Yeah, I hear you on that one.
I think it is the only wish I could possibly have in my life – that there be a (honest and just) God.
Honestly, if there were one, it would make life so much easier. Heck, even in traffic, when someone cuts me off, I still have the instant from the days I believed – that I don’t need to get mad at him, he’ll get his in the end (and we shouldn’t underestimate road rage… It’s a thing, it’s real, and belief in God makes it easier).
It would be nice to believe that the people in my life I’ve loved who have died I will see you again. That after I die, I will see my daughters again.
Unfortunately, just as you were level of faith does not change the reality, what I want has no bearing on the truth. Truth is truth, regardless of what you want. And if I believed that there was no harm in believing, maybe I would choose to believe, maybe that would ease my life. But there is no higher than truth, and I’ve never known any good to come from ignoring the truth. And in all my life, I’ve known a few work things to cause more harm than wish thinking.
But while I cannot control the rest of the world, And I have no say in whether or not God is real, I am very much a say in who I am and how I live. In fact, that is all I have.
So, I go about doing right by me. I try to be someone that I like, someone that I respect, someone I would look up to. So I do my best to maintain integrity and honesty – not for anyone else, but for me. I do it because I am happy when I am someone unlike, I do it because I am happy when I make others happy. And no matter how hard I try, I am always left with this feeling that it’s not enough that I could or should be doing more, and sometimes I am crushed under the weight of it.
I suspect I would still feel that way too if I believed in God (in fact, I did when I believed)) there’s always more you can do – and with me always is the half empty glass – that which I have not yet achieved.
And the older I get, the less I understand what’s good… Certainly I have noted as Shakespeare, the best of intentions can still lead to Howell.
I do not know what there is after this life – yes, energy cannot be destroyed, but I am not convinced that consciousness is anything more than complex machinery. I’d like it to be more, but…
So, fully aware of that I do not understand this world or my place in it, I push forward with the unfair burden that I can be anything I want to be – and just try to make the choice every day to be someone I like.
If the leaf were a choice, and I could choose to believe in God, that would be the easiest way. But rarely, ever so rarely in life I want found that the easy thing is the right thing.
All moral beings are required to be self-critical, to analyze their own thoughts and motives, down whatever dork pounds lately.
Indeed I’ve heard many theists tell me that, even if there was no heven or hell, they’d still act moraly (which undermines the notion that you need religion for moral action). Yet when faced with the challenge of how they might behave if there really was no god, they find it much harder to put their money where their mouth is.