I said that I was going to write about my ideas of faith last month, seeing as that was Rookie's December theme. Yeah I realise that now it's January, but hey. I've just been so busy. Watching films, sleeping, reading, eating, procrastinating on the internet rather than revising - it's a tough life.
But I still kind of want to write about my faith and what it means to me. I don't think I've ever really spoken about it too much, purely because being an atheist, I don't follow a religion. But I've realised recently that faith and religion are different things, y'know? The idea that everyone believes something a little bit different, and even the idea of different religions both perplexes and fascinates me.
When I was younger, I went to a local church and Sunday school. But if I'm honest, I don't think I really knew what I was doing there. I went to make collages and eat Kit-Kat's and sing a few songs about someone called 'God' (did you know that God is just Dog backwards??)
Eventually we just stopped going. I don't really know why, as my Mum still says that she identifies as a Christian if I ask her. But she in no way practices the formalities of the religion, she simply believes in God. My Dad however, shares a similar view to me. Although I have a great deal of respect for Christianity, and other religions for that matter - the idea of a God never made any sense to me. It started off with my young and simplistic brain just thinking 'I can't see him. I can't hear him. There is no real proof of his existence. Why do people believe in him?' Now I think about it in a slightly more complex way, but that is still the basis for my belief.
A big reason why I don't feel able to follow a religion is because people say that their religion gives them hope. I'm glad for that, if people believing something makes them feel good, I'm all for it. However, all of us atheists manage to hope just as well as any believers - but without relying on a sort of guidance. This just makes me think that the hope we feel is created by ourselves. People thank God for things all of the time. But from my perspective, many of the things that we are thankful for come from ourselves. Our friends, family, our grades, our health. Of course, some things may seem unexplainable and happen for no reason, and I know that people find comfort in turning to God in these situations. I just think that some things are meant to be left unexplained. We, as a race, cannot possibly know everything there is about life, the universe and blah blah blah. But what I mean when I say that we create the things that we are thankful for (or sorry for), is that it comes from how we have chosen to live our lives, not from how God is treating us because we've been a good/bad person. It's hard to explain. In no way am I saying that my views are any more right or accurate than someone who believes in a God, in reality, we'll never know. But I wanted to put how i feel out there.
Some people think that being an atheist means that you just believe in science. In nothing other than what is proven. That all atheists believe that when you die, you just die. Your body decomposes, and your mind ceases to exist. I don't believe that at all. Maybe that means that I'm not a 'true' atheist, or that I'm agnostic. But really doesn't agnostic mean that you're not sure? Well I do feel sure about what I feel. But...not everything that I think fits in with how an atheist is 'supposed to be'.
I believe in life after death. I can't explain it, but you know that thing in your head, that voice, the thing that feels and is just so ALIVE? I feel like it would be impossible for that part of me to just disappear. I just can't comprehend how something so alive can become nothing. I can't comprehend that after all of our lives, successes and failures, we can simply fade away. I don't know whether I believe in a kind of heaven, or reincarnation...but I believe in something like that. I don't know how it would be possible but....it's kind of the same with me and magic. Even though I know it's almost definitely not real, I feel like it could be. But does that mean that my views are contradictory? That I can't understand how a God can exist but the idea of magic feels possible to me? Maybe.
I think what I'm trying to say is that it's hard to put labels on a persons faith. I kind of believe in everything and nothing at the same time.