Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Well this seems like a post that I can respond to!

First off, you all know my beliefs. Raised by an agnostic father, a mother who never spoke religion but believed strongly in God and I learned of her faith at like 18 or 19. My father's extended family (sister and cousins) are devout Pentacosts. My mom's bat-shit crazy extended family is some melding we'll call non-descript, non-demoninational protestant branch with Baptist roots that believes fossils test mans faith and gays are going to Hell.

I baptized Sophie. For no other reason than I thought it would make Rhett's parents happy. As two agnostics / aetheists we have discussed our beliefs ad nauseum. One recurring question for us is how to raise children with a sense of right and wrong without the moral context of religion. It's not an easy topic to tackle. For us, we feel that by raising them around people of faith, whose faith is tolerant and open like the Beldings (who by the way are Catholic light Episcopalians) and having constant dialogue with what others feel, may or may not produce someone with a belief in God, but at the very least they will be a member of society with apathy and a rooted sense of humanity.

I have found, Margeaux, that it's the people who can't believe the answers who feel most profoundly the need for answers. We probably think about it more than those who's beliefs are well articulated. I am constantly saying, "I wish I believed in God," because deep down I truly do wish for the grace of God, but my inability to suspend my disbelief gets me everytime. The thought that someone could be out there pulling the strings is simultaneously attractive and maddening, especially in hard times when it has filled me with "why me" mantra which does me no good. It is a question whose scope is too wide to even begin to answer. The question of why good things happen to bad people is a topic philosophers have spent lifetimes studying.

All I can say to you is this, if you don't believe in a soul, then what's wrong with a humanistic ritual that brings comfort to your husband and his Mom? That one act will have less impact on his / her religious outcome than the lifetime of dialogue between parents.

These are just my opinions. Take it for what it's worth which is not much, after all.



Blogger snuffaluffacis said...

i don't disagree with your last statement.

personally i class myself "agnostic - tbd" which is kind of non-committal. however its a great position for discussions as one can cherry-pick from the buffet of all world religions.

one thought i had concerning the "why me" mantra comes from the Buddhism section of the buffet. now i have to give this crowd props as from a sales perspective, one of the keys to the sale is saying it first, so the older religions score more points.

according to their teachings, the first noble truth: "Life is suffering" which is explained by someone thus:
"To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too."

for me personally this is quite a profound statement. of course they then go on to state their case for the causes and reasons for suffering generally as "craving and clinging" which we all do.

they believe all this suffering may be overcome - however i am not yet ready to abandon my hedonistic ways. :-)

11:07 AM  
Blogger Margeaux Kramer said...

You've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I just wrote a lengthy comment and then it got deleted when I tried to post it. Fuck me! Ok - I'll try it again later, it was rather long and I felt insightful. Damn damn damn!

11:53 AM  
Blogger snuffaluffacis said...

try the back button on your browser?

11:58 AM  

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