I’ve come a long way. Having been born into a religious household and followed through on many of the sacraments and rituals, I can understand a persons passion towards it. Having spent half of my life detoxing from it, I have run the gamut of view points. At first I kept it to myself but upon hearing people talking negatively about people of my “ilk”, I got tired and made my big announcement. I told my family first and surprisingly it was well taken. Friends seemed okay with it.
(### I have friends who share many different worldviews. My intention is not to slam any of the worldviews. I could place asterisks and go off on tangents but my intent is to stay focused ### )
For 10 years, I took every opportunity to defend my stance. It seemed like I was being a “militant” atheist at times. I would get into a debate with people who said my “belief” was wrong. Some debates would last weeks, months and the end result, no one could positively prove the other “belief” right or wrong. We just left it with the opinion that the other person was wrong. It is all based on “Belief”, “Faith”, no one was there to witness the beginning of time, we cannot state factually how it all came to be. One claims their book explains it (Religion), the other states their book explains it (Science). At some point I just got tired of getting into the debate. It is always the same arguments, always the same answers. It is as if people find a list of arguments off the internet but lack knowledge of backing those arguments up. It seemed like it was just one zealot versus another. I’m done!
I can tell you this, religion and the varying philosophies have been known to help people. in the most horrible situation, people will pray to their god to get them out of their situation. Obviously if they live to tell the tale, they will make the claim that their God was there for them. The same with the human spirit. People look inside themselves to accomplish something that is a challenge. They achieve that goal and it is a great human interest story. Yes, I could give a different side of the story such as those people who prayed and didn’t have a good result but that’s a blog for another day. Religion/Philosophy can be a good tool for those who need extra inspiration to accomplish what they have set out to do. It may give them extra strength in the face of adversary.
I found in my path of life, seeing the zealotry in people assisted me staying on the middle ground. There are so many people who are zealots about politics, religion and philosophy and upon seeing it, I avoid it. My political life likely started off being Conservative but upon experiencing those who are zealots, I looked towards the Liberal point of view, again, seeing some zealots, I crafted my political views towards the middle. I started out my life with a religious background but strayed away to the non-religious side. I now see the middle way.
Just for my own interest, I have been looking into and practicing Vegetarian/Vegan eating habits for health reasons. I can totally see their viewpoints on the issues. In fact, I am more conscious of what I eat now thanks to what I have learned through listening to them but whether you are religious or philosophical, it distracts from your argument when you take your personal views and attempt to force people into your beliefs, escalating it to the point of attacking them, calling them names, resorting to Ad Hominem attacks. It does not matter what your worldview is, it could be 100% correct but when you start slamming people who do not hold your beliefs, you hurt your cause.
You have the right to your own personal views, you do not have the rights to force others to share the same view.