I know many people that value the role of some kind of faith in their lives. A mix of human beings that come from families with a deeply rooted faith tradition all the way over to folks who don’t identify with any church or religious movement, they simply identify with this notion of faith. Now am I here to pick on people simply because they possess some kind of deeply held belief in a God? No, this is in fact where some have probably misunderstood my intentions.
My real desire is to reflect honestly about where I came from and where I am now. In many ways I would like to contend that in an intellectual sense it is easier to operate from a specific set of presuppositions offered within religion. This is directly related to an acceptance of divine authority within a set of texts and within a tradition that has been building for thousands of years.
Have I been created or derived from some kind of transcendent supernatural being? I honestly have no idea. Do I possess a purpose that extends beyond my immediate existence? Again, I and many others are simply left in the dark regarding this question. We have surveyed the world in all of its grandeur and diversity and concluded that in many ways it is better to remain uncertain, uncommitted, and undogmatic.
My contention with some who do espouse a rather strongly held faith position is that many (not all) possess a type of fear about admitting uncertainty. In their minds, admitting uncertainty as to whether the Bible is true and factual is akin to lapsing into a mode of complete moral chaos and destruction. I have sensed this notion within many former discussions that I’ve had with Pastors and other lay people.
I am happy to know that some people are more intelligent in this regard. They are far more sympathetic and open to admitting uncertainty even while maintaining that they personally rest their gavel on a position of faith. So I’m giving credit to whom credit is due and if you are one of my close former college friends, you know who you are.
In my desire to be objective and even-handed, my gavel comes down on the side of doubt. Specifically, it is a doubt that suspects that using God as an explanation is not adequate. It does very little to satisfy the argument because if we are going to make room for one immaterial supernatural creator then we may as well swing the door wide open for thousands of other competitors.
This is the human scenario. This is the hand that we have been dealt. Agnosticism is more than justified in this world. Many who contend that it is not are resting on dubious subjective experiences and claims. I call it a form of self deception that seems to be quite prevalent throughout the religious landscape. It comes from a failure to recognize what people have rather even-handedly claimed for themselves within almost every form of religion imaginable.
All of this is to conclude that my own sense of purpose is derived from myself and celebrated with a wide host of other human beings. We all must strive to create meaning. This is not an inherently wrong or depraved thing to do outside of religion. Like it or not, it is what religious people do within their own paradigm for reality.
At the end of the day we all pound our own gavel pertaining to what is either fact or fiction.