Daily Prompt 1/18/2016 | Beliefs

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt | Reason to Believe

“In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, ‘At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.’ What’s your reason to believe?”

I’m an Agnostic Atheist… so, this is awkward.

I have no religious beliefs. I respect your beliefs, and even admire people who choose to believe in something higher than themselves, but I just can’t. At the end of the day, regardless of how your day went, there are so many people being murdered and abused, being kidnapped and sold, starving on the street. There is so much suffering in the world, and nothing is being done. No matter how many people pray to their respective gods and goddesses, nothing is being done. Every day, the world dies a little more, the humanity becomes more and more dangerous.

I choose not to believe. I choose not to believe in any deity that would give babies cancer, and allow men to hurt women, and control them for their own gain. I choose not to believe in a religion, or a deity, that would condemn two people to death simply for loving each other. A deity that would punish people, for not believing in them, for whatever reason, by killing thousands of innocent people with hurricanes and tornadoes. Not that I believe that any of these things are caused by a god, but if they were… why would they do that? It’s cruel, and terrible, and unnecessary. I would not put my faith in someone who caused that kind of pain.

My grandmother, who is very religious, once told me that anyone who does not accept God into their lives will never have a life of happiness or meaning, and will always be an empty shell. That is just an awful, hurtful thing to say to anybody, especially someone you love, just because they do not share your beliefs. How can you possibly feel that way? I’ve also heard her say vile things about babies and children, whose parents chose not to get them baptized. A baby.

Let’s not forget that religious strife has caused countless deaths since… ever? It still does today! People justify murder and brutality because a book says that two men being together is icky? So you should kill them? Or that a woman’s opinions, feelings, and rights don’t matter, because she would once have been considered property? Some men still consider women property. That is not right.

No. I choose to believe that we carve our own path, and that our actions are our own, and that we should be held accountable for them. I don’t need any sort of belief, or fear of damnation, to be a good person, and do good things. I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I just think people should respect and look out for each other, and that you probably shouldn’t go around causing harm for no reason. I don’t need a book to tell me what is right and wrong. We are all stuck on this planet together, at least for the time being, and we are all human. We all deserve love, respect, and freedom to be who we were born to be, without fear of persecution or death. If you need to seek answers in a high power, and if that gives you comfort, then by all means, live your life.

But for me, I choose to believe in myself, and my ability to determine right and wrong. I choose love over hate, and acceptance over discrimination. And I will not let anyone change that. Now… do I know for certain that Zeus, Hades, Osiris, Odin, etc. do not/did not exist? No, I do not. But is there tangible proof that they did/do. No.

This is why, at the end of the day, I choose not to believe. If my son grows up and has questions about religion, or wants to attend the church of his choosing, then I won’t stop him. But I also won’t lie to him. I feel that people should be free to choose who, or what, they want to put their faith in, without fear of judgement. I have friends and loved ones who have devoted their lives to their religions, and they are amazing, fulfilled people. I have friends who share my beliefs (or lack of), and are just as happy and fulfilled. I also know devout individuals who are completely miserable, and vice versa.

Be who you are, live fearlessly, and strive for happiness. Just… don’t kill people, okay? Be nice. Love thy neighbor, and all that.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

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Super Jan

I am an exceedingly average, 20-something female. Very opinionated, and slightly vulgar. I am a retired World of Warcraft player and podcaster, a Netflix binge-watcher, a YouTube addict, and stay-at-home mom to a tiny future superhero.

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