Saturday, March 2, 2013

How's Your Tolerance?

I'm gonna hit up what is a touchy subject to most people here this morning.  I had a conversation with a self-proclaimed atheist friend of mine last night, and it went as it often does.  I ask him questions about what he believes and he has no problem offering it up.  I've been thinking about it ever since.

You see, I don't like labeling myself as being anything other than what you see before you at this moment.  I just don't roll like that.  There was a time when I was completely wrapped up in having to be something.  I no longer think like that because then people expect certain things from you.  I like to keep people guessing, wanting to figure me out but unable to all the same.  So, back to the point.  What do I believe?  If I had to put a name on it I'd say I'm agnostic.  I don't claim to know anything.  From where I stand nobody can prove to me that there is or isn't a God.  From what I see the scales are tipping toward not, but I leave myself open to new ideas.  Plain and simple, right?  Not really. 

Most people are shocked when I tell them I don't believe in God.  Most won't talk long enough to learn that I don't necessarily not believe it either.  Religions of the world, your tolerance fucking sucks.  And when I say religion I'm throwing atheists under the bus as well.  They quite possibly might be more religious than religious folk.  So many people would rather be right than admit they don't know shit.  I don't know shit, I'll tell you up front.  I do know that I can gaze upon the stars in amazement knowing that something vastly larger than myself created it, and that is good enough for me.  It doesn't need a name for me to appreciate its beauty.  I'm not sure people understand how they limit themselves simply by saying "there is a God."  Or "there isn't a God."  It's extremely confining and it makes me claustrophobic.

Am I different in your eyes because I can tell you I don't know?  Does it make me weak or indecisive?  Can you tolerate me not claiming a religion or backing up a God?  Life to me seems really pretty simple.  We live and we die because it's the way of nature.  We've gained the ability to think logically and with reason, so how many of us actually do?  People fight religious wars over "sacred" ground.  Is every bit of the ground we walk upon not sacred?  Everything essentially comes from the earth including this mass of skin and bones.  Is that not sacred enough? 

I'm not asking people to throw in all their beliefs.  I am simply asking that you ask yourself some questions.  Because I can't make sense of the fact that people fill a stadium 20,000 deep, pay $200 a pop to get in, and then throw money in Joel Olsteen's plate when there are people starving.  This doesn't seem a little illogical or irrational to you?  We spend more time trying defend our "beliefs" than we do just living life and taking a real notice of what's going on around us.  I think the idea of "God" is purely a selfish one, but I get it.  People need to know they're important and find comfort in there being a bigger plan.  They don't want to hear that upon death its lights out.  I think it scares people.  I have tolerance for all of you.  I accept what you do and don't have a need to change you.  Be who you gotta be.  But can you accept me as I am?  I am the outcast, the one who isn't like everybody else.  I think my ideas have alienated me from a large portion of the world population.  I sometimes sit and listen to the God debate among friends, alone, as they get nowhere.  I do enjoy listening to it though, I feel a little more balanced.  I want the truth, always.  Comfortable or not.  And since I've got no proof of what the truth is, I sit in the middle.

Philosophically speaking, that is.


  1. really made my wheels turn with this one. "Atheists quite possibly might be more religious than religious folk"...I am with you - none of us know...not one single person on earth.

  2. Your thoughts take me to a very short story I wrote about what I believe. It was based on an experience that I found hurtful.

    I take issue with labels too. Sometimes I use them and they are helpful, but I try to be mindful of the ones that I do use. I used to be extremely shy or have shy moments and I still do, but I've stopped calling myself shy. That label only keeps me from growing out of that box.

    Two Socrates quotes I keep close are: know thyself; and all I know is that I know nothing.

    As usual, enjoyed reading your thoughts. Nice writing.

  3. I'm glad some people get it. I rarely come across those that do.

  4. a friend of mine is an athiest, and he preaches more than any person of faith that i know. in fact, he's the only one who preaches that i can think of. that he [and science] is right, and religion is wrong. that's about all he ever posts about on social media, and talks about with strangers. strangest thing...