Discussing whether or not the May 6 episode of Lost was good or not, a guy who gave his own name as “Philip Prince” said an interesting thing about religion. I quote broadly (adding capitalization and emphasis):
John locke, the man of faith and religion has decided that in his new found resurrected life he is killing god. Think about this. From the moment he has been on the island he has followed someone else hoping that he is right. Much like many of us who are religous we don’t know if we are right we just hope we are.
Does that sound like religion? It sounds to me like a belief that many people might share, but that none speaks out loud. It sounds almost antithetical to the usual preacher.
In fact, most accounts of religious experience revolve around certainty, not doubt. The epiphany, the martyrdom, and the evangelizing — archetypes of sorts for the “religious life” — seem actually to try to banish doubt, to deny doubt it’s right to existence.
I don’t care about that in a general level, though i care in a personal level. As in, if you come preach to me i’ll put you into the fire: “How do you deal with your own feelings of doubt?”
But as of recently i have become aware that now atheists are beginning a preaching of their own. Can you preach about Atheism? Can you try to convince people that they shouldn’t be convinced? Can you convert someone to atheism? Does that make sense?
Such wackos as Dawkins and Bennet try to make it sound like religions are uncompromisingly closed to other ideas, that they are unwilling to understand, but i do not see them acknowledging that human experience, like i do not know about your life but i have been living mine for some years now and i can tell you this, i do not see those Atheism crusaders acknowledging the basic common denominator of DOUBT in my human experience.
They claim that, if you have any doubt, you should team with them, with the non-believers, but this is foolish. If you have doubt, you should team with no one. You should regard both religion in all it’s forms and atheism as, you know, talk. It’s ideas that people toss around. And it is foolish to say that “There is no God” is any more neutral or unbiased than “There is God”.
You can’t possibly know.
And, while the preachers and popes and ayatollahs and spokespersons and such claim that this or that is right, i do allow myself to believe that many of the ones who listen prefer to, by themselves for themselves, to accept that “we don’t know if we are right, we just hope we are”.