entrenched in what I am today that I am blinded to the new ideas of tomorrow. I am a man that has changed. I am a man that can change. I do not fear change. I fear intellectual paralysis far more. I’m not beholden to one ideology and I am as proud of that as I am any other facet of my personality. My body is middle aged but my mind is young and frequently inspired to entertain new concepts. I hope that I have plenty of opportunities to grow and change some more. I’m not ready to be put out of pasture yet. I don’t think I’m that kind of beast.

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