A thinking person’s belief system evolves over a lifetime and should be based on experience and observation – not received dogma. I am an Atheist-Buddhist (basic)-Darwinist-Humanist-Cosmicist-Continuumist.
Huh? Okay, read on…
At nine, I became an Atheist. At seven, I had already worked out that Santa, Faeries, Pixies and the like were bogus. But adults seemed to believe in God, so I gave Him the benefit of the doubt for a couple more years. However at nine, I realised the idea of an invisible, omnipotent super-being who created the World in six days was preposterous.
At nineteen, I was “sold” on Buddhism by a lady, on the top deck of a London bus. It took no more than ten minutes. In fact, the sell was so subtle, it took me a few days to realise I had BEEN sold. And the reason Buddhism is an easy sell is because, in its pure form, it is NOT a religion – merely a PHILOSOPHY. Siddhartha Gautama – like Confucius, around the same period – never claimed divinity.
At around twenty-five, I came to realize the observations of Darwin were mostly correct. Many of the Big Questions that religions come up with dumb answers for, were sensibly addressed and settled by the man. One can SEE the evidence of evolution all around us.
At around thirty-five, I encountered the term “Humanist”. And when I looked it up, I realised that its philosophy (that word again) fitted mine absolutely. That MAN is responsible for his actions and choices. That only HE can help himself – and hopefully, others.
At around forty-five, I discovered that the path to enlightenment was made a lot easier by stepping OUT of oneself. That to understand the Human Condition, one needs to observe it from a neutral vantage point. This is different from merely being aloof – one CARES what makes the World and its inhabitants work and attempts to understand it. So, the Cosmic view. Cosmicism.
At around fifty-two, I lost my Father and Mother in quick succession. Having no religion, I lacked the false comfort of believing they were in some Other Place. Their ashes are currently feeding plants in a Victorian arboretum. Thus, I realised, they had simply changed form within The Continuum. We are all a part of The Continuum. It grinds on forever. We’re born, we grow, we live, we die.
Of course, I pass on these observations for your entertainment only. It is up to YOU to find YOUR answers. Just be sure they ARE yours – and not merely some religious nonsense drummed into you by someone ELSE.
[UPDATE! For more on this, hit… http://damienatloppers.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/damien-on-the-history-of-religion/]