I’m also someone who just realised that the title above sounds angry. I am not so.
For years (my whole life, give or take…) I have left myself in this religious limbo. See, my folks are non-believers, but I was educated in mostly Catholic schools. That being said, I’ve been surrounded by Christianity virtually my entire life.
However, religion and I have had our share of beef. What I felt and agreed with as true, simply didn’t coincide with many Christian beliefs (and yes, I am aware that there are many Christian churches, from Catholicism to Episcopalian). We just didn’t get along.
What did I do, then? I let myself fall into Agnosticism. It’s vague. There’s something there, but it escapes comprehension and definition (a bit Kantian, I’ll admit). I wanted to see the world as something rational, mechanical and Godless, while also maintaining that—for lack of a better word—magic and mystery that religion allowed (nearly demanded) for us to have.
For many people, Atheism seems cold—too rational to allow us any purpose in living. It’s lack of “outside knowledge” (aka God) forces us to throw away all the rules that were built up, thus ensuring anarchy.
“If God is dead, everything is permitted”
Ivan Karamazov in The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
My view of Atheism was very similar to this, until I found out about Illuminated Atheist. This is a project created as a Masters Thesis by Matt Luckhurst in The School of Visual Arts, NY. In my attempt to describe this philosophy, I came up with the following
Illuminated Atheist is a philosophy that searches for the intrinsic miraculous properties of life as seen through science and rational thought, rather than religion. It is not an attack on religion, but rather an alternate way of seeing the Universe and the wonders it presents to us.
The Illuminated Stories section shows how there ARE Atheists that find magic in life… and that magic IS life: trees, family, strangers, cats, dogs, lemurs, llamas, this planet…
So thank you Illuminated Atheist and Matt Luckhurst for showing me
we can carry on believing in miracles, even if we don’t believe in a miracle maker!