I’ve been thinking a lot about religion today.
Various things have triggered it – there’s lots of talk about it on various (strong believers’) blogs talking about how their faith has got them through etc.
I am not religious. At all. As I think most people know. Not that I have anything against people being religious obviously, in fact I was at one point in my young teens a church server. I agreed to do it and ended up getting myself to and from the church on a Sunday (not being from a religious family). Thinking back to it I don’t think I got much out of it, not in the spiritual sense. But I liked the people and I liked helping out, and I did join in the prayers although never prayed of my own accord (unless I was really very scared).
Of course then like any well-balanced teen I swung from being involved in church duties to “there’s definitely nothing out there I know it for sure as why would such horrible things happen”. This was triggered predominantly by the death of a young friend of mine. And when I say young I mean young; he was just nine years old.
I like to think that by now, in my old age (ha) I have developed a slightly more balanced perspective on it. I am most definitely not religious, but I would no longer vehemently argue against people that there isn’t anything out there, for two reasons. Firstly I don’t consider myself to be knowledgeable enough (the world’s a pretty big place, let alone the universe) and secondly, I now realise there is no positive by trying to convince someone that their belief system is false. After all, I had belief systems that got me through my wait for transplant, it just so happens that they weren’t anything to do with God.
I had faith in people, and I blogged about it all on here. I have faith in people wanting to give, people wanting to help (not everyone I’m not that naive) but that someone would choose to do so and it would in turn help me. I had faith in the doctor’s care for me, and my family’s love for me. And it was things like that that got me through. So rocking someone else’s belief foundations can’t really be that helpful.
One of the things that has really got me thinking about what faith does to us is this blog here. I managed to get myself to have a look (I haven’t been able to as I find it hard as I will explain) and I am thrilled to say both mum and baby seem to be doing well at the moment. I urge you to pop on and send good wishes if you can.
The thing is, all of their decisions were made, not according to the doctors, not according to what’s best for each other or what would have the most likely good outcome, not even what they both desired most of all, it was made because they felt it was God’s will. Actually rereading that I suppose that is what they both desired most of all. I hesitated on talking about this incidentally as I by no means want to offend anyone but when I did look at Nate’s blog he seems to be very level headed and able to explain his feelings and beliefs well so hopefully if he reads this he will understand I am just thinking out loud rather than making disparaging remarks.
There is never a right path, but if it was me, in my head there was the clear safe option and for me it would have been a different choice. Perhaps that’s because I pondered on worst case scenario more (loss of both lives) and the possibility of having a child post transplant, but of course then we go into the topic of abortion and that’s really another blog. Point being doctors’ advice a lung function of no lower than 60% to have a child and so this cannot have been medically advisable. But then that must be where faith comes in. I have faith that I should listen to the doctors and listen to my heart (I’m quite strict on myself and decided at 16 when my lung function crossed the 60% boundary that I wouldn’t have children pre transplant as I wouldn’t be able to be the mother I wanted to be and the mother I felt they deserved) and they believe in God.
As I say it’s not a personal attack – if you read Nate’s blog they seem like a really lovely couple, and clearly have a massive support network of family which is fantastic. I am just talking to myself really to try to understand better, as I just can’t no matter how hard I try.
There was a philosopher called Descartes. Most people recognise him from his most famous quote “I think therefore I am”. He wrote some fantastic philosophies but unfortunately they had one key flaw; because he believed in god, the answer had to be that God was the cause and the root, they rhyme and the reason, which in turn made his philosophies convoluted and he ended up contradicting and confusing them more than once, and his arguments, which started off on solid focused tracks seemed to deviate and loop to ensure they came back to the answer he needed to find.
The one thing I know I will never get my head round is the belief that some religious people hold that your life cannot be good without a divine presence in it. That makes me a bit annoyed really but I think only because I have such a strong belief (ah even I am using that word) that you are the maker of your own destiny. Perhaps it’s because it makes me feel like I have control even at times when I don’t? If any of you have read Satre (Existentialism is a Humanism) you may know a bit more what I’m talking about. I don’t accept everything he says but I do agree with a lot of it.
I don’t think its depressing thinking you are the only one who can make life what it is – I think it’s liberating. Perhaps that’s why that’s the belief I choose to hold, after all I am a self-confessed control freak. I think personally if I felt I had undergone what I had as I was being punished for previous sin (as one Christian friend once told me) I’d go mad. Perhaps I need to not believe equally as much (and maybe even for the same reasons) as they need to believe.
This is a really really long waffle. I have been sitting here for about 20 minutes deciding whether to post it or whether it’s too risqué, but I think I’m just going to post it and see what happens. Chat away on the subject if you want (the world would be a boring place if everyone agreed with each other) but please be nice to me...and each other.