I have always been a realist, I was baptized catholic but have been lapsed since birth. Without religion, my life has been fairly open ended. I do not have a straight answer for the question of “what happens when we die?”, although I used to think I had it all figured out. I used to firmly believe it was lights out, nothing. I lived my life this way up until a month ago. A month ago was when my dog died. People who have never had a pet don’t understand the pain of losing one, but it is a greater pain than anything I have ever felt in my entire life. I have dealt with a great deal of death in my life, friends, uncles, grandparents, but this pain did not compare. It got me to thinking, I really do hope there is something that comes after life. I do not like to think of my fuzzy little man sitting in darkness for the rest of his life because I know that he is up chasing squirrels in doggy heaven.
As Evil Mr. Heidkamp argued in class, 2020 is most definitely proof that God does not exist, and I agree. 2020 was confirmation of this theory but I have always felt this way about religion. In The Stranger by Albert Camus, Mersault expresses his views on God, “I had only a little time left and I didn’t want to waste it on God”(Camus, 120). I completely agree with his statement. I once had a friend who told me, “My life is just a staircase to heaven and with each new day, I need to do everything I can to move up a step”. The irony was that she was not a very good friend or person. However, that statement makes me weep internally. Living your life with the fear of going to hell or elsewhere is not a healthy way to live. You should live your life as a good person because that is the good thing to do, not because of an external motive.
There are times where I wish I was raised believing in God. Sometimes that is the easiest answer when life gets hard. Nevertheless, I personally see God as a lie and I do not want to live life in a lie. I find peace in knowing that I came to this conclusion on my own. I was not specifically raised as an atheist, a catholic, or agnostic. If I wanted to go to church, I could have gone with my grandmother. I have read portions of The Bible and decided on my own that this violent, sexist, and extremely self-contradicting book is not something that I would be proud of supporting. I was given opportunities to research and observe other religions, and I was allowed to not believe in any of it as I did for so long. Now, I am allowed to accept that I do not know and I may never know, and that is okay.