Rant: keeping the faith
So does God exist? Are religious texts just something to live by? When I croak, will I set foot on a stairway to a place full of warm light and meet the Big Man? Will I be reincarnated? Or will I merely be recycled by worms? I kind of like the idea of being made into compost - it's one way to offset my carbon footprint.
Faith, for me, is a personal matter. I'm not a fan of prosely-tisers, evangelists or those who have been saved and now want to save me; or of those who use religion to entrench their own misogyny, or abuse it as a vehicle of hate.
I don't like smug atheists either, though: the ones who regard religion as something you should grow out of, who condescend those who choose to go to a church, mosque, temple or synagogue as if they just don't get science, are a bit naïve. Like the evangelists they criticise, they bang on with their own non-believing message. And like the worst religious ranters, they want so desperately to convert you to their way - the right way, the only way - of thinking. Oh, just shut up.
Open debate about science and religion could be oh-so interesting; but you always end up with the most opinionated on both sides dominating the argument.
For all the rationalist pooh-poohing, I always feel at peace sitting in a pew in the Norman abbey in the town in England where I grew up. Is it nostalgia? A sense of calm imparted by stone masonry fitted 1,000 years ago? Or is there a spiritual connection? Is this a kind of faith?
Dunno. Is it OK to be agnostic?