I had an interesting date with an Agnostic last night. I self identify as somewhere between Agnosticism and Atheism. I’m not a huge fan of Richard Dawkins and am okay with people celebrating different traditions and myths, as long as they don’t proselytize me.
My date asked me if I was agnostic, though, and I explained the above. Then, he asked if I thought God could be proven or disproven. “God doesn’t exist,” I said.
“Then you’re atheist.” He told me.
“I think the question of whether god exists or doesn’t is irrelevant. To me, god is a myth–something people believe in because they need to verify their sense of self, make meaning and develop a sense of community.” I explained.
“You’re definitely an atheist.”
So, maybe I’m an atheist. I’m okay with that.
We then went on to talk about how I took a turn from being a reverend to being “so extreme” on the opposite spectrum, as he put it. I told him I ask myself that all the time. I ask myself, Do I just have a capacity for extreme beliefs? Am I a zealot, no matter what my beliefs are? often.
I’m not above questioning myself and my lack of beliefs, or where they stem from. As a child, I was a member of PETA, because I love animals and they started sending me literature about the cosmetic industry testing on rabbits. The pictures were disturbing and I would tear up seeing the torture the bunnies went through just so we could wear eye shadow, or use a certain face cream. I was a member of the World Wildlife Fund first, and had a desire to be a Dian Fossey, Jr. saving mountain gorillas.
Essentially, I was an activist as a child. I was always fighting for the underdog, the abused. It’s probably normal that I went into ministry, because from the outside it seemed to line itself up with humanitarian work quite nicely and I felt I could help those who were disadvantaged and misfortunate by working with a charity group, like a church. Now that I’m not a Christian, this blog is sort of my service to those who were abused (by the Church).
In my opinion, atheism wasn’t a random choice. It’s sort of a natural progression of who I was a child, a learning from my own experiences. Trusting myself to make the best decision for myself.