Thursday, April 28, 2016
As someone who considers myself an agnostic atheist, I think it is easier to define morals for myself without having the influence of a religion telling me what I should believe as right or wrong. Being an agnostic atheist essentially means that I do not believe in a specific god or higher being, but I acknowledge that there really is no way for me to know for sure whether there is or is not one.
One of the discussion questions we had in class asks whether I would deliberately harm an innocent person in the name of my faith. I believe that religion can be a beautiful thing when people keep it to themselves and do not attempt to propose their own beliefs on the lives of other people. However, when people do try to alter the way other people live because they might not agree with their lifestyle because it contradicts what they believe in, I think this is where things go sour. Although they might not be harming them physically, they might be harming them emotionally, in the way that they view themselves, or in a way that takes away from their freedom of choice.
I feel like my lack of a religion has actually prevented me from harming people, rather than causing more conflict in their lives. Generally, when I have to argue with someone about their religious beliefs, it is because I feel like their beliefs might place restrictions on the lives of others. I feel like the main thing people should be preaching is tolerance of others and the way they live their lives. Even if you don’t entirely agree with the way a person lives, it is not your duty to change them, as long as they are not hurting anyone else by carrying on their lives in this way.
Unlike Kierkegaard, I am not religious. However, I agree with both Kierkegaard and Nieztszech that you should question your beliefs. I think that this encourages you to think independently, and make sure that the beliefs you hold are the best ones for yourselves and the people they might affect.
I think Kierkegaard is probably my favorite philosopher. I mainly admire his ability to allow himself to be torn so much by his religion. Although his beliefs did cause him a lot of conflict in his life, and although he did continually have to reevauluate the way he felt about things, he managed to stick to what he believed. There were even times when he could have brought himself a lot more joy by doing something that would somewhat go against what his religion preached. However, he decided not to do it, partially because his religion told him to, but mostly because it would have emotionally harmed the woman that it concerned. I think that this amount of self control is amazing, and something that a lot of people should look up to. I think more people should strive to do what they know is right in their hearts, and not just because their religions tell them to.