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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Member aka GwennielOfNargothrond (on ff.net) - formerly LadyOfNargothrondFemale/Finland Group :iconnoldorinfamilystore: NoldorinFamilyStore
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Yesterday I got around to talk with a religious person, a Christian. When I told her I am an atheist, she luckily didn't ask any questions about evolution, abortion, or hell. Instead, she was curious to know what I put my Faith in, where I get my Hope from, and what I think of Judgement and Forgiving.

 

Faith, as in having faith that things will get better? Well, the only thing I can put my faith in are the things I believe to exist. No powerful deity, no mysterious fate... My answer was that I put my Faith in people, in the human race. My own life is determined by my own choices to some extent, by the people around me to a bigger extent, by society as a whole for the remaining part. Everything is ultimately determined by people: war and peace, equality and inequality, poverty and wealth... Sure, natural disasters and things like that exist, but the way technology constantly strives to tame nature itself, all diseases, aging, it's really up to humans. There is no god to cure diseases. The cure comes either from your own immune system or from drugs designed by humans. There is no god to stop wars. The stop has to come from people. So when I hope for wars to end, do I put my faith in the people? Yes, because I have no other choice. While humans will most likely never find peace, I do not believe in any other force that could possibly do it for us. It's sad, it may be pessimistic, but in my eyes it's realistic.

 

Where do I get my hope from? That ties in with the previous. The only hope for me, the only thing that makes it worthwhile, is that I put my faith in people because I have faith in people. I have faith in that each person has at least a fundamental kindness and sense of responsibility for whatever they themselves care of. I have faith in that no person is completely "evil". My hope is that some people can unite. There's only us in this universe to take care of ourselves, and look how far we've come. It's a road of trial and error, but sometimes it works out and truly wonderful things happen. Often it doesn't. I can't put my hopes up for anything big, because the more people it takes to achieve something, the less likely it is that it will be achieved. But small things, yeah, I take pride in achieving them myself, with my peers, not with the help of some god. Funny thing, and take no offence, but I dislike the idea of a god making me do the things I do while believing myself to be an autonomous being.

 

What about Judgement and Forgiveness means? That was the trickiest question, and I asked for what Judgement means. In this case, for the Christian, it meant the sense of knowing that people who do wrongly get punished, but also, and more importantly, that even a flawed person (and we are all flawed in some ways) can be forgiven, if not by others, then by God. A Christian, I was told, is a person who has had their sins forgiven by Jesus. I wondered who would give me justice when I begged for it, or exert justice on me when I did wrong. I wondered where I could get my forgiveness from. I thought in what ways it mattered whether I would be forgiven. The answer once again: people. That all-mighty race. I am bound by laws made up by mankind, and I am forgiven by human beings around me. Whether as a collective society or as individuals (parents, friends, colleagues, strangers), the only forgiveness I care about is that which I am given by other people in this life, here and now. I believe in no gods, no afterlife, no concept out of this world. Which on the other hand means that if I am not forgiven by my friends or given justice by the law, there is nothing I can do about it, except from cursing towards the sky, asking why there exists no god that can help me out here. Still, what would I do with the forgiveness of god, if my friend has not forgiven me?

--

Having said these things I had had in my mind for quite a long time, having put them into words for someone else to hear, I thought of how chaotic the world is, and here I am, trusting that everything is determined by humans. My new friend laughed and said that I must have a bigger faith than her to believe what I believe. I guess so. But even as I put my faith in people and in the co-existence of people, in people's determination to strive onwards, I know that usually it takes a very long time to achieve anything in a big scale. Haven't people had enough time to eradicate diseases and poverty, to provide fresh water and education? Yes. Well, why haven't they happened already? It may be they will. It may be they will, but that we are not just ready for it yet. Who knows. it's just up to humans that these things will be done.

Our discussion went on for a while longer. We talked about how some people at their darkest moments start wondering whether something like god(s) exists to hear their prayer; whether Jesus really can help them out; what will happen to them in the afterlife, just in case the afterlife they have always denied turns out to be true. I didn't say it, but I though of how sometimes, occasionally, indeed only in the darkest moments of grief, I have wondered whether a god would listen to me if a god existed, whether Jesus would actually care about me when all I have done is denying his identity as a son of a god, whether my grand-mother can go to heaven even though I don't believe in it. A good god should listen to me, if I truly needed it. Jesus should accept me, since I have not denied most of his teachings. A heaven should exist: not for my own sake, but for my grand-mother's, who believed in it. But mark the modality! All these thoughs come with the doubt of ifs, woulds, shoulds and maybes. I just like to imagine what it would be if the things religious people believe in actually were real.

 

And that's when I know. That's when I know why people are religious. It gives them great security and comfort, explanations and purposes. Bad things in a world where a higher power can determine the outcomes are like taxes: not always fair, but something you accept because that's how it is. And it's not like I don't need security or comfort or any of that. Not like I have become an übermensch, too cool to admit I don't get it. It's just that in my head the existence of a god or of many gods, benevolent or otherwise, doesn't add up, so I can't believe in them and I'm not going to try to. I'm just going to stick around in the flow of time for some 60 years more, doing whatever I do, being a part of the humanrace. A humanrace that has created their gods because they know they themselves can't possibly take up the role of being a god, can't possibly be the ones whom everybody puts their faith and hope in and who are supposed to both do justice and forgiveness. And I know they can't. It's just that there's no one else, who could even try.

"Man created god in his own image." -- Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872)

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((These are just a section of my thoughts -- I do not speak on behalf of atheists as a whole -- I have yet to label this philosophy. Feel free to quote or discuss, but do not do so believing these ideas are part of something bigger. Unless, of course, you're a philosophy major who can immediately label what school of philosophy this represents or something... (if you can, do tell me. I'm curious)... ))

  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: La Folia - Arcangelo Corelli
  • Reading: An Utterly Impartial HIstory of Britain
  • Watching: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

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Gwenniel
aka GwennielOfNargothrond (on ff.net) - formerly LadyOfNargothrond
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
Finland
:iconplzdivide1plz:
Well met! I am Gwenniel, and I am pleased that you happen to read this.

About me:

If I've get free-time I usually spend it drawing, surfing on the net, playing cello, or writing. I've got a fanfiction.net account where I've got some Silmarillion centric fics. There's the url in my Devious info.

If I'm lazy at giving comments, I'm even more lazy to favourite: so take that as a HUGE compliment if I happened to click that icon with the star and the plus. ;)

I'm active on some other communities too.
-I'm the Gwenniel of CouncilOfElrond...
- If you see a Gwenniel on Silmarillion Writer's Guild... yeah, that's me
-...and I'm also the GwennielOfNargothrond on fanfic.net (check the link below in Devious Info)

:icondabettethanfbstamp1::icondabettethanfbstamp2:

:iconplzdivide1plz:

Other stuff I want to tell:

Spread the love! :icongwenniel:
If you wonder where I got my adorable avatar from, it is a part of the Noldorin icon family created by my Noldorin cousin kittykatkanie. :heart: Go here for more: kittykatkanie.deviantart.com/j… :meow:

And since these plz's are so convenient...
:iconrequestsopen: :iconcollabsfriendsonly: :icontradesopen:
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:iconbeatles24:
Beatles24 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm not Christian by the way. I'm a believer of God. I believe in one whole god. Everybody has their own god. One they can turn to. But all the gods are one. No one knows what god is or what god is like. All I can say is that people have different points of God. Buddhism, The Greek and Roman Gods, The Christianity God, The ancient Gods, yes they are all a God. WE have depended on them. I'm fine with Lennon not believing in Jesus. My mom believes in Buddhism and my dad is Catholic. I have been raised in both parts of religion. I know all the Roman and Greek gods and I have seen what haters of religion have done. In Lennon's song he never stated that he didn't believe in God itself. It's true. The world is a part of God. The universe will always be God itself. If we are a part of God then why do we turn away. How is your realism supposed to explain all that has happened to us. What about before the big bang. How was the universe created. I believe God is behind the ways. Even if it is a foolish religion it has it's purpose. It is a way that guides us. It tells us what to do and helps us through life. If we didn't have the guidelines then we'd be disorientated and help less. It is like America. The USA is free to do and say what he or she please, but they must follow some rules. it is the same thing about religion. If you don't believe what I've told you I'm sorry to say I can not help you anymore. Oh and yes I have done a full report on all of the Beatles lives and I tell you their were some things that embarrass me myself of knowing. But if we are part of the universe it self then we have our chance to make ourselves right again correct? I do not go to church everyday I don't read the bible everyday, but I pray. I sit in bed and I pray and ask god to help me. Has it helped me? Yes God has helped me. I'm alive, I have undergone surgery, I have survived many things. I'm here today. That's what matters to me. God has helped me. Now what I want you to explain to me is how the universe was created with your "realistic" ways. What happened to cause the universe if their was nothing before it? Or is the universe really all we know? I believe the universe is only a part of God and I have all the answers that satisfy me for now. Good day to you and the one and holy God bless you. And I do believe that while I may be arrogant he is a forgiving ... thing. No God is not a person or living soul. I wish their were a better way to describe this holy being, but that is the best I can say.

I am one of the few who believe this. I'm sorry to say that all my brothers and sisters have committed such awful sins. If you ever forgive you have acted a holy way. You see even though you think u are far away from God you are closer than ever.
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:icongwenniel:
Gwenniel Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think I can see where you are coming from. Many spiritual people may embrace God(s) yet dislike organized religion and religious institutions or simple feel that such institutions do not fully reflect their own beliefs. Religions are usually fundamentally the same -- similar teachings, similar reasons for why people have turned to religion -- so one can argue that all they are facets of reflection of one God. The fact that you (if I understood correctly) call God not a person but a more abstract concept -- fate? life? the universe itself? -- is also a point I can accept. (I'd rather not think there is a person or a people organizing our way of life.)
However, despite not being a scientist, I still believe in that our universe was created according to the Big Bang theory. What came before, I do not know, but then again there is a lot of things even within our current universe that have yet to be fully understood. Unless God as you describe it is truly such an abstract thing as to be a personification of the laws of Physics, I do not think God was behind Big Bang. In my eyes, saying that God did it and not providing any reasoning or theories of physics to support it, just isn't convincing, I'm afraid. Do animals other than humans think of God? Why does God work in such mysterious ways?
So, what I do believe is that the God-concept is a thing that is so abstract that it only exists within our heads. This is to say that God (as you characterise it, not a God of a specific religion) indeed is what guides our actions. God is the motivation, inspiration and guideline for so many people, that s/he cannot be dismissed just like that. That's why I think people need God and why religion has been created. But like I said, Id rather not think this God is in charge of our lives, not of yours, not of mine. It is the circumstances and our choices that determine them. In my humble opinion, God may guide our philosophies and such matters, but not the gender we are born, whether our crush likes us back or whether we stub our toe.
Which brings us to the point I made in my essay: IMHO there is so much in this world God plays no part in. Or if God does, I am just unable to comprehend/realize/believe it. Generally God is good for spiritual guidance and kindling hope, but personally my relationship with God is still tricky because of my lack of faith. Yet, I have come to realize this has not been a problem to me.
Maybe somehow deep down I still believe (without knowing) in the God you described, maybe not. But to each their own. I am glad you are comfortable with your spirituality. I respect that.
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:iconninquetari:
ninquetari Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Happy (belated) B-day!
I hope you had great time, and may your wishes for the coming year come true. :tighthug:
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:icongwenniel:
Gwenniel Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much! :glomp: :heart:
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:iconmelodiamystic:
MelodiaMystic Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday! 
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:icongwenniel:
Gwenniel Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
 :) Thank you.
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:iconladybrookecelebwen:
LadyBrookeCelebwen Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:glomp: :tighthug: Happy Birthday Gwen! I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day.
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:icongwenniel:
Gwenniel Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you (again)!! :tighthug:
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:iconladybrookecelebwen:
LadyBrookeCelebwen Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome (again)!! :tighthug:
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:iconstrawberryjam1313:
StrawberryJam1313 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
HAPPY BEGETTING DAY COUS! May your day be filled with good food and (even better) good wine :D And presents, of course, lots of them.
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