A foreword: do feel free to comment on this one, I have the anxious feeling that I am blogging alone and that I am turning schizophrenic. And feel free to disagree with me, I love a good, heated debate when it is not trolling.
Since the controversy over the atheist bus (I am modestly taking part in it over the Internet), I have been thinking a lot about faith and my current (and most likely permanent) state of Godlessness (does that word exist?). I am trying to remember when I exactly lost my faith. It was a gradual process, that started with teenage and maybe ended before it. I stopped going to confession at 11 or 12, then in the anachronistic Catholic school system Québec had at the time, I just couldn't stand the nauseating preaching that the religion teachers and the animateurs de pastorale
were giving us, telling us that God was love, not to go away from the Light of Jesus, that a bunch of people in Croatia or wherever saw the Virgin Mary (did she look like Olivia Hussey?), and so on and so forth. That was marshmallow version of brainwash, but it didn't work too well. I still believed in God, except that I was starting to think he also loved idiots and didn't mind them as his messengers. The only class I was thrown out from was a religion class, and I still don't regret it. I did have a few good religion teachers, one of them in my last year of high school, he was a nice guy and intelligent enough, so I sort of kept my faith for a little while. Then well, I slowly discovered that I had stopped praying, stopped talking to God, and that all I could hear was the echo of my own consciousness.
I don't like that expression "loosing faith", it sounds as if I lost something precious. I think now that faith is something I could have easily done without way before I "lost" it. I remember that I started saying "I don't believe in God" regularly in 1999, when I started living in England. First to two Jehovah's Witnesses that were really winding me up, then to a group of students, among which I was going to make many friends. A Muslim in the group said "you must be a very sad person". The year after, a Greek housemate told me the very same thing. So the faithful do think that life is incomplete without God. It is a false assumption. Hoping for an afterlife, since there is no proof of its existence, is for me a false hope. I do think, like the French existentialists
, that life is meaningless unless one gives it meaning through actions. At heart, I am an existentialist. And I find it more rewarding than worship and religious obedience. There is also the question of moral: believers think that heathens like myself don't have any, or have a lesser
one. Something that made perfect sense when I was a good little Catholic boy, but that I find ridiculous now, and actually slightly offensive. It implies that a human being lacks the judgment to see what is right or wrong and needs the guidance of a supreme being. But faith is often used by the faithful in lieu
of moral, it makes moral subservient to it. One can measure what is good or bad on the effect it has on this world and on fellow human beings, the rest is unverifiable and ultimately pointless.