I’ve spent the past six months looking high and low for some grand theory of everything. I wanted there to be some sense of justice and coherence to my life. So I tried Christianity on for size… again. I really tried to make it work, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t sell out what I knew to be true, with what I wanted to be true. During that brief period where I was ‘christian’ I rejected a tremendous body of knowledge, and traded it in for a few pithy beliefs: an afterlife, a loving god, justice…
I quickly realized what exactly I was doing, and resumed the search. A search which led me to re-open the case for Buddhism. Buddhism was a much more potent adversary. In many ways I am Buddhist, and I adhere to a set of values and a way of looking at things that parallels Buddhist teaching. But I still can’t buy in to that supernatural ‘abstract reality’ stuff.
I was looking for a worldview that afforded me the sense of ease that only comes knowing there is a universal set of moral truths that aren’t relative to culture or opinion, a theory that incorporated the scientific and philosophical truths I have fought hard to understand and uncover, and a theory that allows for a certain degree of inconsistency. A theory that allows for convergence, and does not relish in ignorance.
This whole time the answer was right in front of me. That answer is atheism. Atheism is in its infancy; there are still many dark corners, and many cobwebs. It exists as a rough delineation, slowly refined and made taut by the progress of honest inquiry and discovery. It is not free from the trappings of ignorance and bigotry, and it attracts the same type of people, for the same reasons, as many religions do. But it is by definition an undertaking of wrought mystery, always moving towards clarity and truth. It is Cartesian doubt in it’s most pure form.
I still have my doubts and my skepticism has never been more strong, but I feel a great pride and a great sense of peace in knowing precisely what my worldview is. We are creatures of story, and I have found what genre I am writing in. It’s time to put pen to pad!