There I sat, aggressively leaning forward in a cab clutching to the passenger’s seat headrest as if said posture gave strength to my argument. Drunk, feet housed in hooker heels, and with no clear memory of last call, NOW was the time I thought, YES NOW, to discuss religion with a basic stranger.
I’m actually a fucking idiot.
Frustration crawled beneath the layers of my skin as he preached atheism, his words dripping with condescending certainty. And that drunk stranger hit a fucking nerve. With those ten minutes in that otherwise insignificant cab ride, boy managed to fully embody everything I have come to (wrongfully) resent about atheism, although it is not a belief that I am fundamentally willing to reject.
If I had to classify myself under a single domain of belief, I would call myself agnostic (which is basically a copout in terms of classification anyway). Most days, I do believe that nothing is known or can be known regarding the existence or nature of any deity, or of anything beyond the material world. Having said that, some days I’m willing to put God next to Santa Claus, and assume they’re having tea with the Easter Bunny. I personally don’t understand the denial of Darwinism, but am (somewhat to my own lack of understanding), willing to consider forces unrelated to natural selection as terra/bio-formative.
Now, in following a (perhaps) misleading first half, I did not set out this morning to write about what I think of religion, God, the benefit of and/or lack thereof. Countless PhDs, respected authors, accepted geniuses and enlightened leaders have spoken better on the subject than I could ever hope to. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that every rational and irrational argument on the topic has already been made, beautifully articulated, and likely documented to the good fortune of our receptive and tragically malleable minds. So why bother? Read a book if you care. Talk to a preacher and make your own calls.
All I would like to say is that I am not willing to accept self-righteous certainty within this conversation. I understand that pleading uncertainty may sound like preaching agnosticism, but that is by no means my intent, as it is not a true uncertainty that I’m asking for. To be sure of your own beliefs is a blessing, and to truly know where you stand musters up a delicious kind of stability I’d be cruel to pry from anyone. But on a topic where all that has been proven is either a) what hasn’t been proven or b) what has been proven on a completely insular and individual basis, how can a person stand certain that their ground is the sturdiest? When all you can feel is what’s beneath your own two feet, how can you know what the ground is like where you’re not standing?
So can’t we all just agree to stop trying to poke holes in our opposition’s argument? Stop with the faces that say “you’re wrong” and the tones that say “you’re stupid for thinking what you think”?! Cause honestly, that shit makes you look dumb. Weakness overcompensates with aggression, validation advertises false muscle, and TRUE strength sits comfortably in silence.
So keep a lid on it, all, or at least be sure keep it respectful. Consider biting your tongue (as I wish I had) and together we can turn this hot topic cold.