“Where do you believe you were you before you were born and what do you believe will happen to you after you die?”
I used to believe in God. I went to a variety of churches as a child. Evangelical, Roman Catholic and Church of England, and tried to be good but never felt worthy or that I fit in. I always felt like I would catch fire every time I went through the door and by the time I was fifteen I had stopped going completely.
I grew up with a love of science, nature and science fiction and eventually came to understand that deities such as God, whilst they have their uses, are nothing more than made-up constructs societies create in order to bring comfort and solace to its inhabitants in times of strife. A way of imposing order amongst citizens; fear of an unseen and unheard force, willing to smite those who do not toe the line.
I don’t discriminate against those who have religious beliefs and have been known to attend Mass with my Catholic friend and Temple with my Buddhist friend. I deliberately attempt to discuss the ideas and beliefs of others and actively attempt to understand why they believe what they do; it intrigues me.
For as much as I have broad exposure to the ideologies of others, I find that my own ideas about religion are undefined, intangible. I do not know if there is an all-seeing power that created the universe; we could just as easily be the Galaxy on Orion’s belt (Men in Black) or batteries used to power alien machines (The Matrix) We could be the product of Darwin’s evolution theory or any one of the numbers of religious beliefs of creation. I just don’t know.
It would be nice to think that I used to be someone or something else, in a former life. It would be nice to think that when I die, there will be something after; some other place. It would be comforting to believe those things but I doubt too much.
I wish I did believe.