Thursday, June 9, 2011

Living the Heathen's Life

It's been a while since I've talked about religion. And when I say that, I mean it's been a while since I've discussed with another person in depth about the spirituality and complexity involved with the belief and worship of deities- the psychological, spiritual, mental, and physical changes that a religious person would experience that a non-religious person would not.

I'm not going to short-change you here, though. I'm an agnostic who leans heavily to the atheist side of the fence. The more I research, the stronger that lean becomes. And I have never said this blog will be unbiased.


I've never been approached by a nonreligious person and had eternal damnation promised should I not change my ways. I've never had someone who was agnostic or atheist accuse me of committing a crime observed by a cosmic, invisible force, a crime for which I will pay with my soul's eternal suffering.

On the other hand, it's inaccurate to say that religious people do this to me often or to even imply that many of the people I know would suggest such a thing. Coming from a rural area, the percentage of people who are agnostic or atheist is impressively small. Even then, those that are will often conform to their locale's religious beliefs if for no other reason than social and communal conformity. I have refused to do this.

So, in short, I never really had many friends growing up. People who were religiously fervent (in my case, Protestant Christians of various denominations) often didn't take kindly my parodies and jabs at their seemingly ridiculous beliefs.

Imagine my disbelief when I laughingly asked if one of my friends believed that a man lived in a whale for three days and got a solid, unmoving "Yes" in return. Imagine my shock when I asked similarly about the reviving of a three-day old corpse and they replied with the same unflinching "Yes".

Then again, Santa Claus never sat well with me, even before I disproved him in discourse with my parents ("There are millions of homes in the Eastern Time Zone which receive gifts- he literally doesn't have the time to visit EVERYONE. And if he did, he would probably have a heart attack from all of those cookies. And doesn't he age?"). I always viewed the story of Jesus, Moses, and Mohammed with the same general disbelief and humor. Well, it turns out that people are much more serious about those last three than the man in a red suit that delivers presents. They are waiting on a different kind of "deliverance", I guess.

But I guess I was never convinced when I was younger, and therefore it never held to me. Sometimes I wish I could believe what is so generally taken for granted as fact by huge communities of people. I really do wish I could believe that I could think all the answers were in a Bronze Age, desert nomad's book. It would be so easy and so convenient; morality would take no thought, my deeds and misdeeds could have greater purpose, and, best of all, I would never have to die! (Hell, if I pick the right role in the right religion, I might even have some virgins waiting for me in the afterlife.)

...But I suppose that I am unable to take that role. I've never felt like there was some "hole" inside of me that I required God (Retro or Christian), Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Zen, or Osiris to fill. I am confident when I act, but not because I draw upon faith that what I'm doing is right. Rather, I draw from intellect and experience to move my hand, wisdom and acumen. I live for this life and those people in it. I love and hate, forgive and scorn, laugh and cry. I am not empty nor lonely nor lost. I require no shepherd to guide me, nor no prophet to lead me.

Unless I have some religious epiphany, I am going to live this life much as I do now. I am living the heathen's life, and I am happy and prosperous in doing so.

Now let's hope I'm right about this. Eternal suffering sounds like a huge bummer, man.

Brought to you exclusively by the blessed heathen:

Daniel, of course.


  1. At an early age I was forced to go to church with my family. I never really understood the reason why we assembled in the church. I just knew after the assembly, we(family) would eat at a restaurant. Which was the highlight of the day! Once I began getting older, I would question my involvement with the church. My family did not take that likely. Nevertheless, I persevered my sense of thought. I finally "won," I was no longer forced or persuaded to be part of anything I did not want to do.

    However, in rare occasions I was questioned why I would not go to church and if I did not have a valid excuse then God would smite me down!

    The main reason why I bring this up is because kids at early ages are forced and convinced to be part of the church, where they will "learn" the meaning of life and the path to God's "good list." Rather than parents taking affirmative action and teaching their children from right and wrong, and giving them their life experiences or faults, they hand their children to a corrupt organization to instill fantasy and inconsistent morals valid for our current society.

    I do believe there is a grand master of all, God. I don't know what god is, but I know what God isn't. And there is NO God behind any type of religious institution. I do believe, however, religion was established to control the masses from getting out of line. And I do not have a problem with that, but when young children are threatened with such magnitude, it could possibly hurt the child mentally

  2. You seriously disproved santa claus belief? haha I used to believe that he could travel in light speed =/ Anyways, you remind of george carlin, he talked alot like you in the religion spec. He was a stand up comedian, if interested, take a look in his videos, some are hosted in youtube.

  3. Good words, Moto-Gamer.

    But if Religion was established to control masses, then do we need it any more? We have governments, police forces, and military forces to prevent crimes, maintain order, and deliver a code of order and conduct- law.

    If the only purpose of religion is that, then it's seriously been out-dated.

    And Desktoper, I couldn't help it. I reasoned that even if Santa Claus moved at impeccable speed that the mere act of dropping in, opening a sack, and jumping out would take far too long.

    And I love George Carlin. I am a lifelong fan and was very upset when he died. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

  4. i can always count on your posts being interesting, and i like the thatched background here. red is my favorite color!

  5. Alot of the time, in my opinion people only have religion out of fear. I.e. fear of hell or purgatory; if God is real, does he want people to only worship him out of fear? Seems self defeating, but anyway, nice blog.

  6. The "heathen's life" is the life of logic and reasoning. Keep it up, man.

  7. It's weird, when I was a kid I was 100% convinced santa was real until I was like 9, but even when I believed in santa, I never bought the whole religious aspect. I just went to church because my parents made me, in sunday school I would laugh at the stories and be confused why adults were trying to tell us this. Sure I always wanted to believe that when I died it wouldn't be the end and there was just paradise waiting for me, but just because you want something and believe it's true, doesn't mean it will be. From where I stand now I find the idea of a single god near impossible (in my mind multiple gods would be more likely, still not probable but you know. But if it turns out that the bible is true I'm not too worried, Hells where all the cool people are going anyways. Great post today man.

  8. I absolutely hate that religion is forced upon people. And I feel that our believes are very close together.