Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We need to talk...

So in a few months the four of us will be thrust together once again for a few nights of fun and games, and I know we won't be getting that catch-up time I hope you all want as much as I do. The idea of being around you guys but not being able to converse with you about all things important to me is not cool. Justin, I really wish there had been more time for us to talk alone the last time I was in Orlando. Talking on the phone is alright, but there's nothing like a face to face emotional talk with my boys. Jeff has mentioned us all meeting up in Graceville for a weekend this summer and just talking, and I am all for that. However, I really need to let you guys know where I am right now in my life, if for no other reason than because I trust your input, and I know you care about me. So without further ado...

I don't think theism is my thing anymore. I've been done with Christianity for a while now, but I've only just recently come to the point where I feel any idea of a "creator" is foolish. When I really sit and think about theism objectively, I see an idea that somehow managed to survive the dark ages, unlike many of its counterparts. I see a money-making scheme that has been modified countless times to stay on top of society's current scenario. I see a system of beliefs that is so judgmental, that it refuses to see the pride in its own position. I see a collection of humans that are so inept, they have allowed fear and ignorance to overpower discovery and intellect.

There was a time when I would submit to the idea of religion being an "overall good," with a small minority of fanatics blemishing the system for all. But now I can truly see how not facing the truth has held humanity back past a breaking point. For too long we have seen ourselves as separate, or above, the earth. Subsequently, we have become our own center of the universe.

I flew to New York two summers ago, and for the first time, I felt at peace with dying. I realized the inevitability of life, and the potential I was throwing away at securing a place in a mythological dreamworld. There is so much more out there to see and do, and I am humbled every time I learn something new. I am happy to be a part of the system of the earth, and I cannot wait to see what happens next, but I refuse to spend the rest of my time here worrying about it.

10 comments:

Justin said...

I wish we could have as well. There will be other times.

I do have a response, but I feel like it would be better voiced in another post instead of over comment.

However, I will say I am right there with you. I parted with religion about midway through 2006 and have never looked back. I would be very interested in hearing how you came to your conclusions.

Chase said...

A Fool says "what"...

I'm glad you've done this and that you know we care. It's nice to not be in the dark. Admittedly, though this is like when I told my dad I was gay. He had to see it coming, right?

At least you're not a calvinist. Fatalist maybe? Maybe all that was like your road out of faith. What is sad is I know how for real you both were about following Christ. No matter how solid you're reasons for leaving that behind, it still could not have been easy.

What did you mean when you said you came to terms with the inevitability of dying? My experience last year put life/death into perspective for me.

That's a great idea Jeff had about us all getting together this summer. I'm for it.

Justin said...

You are right Chase, it was not easy at least for me. I struggled with it for years, just like I struggled with different theological beliefs while in Graceville. I have always been a seeker of the truth, and there were so many things about the Bible that I just could not reconcile. Once I learned about how the Bible came to be and the whole Council of Nicea thing, it just opened up a whole new door of questioning.

A bunch of men cherry picking certian books out of hundreds for inclusion into the Bible just doesnt scream Word of God to me. I just dont have that kind of faith.

I read this book a few years back called "Misquoting Jesus", and it dealt with all the errors and contradictions in the Bible, and I just couldnt argue with his facts. It totally rocked my world, and I am now a very happy agnostic.

Yes, I was very sincere in my belief in Christ, but I am also just as sincere now in my disbelief. This was not something that came about from moving to Orlando, this started in Graceville, I just never really had a grasp on it until later.

I see religion as a crutch to society. It makes so sense to me that a christian would have such a problem with two gay people getting married, but have no issues with torturing another human being. Or how could someone in their right mind believe in something so stupid as Scientology. Why would the Pope excommunicate someone from the Catholic Church who didnt believe in something as unprovable as the Eucharist, but let someone stick around who ignores and denies the facts of the Holocaust?

I just dont get it. I think its just a power trip to keep the masses in bondage.

Reguardless, I do respect what others believe, I just dont hesitate to question their reasoning. Feel free to question mine as well.

Jeff Watkins said...

I called Jed just to let him know I had no ill feelings toward he and his newfound disbelief (I know new isn't entirely accurate, but it's new information to us.

I don't feel like restating what I believe because it hasn't changed all that much (although to Chase's dismay, I am more of a Calvinist now). You guys basically know what I think.

I do believe, however, that we can all learn from each other.

Also, Justin that book you read, "Misquoting Jesus" was written by Bart Ehrman. I actually had a conversation with him because he was at my school giving a lecture with another scholar. I would challenge you to read some of his other stuff rather than relying on that "pop textual criticism" book for all your information about the canonization of the Bible. It isn't regarded as a great book, as far as scholarly writing goes. It's easy to read and relatively short, which helps the appeal. Earman studied under a brilliant man named Bruce Metzger at Princeton, and although he parted ways with his mentor, Ehrman has a great mind and he really is a good writer. It's a shame, though, because his doubts about the New Testament aren't founded entirely upon historical data but rather simply speculation.

An author with a particular worldview is going to write in such a way that conveys said beliefs. If you want to be informed and read the other side, I would suggest reading a couple of the main critics of Ehrman's work, Ed Komoszewski and Daniel Wallace's "Reinventing Jesus".

I love you guys. I do. All of our talks, whether they are good or bad and we're right or wrong, I love you.

Let's makeout.

xxx

Chase said...

"to Chase's dismay, I am more of a Calvinist now"

That's not what you said last night.

Jeff Watkins said...

It only takes one night.

Jared said...

Bitch, you got served!!

Chase said...

Yeah, a giant plate of unreliable friends...

Jared said...

Now comes the great philosophical debate of who you're gonna eat first and why...

Chase said...

When the time comes, I'll sell you all into slavery not that you'd be worth much but I'm a good salesman.

I ain't that hungry yet.