Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Life Without God - An Update

It has been about a year-and-a-half since I have openly admitted my disbelief. My life has expanded in many ways that I did not think possible when I maintained my Christian faith. In a sense, life has become free. There is no metaphorical "big brother" looking over my shoulder, watching my every move - waiting for me to "fail" as a human being. There is no more guilt, no more sorrow about my own actions. I am free to make ethical decisions based on my own understanding of the world and the way it works. Nothing could be more delivering.

In the midst of this reflection of my transition away from religion, one of Jean-Paul Satre's metaphors permeates my thinking:
If we consider a manufactured object, such as a book or a paper knife, we note that this object was produced by a craftsman who drew his inspiration from a concept: he referred both to the concept of what a paper knife is, and to a known production technique that is a part of the concept and is, by and large, a formula. The paper knife is thus both an object produced in a certain way and one that... serves a definite purpose. We cannot suppose that a man would produce a paper knife without knowing what purpose it would serve. Let us say... that the essence of the paper knife - that is, the sum of formulae and properties that enable it to be produced and defined - precedes its existence (Existentialism is a Humanism 21, emphasis mine).
This is the way, apparently, that God works (if he exists). An omnipotent, omniscient God knows the outcome, knows the destiny of each human being. Sartre believes that this view of life is parasitic because it makes us complacent to our current status. In this paradigm, there are no goals - just indifference and complete reliance on the "Holy Parent."

Sartre has convinced me and has allowed me to observe my own complacency within my life. I needed personal goals. Now, after I left Greenville College, and religion as a whole, my journey remains my own. I am not produced in order to function in a certain way; I exist to continuously allay my identity with my own standards and dreams.

It is the ultimate freedom. I am still feeling the liberating aftereffects. 

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