Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pining for Piety

Pining for Piety

Back when I was a believer, I was sure of so many things. I, or god, had everything under control. There was no need to worry about global warming. God would not allow the earth to run out of resources. Fallen people and dark angels were the cause of all bad things, and god still had everything in his plan. I was safe, and jesus would make sure I stayed that way. Then, I lost my faith, and things changed.

One thing is certain: I can’t go back to fooling myself into believing in god. Even if I wanted to do so, I could not. Not without evidence, and that is unlikely. I may not have arrived in my old faith by way of reason, but that was indeed the road I took to atheism. To leave this position, I’d have to be able to reason my way out. Evidence would have to be a central part of such a journey.

I was talking about this with my wife, who has shared my apostasy with me. She’s been a part of the end of my journey. She asked if I ever missed the old days of knowing for certain. I reminded her that I was certainly wrong, and she agreed, but also said that there was a time when I thought I was genuinely right. And that was comforting. Wasn’t there a part of me that wanted to put the bubble back together?

I had to say no. I care too much about believing things that are true and not believing things that are false. I want my beliefs to be able to withstand scrutiny. I need to be able to show the supporting evidence for what I say is true and what I say is false. I may no longer be able to claim piety, but I can now claim intellectual honesty. That is way better to me.

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