Friday, February 04, 2011

Questions of Life

The questions of life...why are we really here? Obviously, I have my own thoughts on this. For many years of my youth, I struggled with various opinions and theories, flitting this way and that like some kind of bird that had lost its bearings. It’s not easy being sure about things in life. What I became more sure of as time went by is that things matter. What a person does effects not only himself, but those around him. When I act, there is a reaction, and it’s not always what I intend it to be.

Funny, but people can change over time, without a really good explanation as to why, or at least, maybe we don’t know what happened in their life to make them change. That can make it difficult for those of us trying to understand why that person changed. Was there an event that triggered it? Was it the influence of persuasive friends or mentors? Did they just drift because they weren’t sure about things, finding themselves much further off course than they had originally intended?

I ask myself this knowing that when some people reject God, they not only become ambivalent towards believers, but eventually come to despise them. Atheists, who don’t believe in God, many times make it a large part of their lives to convince, or at times, even force people to not worship the God they believe in. Why is this? Could it be that some become atheists because of their trials, and can’t believe that a loving God would’ve put them in this situation, therefore making it easy to rail against the God they once believed in, or at least tried to believe in? That’s really the only way to explain the irrational hatred of believers by non-believers.

I pity those who have lost their way. I hope for a change in them. It bothers me to see such railings against people whose desires are basically good—Christians want to love others, and serve them. They want to be good and moral people. Yet we often fail in these attempts because mortal weaknesses get in the way. Mortal weaknesses also plague atheists, but since they profess no beliefs, they are not failures at living up to them.

I wonder, who is better off, the man who has ideals and tries to live up to them, but fails often, or the man who has no ideals to live up to, and thus never fails to live up to any because he doesn’t believe in any. For example, a guy might believe that it’s wrong to lie, and then find himself doing just that for fear of telling someone the truth. He has failed, true, in not lying, but perhaps he has lived a higher ideal, like not hurting someone’s feelings. Who can know? On the other hand, a guy who has made no such goals as to not lie, has not failed at anything if he lies. Kind of like, if I don’t plan on exercising, I haven’t failed when I don’t do so. The other guy who made an exercise plan and failed to strictly follow it has failed. He may have exercised only five days of the week instead of six. Yet which person is better off really? The guy who exercised some, but not up to his goal, or the guy who never had the goal, and never exercised?

Well, I’m drifting. Needless to say, there’s a lot that goes into life. But let’s not get off track for the wrong reasons. If we don’t make an exercise plan ourselves, let’s not rail against those who have the compunction to do so, for the bigger failure is not the guy who takes a day off from his plan once in a while, but the person who never makes the plan in the first place.

3 comments: said...

"That’s really the only way to explain the irrational hatred of believers by non-believers."

It's easy to see fundamental disagreement as hatred, but I have to say as an individual atheist I don't hate people of faith. Often I am contemptuous of their actions, particularly when faith is used to oppress certain groups or deprive them of of their rights; Islam's oppression of women, for example. But I don't hate the people, and I wish above all for them to be happy, enlightened, and wise.

Shane Roe said...

Thanks Richard. Many of us believers are also contemptuous of people of faith because of their actions. It's important to note, however, that there are non-believers whose actions are also reprehensible.

In my mind, the best thing is for us is to just accept others' differences, as long as they aren't harmful, and be kind.

Stefan said...

I'd like to chip in here.

I don't believe in God. Not per se. Not in the biblical sense.


I find people who constantly gainsay and question other people's beliefs tiring, to say the least. I admire all my theist friends, and often listen to their life philosophies, because every religion, in my opinion, has something to teach.

It's all about respect, in the end.

Just my 2 cents. :)