A couple of years ago I was walking through Wal-Mart with my friend Kris and we saw a youth group handing out fliers for their church. I didn’t really give it any thought until Kris asked me something a couple of minutes later. Kris is Christian so when he saw the youth group he began thinking about his own faith. He then remembered that I’m not religious and it made him curious as to why. So the question that he asked me was, “How can you be such a good person, not only to others but also to yourself, when you don’t believe in God?”
First off, I never realized that I was a “good” person, at least not in the way that he was referring. Sure I never did drugs or drank alcohol and I’m not opposed to giving back to my community. While I recognize that these are all good virtues in a person, I know that there are many others out there just like me. So why was he so amazed that I would do these things? This led me to my second realization which was that, because I was not religious, he expected me to not care about anything that didn’t affect me personally.
Some of my friends are religious yet they still drink, smoke, do drugs, and many other things that the church frowns upon. They know that they shouldn’t do these things so they go to confession so that God will forgive. I believe that you shouldn’t be able to just go to confession and be forgiven for all the things you’ve done wrong. Confession, when taken advantage of in that way, completely undermines the whole learning from your mistakes process. Many religious people believe that there won’t be any consequences to their actions so long as God forgives them because, to them, the afterlife is more important than the one we’re living here. This or course devalues the time we have.
So I believe in morals. Just because I’m not religious that doesn’t make me a bad person. In fact I think it’s made me into the best person I could possibly be. The Bible is mainly a book full of morals, such as “don’t covet thy neighbor,” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, many of which I try to incorporate on a daily basis. Just because I believe that there isn’t a God doesn’t mean that I just disregard all that the Bible has to say as farcical and wrong. Instead I look upon it in a different light. I see it as a guide to attaining a more enriching life here instead of a guide to ensure a place for me in the Afterlife. Besides if God does exist, and he is all merciful as the church describes him to be, he wouldn’t damn a good person to hell for merely not believing in him, because that would be evidence to the contrary….
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