04 October, 2010

mellowing in my old age....kind of. ok maybe not.

a few weekends ago i attended a lovely wedding. the best kind, with a bride and groom that you actually like and can stomach how much in love they are, without day-dreaming about taking a firearm to the crowded reception. not that i'm bitter. well, that's not entirely true. i am, but i wasn't that day. furthermore, i think the experience of actively enjoying a wedding, sans feeling the need to get completely trollied on free wine, has softened my view on god.

ok so let me explain. religious weddings usually make my very cynical atheist side come out. that day, i tried really hard not to mock or giggle. right, so i giggled a little bit.... still, in my active repression (of which i have years of catholic church-going practice) i found myself listening. i'm not saying i believe in god now. i haven't seen the light and i still think strong belief in god is a bit mad BUT maybe, just maybe, denying the existence of god is as moronic as believing in one.

as a result of this, i did what i have always done. go a reading. so i read-up a bit. philosophy is generally fun for me, saves me having to think up my own ideas, and i found a very interesting guy called robert g. ingersoll. an american political leader, don't worry he wasn't very 'good' at that, and orator during the 19th century. he gave a speech in 1896 entitled, 'why i am an agnostic'. it spoke to me, answered some questions i hadn't known to ask.

ingersoll wrote, "is there a supernatural power-an arbitrary mind-an enthroned god-a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world-to which all causes bow? i do not deny. i do not know-but i do not believe. i believe that the natural is supreme-that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken-that there us no supernatural power that can answer prayer- no power that worship can persuade or change-now power that cares for man.

i believe that with infinite arms nature embraces the all-that there is no inference-no chance-that behind every event are the necessary and countless causes, and that beyond every event will be and must be necessary and countless effects.

is there a god? i do not know. is man immortal? i do not know. one thing i do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, change the fact. it is as it is, and it will be as it must be."

i like this on many levels but, to name just two. nature, science, evolution and humanity in my mind are all linked. to stop looking to the heavens for answers and instead look at each other i think is, not only powerful but, also sensible and practical if you want actual answers about life, the universe and everything. secondly, his ideas of prayer as essentially scripted hoping. this desire for certain things to happen if we hope/pray really really hard will make some blind bit of difference. good people that do good things for the right reason, is in my mind, far better use of their time on earth than spending hours and hours of their life in a draughty old church (where god lives) and recite barely remembered scripture like it was a song from childhood.

so this is me softened. hmmm maybe not in hind sight, but still i was genuinely happy for the bride and groom even if i do think they were brought together by a random series of events over thousands and thousands of years and not god. because if so, where is my knight in shinning armour? ok maybe a lot bitter.

congrats guys! hope you like the egg rings.

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