I believe that I can be a good person without a religious faith. I believe I can live with standards that have proven to be beneficial but which are not the property of any church or group, but rather the product of reasonable men. I believe the golden rule came from the mind of man; that the ten commandments were conceived to provide a safer, kinder and more comfortable social order. I believe the human intelligence and the capacity for compassion can provide for a viable society and thus, I do not, for my passage through life, find a need for an almighty.
I believe it is the intelligence in man that shapes our civilization and delves into the universe, understanding more today than yesterday and less than tomorrow. There are, of course, unanswered questions which the faithful answer religiously and which comforts them, but I do not find comfort in believing there is a supreme intelligence guiding the universe. Perhaps, I do not know, but I cannot accept any other person or group to lead me where they or I have never been. If there were an intelligent guidance to this universe, I believe many things would be designed differently. For one, the food chain process which, as designed, requires hunting, killing and ravaging. To watch a lion feeding on a gazelle is to watch a kind of necessary and hellish evil which does not seem very intelligent to me.
I stand in my skiff, hand on the wheel, alone and confident, cutting a wake in the smooth river waters. I am returning from the gym and I feel good after exercising my eighty-five year old muscles. I see the shore lined with exotic vegetation, attractive homes, trimmed lawns, well kept small boats at private docks, tall hotel and condo buildings rising from the distant ocean shore, a public park for tennis and jogging, and the bridge which I will pass under as cars above convey passengers to their various activities. At the moment I am filled with love for this world before me. However it came to be, it is here, it is what you and I have made of it and it takes hold of me; I wonder, is god here in my world?
Until I can understand and embrace a divine intelligent design, I can only accept the possibility that god is amongst us. Meanwhile, this I believe: our intelligence and empathy fashions our civilization and entices us to live a skeptical and searching life which is rich, sharing, caring and considerate – a searching and ever changing life that each day brings a new thought, idea, insight and provides new evaluations and understanding – a search that thrives on universal participation, provides the joy of learning and will most likely never end.
My world is all that – and a wake behind my skiff.
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