In case the title was not clear enough, I will play the devil’s advocate. This usually helps me in either confirming my current more, or finding holes in my logic.
The Devil’s advocate will ask me question which are highlighted. These questions will be ones I either ask myself or I imagine opposite views to ask.
Devil’s Advocate: Hello there, how are you doing?
Me: You want the short answer? or the real one?
D.A.: Um, both?
Me: The short answer is good. The long answer is: well, I’m dropping out of college because of depression, I have deep issues with God who I thought once I was close to, and I have very little to no joy in anything knowing death awaits. so… yeah.
D.A.: I was looking for a “good” “not bad” kind of thing. Anyways, moving on. Let’s start with the R word: religion. What exactly are? theist or atheist?
Me: Currently I believe I’m closest to being agnostic. I grew up very religious though.
D.A.: What changed? How can a religious person change drastically like that?
Me: First of all, my rule in religions is as follows: everyone is entitled to whatever makes them happy. Therefore, i will try as much as I can to not offend or try to change anyones belief. About the change, there were many reasons. Most of them were not specific to my own religion but just to the idea of God’s existence as we know it today. I grew up in a religious family and I did not know alot of people of other beliefs. So I imagined my religion to be the true religion; that everybody knows it but they ignore it because they don’t want to follow rules. However, as I grew up and got to know people of other beliefs, I found out that there were other people confident as much as I was in their own beliefs. This was a major problem for me. If someone was as confident as I was but in a different religion how can I tell which one is true? And more importantly, can I tell which one is true?
This had led me to another observation: I believed in my own religion just because I was born in specific circumstances to specific people who believed in that religion. My next question was: can I objectively tell why I find my religion to be “the” true religion? This question right here summarizes why I am agnostic today.
I don’t believe I can objectively verify many of the religious arguments.
D.A.: Let me stop you right there. You say you can no longer believe in religion because you can’t objectively verify it. Does that entail you won’t believe that planets exist? Since you’re not an astrologist, you can’t objectively verify it.
Me: That is a good question. It may seem contradictory of me to believe planets exist because astrologists say so but not believe in God when theists say so. However, I don’t find this analogy accurate. The difference is, the possibility exists for me to verify planets existence. I can go study astronomy and verify that planets exist. Facts like that usually have an agreed upon definition that most scientists who studied the matter found accurate. In religions however, there are tons of religions and it’s impossible to verify whether a religious argument is true or not.
D.A.: Ok. You use science as the opposite of religions. But didnt science itself evolve throughout the years? Some facts are proven to be myths later in history, and some myths are proven to be true. How do you reply to that?
Me: Again, mr devil’s advocate, I don’t think you are focusing on our real subject. Yes, science has evolved through the years. Yes, new science sometimes proves old information false. But how does that help me verify religious arguments?
I don’t worship science, as a matter of fact, I don’t care for science unless it makes my life better (technology). I don’t exactly believe in science; so you can’t say i contradict myself when I “accept” science but no religion.
D.A.: Fair enough. Lets change the subject. You seem very uninterested in life recently. What seems to be the problem?
Me: Well, as I started to grow up, and to see how big the world is, I became more interested in being subjective. That is, think everything with a third person’s perspective. Hence, I used you here, devils advocate. I like to think of things using an impartial brain, not my brain which is filled with my own wishes, dreams, and hopes. I thought this was the right way to think. However, it made realize a lot of harsh truths. I am one single person withing millions of people. Millions have existed before me, and millions might exist after me. My whole life span is nothing but a very tiny portion of history. School, career, and success seem very insignificant when you think about it this way. I started to think of my existence. I will live a small portion of history, throughout my life I have a daily struggle of staying alive. I have a lifelong struggle of achieving my small and age-dependent goals. But why? It does not seem very different from the life of an animal. Almost purposeless. Exists only because it does. void.
D.A.: deep stuffz! But a lot of people seem to be happy, even you yourself you were happy when you were younger, werent you?
Me: I don’t believe I was ever happy. I was happier than I am now, but I was not generally happy. I was very self-centered, consumed in my own individual life. I only worried about success and achievement which i occasionally achieved. But throughout it all I definitely had more worries and issues than happy times.
D.A.: Ok, maybe you were not happy yourself. Do you believe there are happy humans on earth?
Me: Thats a difficult question. I believe some people find ways to make the best out their existence. Do I believe thats happiness? No. If someone shot me, and I knew I was definitely dead but I used the last few seconds to convince myself i was sadistic and that I liked being killed, would you consider that happiness?
Sometimes I think happiness is almost impossible to define because happening is almost impossible to exist. I use “almost impossible” because I recognize the possibility of me being wrong.
I am no expert, I just try to think subjectively.
D.A.: So you’ve lost your faith in religion, and you find happiness “almost” non existent. What gets you through the day?
I don’t get through the day. Seconds are very long. Activities are very empty.
D.A.: Why are you still alive then?
Me: I imagine my life as a novel. Every day is a page, and everything I do that day is written on it. The reason I’m still alive is, whenever I do die, I want to look at my novel and have no doubts, no second thoughts, no regrets. I want to to say “Look! You’ve been through all these pages. You’ve done this and that. Now its time to end the novel. There is nothing more you can add without repetition. There is nothing more to try. It is time to give up.”
D.A.: Do you believe you have the courage to give up?
Me: I do. I just do not have the courage to face death.
D.A: So where does that leave you?
Me: I don’t know. I guess somewhere in that “hanging around” area. You know, the people who just exist. Nothing special about them. They have a lot of resentment, but a fear of death as well. So they just float around until death decides to take them.
D.A: Do you fear that fate?
Me: Very much. But I will have to decide if I fear death or that fate more.