HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » intaglio » Journal
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU
Page: 1

intaglio

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Home country: UK
Member since: Thu Aug 17, 2006, 05:50 AM
Number of posts: 7,395

About Me

Separated from the US by a common language

Journal Archives

How I lost my faith (x post with Atheists Agnostics)

Twelve years ago I was a mild mannered, self described agnostic.

I had been such an agnostic for years. If asked I would say that I was truly a skeptic, full of doubt but willing to receive a revelation.

Eleven years ago my mother died but in the final days, and aware of her impending end, she asked my sister and I to have a non-religious celebration for her funeral. To an extent it shocked me for while she had always expressed doubt about biblically based Christianity there was never any hint that she had discarded more than that. Yet here was this middle class British woman, born in the 1920s, conventionally educated, uninterested in theologies and philosophies, asking that we mark her passing, not with a pastor and prayers for her salvation but with a simple eulogy and a request not to mourn. What is more she was doing this in the very face of death.

It started me thinking, and thinking is dangerous to the status quo. Looking back I realised how unusual my mother and her mother had been and how ill conceived my view of them had become (the full story of that is a tale for another time).

Thinking is dangerous, something known to all faiths who respond by carefully partitioning thinkers away and only passing on what the faith leaders regard as acceptable to their theology and that faith. It was fatal to my faith because I saw that my use of the term "agnostic" hid that frightening demon atheism. In truth I was using the term agnostic as a conceit, a concealment and, if I was wrong, a defence in the face of vengeful but forgiving deity.

How was it a conceit? Essentially I, the agnostic, was saying, "I am open to receiving revelation, not like those atheists" but any atheist is just as open to such revelation as the agnostic. Equally the theist of another faith can fall to a revelation of god, look at the story of Paul. The whole point of revelation is that a god can grant it to anyone and in such an overpowering manner that it overcomes all objection; yet they/he/she/it does not grant such visions except to those already primed to accept them without question.

How was it concealment? When I said I was agnostic to another person you are leaving the door ajar to them bringing me into their particular faith, saying "I'm a blank sheet waiting for your god to write upon it - perhaps with a little help from you, friend". I was denying being one of those fearful atheists who can never be converted (see above) and waving a false flag to avoid conflict.

How was it defence? Essentially I was preparing an argument to make to a creature I did not believe existed. No agnostic believes in any god or gods for if they do they are not agnostic. Agnostics have no faith, have had no revelation and would deny that there can be physical proof of a deity; how is that not atheism?

There was another way in which this was a defence, it was a fragile armour against the fear of death and the fear of an afterlife. Here was where my mother led me; a Boudicca knowing that she would end but leading those who needed such a guide. Dying she led me into battle against my fears and they crumbled. She did not know this for she had died and in death was victorious.
Go to Page: 1