“I don’t necessarily believe in religion”, I told a co- worker of mine recently only to be given a look of absolute shock. “But why not?” they replied as if I owed it to them to justify my philosophical view.
Well I quite simply regard myself as a deist. For those of you wondering what that is here is a short breakdown:
Deism is belief in God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a “revealed” religion (Revealed religions are called so because they all make claim to having received a special revelation from God which they pretend, and many of their sincere followers actually believe, their various and conflicting holy books are based on.)
Deism is the recognition of a universal creative force greater than that demonstrated by mankind, supported by personal observation of laws and designs in nature and the universe, perpetuated and validated by the innate ability of human reason coupled with the rejection of claims made by individuals and organized religions of having received special divine revelation.
Deism is therefore based on reason and nature.
Famous deists: Thomas Hardy (Writer and Poet); Thomas Paine (American revolutionary and writer); Aristotle (Ancient Greek philosopher); Albert Einstein (Theoretical Physicist); Stephen Hawking (Physicist)
I was brought up a Christian: baptised and confirmed into the Anglican faith yet never really found myself whole- heartedly dedicated to it. A close family friend recently tried to convince me to join a born again church, thinking that the reason for me claiming to be a deist was because the church I belonged to lacked solidarity and a sense of community. I politely rejected her suggestion.
I am a very spiritual person and believe deeply in the forces of attraction in determining life events and yes I agree with many messages behind religious teachings that guide us how to live our lives but become very cynical when faced with the specifics of religion.
While at sixth form I was told by a Muslim acquaintance that I wasn’t “human” if I didn’t follow a religion, particularly Islam, because this meant I “lack guidance” as I “don’t believe in Allah.” While they irately continued their passionate explanation as to why I was a “lost child” I calmly looked at them in the eye occasionally blinking and thinking to myself “Who the hell are you to tell me what my relationship with God should be like and what makes you think that you are a better human being than me just because you believe in a religion?!”
I look around me daily and see many people who call themselves Christians, Muslims, Jewish, Sikh etc sin and be outright hypocritical. They take the parts of religion that suit them and disregard the rest, yet call themselves devout followers.
If religion suits you then good luck to you but I’m sober minded enough to make my own sound decisions as to what or who I believe in, thanks. So save your breath and both our time and just accept that what may be right for you just isn’t so for someone else.