Cogito Ergo Sum, Descartes said it, I can only be sure that I exists within my own thinking reality.
There is no proof anything else exists. From that perspective, atheists definitely have a point.
Being an avid philosopher and having a keen interest in psychology, my starting point towards my own spirituality will always be atheism.
I know how our brain likes to make faces out of things to make them recognisable, and how we like to think there must be a higher purpose to life. From that sobering perspective, it is hard to accept that part of me that feels there is a divine force that binds us all together. Believe me, the struggle is real! I am happy that within Interfaith we do not tell people what they should believe or that they should believe, we just allow the process to happen.
So yeah, I have a thing for atheists. At the same time though, I do feel that a lot of atheists call themselves just that because they have never thought past the existence of an Abrahamic interventional god. It seems some people call themselves ‘atheist’ because they feel they do not fit in to any of the major religions. Yet, often they do feel there is ‘something’, but, having rejected religion, it can be scary to think about what that ‘something’ is.
The world is not black and white, and I believe that neither is our spirituality.
I have been in many situations where people found out I am a reverend, and they throw at me ‘well, I don’t believe in anything.’ I would simply ask them if they are an atheist or would they consider being a humanist.
Humanists don’t believe in the existence of a divine force, but they do have a very powerful ethos.
I love the 2002 Amsterdam declaration, as it comes very close to my own beliefs.
The declaration talks about using science for the advancement of humanity, the importance of human rights, personal liberty, how the world would be better off without dogmatic religion, using ones creative thinking ability and truly addressing todays social challenges.
As a One Spirit Interfaith minister, I feel all these ethics are hugely beneficial to me own ministry.
So, why am I not a humanist? Good question!
Though part of me is the ever-questioning atheist, the other part of me really wants to believe there is a divine force. I have seen and felt things that have shown me that there is more to human life than us being a highly evolved species thinking we have it all figured out.
To quote another great philosopher, Spinoza: “By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite—that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.”
Though I can be critical of Spinoza’s thought process, proving the existence of God. I feel there is a force of absolute infinite holding all of us together, a force that holds us and binds us, making us one with everything in existence.
My work as a minister involves facilitating people’s thought process about God and the meaning of life, without providing the answers, and without judging the answers anyone can come up with.
In the end, no one knows what the absolute truth is, and that is what makes life so interesting.
If you have been teased into your own thinking about the question ‘does god exist?’, be blessed.
It can be a confronting journey, and I am here for you if you need to talk about it with someone.